Time Capsule Hard Drive Access with Windows Vista

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Fingers M, May 22, 2010.

  1. Fingers M macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    #1
    I had a macbook pro with time capsule and was using the TC as a hard drive. Macbook pro logic board has gone so until I can get a new mac, i have a windows vista laptop. I have connected to the TC, wireless working, mapped the TC in the Z:drive. When I go into the TC drive, i can only see the backed up bundled data rather than all the other crap i have saved in there. I think I'm missing a stage somewhere, perhaps need to mount the drive through windows but don't know how. In order to access all the songs etc on the TC via my macbook, I had to 'Enter Time Machine'. Seems like I have to do this through windows but have no clue where to start.

    Is there a way for a windows vista machine to access TC hard drive data?
    Will I have to perform a reset and configure the TC to the windows machine?
    Will a reset erase the hard drive?
     
  2. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #2
    You were using it as a hard drive improperly. As far as I know, Windows cannot mount a Time Machine sparsebundle disk image. For future reference, if you want to use the Time Capsule as a hard drive, you'll need to mount it in Finder and copy files over manually. Opening Time Machine just mounts the sparsebundle image in Mac OS X and allows you to access it that way.

    You'll have to wait for your Mac to be able to attempt to access the files (though I can't guarantee that it will work or tell you how to do this, sorry).
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #3
    You can't mount Time Capsule, it doesn't act like normal HD.... It can only be used for Time Machine and its backups are not readable by Windows. You can't use TC as normal external HD without taking the HD off the TC and putting it in normal enclosure, AFAIK
     
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #4
    FYI I have been doing this since I bought my Time Capsule. Mapping it to Windows as the OP already has allows you to access the drive, and the Time Capsule itself allows Windows to access its hard drive using the SMB networking protocol. It does act as a normal HDD, hence the OP could mount it in Windows and see the sparsebundle files within Windows -- although Windows views the sparsebundle files as folders, but cannot read the encrypted files within those folders. If, however, you were to mount the Time Capsule as a network drive in Mac OS X and copy files over manually as I suggested, those files and folders would appear in Windows when the Time Capsule is accessed as a network drive. The ONLY reason the OP is not able to access his files from Windows is because he has been using Time Machine to access the sparsebundle image file and using the files that are within that image file.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    Can you mount it in OS X? A while ago, I had a discussion in here with someone and he said TC can't be used as normal HD i.e. be mounted.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=919003&highlight=

    That thread says TM backups are not readable by Windows due the lack of support for UNIX
     
  6. skorpien macrumors 68020

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #6
    It's not mounted as a normal HDD. It's mounted as a network drive. There is a difference. You are unable to access the TC's HDD via Disk Utility, but it does show up as a mapped drive in your Finder and on your Desktop. It is the same as accessing any networked Mac/PC/NAS within OS X.

    If you were to remove the hard drive and mount it in an enclosure and attempt to access it via Windows directly, then no you cannot do this as it is formatted HFS+ and Windows cannot read that natively. However, Time Capsule acts as a server and serves its hard drive out, allowing access to it using AFP within Mac OS X and SMB within Windows. That is why, within Windows, if the Time Capsule hard drive is accessed, it is incorrectly identified as being formatted FAT32 although it is indeed formatted HFS+

    Edit: That thread you linked is discussing reading a Time Machine backup, meaning that the hard drive is connected directly to the Mac, meaning that it is formatted HFS+ and the OP is attempting to access the hard drive with Windows directly, connected to the hard drive using a direct connection. Time Capsule is never discussed within that thread.
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #7
    Yea, I understand.

    There are apps to access HFS+ in Windows e.g. MacDrive and HFSExplorer but even with them, the TM backup is unreadable due some things in UNIX (probably that the file can be "linked" to another file as it doesn't backup everything after one hour but it makes a new folder with time stamp so you can have example.mp3 file in 3 different folders but it's only using one time the space, not three times even though it's visible in 3 folders)

    EDIT: I think we are talking about TM backup which TC stores as well as OP wants to access it, right?
     
  8. skorpien macrumors 68020

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #8
    Honestly, I think this is all just a big misunderstanding. I was originally correcting your assumption that the Time Capsule's hard drive cannot be mounted as a networked drive in either OS X or Windows.

    Both can be accomplished, and I have done so since the beginning of my ownership of my Time Capsule.

    The OP was having issues accessing his files within Windows because he was originally using Time Machine to access those files in OS X, and Windows cannot decrypt the encrypted image files that Time Machine created on his TC's hard drive.

    Despite this however, if the files are copied directly to the Time Capsule's hard drive using Finder and not Time Machine, those files can be accessed by Windows as they do not need to be decrypted and are not stored in image files.

    Edit: I just realized from where the misunderstanding may have stemmed. I originally told the OP that he needs to mount the drive in Finder. What I meant is for him to mount it as a network drive from the list of Shared devices in the lefthand column of his Finder window and not as an external hard drive within Disk Utility.
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    But I get the idea that OP had more than TM backup in there

    TM and TC are not the best options if you ever want solid compatibility with Windows.
     
  10. Fingers M thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    #10
    Thanks for all the replies but I think I need to explain a little bit more.
    I was using the TC as a hard drive, every time I turned the MBP on, I would have to 'Enter Time Machine'. I would then be able to see the TC as a volume in Finder and could manually drag files into it. I also had my itunes linked to the TC and all my photographs are in there. If I downloaded a song from itunes, it would automatically be placed into the TC (as long as I had 'Entered Time Machine').

    This is where my confusion is because I can't Enter Time Machine through windows and I think this is why I can't see the 6,000 jpegs and 5,000 mp3s on there.
     
  11. skorpien macrumors 68020

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #11
    If I'm understanding you correctly, you should have no problems accessing those files from Windows. You're just using Time Machine to mount the volume then are using Finder to copy files over, correct? (By the way, it's not necessary to enter Time Machine to mount the Time Capsule. You can do so straight from Finder if you've enabled the Shared option in the Finder prefs.) Those files should be accessible from Windows after mounting the Time Capsule hard drive. I will be home in a few days and will try to post some pictures of the steps from both Mac and Windows.
     
  12. adnauseum macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    #12
    It's no problem mounting the TC under Windows. I just tried it on Windows Server 2003, without specifying a special disk password or setting up accounts. I just used the TC password.

    In this case your password is the same as the one you use to access your TC for access via Airport Utility. The username - believe it or not - is your personal account user name on the machine from which you initially set up the time capsule. By "user name" I am referring to the real name displayed when you eg type "finger" in the Terminal window or the same name displayed in your OS X login window, with spaces and all.

    To set up the share you need to know the name of the drive inside the TC, which, if unchanged is "Data". Thus, the TC with a local network name of "my-TC.local" (see in Airport Utility under AirPort->TimeCapsule second line from the top or so) would access in Windows as

    \\my-TC.local\Data

    username: <your OS X real name>
    password: <your TC password>

    Good luck!
     

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