Cannot back up iMac to LAN drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by loon, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. loon macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2008
    When my wife's XP computer was about to die, we purchased an iMac for her, our first Apple product. I had heard many Mac folks brag of how superior the Apple machine was.

    Now I find out that iMacs don't fully do networking? Apparently I cannot back up to a network drive on our home LAN, even with OSX 10.5. The Mac guy at Micro Center told me I must spend lots of money and buy an offboard firewire drive and plug it into the back of the iMac. Then, "Time Machine" is useless and I must purchase additional $oftware to automate the backup process: my nice big network-attached drive is no help.

    Why? How could Apple overlook such a basic issue? I hope the information I've been given is incorrect and one of the experts hanging around here will give me the correct info. Otherwise, I won't be buying any more Apple products...
  2. chscag macrumors 68030


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I don't know who the person was you spoke with at the Micro Center but apparently he\she is not very informed about Macs. Macs do networking just as well as PCs do. I'm not an expert at networking but I know that many folks are running home networks with both Macs and PCs together that share printers, external drives, and airport connection.

    While it's true the instructions for using Time Machine primarily refer to backing up to an external drive (either USB or Firewire), the program can back up to a network share.

    Read this:

    If you prefer not to use a network share, Time Machine will backup to an inexpensive USB drive. (you do not need firewire) Also, Time Machine will do the backups automatically. There is even a small free utility which can be downloaded that allows you to schedule Time Machine to your liking.


    Please don't rely on information from salesman at third party vendors who sell Apple hardware. Some know what they're talking about, others do not. To get good advice go to your local Apple store and talk with one of the trained Apple technicians who work there, or, join in here or one of the other several good Mac forums available on the web.

  3. loon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2008
    Thanks for your reply. I read the article and followed the instructions:
    1. Go into Applications / Utilities and open up terminal
    2. Copy and paste this command into terminal (all on one line)

    defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

    3. Hit enter / return

    This instruction appears not to stay. When I return to terminal, it's not listed.
    4. Mount your network share
    I assume this means that the Mac can see the network drive, which is correctly listed in Finder.
    5. Go to System Preferences and open Time Machine
    6. Click on Change Disk

    Time Machine says "Choose Backup Disk" however, no disks are listed from which to choose...

    What am I missing? (Interesting, your location; I grew up in Mineral Wells.)

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