Time Capsule - is it really so unreliable?

:-)

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 4, 2009
31
0
I am thinking of buying 1TB model, but it seems that TC has a lot of problems with overheating, noise and eventually dead HDD after 12-14 months. Is this true? Is TC really so noisy and hot? What do you think? Is it worth buying it?
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
6,352
3,215
Florida Resident
I had mine for 8 months. If it does die within 18 months I'll be disappointed. But if it last 3 years then I'll be satisfied. I don't expect the hard drive much longer than 3 years of constant use and if it is a backup drive, I won't lose anything. I could backup with other products but I like having wireless backups and integrated in the same wireless router. My only complaint is that the hard drive should be easily swapped out with another when it is time to replace or upgrade the capacity.

I wonder if the people that had their time machine dropped it?
 

Primejimbo

macrumors 68040
Aug 10, 2008
3,294
131
Around
Mine is about 2 months old now and it only gets warm, not hot like some people say and I don't hear it at all running. My Airport Extreme feels like the temperature also when I had that. I hope Apple fixed the issues that they had, but only time will tell. I also have Apple care of it, so I'm not too worried.
 

RaceTripper

macrumors 68030
May 29, 2007
2,697
21
I bought the 2 TB model at the end of July. Twice now I've found it turned off, and had problems getting it to start again. I just archived the contents to an external drive and am packing it up for a Genius appt. (and hopefully a quick replacement).
 

:-)

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 4, 2009
31
0
I see the average life time is 20 months, that is very short period (my old desktop drives works without a problem for 5 years now).

What do you think if I buy Airport Extreme and WD external disk with RAID 1 option. This could be a better option. :eek:
 

scooterguitar

macrumors regular
Mar 7, 2008
227
0
I'm going to tag along and ask a few ?'s if I might...
I was planning on getting one with the new iMac, but haven't decided so yet.
I want a backup of photos, videos, keepsakes and such, and maybe music from GB.
What is the point of having such a backup if they die? I;ve always just saved to big flash drives, but was going to start backing up pictures for our baby "to keep forever"...
What do I need for that?
 

Frosties

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2009
980
116
Sweden
I'm going to tag along and ask a few ?'s if I might...
I was planning on getting one with the new iMac, but haven't decided so yet.
I want a backup of photos, videos, keepsakes and such, and maybe music from GB.
What is the point of having such a backup if they die? I;ve always just saved to big flash drives, but was going to start backing up pictures for our baby "to keep forever"...
What do I need for that?
You don't need a time capsule. You need a backup solution with at least two mirrored drives. A time capsule is only a solution providing a second copy of your files from your running hardrives to have in case of a drive failure on your running computer. A time capsule is not made to be a long term failure proof backup system. Even apple say this.
 

RaceTripper

macrumors 68030
May 29, 2007
2,697
21
are just the HDs dying or the whole unit?
It's not a problem with HDs generally. The power supplies have been an issue in a lot of reported cases. The problem is if the power supply dies under warranty, but the HD is good, you have no way of retrieving your data without extracting the drive from the case, which voids the warranty. Mine has a flakey, but not broken pwr supply, so I took it in today and they are ordering a new one. In the meantime I have archived it's contents.

Nevertheless, I like the TC overall and would buy one again.
 

scooterguitar

macrumors regular
Mar 7, 2008
227
0
You don't need a time capsule. You need a backup solution with at least two mirrored drives. A time capsule is only a solution providing a second copy of your files from your running hardrives to have in case of a drive failure on your running computer. A time capsule is not made to be a long term failure proof backup system. Even apple say this.

So then just buy two affordable external harddrives, is this what you mean? Put my photos and such on two, in-case something happens to one?

Why then do people want the Time Capsule, besides having the wireless router and backup?
 

RaceTripper

macrumors 68030
May 29, 2007
2,697
21
So then just buy two affordable external harddrives, is this what you mean? Put my photos and such on two, in-case something happens to one?

Why then do people want the Time Capsule, besides having the wireless router and backup?
I use a TimeCapsule for my normal, hourly, automated, drop-dead-easy, fuggedaboudit backup. It has saved my butt on several occasions when I need a file from a few hours ago that I messed up one way or another. Of course you can do that with an external HD, but I like the TC because my household only has laptops, and TC does the backup over WiFi. That means my wife gets a backup and doesn't have to do anything (like learning to mount/unmount an external drive for backup).

I also use an external HD for a secondary backup to keep a clone of my Mac drive. I use SuperDuper and run that backup nightly (when I remember). That's so I can boot up right away if I have a catastrophic drive failure.

When I shoot photos, I generally archive the RAW files to DVDs before I process them, but I have gotten lax about that lately.
 

zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
6,364
2,835
I'm going to tag along and ask a few ?'s if I might...
I was planning on getting one with the new iMac, but haven't decided so yet.
I want a backup of photos, videos, keepsakes and such, and maybe music from GB.
What is the point of having such a backup if they die? I;ve always just saved to big flash drives, but was going to start backing up pictures for our baby "to keep forever"...
What do I need for that?
Well, a backup is just that a backup. If it's your only copy of some data, then it's not a backup. If your backup drive dies, you still have your primary source data, and you repair or replace the backup drive. Same deal if your source drive dies - you repair or replace and restore from backup.

The advantage of a device like the Time Capsule is that it is always on and available on your network, so your computers get backed up automatically every hour that they are on. If you use external FW or USB drives, you have to remember to connect them and turn them on to backup. Better than nothing, but not as good as an always available device.
 

scooterguitar

macrumors regular
Mar 7, 2008
227
0
Ok, thank you for the help.
SO to be honest (with myself), one external harddrive to use every so often for backing up home pictures and videos would likely be fine. Knock on wood, I've never had a computer totally crash, just want to be safe with important pictures:)
 

RaceTripper

macrumors 68030
May 29, 2007
2,697
21
Ok, thank you for the help.
SO to be honest (with myself), one external harddrive to use every so often for backing up home pictures and videos would likely be fine. Knock on wood, I've never had a computer totally crash, just want to be safe with important pictures:)
Recipe for disaster and severe disappointment. :(
 

chill.

macrumors 6502
Sep 1, 2008
385
0
what i'd like to know is why time capsule is so much cheaper on ebay. the 1tb is going for $200 and 2tb is $300, whereas apple sells for $300/$500

to me that seems like a huge, huge discount. are the ebay ones older models or something?
 

scooterguitar

macrumors regular
Mar 7, 2008
227
0
Recipe for disaster and severe disappointment. :(
Argh, I guess maybe I'm missing something? If you'd be so kind to walk me through it perhaps? I just want to know I'll have a hard copy of baby pics and such in say 15 years? Two backup drives or the time Capsule and another external or?
 

Xenious

macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2004
674
41
Texas, USA
almost died, came back

My original 500gig TC almost died. I came in and it was totally locked up and upon powering it off and on it would not do anything (no light up no spin up). I unplugged it and took it to the apple store a few hours later. Once I got there it powered up just fine so I decided to keep it. It hasn't happened again.

I bought it the day they came out.
-Jim
 

RaceTripper

macrumors 68030
May 29, 2007
2,697
21
Argh, I guess maybe I'm missing something? If you'd be so kind to walk me through it perhaps? I just want to know I'll have a hard copy of baby pics and such in say 15 years? Two backup drives or the time Capsule and another external or?
If your backup strategy is to have
one external harddrive to use every so often for backing up home pictures and videos
it will ultimately fail you, since that approach is extremely fallible. If your pictures are not important then it is maybe adequate. If you pictures are important to you, you need something better.
 

RaceTripper

macrumors 68030
May 29, 2007
2,697
21
what i'd like to know is why time capsule is so much cheaper on ebay. the 1tb is going for $200 and 2tb is $300, whereas apple sells for $300/$500

to me that seems like a huge, huge discount. are the ebay ones older models or something?
Yes, they are likely previous models. You can also find older models on Amazon much cheaper every now and then.
 

Frosties

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2009
980
116
Sweden
Ok, thank you for the help.
SO to be honest (with myself), one external harddrive to use every so often for backing up home pictures and videos would likely be fine. Knock on wood, I've never had a computer totally crash, just want to be safe with important pictures:)
Sorry to have opened a can of worms here when answering your question. Everyone has different opinions on the right backup solution. That is because everyone have different needs. A private backup of baby pictures perhaps doesn't need and want the cost of a raid system as a backup system. This is often wanted when using backup of your professional files, for example photos for clients. Perhaps even adding live backup over Internet off-site.

I see in your post that you will get an imac. IF you always keep your files on your harddrive on your computer and use a time capsule together with that you are relatively safe. Keep adding drivespace to your computer AND your backup solution be it a time capsule or regular external usb drive then you relatively safe. That is how Apple's solution is thought to work. Don't ever keep files ONLY on the time capsule.
 

elfxmilhouse

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2008
579
97
Northeast USA
what i'd like to know is why time capsule is so much cheaper on ebay. the 1tb is going for $200 and 2tb is $300, whereas apple sells for $300/$500

to me that seems like a huge, huge discount. are the ebay ones older models or something?
theres a chance that they are older models.

The time capsules and airports were updated with the new radios.