Connecting partitioned drive to Airport Extreme for Time Machine

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Pundle, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. Pundle macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2009
    Reading through the forums I haven't got a clear picture on whether this idea will work, so I was hoping someone could clear it up for me. It seems to have been clouded by people having problems with Airport-connected drives in Snow Leopard.

    I want to partition a hard drive and connect it through USB to an Airport Extreme. Then I want to use each partition as separate Time Machine backups for my iMac and MacBook.

    1. If connecting a partitioned hard drive, will all partitions be accessible through Airport Extreme?
    2. Can I use partitions connected in this way as Time Machine backups?
    3. Will there be problems if both my iMac and MacBook try to backup to the Time Machines at the same time?

    Thanks for reading, and please let me know if you can think of any problems.
  2. phineas macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2006
    South of the Border I-95
    After reading this I think we're screwed by apple,

    From my personal experience , you assign the drive that you want TM to use, you do NOT have to delegate different drives/partitions for each computer that is going to be using time machine, when time machine runs it labels the backup under the first folder name of the machine/computer that did the backup.

    I am kinda in the same boat as I exchanged the Express for the Extreme so that I could plug in a USB HD to it and do my backups through the wireless side, so far its not working

    Also I read another post on Apple that the name of the drive being accessed could not have any spaces or special characters in it.
  3. gumbyx84 macrumors 6502


    Dec 7, 2008
    I'm not sure why you are having an issue as I have been doing exactly this for about 6+ months. I have no idea why the support page says you can't.

    With my setup, the partitions are formatted to HFS+ and show up without an issue in Time Machine. Have you set up drive sharing on your AP Extreme? My only other suggestion is mount the airport drives on your macs and then try and select them with Time Machine.
  4. phineas macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2006
    South of the Border I-95
    I am going to give mine another go of it tonight, the Apple store said that it should work but if Apple takes the functionality of connecting to an external drive via Extreme and using TM out later on down the road, that I'd be up a creek and would have to find another alternative.

    Think there pushing Time Capsule
  5. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    The backlash would be disastrous if Apple were to revoke that ability. You're right that they're trying to push the Time Capsule though. Dirty marketing tactics if I ever saw them.

    As for the OP,
    1. Yes all partitions will be accessible.
    2. You should be able to use it for Time Machine backups, but this is unsupported by Apple (meaning it will work but they won't provide help if something goes wrong).
    3. There should be no issues with multiple computers accessing the drive at the same time. You may notice a speed decrease in the backups (the more computers backing up simultaneously, the slower the speed), but overall it should be fine.

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