Partitioning Time Capsule HD

Barney63

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Original poster
Jan 9, 2014
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Bolton, UK.
I have just got a 2TB 2nd Gen Time Capsule and upgraded the HD to 3TB. That has gone flawlessly.
I now want to partition this drive to have half for my Time Machine backups and the other half to store a coy of my music and video library (backed up elsewhere).
How do I create the partitions?
I am using Mavericks 10.9.2

Barney
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
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California
I have just got a 2TB 2nd Gen Time Capsule and upgraded the HD to 3TB. That has gone flawlessly.
I now want to partition this drive to have half for my Time Machine backups and the other half to store a coy of my music and video library (backed up elsewhere).
How do I create the partitions?
I am using Mavericks 10.9.2

Barney
You can't partition the drive once it is installed inside the TC. Airport Utility is used to manage the TC drive, and all that allows is a full erase... no partitioning.

You are going to need to crack open the TC again and remove the drive then attach it to your Mac in a USB enclosure, then use Disk Utility to make the two partitions... then put it back inside the TC.
 

ColdCase

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Feb 10, 2008
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NH
Most of us don't partition the internal Time Capsule drive. We connect a USB drive to the TC for file sharing. 1.5 or 2TB drives are less than $100 now days. Some use the external for backups and internal for file sharing as data transfers seem to be faster to/from the internal.
 

Barney63

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Original poster
Jan 9, 2014
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Bolton, UK.
I removed the drive again and partitioned it as a 1TB and a 2TB.
When I put it back in, AirPort Utility reported an error (as I would expect with it being a foreign format). So I did the erase disk and it has formatted it as one 3TB again.
What did I do wrong?

Barney
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2008
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The subject comes up here often, but I don't think you can partition the internal TC drive.
 

Brian33

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Apr 30, 2008
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USA (Virginia)
I removed the drive again and partitioned it as a 1TB and a 2TB.
When I put it back in, AirPort Utility reported an error (as I would expect with it being a foreign format). So I did the erase disk and it has formatted it as one 3TB again.
What did I do wrong?

Barney
I looked pretty diligently into partitioning a Time Capsule quite awhile ago (maybe a year or two), and what I remember is I didn't find any postings indicating success by anyone. I was left with the impression (that I still hold) that it can't be done by any method (and still work reliably with Time Machine). Now, maybe someone here can prove me wrong, but...

If you don't want to go with an external USB drive plugged into the Time Capsule, I recommend just go ahead and putting your music and video library on the TC internal drive (assuming you've got them reliably backed up elsewhere). Time Machine will not overwrite or delete them from the TC drive.

The only trouble you might run into is having TM "fill" the remaining disk space with backups, and then wanting to add "significant" amount of files to your libraries -- perhaps there won't be room to add them.

I now believe this really isn't a problem for most files, because when TM needs more space for a backup it clears out quite a bit of room. Thus there's always, or almost always, at least a few GB of space. Perhaps this wouldn't be enough for a new video, though... I'm not sure.
 

Barney63

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 9, 2014
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Bolton, UK.
I found this old thread :-
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1300777
and in-particularly this post by rufftackle
I just bought my 2TB Time Capsule yesterday from the Apple Store. Since the hard drive on my MacBook is only 250 GB, I wanted to use the Time Capsule also as an external hard drive to keep possibly (less important) media files on that don't necessarily need to be backed up so that they would not take up space on my hard drive.

I'm not the kind of guy who needs back-ups of back-ups and monthly back-ups, which is what Time Machine is great at. I just need less frequent back ups. Since Time Machine will take up as much space as possible on an external hard drive, it would have filled up my 2TB Time Capsule eventually leaving with me with no extra room to store additional data.

I setup the Time Capsule last night, it was definitely easy an easy process.

When the installation setup wizard asked if I wanted to use the Time Machine for backup, I selected "Not now" and continued the installation to setup the Wi-Fi network.

Then I ran the Time Machine wizard and selected the Time Capsule as the back up storage.

I let Time Machine backup to the Time Capsule overnight.


When I was searching online how to partition the Time Capsule so that it serves as both a backup and an external hard drive, I got tired of reading that "it couldn't be done" and other people saying "you have to take the hard drive out of the casing and hook it up to your Mac by USB," I decided to partake on my own adventure.

How I Partitioned Time Capsule Into an External Hard Drive
1) Start doing a backup in Time Machine so that your Time Capsule appears in Finder and/or on your desktopVery Important
2) Open Disk Utility and select your Time Capsule
3) Click on "Partition"
4) Drag the slider to decrease the size of the "Backup of yourcomputerhere" to whatever size you want to dedicate to Time Machine backups
5) Click the + arrow to add a new partition
6) Adjust the size of the partition and give it a name
7) Click "Apply"

It will take a few minutes to re-map the partitions. After that, you will be good to go!

So for all the people saying its not possible or it needs to be connected through USB... I'm guessing you're probably not a Time Capsule owner because this task was so simple!:)
I've followed that and can confirm it works.
Happy Chappy :D

Barney
 
Last edited:

matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
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I found this old thread :-
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1300777
and in-particularly this post by rufftackle


I've followed that and can confirm it works.
Happy Chappy :D

Barney
Great find! Too late for me though. I decided to put*all my media files to an external connected to Mac mini and have Time Capsule just back up those folders. So now I have all the medias AND back up. So far so good.
 

Barney63

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 9, 2014
799
1
Bolton, UK.
So when your TimeMachine backup reaches the assigned size, any issues?
I have assigned 1TB to the Time Machine Backup partition and 2TB for my media.
Time Machine only sees the 1TB partition and when that gets full it will just delete older backups as per usual.

Barney
 

ColdCase

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Feb 10, 2008
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So you think the same type of thing will work for multiple users, ending up with say 4 partitions, three of which being TimeMachine's for three different Macs... I may have to try that sometime.