Time Capsule - best practice for multiple laptops?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by stvfisher, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. stvfisher macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    I currently have a macbook that uses a 320GB Ext HD for Time Machine, a Windows laptop used by the wife and a Windows desktop used for only downloading our pictures to a central location and acting as a print server.

    We'll be picking up a macbook in the coming weeks and I was thinking about using a 1TB Time Capsule to replace the Windows desktop.... all the Windows desktop is used for is file sharing and print server!!

    I want to use the Time Capsule for Time Machine on both laptops as well as a file server. What's the best way to partition the TC drive? I was thinking 3 volumes, one ~250GB for each laptop and a ~500GB for file sharing.... but what's the best practice for this?
  2. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    What is the need to have separate partitions?

    As far as general best practices, put the time capsule on N-only mode. We have a couple 802.11g devices in the house (including iphones and a windows laptop) and it really slows down the speeds of even the 802.11n devices. As soon as we turn off mixed mode and put it on N-only, the speeds rapidly increase. So yeah if you can, much better to do that...
  3. stvfisher thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Why the separate partitions? I thought it would be easier for my wife if there was a partition for backups, which she could ignore, and a partition for our shared files. Plus I don't want her accidently deleting the TM directories or storing files there. I also thought I heard a while back that Time Machine had problems if it shared the same drive for TM as another computer. Thought being the key word there :p

    As for putting the TC in N only mode, I don't think that will be an option since I have a Wii I play online, as well as iPhones. Unless I'm missing an obvious way to still have wireless for the aforementioned devices.
  4. stvfisher thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    From what I'm reading, you can not partition the TC drive (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=446167&page=4) and there are no problems with multiple computers using the same TC drive.

    I ask this - should I be concerned about sharing my data on the same TC drive as my backups??
  5. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    It can be a concern as you may run out of space for TM backups or shared files faster than you realize. It's not recommended to use the internal drive for both. My suggestion is to buy a separate external HDD (or build your own) and connect it to the TC's USB port. Then you can use that one for wireless storage and keep your TC's internal HDD for backups.

    Also, if you're interested you can build a dual band network by purchasing a b/g router and turning off the DHCP on either the TC or the router. It's easiest to have the b/g router as the main router and use the TC in Bridge Mode (turning off DHCP and making it act as a wireless access point). This way, the TC can broadcast a wireless N only 5 GHz network and the b/g router can broadcast a b/g network. All clients on either network will still see each other as they'll be on the same subnet, but your N clients won't be slowed by b/g clients.
  6. stvfisher thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    I do have a 320GB external drive I can plug into the TC and use to store our shared files on.... but I was originally going to use that drive to backup the shared files from the TC. I may have to find a way to back that drive up now.

    If I use the TC drive for TM only, backing up 2 macbooks, one 160GB and the other 320GB, will the 500GB TC be enough? 1TB seems like a bit much for TM only.

    This sounds like a good idea, I'll have to give it a try.
  7. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I've read somewhere that you should at least have one and a half times your hard drive space for Time Machine. Most probably because it keeps multiple versions of a file if it has been changed. If you don't plan on using the entire HDD of your Macs, it should be fine. But if you plan on using up all of the space, you're looking at 480GB of data combined, which leaves you with roughly 20GB free space on the TC (speaking theoretically of course, and never a good scenario for backups). You could always attach a larger HDD and use THAT one for Time Machine at a later time if you find you're running out of space (might have to rebuild your backups from scratch), but ultimately it comes down to how much you plan on storing on the Macs' internal disks.

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