Time capsule confusion

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Bilalo, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Bilalo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Oxford, England
    #1
    Hello everyone
    I want to buy a backup hard disk for 2 laptops, 2 TB time capsule does the job and the great thing about it is that its over wifi, right after the main back up ofcourse, but the thing is ive been reading around and people's time capsules are getting ruines after an average of 14-18 months losing the data on it or wifi probs or many diff probs and i cant afford that, id prefer getting a normal 2 Tb harddisk. I wanted to ask are these problems still occuring since i dont know if the TC has been upgraded or updated or not. In other words is it worth getting? My brother is very picky and loves to find faults in MaC so i cnt afford one, dont feel like arguing over it so if this will happen id prefer getting a normal HD. Thank you in advance
     
  2. Puevlo macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2011
  3. Dweez macrumors 65816

    Dweez

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Down by the river
    #3
    I've got a 2 tb time capsule at home which backs up 4 macs, and does so quite well. We've owned it for about 8 months and we've had no issues.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    The problems you are reading about were with earlier models. The newer versions seem to have this issue worked out and failure reports are rare.
     
  5. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #5
    I got one in last April. It has been working properly, without any problems at all.
     
  6. Fed macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Liverpool.
    #6
    I have the same problem with regards to buying a Time Capsule.

    Usually I would dismiss threads on MacRumors as being 'one-offs' and generally receiving a defective product. After all, who posts just to say how good a product is? However when you look at the Apple Store and see so many negative reviews for something which fundamentally is very basic (wireless + hard disk) then it makes me wonder...

    But like the other posters on this thread, they seem to like it. It'd be interesting to hear from people who have been using a TC regularly for >1 year.
     
  7. Bilalo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Oxford, England
    #7
    Says who? All the reviews on the apple website itself and here and most probably leading to probs after 16 month time frame.

    Thats good, but problems usually occur after 16 month time segment.

    Where did you hear this? When did the new model come out I dont recall a new one coming out this year or mid 2011 or something, Im seeing alot of complaints being from the past 6 months and on the apple website, reviews are still downhill, are you sure its ok? Do you know when the newer one will be out?
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #8
    The current model came out in August 2011. We are now actually on the fourth gen. I am just telling you from reading here and general Apple news sites I don't see the reports of failures with the third or forth gen. devices.

    I don't follow the Apple support forums, but a quick search there looks like the people reporting failures are owners of the old generation TC.

    I would guess a new Time Capsule and Airport Extreme will both come out when Apple rolls out support for the new AC wifi standard, and as of today not one Apple client device supports this standard.... so I'm guessing it will be a while. Maybe along with notebooks that have AC next year? Just a guess.
     
  9. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816

    Nightarchaon

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #9
    The 1st gen TC had an issue with shoddy capacitors in the PSU that failed due to heat stresses placed on them by the PSU and HDD in the almost completely sealed unit.

    Now, whilst its not apples fault the capacitors were shoddy, (many other manufacturers also bought them for other devices) it IS apples fault that they attempted to bury any issues and pretend they were not there instead of doing a full product recall and replacement (which to me is what they should have done)

    Now, eventually, after being in the HUGE list of people on the class action list, i got my TC replaced, and it hasn't had a blip of a problem since.

    My suggestion, get a cheap NAS box, or usb/firewire drive , don't bother with the TC, its very very expensive for what it is.
     
  10. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 30, 2008
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    USA (Virginia)
  11. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #11
    OP: It seems you'd like some actual evidence to go on, rather than just opinions. Me too, but it's awfully hard to come by. All I can offer is my conclusions.

    I followed the reports of 1st-gen Time Capsules failing very closely here on MacRumors and a few web sites, because I've got one (a 500GB model purchased in May 2008). As you can imagine, I had good incentive to learn about the potential problems. I read nearly every thread about the TC for a couple of years, then tapered off to just reading them occasionally now. (This is an attempt to claim that I have some knowledge and long-term perspective.)

    Anyway, what I eventually concluded/came to believe is that many of the 1st-gen TCs had defective capacitors in the (internal) power supply. Because of the defect, they failed at a lower heat than they should have. I distinctly remember seeing posts and pictures describing bulging and leaking capacitors. Failed caps caused the power supply to stop working, and the affected units would not even turn on or show a light. Importantly, the disk drive with its data was still fine and the data could be accessed by putting the drive into another enclosure/dock or by repairing the power supply (see below).

    It was a fiasco, but Apple finally did release a list of serial numbers of (supposedly) the affected units and offered replacement, including data migration. (Mine fell within the "problem range" but never failed. It may well be that other units outside the serial number failed with the same problem.) There was no reason for anyone to lose their data, unless they refused to let Apple do it and refused to open the TC themselves and do it. Besides, the data on the TC was supposed to be a copy of data they had elsewhere.

    Really, the 1st-gen 18-month death problem was analogous to an regular external enclosure failing, or, more precisely, its power supply failing. I read reports of people who had fixed their TC by replacing the defective capacitors. Someone was even performing the service for a fee. Others figured out what the voltage requirements were, and used an external power supply ("brick") wired into their TC. That also worked, reportedly.


    Anyway, sorry I got so verbose. The real question is whether the current TC will have a "high" chance of failure. I believe it will not. I had continued reading TC posts on MacRumors for at least a couple of years after the 2nd-gen TC came out, and in my (fallible) memory, there there was no convincing pattern of posts describing failures of the later-gen TCs, as there had been for the 1st-gen ones. I didn't read the Apple Support forums, nor have I checked there now. Sure, there have probably been some problems, but a pattern of many experiencing a common problem with 2nd- to 4th-gen TCs? I haven't seen it on MacRumors, anyway.

    I can give you my own experience, but that might not help much. I bought my 1st-gen TC in May 2008, it has a serial number in the range published by Apple, but it has never failed. I replaced the 500GB with a 2TB one in the fall of 2010 (I believe). It has been used constantly since 2008 as my TM backup destination, router, and WiFi AP. I've never had a problem with it and have been very happy with it.

    Keep in mind that any enclosure can fail. (I just had a firewire enclosure fail on me -- disk is OK though.) As far as your backups are concerned, I think the TC has an equal or lower chance of failing than a typical HD in an enclosure.

    Just my 2 cents. Oh -- and you can't beat the wireless backup capability if you've got portable computers! And as for a "cheap NAS", I don't think you can get anything as cheap as the TC. Good luck!
     
  12. scarred macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #12
    Arguments around cloud backup aside (please dont bring it up here, there are other threads discussing it), and assuming you are only using the time capsule for time machine, it needs to last more then six years to be worth the upfront cost.
     
  13. ghellquist macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm Sweden
    #13
    Add external drive

    I use a time capsule for backing up a Mac Pro and a Mac Mini.

    I also have an external USB drive connected to the Time Capsule.

    By accident I found that simply adding the external USB drive to Time Machine (list of backup locations) makes it doing backups every second time to the internal drive in the Time Machine and every second time to the external USB drive. Good enough for my short term backup, maximum 2 hours old.

    To get to next level of security one of the backups has to be stored in a different physical location, not gone that road yet.

    // Gunnar
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #14
    That is new with Mountain Lion. If you plug in two disks and set them both up with TM, it will alternate between them each hour.
     
  15. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #15
    I've had a 500GB time capsule for years and it's fine.
     
  16. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #16
    I've been running TCs (one newer than the other) for four years now, no problems with either one of them.
     

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