Backup Mac Mini Server to same Shared Time Machine

LERsince1991

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 24, 2008
1,245
37
UK
Hi,

I've been going in circles a bit here.

I want to use one external hard drive to back up my Macbook and my Mac Mini.

It's plugged into my Mac Mini so TM was working there but I couldn't find a way to get my Macbook to backup over the network to the shared drive.

I then bought the OS X Server upgrade for the mini and used that to set up the Time Machine which works, but then the Mini is clashing when it is trying to back up to the same drive and use it as a TM. I tried setting them both to go through the network so they are the same but the Mini won't as the drive is local to it.

So how do I do this? Essentially I want to backup my mini and macbook to one external hard drive.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
266
Oregon
Using Disk Utility, format the external drive with two partitions. Back up the mini to one of them and have the server software use the second for TimeMachine of the MacBook.
 

LERsince1991

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 24, 2008
1,245
37
UK
Using Disk Utility, format the external drive with two partitions. Back up the mini to one of them and have the server software use the second for TimeMachine of the MacBook.
Yeah I may have to, but is it a well known thing that I can't use the same drive/ partition for the server as well as a client? And that's the only way I could get time machine to work for the remote macbook.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,703
266
Oregon
Even if it did work you wouldn't want to do so. The TimeMachine Server creates what are called Sparse Bundle Disk Images on the drive and saves to them. It's a virtual drive on a physical one and the chance of disk corruption multiplies. It has to do this since each backup wants to have its own drive and you can have many systems and only one physical drive.

It's best to have separate physical partitions. This way at least the server has a real drive (not a virtual drive) to back up to.

FYI I've used Time Machine Server for five years now and the only failures I've ever had (and there have been several) has been caused by corrupted sparse bundles. I don't rely on Time Machine as my only backup. I also clone the drives and have a cloud backup as well.
 

LERsince1991

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 24, 2008
1,245
37
UK
Thanks I will partition.

I don't like that the backups are those sparse things. Is there an alternative way to get the macbook time machine to backup to the minis external over the network which would backup normally and not use spare bundles?
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,190
2,517
Thanks I will partition.

I don't like that the backups are those sparse things. Is there an alternative way to get the macbook time machine to backup to the minis external over the network which would backup normally and not use spare bundles?
Time Machine only does sparsebundles with network backups. Backing up otherwise would break all the permissions on the files as they're copied to the server, and rendering some files useless as a result.
 

LERsince1991

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 24, 2008
1,245
37
UK
Thanks, I actually have two drives so I might just use the second with usb rather than over the network
 

dimme

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2007
1,565
3,574
SF, CA
I have been running my mini server backing up 2 MacBooks Pros over the network via time machine (server version) and the mini server via time machine local. All to the same disk, It been running like tat for 2 years and I have not had a issue.
 

LERsince1991

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 24, 2008
1,245
37
UK
I have been running my mini server backing up 2 MacBooks Pros over the network via time machine (server version) and the mini server via time machine local. All to the same disk, It been running like tat for 2 years and I have not had a issue.
Interesting, mine was having problems in that the permissions would change on the local backup folder essentially locking me out of the backups (the folder had the little stop sign on).

Any idea why that is?
I've added another external now anyway so each have their own dedicated drive but would be good to know if I change again.
 

lederermc

macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2014
533
469
Seattle
I have a mac Mini, my wife and I each have laptops. We back up both laptops and the mac mini to a 4 TB external on the Mac Mini. Setting up the mini is simple. The laptops are set up by mounting the mini's external then selecting it in the Add/Remove Backup Disk dialog box (on the Laptop). Since I don't like the idea of having all my eggs are in one basket, I actually back up each laptop to two separate external drives. One on the mini and the other attached to an Airport Extreme.
 

dimme

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2007
1,565
3,574
SF, CA
Interesting, mine was having problems in that the permissions would change on the local backup folder essentially locking me out of the backups (the folder had the little stop sign on).

Any idea why that is?
I've added another external now anyway so each have their own dedicated drive but would be good to know if I change again.
I did setup the time machine for the remote machines first, then the local time machine. I know when I look at the time machine disk in the finder my wifes computer file has a no symbol, and also sayes 0 bytes. But everything works in time machine. I have gone back 2 few months looking and recovering a few files.
 

unplugme71

macrumors 68030
May 20, 2011
2,749
714
Earth
You didn't need Server to do this. Simply attach the drive to one Mac. Then use TM to backup that Mac. Once the initial folder is created, you can share the folder. Then have the other Mac connect to that share and setup TM. It'll prompt for the user/pass and hit remember.

The "backups" folder is what you want shared. Not the subfolder in that which contains the computer name.