Time capsule or Time Bomb ?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cristobalviel, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. cristobalviel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Location:
    Santiago
    #1
    hi,

    i really think that this concept of product, it's really awesome, but through all of those bad reviews (of the data store) , on apple.com ..

    make me think twice .

    on one side ,we have the people who say that the time capsule, after 18 month of life, Death. but these are the old one's,

    and on the other side we have the recent customers who say that que product it's great, bla bla bla ( but they have't spend long time whit it)

    the guy on the apple store say that the time capsule, it's fixed now.

    but i don't know anyone who have the new time capsule, (more than 6 month), and the say , it's great , it's fixed.

    tkns in advance
     
  2. rprebel macrumors 6502

    rprebel

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Where the bluebonnets bloom
    #2
    Hard drives fail, it's a sad fact. Not having a backup, now that's a time bomb.
     
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #3
    It's the power supply that failed in the Gen 1 Time Capsules.

    It's a very silly business model for Apple if all of them are going to fail in 18 months and most of them are covered by AppleCare. It certainly would have been better if they had remoted the power supply and/or provided better ventilation.

    B
     
  4. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Don't forget when reading reviews that customers are more likely to leave feedback if they are unhappy with a product. The vast majority of customers that are happy will never leave a review.

    For example I purchased a 1st generation when they were announce at Macworld 2008. It's been backing up every hour since, and still not failed.
     
  5. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #5
    They are now using 'Green' low power hard drives which don't create as much heat. The power supplies and the (poor) ventilation seem to be exactly the same.

    http://timecapsuledead.org/now_what.html
     
  6. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #6
    Mine came on the first boat from China too--no problems--still works fine. Like everything on this and any other forum devoted to anything that can break, most people talk about their broken product--not the one they are perfectly happy with. :)
     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #7
    It could certainly be just a bad batch of capacitors in the first batch.

    I just took mine apart and two caps were swollen just like all of the articles say. I bought the recommended Cisco power supply as an external on eBay and will hack it in later this week. Not sure if I'll do the fan hack this time around.

    The refurb Apple gave me as a replacement is still sitting in the box.

    B
     
  8. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #8
    I think in concept it's a great product. However, given air disk and prices, a AEBS plus external hard drive seems like a better option without as many downside risks, form factor aside.

    I have a TC, and after the first one died at 20 months, the replacement (free) is going fine, but is at only 9 months.
     
  9. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #9
    I had two blow out, the second one only a few months after the first. I'm using the third one but I have a little usb fan blowing on it because it does it get hot when it has been backing up a lot. I'm skeptical I got a new generation one as a replacement because the serial number was still in the span of ones eligible for replacement :(

    It's too bad it's so hard to get inside the thing because I'm familiar with changing out blown capacitors. My 46" lcd tv blew one and I fixed it myself to save money!
     
  10. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #10
    Mine failed at almost exactly 18 mos and I replaced the capacitors (4). I also reversed the fan and provided a hole in the base so that it sucks in cool air and disperses it so that it flows over the power supply and out the vents. It is wired so that it runs at half-speed, but all the time. It is also mounted on longer legs.

    It is vastly cooler now, just barely warm to the touch. Can't fry eggs on it any more.

    Those who know these things say that Apple used high quality components. The problem is that the fan control only turns on the fan when it get very, very hot and then it only stirred the heated air around!

    The cause of the heat is evidently not just the HD, but other components in the power supply.

    The original Apple TV has a similar design and also suffers from heat. In that case I removed the rubber bottom and raised it up on little rubber feet so air would circulate better. Prior to that I actually put an ice bag on it to make it work through an entire slide show.

    Somebody at Apple decided that noise was the enemy and form over function won out. Apple will do that now and then!

    The good part about the TM is that now I believe it will last a very long time. Also, it is very easy to install a bigger HD in the unit, so you could update that as well and have a very capable and valuable backup device.

    If you want a cheap HD backup that is so very nice and convenient, you could pick up a used, even non-working TC and modify it. I would have full confidence in it, it should be as reliable as any device.

    The new ones are dual channel something or other. Whatever that is, I don't miss it. It might be important to you. Check it out.
     
  11. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    My opinion is that any backup located inside of the house is only a 2nd backup for convenience of quick restore.

    - My primary backup is to the cloud using Crashplan+
    - My secondary backup is using Time Machine to a Time Capsule.

    I think the pair is perfect for me.

    /Jim
     
  12. natebookpro macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #12
    I had two time capsules fail while under warranty. After the second one failed I really did not feel safe using it as a backup. After begging and pleading with applecare I was able to get them to send me an airport extreme in exchange for the second time capsule. I didnt really feel like I was pulling anything over on apple considering I had two failures and was asking to get a cheaper product instead.

    I now have the airport extreme running my home network and all the laptops backing up to the external attached to my iMac. I know this isnt officially supported, but it works well. I also do weeklyish backups of the two laptops to a different external drive, so worst case scenario I lose two weeks of data if the unsupported time machine backup stopped working for some reason.

    For what its worth, my last time capsule died about a year ago. I dont know if the newer ones have had the issues resolved or not. Just decided to share my 2 cents :)
     
  13. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #13
    I use a Time Capsule. It died at exactly 18 months and took our only copy of my daughter's data with it. I have an external 2TB drive connected to my TC so when it dies again, I'm not sending the only copy of my family's data to Apple's landfill.

    I rely on TC and a NAS drive for my data but I'm also considering crashplan. My NAS drive won't wake up after a power outage. They are frequent enough that I'm looking for a new NAS. I'm considering a WD Live. One of the requirements I have is that the NAS include FTP which is what my network scanner understands and what my iPhone photo transfer app understands.

    My only concern about crashplan is the sheer volume of data. Perhaps I'd be better off copying everything to a 1TB usb drive and tossing it in a safe deposit box once a month. Still thinking...
     
  14. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #14
    I echo what LaPastenague said in his comprehensive site on TC repair.

    Your daughter's data was probably fine. Mine was. It just takes time to open up the TC and pull the drive to get access to it and if you want to repair it, LaPastenague's site has all the info you might need.

    I have a strict policy in my house, much to my wife's chagrin, that no HDD leaves the premises (on purpose) without being wiped or mechanically disabled due to privacy concerns. From this point of view, Apple's official replacement policy sucks.

    B
     
  15. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #15
    Haha, I do this too. I end up taking the drives apart and scratching the disks before throwing them away. It would be really fun if my shredder could handle an individual platter :)
     
  16. cristobalviel thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Location:
    Santiago
    #16
    other question about it,

    can I make an password for the backup, on the time capsule, then everytime when i get into the backup, ask for pass...

    cause i live with other people, and i don't whant them have access to it.

    ??
     
  17. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #17
    Apple support claims the backup is encrypted with your OS X password. Here's the thing I found. Navigate to the backup folder on your TC. Find a file called xxxx.sparsebundle which is likely the name of your Mac and your username. Right click on the sparsebundle and pick show contents. A few clicks down into the folders and you are looking at files and folders just as if you were navigating your local disk. I find this works for every sparsebundle on our family TC, even for the kids and for my wife. Maybe it works cuz I'm an admin on all their machines, but it would seem to me I shouldn't be able to view any TC sparsebundle unless the credentials for that file are in my keychain. I'm a little suspicious of Apple's claim that the files are encrypted but it's not an issue on our family's TC so I ignore it.
     
  18. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    Im sure you have no reason to make this up, but if true I never knew that.
     
  19. mahood macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    Absolutely right - the local backup is great for getting back a file you deleted by accident 3 weeks ago, or for rebuilding a Mac when you re-install (and I've used TM/TC for both).

    If it's not backed up somewhere else, it's not really backed up at all.

    My first Time Capsule died at 17 months, out of warranty. I rang Apple UK, they took the serial number and agreed to change it 'as a goodwill gesture'. Unfortunately he didn't put me on hold properly, so I heard the conversation with the expert who confirmed it was one of the bad batch, and I should get a replacement :)

    So I lost my local backup for a week or two (and obviously all the history) but I had a remote backup to rely on in case of a second disaster.

    Mark
     
  20. alfmil macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #20
    I bought a 500gb dual band TC the day they came out in March 2009. Haven't had an issue with it yet.
     
  21. CubusX macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    #21
    AppleCare

    I remeber reading on Apple's website that if you have the Time Capsule connected to a Mac with an AppleCare Protection Plan, the Time Capsule is covered under the same plan.

    Works perfectly if you buy a Mac and a Time Capsule at the same time...
     
  22. cristobalviel thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Location:
    Santiago
    #22
    nice, but that it's not my case. i have a mac already.
     
  23. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #23
    As long as you have a Mac that is covered by AppleCare, its warranty extends to the TC. They don't have to be purchased at the same time.

    I bought my TC in March 2008 and bought my MBP in August 2009. When I first started having trouble with the TC in early 2010, they used the MBP's warranty status (basic 1 year AppleCare) to apply to the TC.

    Then they came out with the specific program to replace them...

    B
     
  24. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #24
    I strongly think it works because you have admin rights. If there were system files that an admin couldn't view, then that's not really an admin account.

    To test, why not create a user or restricted account, log in as that account, then try browsing the TC again? Also you may be able to view folder and file names, but not actually open them.

    For what it's worth, I think TC / Time Machine is a wonderful concept - the no hassle backup. It's worth remembering that a TC or TM drive should NEVER have the ONLY copy of any file. You should always have 3 copies in two different locations. I have a TC at home and another one at work.

    I do wish Apple made it a bit easier to swap between TM drives, as you should be backing up to two different TM drives, but maybe that will come later.

    My home TC died at 18 months, and I opened it up, copied data off the (working) HDD, and took the TC to Apple, who gave me a new TC PLUS the old HDD back.
     
  25. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #25
    Just be aware that this is not the official policy in the US.

    The only avenue to data preservation under the program is mail-in service send them your broken TC you get one back with your data on it. They repeatedly refused to let me do what RedTomato did and I complained about my privacy. Ultimately they just shipped me a refurb replacement and did not request the old one back.

    B
     

Share This Page