How to back up multiple Mac computers!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by cap2587, May 13, 2013.

  1. cap2587 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    #1
    I have a few macbook laptops and an Imac. I wanted to plug in an external hard drive to my Apple airport Extreme and back up all of my computers using Time Machine. Can you only back up one computer per external hard drive. You can't partition the one hard drive into sections and use this for multiple computers. Would appreciate some advice. Thanks
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
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    located
    #2
    Yes, you can plug in an external HDD to the AEBS and let Time Machine do the rest, there is no need for partitions, as every Mac will get its own backup on the Time Machine HDD.

    Time Machine FAQ
     
  3. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #3
    Actually no, this is an AEBS and not a Time Capsule. Backing up to an external drive on an AEBS is not supported by Apple (not that it can't be done, but it's tricky to set up and unreliable).

    My suggestion is (1) plug the external drive into the iMac, use TC for that and (2) get Mountain Lion Server ($19.99 from the App Store) which will let you also back up your Macbooks to the iMac.

    There is no need to partition the drive; you can back up multiple machines to the same volume - the only reason you might want to partition is if you want to dedicate a certain amount of space to some computers versus others (e.g. limit the space that the kids' computers can take up on TM backups while giving your computers more room for TM historic backups)
     
  4. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 12, 2010
    #4
    So Mountain Lion server allows me to back up multiple mac computers to the one external hard drive. If the computer is running Lion does it need to be upgraded to Mountain Lion before the ML server will work.

    Is this the set up:

    Plug an external hard drive into my Imac. Set up ML server on this computer which will allow me to back up multiple laptops to this external HD. I currently have the Imac backing up using time machine to this external HD. Will this need to be changed to go through the server? Thanks
     
  5. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    NH
    #5
    I used an AEBS with one USB drive attached for TM backups for years. You get into trouble if you try to attache more than one drive. A TimeMachine or the server option would be cleaner, less quirky.

    I think whatever machine you chose to run sever on needs to be running at the times the other devices may be backing up or the backups will fail (any time they are on). So you pretty much have to let the server machine run 24/7.

    Dunno if that's an issue for you.
     
  6. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    #6
    Thanks for the great information! What about if the server machine goes to sleep will the back ups on the laptops still go through. Can I schedule the Time machine back ups for every few days, rather than running everyday.
     
  7. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #7
    There's an app called TimeMachineEditor that schedules TM backups for you. I use it on all my macs to do daily backups.

    I believe you can set the mountain lion server on the iMac to wake on network access, but there are so many variations... with your setup I dunno for sure.
     
  8. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    #8
    That will work. Actually Lion Server probably does the same thing but I'm not certain of that, I have ML.
     
  9. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #9
    I have a Logitech usb 2.0 hub plugged into my AirPort Extreme and two 1 TB drives plugged into that. I have two MacBook airs that both backup on time machine to each drive. I also have a 3tb drive plugged into the hub in the extreme which has two Mac minis both backing up to it through time machine.

    So basically I have three separate hard drives plugged into the extreme and four macs backing up to the hard drives. I don't partition any drives.
     
  10. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    #10
    Thanks for the great information. I am having trouble connecting my macbook to my server machine. When it asks for the Administrator Name and password it won't accept my information. Is this different from the computer user name and password.
     
  11. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    #11
    Thanks for pointing out the existence of TimeMachineEditor! Hourly backups are a bit too much for me, so I'll look into what that utility can do.

    And you can configure OS X to "wake for network access," roughly equivalent to Wake on LAN. That's a standard OS X setting (Energy Saver preference pane, maybe?). I think the machine has to be sleeping rather than off, and it doesn't always work for me, but you can test it to see if it does for you if you feel compelled to make your server sleep.

    You're correct--Lion Server also has a Time Machine Server function. I'd be surprised if it's not present going back to even 10.5 Server where Time Machine itself was introduced on the client side, but I don't know. Of course, Mountain Lion server is cheaper if you don't already have Lion Server. There's no reason to worry about version compatibility--Lion Server works fine for Mountain Lion clients on Time Machine. That's my current setup at home since I'm not planning on "upgrading" my server to Mountain Lion any time soon.
     
  12. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    #12
    It's asking for a username and password that has permission on the server to access the drive. I'd personally set up a different account for this purpose (on the server--check the Users and Groups section or whatever they call it now; I don't have Mountain Lion) and use that; that way, if the password gets compromised, it's different from any other accounts (e.g., your regular one) you might also have on the server.

    Or, if you don't care about this situation, use a username and password that's already set up on the server. In either case, unless the message states otherwise, it's not asking for a user on your (client) computer.

    Hope this helps!
     

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