Can I use timecapsule as an external hd as well as with timeamachine

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by macgrl, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. macgrl macrumors 65816

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #1
    I have a time capsule which I have set up back up my mbp using time machine. However I would also like to use it as an external hard drive for things I don't have room to store on my mbp. This may sound a stupid question but can I do this? If so how do I go about putting files on to it. I don't have to have a seperate partition do I? I just want to be able to cut and paste files over to it and keep them on it as an external hard drive but don't know how and don't want to mess up the time machine backups. Can I do this wirelessly as this is how I back up at the moment or do I have to use an ethernet cable.

    Thank you
     
  2. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #2
    Yeah, I do that (all wirelessly). The caveat is that you can't stop the Time Machine backups from eating up the free space, and when it's all used up, there won't be any more room for you to store non-Time Machine files (unless you go through and manually remove old Time Machine backups).

    AFAIK, the only way to partition a Time Machine drive is to crack open the case and hook the drive up directly to your Mac (via an enclosure). So basically, there's no easy way to partition it.

    To access it, in Finder, I just click on Shared > All and it's visible right there. Not sure if I had to do anything special on the TC setup to make it work as a drive. I can look when I get home if you need me to.
     
  3. macgrl thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Thank you so much for your reply, it is really appreciated. I am new to mac and it would be a disaster to lose / mess up the back ups by mistake. So basically what you are saying is that you can use it as an external hard drive but that in doing so you will use some of the space that could be used by time machine. That is no problem as the 500gb time capsule is more than big enough for back ups and using as an external hard drive. I don't think that I will be wanting to partition the drive if it is not needed. If you would be able to tell me how I can move over my files to the time capsule and then how to access them it would be very much appreciated. Can I use an ethernet cable when doing so, to make the transfer quicker? I set up t'machine yesterday and it took about 12 hours for 50gb to back up wirelessly - is that normal?

    With timemachine and its back ups does it duplicate files when it backs them up? Or does it just add or and delete files as they change on the mbp?
    Thank you :D:D
     
  4. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #4
    When Time Machine does a backup, it copies any file that's been modified since the last backup. When it backs up those files, it doesn't overwrite prior versions of those files. So if you had your resume and worked on it yesterday, it got backed up. If you worked on it again this morning, it got backed up again this morning, and that backup is separate from your "yesterday" backup. This is kind of cool because if you ended up screwing up this morning, you can go back to your "yesterday" backup. So in that sense, you can have lots of duplicate files.

    When I get back home to my Mac, I'll see if I can figure out what I did to make it so you can mount the whole Time Capsule to use for storage.

    And yeah, ethernet should make it go a lot quicker. :)
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    Time machine will eventually use ALL of the space on the drive. It will keep all of the older versions of your files and only delete the older version if forced to because the disk is full. Files that are changed after the last hourly backup are copied to the TM drive.

    It is really not a good idea to store other files on the Time Machine drive becasue these files don't get backed up. Just buy a few more external drives to use for redundant backups and to hold data.
     
  6. macgrl thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Thanks guys. I may just get another external hard drive to store any data that won't fit on my mbp - can I then use time machine to back up this external drive data on to time capsule ?:D How long does it take to fill a 500gb time capsule if it keeps backing up and repeating files - at the moment i have 50gb on my mbp
     
  7. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #7
    Yeah, Time Capsule will automatically back up any external drives you have plugged in. I like that feature because I keep my iMovie files on a separate external and I'd hate to lose them. It's nice to know that they're just as backed up as the files on my MacBook Pro's internal HD. :)

    500GB could last you awhile, ... it'll all depend on how much new files you add to your system (and how often you edit old files). Remember, it only stores multiple versions of the same file if that file's been changed, so the vast majority of your files will only be stored ONCE on the Time Capsule.
     
  8. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #8
    1) Yeah, the problem with TM/TC is not that it will eat your files but that it will probably fill up the TC before you get files on there, and then there's no way to shrink the beast.

    2) I'm pretty sure that an external drive attached to a TC cannot be backed up using TM to the TC. You can manually back it up (i.e., copy stuff), but not do it using TM, which works only for the computer its running on and any externals attached to it by USB or FW (ha!)

    3) The first backup will take a while. Best to attachd your computer with an ethernet cable, rather than wirelessly. You could be looking at several hours for 50GB, so do it at night. backups after that are much much quicker because it backs up only the incremental changes.
     
  9. macgrl thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Thank you very much for the replies, it has put my mind at ease about backing up. I would hate to lose any of my stuff through not doing it properly.
     
  10. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #10
    Here's the setting I enabled on my Time Capsule (using the Airport Utility program on my Mac) to enable file sharing (if you're still want to play around with that). :)

    Once that's enabled (and you save the settings), it should show up Finder under 'Shared'. Give it the password and it should mount up a regular volume.

    I have a 1TB TC with 5 Mac's backing up to it and some files that are shared between them.
     

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  11. macgrl thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Thanks for that aristobrat. Much appreciated

    How do I get that timecapsule preferences window that you have in the first picture?
     
  12. macgrl thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #12
    I found the airport utility and the settings were already as those in your first picture. So all is well and files can be shared. Thank you
     
  13. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #13
    It's in the Airport Utility program on your Mac. I launched that, double-clicked on the Time Capsule, and then clicked the Disks tab, and then the File Sharing tab (on the Disks page).

    Edit: just saw your post. Glad you're all setup :)
     
  14. macgrl thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Just one more quick question. lol If i plug in the ethernet cable to transfer data either for the back up or for using the time capsule as an external drive does that override the wireless connection until I unplug the cable?
     
  15. jclaydon macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #15
    Just to jump on this thread if I could. I've just converted to the Mac community with a new macbook, and have also purchased a timecapsule for backups. If I plug in an external HD to the timecapsule, can I use this to store home video files on for use with iMovie? Will they stream ok across a wireless network?

    Thanks
     
  16. macgrl thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #16
    That is a good question jclayton. I would like to know too:D I suppose what you could do is move the file to the macbook to watch and then move back? That may get around any problems if there are any of streaming it over the wireless network. But it would be cool if you could.
     
  17. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #17
    If you plug an external into the back of a TC, you shouldn't have any problems storing files on there.

    I've had no problems streaming movies wirelessly (although I have my TC setup on an 802.11n-only 5GHz network, ... I'm not sure how well it'd work on a mixed-network).

    I wouldn't, however, put my iMovie raw clips on a wireless drive and try to edit them in iMovie. That'd be painfully slow!
     
  18. jclaydon macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #18
    Would it not work to keep the raw imovie files on the external drive, but keep the projects on the macbook?

    Does imovie copy across any raw files you use for a project to a new folder?

    Sorry if this doesn't make sense just trying to get to grips with how imovie stores the files.
     
  19. macgrl thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Does that mean that I can plug an external hard drive in the back of time capsule and thereby increase the size of the drive available to store file in via time machine?
     
  20. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #20
    I do that. All of my raw files are on an external USB drive that I plug directly into my MacBook Pro when I want to create a new project. I keep the finished projects stored locally on my MBP so I can always play them. I've never noticed iMovie to copy the raw files locally to my MBP.

    If you plug an external hard drive into the back of the TC, you will be able to access that drive wirelessly, but it shows as a separate drive.
     
  21. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #21
    Right, and TM backups cannot "span" drives.

    However, I believe that you could set TM on each computer to back up to a separate drive, so Mac A could back up to the TC internal, while Mac B could back up to the TC external. If you need that much capacity for backups.
     
  22. jclaydon macrumors member

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    #22
    This is how I plan to do it. If the finished projects are on the MBP all the video files used must be stored with the project? Would this setup work by streaming the raw files, rather than connecting by USB? Or is this just going to be too slow?

    Thanks
     
  23. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #23
    I think it's going to be too slow (for my tastes, anyway). No harm in giving it a whirl and see how it feels to you. :)
     
  24. macgrl thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #24
    Thank you for that. I presume that I just use the usb port on the back of time capsule to attach the external hard drive? I don't have to use an ethernet port cable or anything like that.

    I have tried to access my time capsule and the hard drive that I have attached to it via my toshiba but cannot see it anywhere. It shows up fine on my mac
     
  25. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #25
    Right, just plug your external drive into the USB port on the back of your TC. If you need to attach more USB devices (like a printer, or a 2nd external hard drive), plug a powered USB hub into the back of the TC and then plug your USB devices into that.

    I think you have to install a program on your Windows PC called "Bonjour". I think it's on the CD that came with the TC. If not, try this link:
    http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/bonjourforwindows.html
     

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