Is the time capsule still s*** ?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Dowjohnny, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Dowjohnny, Jul 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011

    Dowjohnny macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2011
    Hey there,

    i'm thinkin of getting a time capsule with my new mba to backup all my stuff on.

    But, searching the internet for some experiences, i learned that the time capsules die pretty soon and suffer severe overheating issues and more..

    There is zillions of threads on the web where people hate their capsule..

    I couldn't figure out if thats the case only with older models or a specific review, so here is my question:

    Can i buy the current version without having to fear it won't last long? Because having a backup-drive that will blow to dust isn't the thing i want ^^

    Do you recommend buying an airport extreme and use it with an external drive? I would prefer the capsule as a all in one solution...

    Thanks for your advise!

  2. Rusty33, Jul 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2011

    Rusty33 macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2011
    The older generation models had HD failure problems after about 18 months - the new ones are fine.

    I have a brand new 2011 Time Capsule and could not be happier! I would highly recommend it.
  3. BasilFawlty macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2009
    New Mexico
    This may be a dumb question, but if the failure rate of the old model is 18 months, and yours is 2011 (and if it's brand new then lets say it's July 2011), then how do you know it will be reliable longer than 18 months until 18 months has passed? In other words, you wont know it will last at least 18 months until December 2012? Just sayin.
  4. drambuie macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2010
    The TC's in question had a tendency to run very hot, causing power supply, and/or HD failures after 18 months, or so. I've had one of the newer units since the spring, and it runs slightly warm to the touch. Also, I have mine on top of a Magic Trackpad box, which elevates the bottom edge air input vent to allow more efficient cooling airflow.
  5. Obscurelight macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2011
    If you are getting applecare with your mac then it will also cover your time capsule free of charge for 2 additional years on top of the 1st year. If you want to get it and you are going to get applecare then why not. After all the two items don't even have to be on the same receipt, the time capsule just have to be bought within a years you got applecare for your mac.

    Also since the time capsule failure was a very widespread problem, I'm sure Apple wouldn't have tried to correct it. After all its not only bad press for them but is costly for them to keep replacing and fixing. Time Capsules are in their 4th generation now. The airport express has this burnout problem too. My airport express just burned out within 8 months after I bought it, Immediately replaced by a genius no questions asked.
  6. Dowjohnny thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2011

    Ok, so what you're basically all are saying is that the current version of the tc is safe?

    You say it gets slightly warm to the touch, how about the noise? Is it loud or really quiet? I have a single-room appartment and couldn't stand the thing rattling or buzzing or sth..

    Tried to listen to one at the retailer but its just too loud there to get a good impression..

  7. Texran macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    Loses connection

    My new 2011 TC loses It's connection to the Internet quite frequently. I'm not very pleased because I've got to unplug it to make it work again. I'm talking about at least once a day. It's been online for about 2 weeks.
  8. axu539 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2010
    It is still a little early to tell the reliability of the new TCs. I do know Apple started using lower powered drives, probably to reduce heat, and to increase the longevity of the drives. However, I would recommend just getting one of the new Airport Extreme Base Stations (terrific, I've been using one for a while now), and just hooking up an external to it via USB. It backs up over Time Machine just fine, and you get to pick and choose exactly what kind of drive you use.
  9. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    I owned an original 500GB TC that died exactly at 18mo. It was replaced by apple with one that died in 6mo. I had that replaced and sold it vowing to never get a TC again since Apple wouldnt recover my data for me.

    When the new TC's came out I bought a 2GB because the news of the slower green drive made me think it would run cooler but after 2 weeks its just as hot as my original. I have no idea if this is going to die but I dont feel safe using it as my only backup so now im considering an Airport Extreme with an external plugged in for Time Machine.
  10. Rusty33 macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2011
    Because I believe the problem only afflicted those with a particular type of hitatchi hard drive installed in the 1st or 2nd generation models. The flaw was rectified in the 2nd or 3rd generation models, and users have since stopped complaining (for the most part) about the HD failure issues.

    It is somewhat warm to the touch, but not any more so than my ADSL 2+ modem or my WDTV Live. As for noise, the 4th gen is very quiet. I have it in my lounge room and can't say that I have ever noticed it!
  11. rworne macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2002
    My TC is a 1st gen unit bought on launch day. It still runs to this day with no problems aside from running ridiculously friggin hot all the time.

    I recently opened it and replaced it with a WD "Green" 3TB drive. While unlike the 1TB Hitachi Deskstar in that it never spins down, it runs a hell of a lot cooler, so I don't really mind that it is spun up all the time.

    I have 3 macs that backup to it, so even if it spun down, it would be cycling 3x an hour with the drive spinning at about a 20% duty cycle. I figured all that spinning up and down (and the heat) could not be all that good for it.
  12. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    The 2nd and 3rd generation units haven't been out long enough for the 18-24 month clock to have come due.

    I did the Cisco PSU hack on the one that failed for me (1st gen ~20 months) and still don't trust it for regular backups.

  13. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    IMO, AEBS with external hard disk is cheaper and safer buy (and according to benchmarks, not significantly slower than Time Capsule).

    That said, I am waiting until September to decide. Apple maybe adding iCloud features exclusive to Time Capsule.
  14. sunnyj macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2010
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    i got the first gen 1tb time capsule when it first came out and its still running no issues what so ever.
  15. Username02 macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2010
    It's a great unit. If it breaks... it will be replaced.
  16. sick z33 macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2008
    Another Gen1 Time Capsule here, with no issues.
  17. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    1st gen 1TB Time Capsule still going strong. It's been running essentially 24/7, backing up 3 different laptops, since they first came out.

    Edit: shortly after I bought it, I bought 4 adhesive rubber feet which lift the unit up off the surface of the shelf by about 1/2 cm to help keep the unit a wee bit cooler. Maybe that's helped. Dunno.
  18. Bwa macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2007
    Boston & San Jose
    I have a 500 gb and a 2 tb, both work great. They are sitting on a shelf in my basement, always on. I have them sitting on some scrap 1x2s to enable more air flow around them which seems to keep the temperature down (as perceived by touching).
  19. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    Why havent you taken it back?
  20. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    no way i would trust time capsule with my data with the reputation that it carries. they actually dedicated a website to it at one point and the amount of people who chimed in with failures was like reading the xbox360 forums when they first came out. yes it was that bad. sorry but no thanks.
  21. KenOzz macrumors member


    Aug 2, 2011
    Lincoln UK
    I have a generation 3 running 24/7 since March 2011, during the spring months it ran warm

    Now in the Summer months with out side temps at 80+ it is running a lot warmer to the touch :eek:

    The attached thumbnail is my answer to the extra heat generated, its not elegant but cutting up 4 pieces of electrical conduit into 1" blocks just raises it up enough to make a difference not original but seems to work

    I also dismount the TC overnight and this seems to make a difference as well

    Attached Files:

  22. Invisible Elf macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2011
    Could anyone share their experiences with noise from the TC? As one of the posters above, I too live in just one room and would like a silent device. Considering buying a used TC, maybe one of the older 1tb models and replacing the drive myself.
  23. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    It wasn't a HD failure--power supply I believe but could be wrong. And not every one failed--mine is still running fine. :D
  24. KenOzz macrumors member


    Aug 2, 2011
    Lincoln UK

    I have a generation 3 TC, and it's almost silent in operation,

    I don't think I have ever heard the fan, when it gets warm if I place my hand on top I can just feel the fan vibration, but as for noise I genuinly have never heard any

    Second hand is good, if you get one it should have been erased, but I would use the Zero Bit erase function that comes as part of Airport Extreme,

    Use the 1 pass option, not only will it clear the disk it will check it for bad sectors, if any
  25. rworne macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2002
    Not much more than what a hard drive in an external enclosure sounds like. You can hear a slight spin up whine and head click when it wakes. If it gets real hot, a small fan starts going that still isn't all that loud.

    Most of the noise is the hard drive, some brands (Hitachi, I'm looking at you) are louder than others. I recently replaced the 1TB Deskstar in mine wih a 3TB WD green drive. It's even quieter and cooler than before - but after the first day the drive no longer spins down.

    Still, you can always find a place to stash it if you are really sensitive to noise: like in a closet.

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