Time Capsule: as storage & router, how?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by idunn, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. idunn macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    :rolleyes: I have a number of problems here, which all have to do with not allowing Time Machine 2TB of space on a Time Capsule when all I want to give it is 160GB, using the remainder for storage of whatever I like.

    I know that Time Machine is designed to fill a volume and then overwrite old data. Also that presumably Time Capsule cannot be partitioned. But I am determined to use the better part of the 2TB for my own uses. Till now I had worked around that dilemma by turning on Time Machine only occasionally, removing older backup files manually to the trash. While this works to an extent, the preference still to be able to leave Time Machine always on, and not have it overwrite separate stored data.

    I thought perhaps to have solved this dilemma by partitioning a separate external hard drive, 185GB for Time Machine, the remainder of 2TB for storage. Then specify that Time Machine backup to that partition, not at all to the Time Capsule, which I would use solely for storage. Since it is faster, I connected this external hard drive directly to this MacBook via USB, and successfully did a full backup to the assigned partition. So far so good.

    My connection to the Time Capsule is via wi-fi, and since this MacBook is continually on or off, or elsewhere, the necessity to re-establish a connection. I have always done that by selecting 'Enter Time Machine,' which mounts the 'Backup' volume under 'Devices.' Within this 'Backup' volume would be three folders, two I had assigned for storage (Movies, TV) and the one Time Machine had created for its backup (Backups.backupdb).

    The external hard drive was connected to the Time Capsule via USB, which worked perfectly fine; I could access files on the Time Capsule, as well as those previously placed on the external hard drive.

    It all went to hell however once I dismounted these drives to move this MacBook, and tried to re-enter Time Machine as usual. It said it could not find its backup drive. I assumed, incorrectly, that Time Machine would mount the 'Backup' volume as normal, which would allow access to everything on Time Capsule. Wrong. Under 'Shared' the Time Capsule would show up, with three folders: Data (which I guess it created), then the two partitions I had created on the external hard drive. Thus I had access to data on this external hard drive (via its connection through the Time Capsule), but no access to any data on Time Capsule, as this all contained on the 'Backup' volume which I could not now mount.

    The solution, such as it was, was to reassign Time Machine backup to the Time Capsule. Doing this allowed me once again to mount the 'Backup' (which shows under 'Devices') by choosing to 'Enter Time Machine.' So kind of back where I was. I thought, wrongly again, that perhaps I could still use this configuration (wi-fi access to data on Time Capsule, thence it to data on external hard drive) by having Time Machine backup to the external hard drive partition, but remembering to switch it back to the Time Capsule before disconnecting this MacBook, so I might be able to access Time Capsule again. However it seems Time Machine does not like being reassigned like that, claiming, for instance, that the external hard drive partition was full, when it was perfectly happy with it before. Or in another words: 'Backup failed.' So that is not going to work.

    Another anomaly I discovered was the inability to transfer iTunes movie files from the Time Capsule to the external hard drive when they were connected in tandem (via USB). The file would transfer, but once transferred would remain greyed out (or unusable). I tried transferring also via this MacBook, then to the external hard drive, with the same result (although the file 'black' and fine on this MacBook). The only successful way I've found to transfer these files is to directly connect the external hard drive to this MacBook via USB, at which point I CAN copy a file from the Time Capsule to the external hard drive.

    It seems I am back where I started. Time Machine seems b*tchy, preferring to always be assigned to one disk. Since I know of no other way to access data on Time Capsule, it seems Time Machine must remain over there, and largely off since I do not wish it overriding the other stored data. It seems moreover that the Time Capsule will have a cow if the same file is copied to both it and an external hard drive connected to it. So apparently to use it I must connect this external hard drive directly to this MacBook via USB. Which is not at all the idea, as I want this all wireless.

    Any ideas out there? Perhaps you'll tell me to get a second external hard drive for secondary backup, leaving the Time Capsule as happy as a hog in mud to fill itself, all 2TB worth, entirely up with excessive Time Machine backups. That sucks.

    If it comes to that, leaving Time Capsule entirely with Time Machine, then does anyone know how (as in you've actually done it) to use the wi-fi capability of the Time Capsule essentially as a router so I can connect two external hard drives through it?

    Please also keep in mind the external hard drive I presently have (and quite happy with) has only a USB connection, which my understanding cannot be daisy-chained. So how would one have three drives, Time Capsule and two separate hard drives, connected together, so I can access all wirelessly?

    If you've come through all this, and actually have a workable answer, congratulations: you win gold star. Not to mention my thanks.
  2. idunn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008

    ;) Apparently some are curious, perhaps having dealt with similar issues yourself.

    No ideas?

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