NAS for Time Machine?`

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Mr.Bullitt, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. Mr.Bullitt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    #1
    Hi guys!


    As I just became a Mac owner yesterday, I am now looking into what else I need to get for my mac.

    I have this 250GB Samsung PATA drive in my desk drawer. I was thinking, if I put it into an external NAS box and connect it to my linksys router, can it be used for time machine then???
     
  2. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
  3. Mr.Bullitt thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    #3
    hmm...

    I was hoping that maybe I could just plug it in and it would magically show up - click format and be done...

    :(
     
  4. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    #4
    Nah, you must be thinking of Windows 7. Leopard is a little more crude.

    I discovered that Macs really hate NAS drives. First off, NAS volumes on your network won't be detected in Leopard unless you turn the firewall completely off (it wasn't like that in Tiger). Secondly, it's a PIA to mount them permanently. Technically you can add your NAS drive's shares to your user account's Login Items to mount them automatically, but...

    A) On your next login (and any successive ones) you will get massive runaway CPU usage for about 10 minutes before it calms down. This will eat a LOT of battery on your laptop.

    B) If you log out and log in (which you may have to do often if you're on a MacBook Pro, in order to change from 9600M to 9400M), Leopard will claim that your NAS shares are no longer available. Why? Because it tries to re-establish contact with the NAS drive a few milliseconds before your actual network connection has been re-established, so naturally it won't work.

    I had set up my MBP to mount two NAS shares automatically, but due to problems A+B I have gone back to manual mounting. It's hopeless. In Windows I used to have my iTunes library on a NAS drive. This always worked perfectly. When I tried the same thing on Mac I ran into lots of problems. If the NAS drive wasn't connected, iTunes for OS X would arbitrarily change the location of my iTunes library back to the default one (my local Music folder). iTunes on Windows just says the files are unavailable, it doesn't destroy your settings like the Mac version does. And often it couldn't find the files even when the NAS *was* online. I could have the NAS drive open in a Finder window yet at the same time have "(!)" icons show up in front of song names in iTunes, and once that happens it will never find the songs again until I manually tell it where the files are. One by one.

    It always amuses me when Macs are touted as "user friendly", yet when one little anomaly occurs the solution is either to write a load of cryptic code in Terminal or to reinstall the system. I haven't run into this amount of issues, bugs, general crudeness and weird DIY solutions in an OS since Windows 98.

    So... save yourself from the headache and don't use the NAS drive for anything associated with Macs. For Time Machine, use an external firewire or USB drive, or buy one of those ludicrously overpriced Time Capsules from Apple.
     
  5. Mr.Bullitt thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    #5
    damn.. that NAS story was a surprise.

    I think that I will go for a USB 2.0 thing and then connect it to a big usb hub.

    I like the idea of having just 1 usb cable connected to my Mac - and then connected everything else through the hub....
     
  6. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    #6
    Yeah. I use this Kensington 7-port hub that looks like a silver ball. It's fairly heavy and stays in place (many hubs are lighter than the cables so they slide around like mad).

    We can only hope that NAS drive compatibility and interfacing will improve in Snow Leopard. I've seen screenshots of the firewall settings panel, and it looks like they've improved it a bit -- maybe you don't have to disable it entirely to access NAS volumes on your private LAN. All that stuff worked better in Tiger.

    Leopard is sort of like Apple's own Vista, more blingy on the surface but horribly buggy underneath... at the time it was released back in 2007 there was chaos and lots of talk about a 'perpetual blue screen' (Apple's equivalent of Windows' "BSoD") and it took them a few updates to get it working. Can't wait to get it off my computer in September.

    Frankly I don't understand Apple's old-school approach to network attached storage... it's 2009, everyone and his brother has a NAS drive. In Windows you just select "Map Network Drive", it gets a drive letter and behaves just like any local drive. You can use it for backups or whatever, and you can enable offline functionality to have a local cache of selected server contents. There should be the same kind of seamless integration with the network on Macs.
     
  7. jzuena macrumors 6502a

    jzuena

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, MA, USA
    #7
    It works fine over a NAS right out of the box... as long as your NAS is an Apple Time Capsule! :D

    You can just get a USB/Firewire enclosure and make your Time Machine drive local.
     
  8. jzuena macrumors 6502a

    jzuena

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, MA, USA
    #8
    I think the problem is that most vendors will support Windows protocols like SMB/CIFS and format the drive in either Windows FAT/NTFS formats or Linux ext2 format, while Time Machine really wants to talk AFP to a drive formatted in HFS+. This is why Time Machine does work with an Apple Time Capsule.
     
  9. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    #9
    Right, but is that limitation really necessary or is it just a lock-in attempt in order to make people buy Time Capsule? I.e. does Time Machine literally need HFS+?

    In Boot Camp I can use the NAS drive for backup just fine, but it's not NTFS or FAT, it's EXT3. The Windows backup is basically just a bunch of ZIP files, they can be stored on anything.
     
  10. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #10
    Has anybody considered a Drobo with Droboshare?

    You knew somebody had to suggest it.
     
  11. 1ne macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Canada Oil Country
    #11
    Well said...;)
     

Share This Page