Questons about Time Machine backups on unsupported SMB shares

Discussion in 'macOS' started by LordDeath, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. LordDeath macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    #1
    Hello,

    currently I am using an external USB 3.0 drive as my Time Machine Backup volume for my MacBook Air running OS X 10.9.
    I also have a Windows Server 2008 R2 with much more HDD space (using it mainly as a file server) and I was thinking about attaching my current Time Machine drive to the Windows Server and use some workarounds to backup my MBA over WiFi to a SMB share on the Windows Server.

    I still have one remaining unsureness about this setup:
    Will it work with the OS X Recovery System?

    [​IMG]

    In the worst case scenario I have to restore the whole file system to a new Mac/new SSD drive and I wonder if this would be possible with TM-backups on a SMB share.

    If not, would it help to do a fresh OS X install and reconfigure the TM-backups on SMB again? Would I be able to restore the full backup from such a freshly installed system?

    Until today I did not need to do such a complete system restoration on a Mac but I don't want to be surprised in a case of emergency. ;)
     
  2. boast macrumors 65816

    boast

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix
    #2
    Not sure about windows, but I did a full recovery this week from TM on my NAS.
     
  3. LordDeath thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    #3
    Does your NAS already support the AFP protocol? I think this is the main reason why we Windows users have to rely on such workarounds.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    This will work, but not like you are thinking it will.

    First you will need to start a new TM backup once you move it to the network share as TM backups over the network are placed inside a sparse bundle disk image and not a flat file like a directly attached TM disk.

    Then if you ever need to do a full restore, you will not be able to boot to the TM disk on the network. What you would need to do is use Internet recovery to get to this screen then select restore from Time Machine backup.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. LordDeath thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    #5
    Will I be able to access that sparse bundle from that Internet recovery screen?
    Can I run a Terminal and execute
    from there?
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Yes, you would just select the networked drive as the source of the restore. I don't know that you would even need to run that Terminal command when doing the restore, but I am not are as I have not used it. I think you only need that command as a hack to allow TM to select that as a destination when setting up a new drive.
     
  7. smirk macrumors 6502a

    smirk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #7
    I don't recommend that you trust Time Machine backups performed over SMB. Apple requires AFP for Time Machine for a reason: the AFP protocol has commands used by Time Machine to flush data to disk when necessary to prevent data loss. Backing up over SMB (especially over wireless) may seem to work but it is likely that your sparse bundle will become corrupt over time. This is the same reason that Carbon Copy Cloner won't let you back up to a sparse bundle over SMB.

    You may be better off installing VMWare or VirtualBox on your Windows server and running a light Linux installation with Netatalk 3 installed.
     
  8. LordDeath thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    #8
    This sounds plausible. Thx for the heads-up.
    I will consider using Netatalk on my file server.
     

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