[GUIDE] Time Machine and Networked Drive

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by Namtaro, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. Namtaro macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2011
    I had a hard time finding information on how to do this a few months ago and got it working after testing and asking a bunch of questions... Hopefully this will help anyone that wants to have a TimeMachine backup on a networked drive. I had this saved in a notepad file so I don't remember all the people that helped me sadly. I have this working on a file server running Windows 7 (Networked drive is SMB) and my Macbook Pro running 10.8.2.

    One thing to note, do NOT use any spaces when naming anything. It caused problems for me

    Next, you'll want to resize the sparsebundle to w/e your harddrive size is since when making the sparsebundle it won't allow you to make it bigger than your home drive for some reason.

    Now to tell Time Machine to use the Sparsebundle.

    After this, do a test backup to ensure that the backup works. Inside the sparsebundle, TimeMachine should've created the folder, "Backups.backupdb"

    If you want to automatically mount the TimeMachine networked drive when you turn on your Mac, you can do this.
    Thanks a lot to Weasleboy for providing the solution.

    Hopefully this will help out a few of you that want a TimeMachine backed up to a networked drive. Any questions or concerns, go ahead and ask! :)
  2. deeve macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Thanks for posting this. I will try and try it tomorrow. I do have a question though before I start. When I type in
    sudo tmutil setdestination /Volumes/{mounted-disk-image}

    any my mounted disk image is called "Time Machine Backup" attached to my Win XP machine on the E drive would the {mounted-disk-image} just be called Time Machine Backup or would I map it further?

    I am not sure if I am using the correct terminology or not, so I hope you understand what I mean.

    Also, since I am running it on a Win XP machine, just FAT for the format ok?
  3. Namtaro thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2011
    Just so you know, I had problems with spaces when naming my images and networked drives, so I'd advise you to take out the spaces and just name it 'TimeMachineBackup".

    If you are talking about the step where you tell Time Machine to use your sparsebundle image, the image is already mounted onto your Mac so you won't need to map it further.

    When creating the sparsebundle image, it has to be “Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)” and the Image Format has to be “sparse bundle disk image“ for your Mac to use it as a Time Machine backup drive.
    That's what I've been told and it's worked for me. Any reason why you want to use FAT? It's not like you'll be using the image for anything on your Windows XP machine anyways.
  4. deeve macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Thanks for the tips, I will try that tonight. I figured I had to format it as FAT or else my Windows machine wont recognize it, and I cannot network it. I have the disk partitioned, and the one with the MAC OS formatting is not recognized.

  5. Namtaro thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2011
    Oh, the actual disk on Windows XP can be formatted anyway you want I think... I'm not actually sure, I have my disk formatted as NTFS. When you create the Sparsebundle, that's when it has to be the correct format for your Mac to use it as a Time Machine disk.
  6. deeve macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2012
    OK...What should the partitions be on the image? Single Partition-Apple Partition Map?
  7. Namtaro thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2011
  8. deeve macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Again, Thank you. I tried it set up like that last night and never could get it to be recognized. I would either get an Error 13 Permission Denied or say the image was not valid when I ran the terminal command. I am going to be out of town after tomorrow, so I might not be able to get back to it for a couple of weeks. I think I am going to try a different HDD and see if that works.

  9. DocsThaName macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2013
    I have followed this to the T, still having an issue with the sudo tmutil setdestination command.

    I get an error:

    /Volumes/TimeMachine: Incompatible file system type: smbfs (error 45)
    The backup destination could not be set.

    This shouldn't matter since the Disk image is in my shared folder under the correct Disk Image specs.

    I'm actually surprised no one else has seen this error and posted about it.

    Also might be important to note:

    My shared drive is on a Windows 7 Box on a Drobo storage array attached USB 3.0. The volume in question is mounted on windows and I can access through SMB from the mac with no issues.

    Any help on this would be greatly appreciated, I have been hitting dead ends all night.

  10. newt2000 macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2013
    Worked for me! Thanks -

    I'm using OS X 10.8.2, and have a shared volume from SBS2003 thats mounted on my mac. Followed guide and worked. The only issue I had was that the mounted TimeMachine.sparsebundle becomes a mounted volume called 'Time Machine Backups'.

    So when I entered the the command:

    sudo tmutil setdestination /Volumes/

    and then hit the [tab] and it showed the 'Time Machine Backups/' volume listed, among my other vols. Well, I had to account for the spaces in the volume name then it took the tmutil command. Like this:

    sudo tmutil setdestination /Volumes/Time\ Machine\ Backups/

    Then! Whala!
  11. hatbrox macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2007
    The Netherlands
    it worked but had to make some changes

    Thank you very much for this guide. It worked fine for me but had to make a few changes.

    On the windows side:
    I created a dedicated backup user
    on the share itself, I had to give my backup user full control both on
    - the share drive
    - the security

    On the Mac side:
    - before create the disk image, disable real-time disk utility, in my case, i had to disable drive pulse
    - for "hdiutil resize -size *1000g /users/*user*/Desktop/TimeMachine.sparsebundle"
    I removed the "*" before the 1000g

    over WIFI, I had an average speed of 10GB per hour.

    I use macOS 10.8.5
  12. tien113 macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2012
    We should add delay in the first script to make it work successfully.
  13. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Has anyone actually recovered using this TM backup? Any issues with corruption or invalid backup messages?
  14. hatbrox macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2007
    The Netherlands
    how do we manage lost network connections?

    I often close the lid of my laptop, this puts it to sleep mode.

    When I resume it, I have lost the connection and the mounted sparsebundle drive is gone.

    Is there anyway to remount the sparsebundle file automatically at regular interval?
  15. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Put the Sparse Image and put it in the Dock. This will make a shortcut in the Dock that will save the connection and you just have top click on it to mount it.
  16. hatbrox macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2007
    The Netherlands

    For future readers and those still following this thread,

    I think the solution described here was never ideal, many problems along the way.

    About a year ago, I choose another approach: Synology OS.

    I created a virtual machine with VirtualBox and "installed" Synology OS (actually it's just a Synology ISO boot disk).

    Synology supports Time Machine and the setup inside Synology is really easy.

    No need to buy a Synology NAS!

    all instructions on installying Synology in a VM (Virtual Box, VMWare...) can be found on XPEnology.nl website
    instruction on setting up time machine support in Synology is easy to find on Google.

    I used this solution with zero problem for more than a year with 3 mac machines.
    On 1 occasion, I restored some old files, no problems.
    On 1 occasion, I restored an entire system (over wifi), no problems.

    It really never failed me and it's fairly easy to setup.

    Vbox CPU usage is always very low (max 7%) and only need half a gig of RAM (for the sole purpose of time machine).

    Good luck
  17. Rubberman macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2017
    --- Post Merged, Oct 30, 2017 ---
    I tried this last night and still have some issues that Timemachine doesnt see the location to save to. I have created a sparsebundle file and located that on a windows shared hdd. the macbook sees it and its mounted. But when i open timemachine it doesnt see it. help

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