How to back up a Time Capsule?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by gpspad, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. gpspad macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #1
    I have a 3TB Time Capsule, and 4 macs backing up to it. Its close to full. My internet connection is slow, so the internet based services aren't going to work, and having 4 separate external hard drives for each mac, seems crazy.

    I finally got around to getting two external 3TB USB drives that were on sale. My plan is to connect the USB drive to the Time Capsule and archive it using the airport utility. Then do that for for the other drive, then keep one off site and and one at home. Updating and rotating the drives every few weeks.

    The thing is, I haven't seen anything about restoring this archive back to a time capsule or what you can do we these archived time capsules.

    Can I just plug one of these drives into my mac and have it function as a time capsule?

    I also think that re archiving the time capsule every few weeks might be an issue also. Any suggestions on a backup procedure using a 3tb time capsule and 2 external 3tb drives?
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2
    @gpspad The Time Capsule is a fantastic way to centralize the backups for all of your Macs. I recommend that you use the accounts feature for separating their data out between users. The archive function of AirPort Utility is designed to create an exact duplicate of the internal Time Capsule drive. The downfall of this function is that it places the disk in an unusable state until the archive completes, and from that point it would need to be manually repeated weekly for data security. I recommend that you would actually connect the USB hard drive right to the Time Capsule, and then point each Mac to alternate between both the internal and external drive on the Time Capsule. This would keep the backups safe and secure as well as automatic. To restore from this configuration, one would simply need to choose one of the backups from the "Restore from Time Capsule Backup" option in OS X Installer.
     
  3. gpspad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #3
    Thanks for the reply, I had given up hope on figuring this out. I am thinking your suggestion is the way to go but curious about a few things...

    I have multiple macs backing up to my time capsule. I'd like to have a Backup A and Backup B of the time capsule and alternatively keep one stored away from the house so I always have one backup off site.

    1.) Can I swap between two USB drives attached to the Time Capsule?

    2.) If I do that will the Time Machine software be smart enough to know that one of the back up may have been away for a month and need to catch up?

    3.) Lastly would I be able to restore to one of the macs by plugging the external drives directly to the USB port on the macs w/o the time capsule?
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #4
    1. Yes. However, Time Machine may throw an error in the menu bar that it cannot find one of the drives to backup to.

    2. Yes. Time Machine should just pickup right where it left off.

    3. No. When backing up to a network location, Time Machine stores the data in a different format than a directly connected drive. To my knowledge, you would still need to be connected to the Time Capsule's network in order to restore from a backup.
     
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #5
    Have been using a 2TB Time Capsule for over two years with three Macs and have some mixed feelings about it. On two occasions I have gotten a message that it failed some kind of integrity check and it would need to erase all my backups for that computer and start over. Not much of a problem, but it made me wonder how robust it is.

    So I have a three part backup strategy. The Time Capsule is always running, but weekly I do a Time Machine backup to a directly connected external disk that I keep offsite. Then I have another external disk that contains a bootable Carbon Copy Clone that I update periodically. Personally, I would not want to mess around connecting and disconnecting drives to the Time Capsule. For one thing, I have it located on a high shelf just below the ceiling since I think that is a better location for the wifi. Also, the USB interface is incredibly slow on the Time Capsule with read/write speeds less than 20 MB/sec.

    So I like the Time Capsule because it's constantly backing everything up, and a few times I've used it to grab a copy of a file I accidentally deleted/changed. But I would not want to restore a whole computer from it unless that was the only option. Carbon Copy Cloner is by far my favorite for that kind of thing.
     

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