Questions about the Time Capsule...

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by DDustiNN, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. DDustiNN macrumors 68000


    Jan 27, 2011
    I just bought a Macbook Air (256 GB) and I'm interested in the Time Capsule, but I can't seem to find an answer to my questions (maybe I'm just not searching for the right terms?)...

    I currently have a 2 TB external USB hard drive with lots of various types of files on it. I've been using it with my Windows 7 laptop. Now I want to use it with my MBA and the Win7 laptop, and I want ALL files to be available to both computers.

    If I plug my old 2 TB drive into the USB slot in the Time Capsule, and I use the Time Capsule as a Wi-Fi router for both of my laptops, will both laptops be able to access that drive?

    Or is there any other way to set this up so that both computers can easily (and wirelessly) access my current 2 TB drive?
  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Yes, you can connect the drive to the Time Capsule to share it as long as it's formatted Fat32 (4GB file size limit). The TC doesn't support the NTFS file system.

    Edit, alternately - Copy the files off the USB drive to the Time Capsule itself. Then use Airport Utility to format the USB drive while connected to the Time Capsule. This will put it in HFS Mac format. Then just connect wirelessly to the TC and it will show up as an available volume.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, if the drive is in FAT32 or HFS+ format.

    Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)

    Choose the appropriate format:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
  4. DDustiNN thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 27, 2011
    I don't know how it's formatted right now (I'm not home), but I'm sure there are files larger than 4 GB (HD movies most likely). I was really hoping to do it without reformatting, since I don't exactly have a "temporary" place to put all my files.

    Also, since the Time Capsule is currently unavailable, I'd still like to be able to access those files as-is using my Mac. Is this possible??
  5. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Most likely it's formatted NTFS if you were using it with Windows 7 previously. You will be able to read the files on the drive using your MacBook Air, but you will not be able to write to it unless you install a program like Paragon.

    You will NOT be able to share it using the Time Capsule unless you reformat it as FAT32 or HFS+. HFS+ is the better option in my opinion, though you will need a program like MacDrive on your Windows system to be able to access the files on that drive directly (disconnecting it from the Time Capsule and connecting it to the Windows machine).

    That said, both Windows and Mac OS X can access an HFS+ formatted drive if it is connected to the USB port of the Time Capsule as they use SMB and AFP (network protocols) respectively to access said hard drive.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes. Read the info about NTFS that I posted.
  7. DDustiNN thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 27, 2011
    You guys are awesome! Thanks for the info on Paragon, sounds like that's what I'll have to do for now since the Time Capsule is currently out of stock everywhere.

    Bummer that the Time Capsule won't piggyback the old drive as-is :(

    Will Windows recognize the Time Capsule and be able to write to it? Including files >4 GB. What I'm thinking is that I could use Paragon and just manually switch the USB drive back and forth between computers as needed, at least for the time being. Then when the TC becomes available again, I could connect to it via Win7, copy my entire contents from my old 2 TB drive, reformat to HFS+, then copy everything back...

    Does that sound right?

    Last option... My Windows 7 computer is basically always connected to the external hard drive (as well as a whole bunch of other USB accessories). Is it possible to "share" the drive/folders from Windows and access them on my Mac? Since both computers will be connected to my network of course.

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