Time Capsule - Can I change in the middle?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Michael73, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. Michael73 macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    I just got a 1TB TC last night as a wireless backup solution for my MBP. The set up was a snap and took only minutes to add to my network.

    Around 10:30pm I initiated my first wireless backup and set it to back up all 187GB of my HDD. I came downstairs this morning and 10 1/2 hours later it's only backed up 9.5GB. At this rate the first back up will take more than a week. :eek:

    So, here's my question...can I run out to and buy myself a LAN cable this morning and hardwire the MBP to the TC to speed the process up? Or, do I need to stop the backup before I get the cable and start the process all over again? Will this mess things up since this is the first back up? Finally, what kind of speed gains will I get hardwiring them together?
  2. liamwillib macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2009
    Doing your first backup over a LAN cable is highly recommended. For example at a friends house I was trying to transfer a 6GB file over wireless and it was looking to take 6 hours, when using the cable it took 2 minutes.

    A small problem i found is that i assumed by plugging in the cable half way through the transfer, that the computer would automatically switch from wireless transfer to the faster method of going through the LAN cable. Obviously as you can guess it didn't and i had to turn off the wireless on my mac to force it to use the LAN cable. Not sure on the macs behaviour if I started the transfer with the cable plugged in when I started the transfer, but if I am doing something like that again I will turn off the wireless just to make sure. Just something for you to be aware of if using the LAN cable doesn't significantly speed up the process.

    Not to sure about how the backup will be affected by switching connection methods but if you do have to start again, using the LAN cable will be THAT much faster that it won't really matter.
  3. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    All sorts of problems!

    After talking with Apple support today, they told me to stop the backup, using finder navigate my way to the TC and find the "sparsebundle" and drag it to the Trash and then plug in the ethernet cable and restart the backup. That's exactly what I did, only I noticed it was going the same speed as before. Although the ethernet cable is plugged in, for some reason it's not recognizing it and is still doing the backup wirelessly. I've tried turning wireless off but then the TC disappears. I've tried all three ethernet ports on the TC. Each port has a little green light when the cable is plugged in so I know it detects the cable. I'm completely stuck....any ideas???? Is there a special setting in the Airport Admin that I'm missing? Shouldn't the fact that the MBP and TC are hardwired be automatically recognized?
  4. jw2002 macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2008
    Turn off airport on your mac so that you force it to make the connection to the TC via ethernet.
  5. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    Is there a difference between turning off my wireless and turning off the airport? As I wrote above, when I turned off my wireless the TC disappeared from the list of shared devices even though it was hardwired to the MBP. I also tried unplugging the TC and replugging it in to see if it recognized the cable. Would it matter that I'm using CAT 6 rather than CAT 5 cable? Is there something special in the airport admin utlity setup that I might have missed?
  6. DavidR91 macrumors member

    May 24, 2009
    Bourne, Lincs, UK
    You need to turn wireless off on the time capsule in order to force it to use ethernet (The TC has no service order priority, and always assumes wireless is the 'top' connection unless disabled)

    So turn your mac's airport back on, scan for the TC in airport utility. Once you've found the TC, do "Manual Setup". Then, do the 'Wireless' option (on the right) and set the combo box to 'Off'

    Then, assuming the ethernet is working, the TC will re-appear and work via wire

    Remember, after you've finished using the ethernet (before you disconnect it) do regular (assisted) setup under airport to turn the wireless back on (otherwise the TC will turn amber because the ethernet is gone and wireless is off)
  7. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    Perfect - thanks for the clarification!!! I followed the directions above and once I turned the wireless off, it threw some kind of error at me saying it couldn't connect to the wireless network and now the light on the front of the TC is flashing amber, I think (I'm colorblind). After a few seconds the TC still appeared in the list of shared devices so I thought I'd give a backup a go.

    I went into Time Machine and the TC still showed up in the list of discs available for backup so I selected it and chose "Back up now." While the amber light is still flashing, the backup seems to be working - hallelujah! I pulled out my iPhone and timed it and it's backing up at a rate of about 1GB every 2 minutes and 30 seconds. So, the first time it took 10 1/2 hours and had only done 9.5GB and since I restarted the process I'm already up to 5.91GB (in less than 15 minutes).

    WOOHOO - thanks!
  8. PaperQueen macrumors 6502


    Aug 16, 2007
    Just this side of insanity (Minneapolis)
    DavidR91, you are a god among men.

    After trolling through endless threads here and elsewhere while contemplating just how I was going to keep my MBP tethered to the new TC for two weeks so it could complete the initial backup, your suggestion popped up. Since trying it out, I’ve transferred more data in the last three minutes than in the last ten hours.


    You saved the day, big time. Thanks for the terrific assistance and easy 1-2-3 directions. Was beginning to get that wobbly “This is going to be the death of me” feeling about the whole TM/TC relationship.

    High five......
  9. turbo8765 macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2008
    Agreed, good job DavidR91.

    How can this not be in the setup guide. It's simply says to use a LAN cable for the first backup. Very frustrating that this was not in the setup guide.

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