Is my Time Capsule in its death throes?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by puma1552, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #1
    I've got a 500 GB 2nd generation TC. I know a lot of these were prone to failures after about 18 months, but mine comes a little after the affected serial number range.

    It's been fine all these years since I bought it in probably early 2009. A month or so ago it stopped backing up, I don't recall the message I would get but just something generic about not being able to back up. TC light was green at this time, wifi worked fine.

    The other day I decided to upgrade my MBP with a new SSD (clean install of Mountain Lion (10.8.4) from a USB stick) and more RAM. Now that I've got my computer back up and running how I'd like it to, I figured I'd go ahead and figure out what was wrong with TC, figured I'd just reformat/erase it and start fresh. TC light was still green when I started this.

    Went into Airport utility, and it would should up there. Entered my password and it gave me the option to erase it, so I chose that. Nothing happened. Tried again, nothing happened. Shortly thereafter, it went MIA from Airport Utility and Airport Utility has not been able to find it since then. The light is now solid amber, and unplugging it as well as doing a reset with the button on the back do nothing. Additionally, I can hear a rhythmic click from the drive that I have never heard before.

    Wifi still works though, so the router part is at least still good I guess.

    Is my TC toast? Seems odd that as soon as I started messing with it it went from green light and discoverable (just unable to backup for some reason) to all out no good (amber light and unable to be found in Airport Utility).

    The clicking sound has me worried.

    Is it dead/dying or is there something else I can try?
     
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #2
    Based on that, I'd call it a lost cause. You can check ifixit.com for help replacing the disk, but the money would be better spent toward a newer 5th or 6th gen TC. The wifi performance is much better on those also, so it's a good upgrade to make.
     
  3. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #3
    I agree, it sounds like the HDD is dead...I wouldn't bother trying to repair it..the new ones are now supporting AAC, and the 2TB won't cost you the earth.
     
  4. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #4
    If you are not getting wifi from it and airport can't find it, I'd suspect a power supply problem. A busted hard drive is not going to have that symptom unless its shorting out and pulling the TC down with it. You can sometimes hear what sounds like drive clicking when the power supply does not having enough juice to spin up the drive.

    If you really are interesting in repair, pull the HD out and put it in an enclosure and test it.

    It is only 4 years old and its not that hard to replace the hard drive. When I did mine, I didn't bother putting the rubber base back on and have it sitting on one of those laptop coolers with fans turned on.

    On the other hand, a new 2TB TC is only like $300.
     
  5. puma1552, Aug 27, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013

    puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #5
    Wifi still works great so based on that, can I rule out the power supply and hone in on the drive?

    I don't really want to buy a new TC until I buy a new MBP in a couple years, since I just breathed life into my current MBP with RAM and an SSD maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to spend 50 bucks on a drive for the TC and swap it out? Actually, I could probably just format the original drive my MBP had that I just pulled for the SSD and throw that in there for the time being and hope it lasts a couple years, then I'm not out any money at all.

    EDIT: I see that TC needs a 3.5" disk, what do you guys think of this one for $50: http://www.microcenter.com/product/...ATA_60Gb-s_35_Internal_Hard_Drive_WD5000CSRTL
     
  6. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #6
    Instead of an internal, you can plug in a USB drive. I'd suggest at least removing the internal hard drive regardless.
     
  7. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #7
    Update: Took it in to the Genius Bar today, they couldn't get it to show up in Airport Utility either. They tried to do several kinds of hard resets to no avail, and they said that would wipe my internet settings too but when I brought it home as soon as I plugged it in my wifi was working just fine still, so I guess it can't even be reset?

    The guy said he doesn't know if just swapping a drive will bring it back to life, he said it may or it may not, he said if just the drive was bad they should still be able to get it to show up in Airport Utility, so he wasn't sure what the issues was.

    What do you think, worth trying a $50 hard drive? I'm pretty sure I can return an opened hard drive to Microcenter if it doesn't fix it (if someone can confirm that would be great, I don't see anything in the return policy saying I can't), but I'm worried about losing my wifi if I mess it up. Worst case I keep it as a router and just keep everything backed up to the HDD I just pulled out of my MBP.
     
  8. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #8
    I'm a little confused, Are you saying the airport utility can't see the airport at all, or just that the utility can't see the hard drive?
     
  9. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

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    Nov 20, 2008
  10. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #10
    I've not seen that before, one could speculate that the drive is throwing so many errors that it is hampering the firmware, not giving it enough time to do disk or control stuff.

    Take the TC apart an remove/disconnect the drive. Power the TC up and see if the Airport Utility finds it (mac on the same wifi network as the TC). If not... don't bother trying to fix it, if the utility sees the TC, go out and get yourself a replacement drive.
     
  11. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #11
    Awesome, I did this and plugged it in and boom - airport utility found it, and I was able to update the firmware as well! I'll pick up that WD Green drive this week and throw it in.

    What speed is the original hard drive? 7200 RPM? I thought I saw somewhere that it was actually a 10,000 RPM drive.
     
  12. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #12
    Back in business!

    Picked this guy up tonight after work:

    http://www.microcenter.com/product/...0Gb-s_35_Internal_Hard_Drive_WD5000AAKX_-_OEM

    Which is the successor to the drive that was in there (WD5000AAKS) and as soon as I popped it in, she fired right up and Airport Utility found her...it's good to be back in the land of the green light, and right now it is doing it's first initial backup!

    Thanks guys, appreciate the help.
     

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