Can I use an external hard drive and time machine with multiple computers

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by YMark, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. YMark macrumors 6502a

    YMark

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    #1
    I have a Time Capsule that I used to use for backups for my iMac, wife's Macbook Pro, and my Air. After 4 years, the HD on the time capsule has taken a dump.

    The router and everything still works so I was thinking about purchasing an External Hard Drive to use for Time Machine backups.

    My question is.... can I still backup the laptops wireless IF I have the external drive connected to my iMac and enable sharing? Is there a simpler solution that I'm not thinking of?

    Thanks
     
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #2
    As your router still works, I think I'm right in saying that if you connect a USB HDD to your TCC and point all your Macs at it it should work the same way as it used to....The software is still in place, it's only the drive that's shot.

    It's so easy to setup the TC ( I have a 3TB) and the wifi is great, but I make extra backups using a four bay dock....Not too expensive and you select the amount of space you need....Not fast though, and Ive just bought a Pegasus Raid system from Apple....Waiting delivery...But yes, a large USB hdd connected to the TC should work.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #3
    Mac 101: Time Machine

    I'm not certain that you can. Some have reported that TM doesn't see the drive as an option to select.

    Time Machine with external HD shared on another Mac
     
  4. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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  5. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    #5
    I have an external drive at home connected to my Mac Mini. When I get home tonight I'll see if I can back up to it from my MBA if no one's been able to answer for sure before then.
     
  6. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    Worth a shot, but that I don't think will work...It's the onboard software in the TC that does the trick...be interested to know if it works for you though.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #7
    My personal preference is to use Carbon Copy Cloner for backups. It can easily backup to shared drives across the network. I haven't found a use for Time Machine, as CCC does it all, and creates bootable clones, which TM can't do.
     
  8. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    Funny, I've never used it...Shortly will have the TC backing up all 3 Mac's and a Pegasus Raid system as well...When Apple finally deliver it...Should be enough.
     
  9. YMark thread starter macrumors 6502a

    YMark

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    #9
    That's why I posted the question. I was hoping some folks had success with backing up to a networked drive.

    Great. Please post the results.

    I have another portable external that I use CCC to backup my Air when I'm on the road. I like it and may use it to also back up my wife's Pro. She uses her Pro for personal and fun things. Daily backups for her aren't super critical.

    If the backing up to a network drive isn't going to work, I think I might buy an external (maybe a Lacie) and use this for my iMac with Time Machine, and then use CCC and my small portable for my Air and wife's Pro.

    If I get a 2 TB external, I could partition it for use as TM and CCC backups for the Pro and Air.

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #10
    While backing up to a shared drive across the network may not work for TM, it will definitely work for CCC. You could have one drive that is partitioned, connected to any Mac on your network, then all Macs could backup to that same drive, each to their own partition.
     
  11. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    #11
    You can definitely back up to a non-Time Capsule drive attached to the SAME computer - I did that for months before I bought my TC. And come to think of it, after I bought my mini, but before I bought my TC, I backed up from the MBA to the external drive that I moved over to the Mini (since I could use Firewire on the mini).

    So yes, Time Machine can back up to an external drive attached to another computer on the same network, provided the drive is Mac format.
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #12
    That was never in question. What was questioned is whether it would work with an external drive attached to a Time Capsule (it won't) or an external drive attached to another computer and shared on the network.
    As the link to the other thread I posted indicates, some have had problems making that work, as TM didn't recognize the shared drive as a backup option. Do you have a link to instructions that explain how that works?
     
  13. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #13
    Good info. I've got to organise my backups better...the damn place is filling up with HDDs....again, and four more coming.....its a case of archiving stuff....I might never need again, but its copyright stuff..I have four external at the moment, a 3 TB TC which works well, and the externals double up for archiving stuff. I've never used RAID in the Mac environment although I did in the Windows days.. I only need to archive certain things though, so I may use the Thunderbolt Pegasus array differently..not sure yet.
     
  14. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Nope. It just worked. Same ID on both computers, sharing available, just chose it from a list.

    But tonight I'll set it up again temporarily and make note of what the steps are and report back.
     
  15. YMark thread starter macrumors 6502a

    YMark

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    #15
    Thanks, would be much appreciated. I'm actually looking at the Lacie Network Space 2 setup. This supposedly will allow me to backup all 3 computers using Time Machine.
     
  16. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #16
    Sorry to deviate from the original question, but have you considered replacing the Time Capsule's internal hard drive?

    You could easily put a 2TB in there for cheap.
     
  17. YMark thread starter macrumors 6502a

    YMark

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    #17
    You know, that just might be the ticket. I can get a 2 TB desktop drive for just over $100. Seems like the cheapest route and an hour of my time.
     
  18. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #18
    I've not opened a TC (yet) but have changed out hard drives in a couple ATV1's, which use a similar case. The trickiest part is removing the rubber backing, once that was off the rest was pretty easy. Speaking of which, definitely use a hair dryer (or heat gun) to heat the rubber backing so its easier to remove.
     
  19. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Seems like I'm no longer needed. :eek:

    But just for reference of anyone else reading who, perhaps already has a router and doesn't want to by a time capsule when external hard drives are so much cheaper, yes, I can confirm that Time Machine on my MBA will definitely do backups to my external firewire drive on my Mac Mini.
     
  20. YMark thread starter macrumors 6502a

    YMark

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    #20
    You're needed. ;) I appreciate the info you shared and the test you ran. Thanks a bunch.
     
  21. sinoue macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Link to replace TC drive

    4 years of constant backup I can see why the old drive finally gave up. Found a link on how to swap out your old drive here: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Replacing-Apple-Time-Capsule-HDD/2750/1

    You can connect an external drive to your Time Capsule, but I haven't found that to be as reliable as the internal one.

    You may want to run Apple Disk utility on the drive to see what is wrong. It could be a failed drive or it could be something else like the drive controller, etc.

    In the short run get a USB external disk and use that to do local time machine backups. You can then open the case up and pull the drive to swap with your Time Capsule and use the external drive case to trouble shoot the old drive if you want to figure out if any of the data is recoverable.
     
  22. YMark thread starter macrumors 6502a

    YMark

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    #22
    I ended up swapping the hard drive. Purchased a 2TB Western Digital green drive (should stay cooler) for $120 and popped it into the Time Capsule. Start to finish took about 15 minutes.

    Thanks everyone for the help.
     
  23. Almarma macrumors newbie

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    Aug 23, 2011
    #23
    Interesting

    Hello everybody. I know this thread is a bit old, but it's interesting and I would like to share my own experience:

    I had a Time Capsule too, that died some days ago (now using the fuc.... router that comes from the ISP. really sucks). I've been several days thinking about how to get the most from the money, and I have several ideas:
    -Buy a new TC with 3TB
    -Fix and upgrade the old one here: http://www.fackrell.me.uk/page1/page1.html
    -Buy an Airport Express or Extreme and external HDDs attached to it.

    I'm selling a black Macbook and want to use the money to fix this issue. Fortunately, I discovered before buying an AE, that I cannot use TM with an external disk attached to a TC or AE. But I didn't thought before about attaching it to the Mac Mini I use as a server at home (as a media center). So now I'm thinking about buying a Airport Express (I suppose it's as good as router as any Airport Extreme or TC, right?), and one (or two) 3TB hard disk, and attach them to the Mini, for the same price of a 3TB TC.

    That way, I can have the same (or even more) backup space, and also three advantages:
    - I can check and fix the file system of the hard disks (I couldn't do that on the internal TC one).
    - I can keep the router colder (when the TC hd was on, the TC was really hot), so I hope it will live longer.
    - I can do the backups through WIFI, as usual, but if I have to restore a full Time Machine copy to any of the Macs I have at home, I can take the external backup disk from the Mini, and plug it directly to the required Mac, to make the restoration much faster than using WIFI. Also, if the Mini crash, while I'm fixing it or buying another, I can plug that disk to another Mac and keep using it with Time Machine.

    Am I missing something, or this solution seems to be really interesting and even cheaper? I think that, for the price of the 3TB-TC, I can get the AE, a 3TB WD MyBook (I have one since 4 years ago, always on, working perfectly), and even upgrade the Mini's RAM to make it more stable with multitasking ;)
     
  24. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #24
  25. Almarma macrumors newbie

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    #25

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