How to SHARE Time Capsule's own 1TB hard drive; OK to repartition???

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Crunch, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Crunch macrumors 6502a


    Hi! It has taken me a little bit to understand how this Time Capsule works. I don't mean the easy Time Machine, backup-only part. I mean that ideally, I'd like to repartition the 1TB hard drive that's inside of it and I'd also like to change the partition style from Apple's old(er) AFP which is mainly used in the PowerPC-based Mac's, to GUID, the current "default" style that every Intel-based Mac uses.

    Using the AirPort utility that came with the Time Capsule, I did configure every last part of the TC, including the hard drive sharing part, which I protected with a "disk password", one of the three choices given by the Manual Setup Guide. What I apparently can't wrap my mind around just yet is as to where exactly do I enter this password? How do I access the drive from a computer on the network?

    I apologize if some of these questions seem a bit n00b'ish, but I am officially still new to Mac's and I am most certainly brand new(!) to this Time Capsule! lol...I do love it, though. Some of the config settings are indeed very well thought out. ;)

    Thanks in advance! :)
  2. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    You can't repartition it. Not without actually opening the Time Capsule physically, pulling the hard drive out, seating it in an enclosure and repartitioning it with your Mac. This voids your warranty however.

    Also, if you do this you will see that the drive is already partitioned as HFS+ (Mac OS Extended Journaled) using the GUID partition table and is shared via AFP by the Time Capsule with Macs and SMB with Windows based PCs. (AFP is not the partition table but the network file sharing protocol Apple uses and cannot be changed.)

    Lastly, the password is entered after you try to connect to the Time Capsule from a computer on the network. The Time Capsule will show up as a network drive in your Finder window (under the Shared section I believe), and when you choose to connect, you will be prompted for the password.
  3. Crunch thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Thank you, skorpien! That's exactly the info I needed. I have it all working now. I see you had a 1.5TB(?) which you list as "RIP"? hehe...just wondering because I don't remember ever seeing anything other than 1 or 2TB TC's. Did you take it apart?

    Incidentally, how do(did?) you like it as a wireless router? I took down my Cisco Linksys WRT610N 802.11n dual-band router in favor of the Time Capsule. I understand that the TC has a NAT firewall, and not the (superior?) SPI firewall. Apart from that, the manual setup looks like it has a pretty good options set, but nowhere near the type of configuration level that my Linksys router offers. I know that I can use the TC to extend my network by installing it as an Access Point or as Repeater (I think I saw WDS). Any advice on the above?

    Over the years, I've met some IT people who seem to prefer having the same brand as far as the network card and router are concerned, while yet others like having the same brand (to the extent that's even possible) regarding cable/DSL modem and router. I ask because I just happen to have a brand new cable modem from Cisco, so I actually have this choice (Cisco modem+Cisco Linksys WiFi N router -vs- AirPort Extreme WiFi N card (as part of the iMac)+AirPort Extreme WiFi N router (as part of TC). Are you in either camp or does it not really matter?

    Sorry for the 20 questions.

    Thanks again! Great insight! ;)
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    You're absolutely correct in your assumption :) I purchased the 500GB Time Capsule when it was first released (it initially came in 500GB and 1TB) and decided to upgrade the hard drive myself after reading about successful attempts online. I wasn't aware that the Time Capsule is covered under the AppleCare of the Apple computer that it is being used with and I had assumed that mine was out of warranty at the time. I later found out about the AppleCare coverage. So I replaced the hard drive with a 1.5TB drive and everything went great!... Until my PSU overheated...

    I should add a disclaimer about the voided warranty issue. I was able to have it replaced by Apple since I was really careful with opening it up ;) but I doubt if everybody would be as lucky as I was. They swapped it with a first gen 500GB TC and I've since upgraded it to a 2TB WD Green drive (less heat, bigger capacity). I noticed that the PSU in the new unit was different than the first unit, so hopefully this one holds out longer.

    As for using it as a router, I found it great. Easy to set up and less troublesome than other routers I've had in the past. The only issue I had was that the range was subpar when I moved into my apartment. I've since bought an AirPort Extreme (latest revision, using my TC as a WAP) and that issue has gone away. This leads me to think that the new Time Capsule would also perform the same as the new AEBS since it's basically the same router inside.

    The TC/AEBS is not as full featured a router as others out there, but for my needs it fits perfectly. If you require certain settings for your network that the TC doesn't provide, I would suggest using it as a wireless access point, making your other router the primary router. The only thing is you will lose your guest network if you have one.

    And as for using products from the same manufacturer, I don't believe that's necessary as they all should be using the same specifications. I've never noticed any issues using mixed products in my setup, but if you find you are having issues and have your TC set as your main router, try making your Cisco your main router.
  5. rockstarjoe macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2006
    washington dc
    Just to add some commentary, I recently upgraded my 500GB TC to a 2 TB Western Digital Green drive. In the process I hooked the drive up to my mac and partitioned it into three disks in Disk Utility. Popped the drive into the TC and everything worked great! The partitions show up as separate drives under the Time Capsule in Finder.
  6. Safarifern macrumors newbie


    Aug 4, 2010
    Hey Crunch,

    Just wondering, while you were going though the TC settings, Did you find a way of setting a computer up, on the TC network, allowing it to see the main HD and any USB HD but BLOCKING the internet connection? Just want a close friend to use some info on the HD but don't want to give him Internet access.

    Thanks in advance! :)
  7. Crunch thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Hey Safarifern, I haven't been keeping up with my blogs and forums the way I usually do and I apologize for the lateness of my response.

    In case you're still interested in an answer to your question, yes, the Time Capsule has a good number of configuration settings. Besides using it as a router and as a NAS (network attached storage device), you can certainly disable wireless altogether and hook it up to your existing network using an Ethernet cable. You can then share the files on the disk and give it its own password, or you can give your friend your TC password. Personally, I'd recommend creating a new password since it sounds like you want to give someone temporary access only.

    There's also the option to give someone "Guest access" to your disk and configure it to where you can give the "Guest user" Read and Write access or Read only access. The TC also has some advanced settings such as Port Mapping where you can be even more specific as to what you want someone to access and what you don't.

    Then there is printer sharing and you can also connect another external disk to the TC via USB and all the rules that you configure for the disk in your TC will also apply to the disk you attach.

    I really love my Time Capsule. I'm not sure to what extent this is true but there are those who believe that if you use a WiFi card from the same manufacturer as your WiFi router, you'll get an overall smoother wireless experience. Keep in mind that the Time Capsule is essentially an AirPort Extreme base station except that it also has a hard drive and every iMac and MacBook Pro has a built-in AirPort 802.11n WiFi chip. Then again, AirPort is only Apple's fancy name for whoever makes the routers for them. I do know that Apple uses Atheros for their WiFi chips and Atheros is pretty much the gold standard in WiFi equipment. (Sorry if this part is a little confusing...and long lol)

    I used to use a Linksys WRT610N which worked great, but when I hooked up my TC, I want to say that I noticed a little bump in speed and maybe a little less lag at times. I've been using WiFi equipment for as long as they've been available and from several different manufacturers and I certainly did not expect this to happen but I have not once had to reset my TC and I have never experienced faster WiFi than I do with this setup. ;)

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