Help with Synology and Time Machine

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Bartzca, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. Bartzca macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2013
    Would appreciate any help you can offer.

    My setup:

    Late 2012 Mac Mini OS X 10.8.3
    Synology DS212j Running DSM 4.2 -3202 Connected to Airport Extreme with Synology supplied Cable.

    I have followed the tutorial for setting up Time Machine Backup to the letter several times.

    I can set the disk station as the back up device and everything seems fine until it tries to back up, then I get the error message "Time Machine couldn't complete the backup to "DiskStation". The backup disk is not available.

    I have checked and rechecked every detail outlined on the tutorial located and still get the same issue.

    When I set the disk and Time Machine begins it's backup countdown I can click on Back Up Now and it will start the backup and work successfully one time then not backup again without the same error.

    If I let it count down to 0 and try and backup it fails with the same "Disk Not Available" error.

    The only way to gat it to backup is to set everything from scratch and then immediately click back up now" before it counts down. and then it will only work once.

    If I go to Synology settings and uncheck "Enable Mac File Service" click apply then recheck it and click apply again, then go and select the disk again in time Machine it will work one time again if I click "Backup Now"

    I am at a loss, I have done a lot of searching but can't seem to find any answers.
  2. BigMacAttack57 macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2012
    I have nothing to offer on the topic yet, but I am very interested in any responses. I have three MBPs, all running 10.8.3. I have a Synology DS211j running DSM 4.2. I want to set up TM backup (something I've been meaning to do for a long time...), but I don't want to go through all of the trial-and-error involved in getting this right. Grrrr...
  3. deadwalrus macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2011
    Time Machine is a POS protocol -- it's completely broken for over-the-air backups. I've spent countless hours dealing with it and finally gave up. If you search for "NAS time machine problems" the results are boundless. The reason seems to be that Apple designed it in a very, very poor way (i.e., sector level copying with no room for jitter instead of file-level copying) and refuses to fix it.

    Apple's official position is "we only support Time Machine with all Apple Hardware." So if you have a third part hard drive/ NAS/whatever you are SOL. Go figure.

    The worst part is, once you get it configured it will act like it is running fine. But when you try to view your backups they aren't there. This is not optimal, to say the least.

    Time Machine is completely awful software. The opposite of "It just works."

    Go with Crashplan or the like.
  4. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2010
    United States
    Please tell us more about what it is you like Crash Plan and what it does?
  5. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I'll chime in. Huge Crashplan+ fan here.

    I use it for automated offsite backup. It is extremely inexpensive and it just plain works in the background. You never know it is on.

    It has very deep versioning. You can go back in time to get any file you want... even deleted files are kept forever.

    It's versioning is not as automatic as Time Machine. I use both concurrently. I am a strong believer in having at least dual automated (no human interaction) backup... at least one of which is to an offsite destination. The combination of TM & CP gives you fast local restore, + disaster recover (ie: your house burns down or your computer+backup HDD are stollen.

    My hierarchy is:

    1) Time Machine to a Time Capsule
    2) Crashplan+
    3) CCC clones of my media

    #1 & #2 are sufficient if you do not want a clone. I prefer a clone of my media, so that I can carry it to a new machine and continue working.

  6. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2010
    United States
    Thanks Jim,

    Your explanations are clear and have convinced me to sign up for Crash Plan.

  7. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I have a DS212j on 4.2 and TM backup is fine on all our Macs via WiFi on an AEBS.

    Might be something unusual in the OPs DS configuration.
  8. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    I don't have a continuously on internet connection, and when its on its often dial up speeds. Is there any cloud based backup, like crashplan, that can handle about 1TB of data well in my situation? I don't want to spend a month doing an initial backup.
  9. deadwalrus macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2011
    You sure about that? It all appeared fine on my end until I went looking for an old file and it told me it needed to "Start a new backup" and erased all my old backups.

    This is not uncommon. See the hundreds of posts at


    You can point CrashPlan to your NAS, which is what I did. Then, if you really want to be slick, you can install CrashPlan ON your NAS and have it back itself up to the 'net.
  10. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I had the beta 4.2 and it was problematic with TM. The recent 4.2 is fine. I did a new TM backup just to be safe.
  11. Bartzca thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2013

    I did a support form on Synology web site and unfortunately it takes some time for them to get back to you so I got tired of waiting over the weekend and called today and after 40 minutes on hold went through a few trouble shooting steps with tech.

    Before we even started he was telling me there was probably nothing he could do over the phone.

    At the end of it he said seems to be no problem with my network and to send them a debug file.

    Now I have to wait another day for the report from them.

    I hope we can get it working since I already invested in 2 hard drives for the thing.

    If I can't get it working I will probably send back and just put one of the drives in a Vantec enclosure and run backup on to it as an external USB 3 drive.

    I Really wanted this to work, it has a lot of great features on paper but in practice it seems like a lot more work.

    I am new to Mac and I switched from PC to avoid all the ***** around making things work. I 'm not going to turn around and add a peripheral that needs constant tweaking.
  12. canuckle macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2011
    This is a known issue with DSM 4.2. I use Time Machine with DSM 4.1 with no problems.
  13. eric44 macrumors member

    May 18, 2008
    I run a DS212 connected by ethernet cable to airport extreme.
    Using latest DSM of 4.2.
    I have three macs backing up to it using Time Machine.
    When I first set it up the problem I had was that it kept saying the backup could not be verified and time machine would start from scratch again - very irritating and time consuming.
    However, I have just followed synologies instructions on the web and set up time machine differently - it seems to working just fine now.
    The only remaining issue I have is that time machine is not happy if the DS212 has gone into hibernation so I have changed it's settings so it does not hibernate during the day.
    In summary, it is supposed to work with time machine - and generally does but there are some issues...
  14. Bartzca thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2013

    After deciding to return the unit I decided to let a friend give it a try on his system first. He thought he might take it off my hands if it worked for him.

    I was going to give it to him populated with one of the drives I had bought so I removed one drive and wiped the other one clean.

    Just as I was about to box it up I thought i would give it one last try and reloaded everything from scratch on the newly created volume.

    I set up time machine and synology one last time exactly as I had before.

    Well what do you know...everything works now!

    I knew I should have tried a fresh install right from the start, however, Synology tech told me it was probably a waste of time and not to bother, that they wanted to try and find the issue.

    Later on I reinstalled the second drive and everything has been working well.
  15. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    Seconded for turning off hibernation on the DS NAS devices, it seems to be the source of most problems people have...

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