Backing Up w/ Time Machine to a network drive - no timecapsule

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Sean Dempsey, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    I would like to have a laptop Time Machine backup to a network drive, so that when the laptop is on, it backs up to the network location, but if the laptop were to be taken off the network, Time Machine just suspends until the drive is mounted again.

    I know this works with a Time Capsule, but I don't want to buy a router that is a NAS.

    I have a Mac Pro that acts as a server for my whole house. Can I set this to be a time machine drive, and if so, how would I go about doing this?
  2. macabouttobe, Feb 9, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012

    macabouttobe macrumors regular


    Aug 5, 2007
    I currently use a readynas NV+ right now to do my time machine backups. I have an airport in bridge mode (not a technical requirement to do what you are trying to do) with a gigE connection wired from my iMac to the readynas - basically assumed the wireless would be too slow - but should work fine .

    When your laptop is off your home grid, you'll probably get pop-ups saying the Time Machine volume can't be found if it tries to do an automated back-up -tolerable I'm sure or just turn off time machine when mobile. When you boot up back at home it will find it and work fine. Sorry I have no experience hanging a drive off another Mac that is used as a server.

    Haven't had to do a full restore yet, but booted from my Leopard disk to verify my iMac sees the time machine volume on the network - so it will be there should I have to do a full restore from Time Machine.

    You can check out more here:

    If you go that route - you can do your own tweaks like "enable jumbo frames" etc that you can research on readynas forums - basically optimizing speeds etc for OSX
  3. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    This sucks.

    I have my network drive mounted on the laptop. It works fine. I take the laptop to work, obviously TimeMachine stops working.

    I come home, and TimeMachine is still jacked, since my network drive doesn't auto mount.

    How can I fix this? I don't want to manually mount the drive every time that I sleep the computer or leave the house. Or is that just how it happens and I have to deal with it?
  4. Macman45, Feb 23, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012

    Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    The TC is your best option for full automation, although you should be able to mount the network drive on boot-up.

    I have a 3GB TC backing up an iMac ( hardwired to the TC) An MBP and an MBA.

    In addition I have four external HDD's also connected to the TC, all available to all Mac's.

    The TC acts just as you want it to...It will simply wait until you boot the machine in question to back it up, no drama, no bleating....Fire and forget.

    I check my parse bundles for all three Macs from time to time but that's it...It just works.
  5. Pagemakers macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2008
    Manchester UK
    Did you sort this? If not go to System Preferences, Users, Login Items and add your network drive’s location.

    Each time you return home and turn the laptop on it will mount the drive.

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