Time Capsule Hard Drive Question

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by dylanbrown, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. dylanbrown macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2008
    ** First off: Apologies if this question has been asked before, I searched and could not find it **​

    OK - I have a 500GB Time Capsule, and very slowly my drive is filling up, and that's only with one Mac (I think there's about 25GB left - and no other stuff is on it except for the TM backup).

    I was wondering if there was a way to add an external drive into the Time Capsule via USB and extend the overall capacity, as I only seem to be able to choose it as a separate backup location. Obviously I don't want to have to buy a bigger USB HD when I'm running low on space. Also, I'm gonna be getting an iMac (As soon as Apple decides to announce new ones!) and obviously this might prove to be a problem with HD space available.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. weez999 macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2009
    One option you have it is to archive all of your backups to free space up again. This is what I do. I have heard and read that there is a way to add more storage via USB but with a modification but I have never gotten the low down as to the truth to it.

    Maybe someone else in here can answer that.
  3. MacLadybug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2008
    How far back would you need to go...

    to find something that you deleted by accident? If your computer was fried, you'd reinstall the most current backup. Do you feel like you need to keep that stuff forever? Right now I have the 1T time capsule that is backing up 2 MacBooks and an iMac. I use the default settings of backing up every hour, etc. When I start running out of space, I just intend to remove 1/2 the back-ups and then keep going.

    If your stuff is that critical, then you should maybe archive the oldest stuff and clear up the TCapsule to start fresh. As a reference, I got my Time Capsule in November and I now have 521 GB free.
  4. dylanbrown thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2008
    Archiving seems like a really good idea, although it does mean that I'd need to buy like a 1TB drive if I was to back-up 2 Mac's onto it as my MacBook (equipped with a 320GB HD) has used up 412.5GB.

    Although that is a very good idea, but I'm still wondering if it's possible to extend the storage space without separating it into volumes.
  5. gwihannom macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2008
    You mean, if you add like a 1TB external USB hard drive onto 500GB Time Capsule, it becomes 1.5TB?
    And perhaps in the future, you add 2TB to it, and it becomes 3.5TB?
    When you attach an external USB hard drive, it will be visible under the SHARED Time Capsule. But it will be a separate volume.

    I understand why you would want to do this, since you want to have Time Capsule keeping all your backups and never want to run out of space. But I think it's better if you use it as a backup not as an archive. You know, in case you have a hard drive or hardware failure, you get a replacement and it's running the way as you had it before the failure.
    If you need to keep valuable files, run archive. Or manually copy the files you need to keep.

    Never tried or paid attention to anyone about combining multiple USB drives, but with Time Capsule, I don't think you'd be able to do this modification. Partly because you can't modify Time Capsule drive from Disk utility. You erase, name, archive your Time Capsule under Airport Utility.

    How do you run out of space on Time Capsule so fast?
    Do you move or add/delete a lot of big video files or something?
    Or use Virtual Machine?
    Time Machine only backs up modified files, so most of the time with some music downloading and making documents, my backups are only few MBs at a time.

    I did notice when I use VMWare Fusion, that's categorized as being "modified."
    So Time Machine backs up every time I ran VMWare Fusion.
    Wasn't practical, since I don't need Windows on my Mac to be backed up every time I use it, so I put it on the do not back up list.
    Since then, my backups take not even five minutes I think.
  6. dylanbrown thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2008
    Exactly, but I agree that it might not be possible.

    And as for using that space up so quickly, I have no idea! I bought the Time Capsule the day after the new iPod's came out (September, I think) and I only have a 320GB HD on my MacBook.

    As for virtual machines running under Parallels or VMWare? No, although I did bootcamp Windows 7 as a 20GB partition. But you can't choose to exclude the partition, as all the items are locked by Windows - so it doesn't get backed up.

    My Mac is on nearly every day, and Time Capsule usually does it's 1 backup per hour for modified files. - I have a large iTunes collection (Takes up about 1/3rd of my HD space) and a pretty large iPhoto collection. So I'm not that surprised I've used up so much space.

    Thanks for your help anyway, I really do appreciate it.

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