Time capsule-retrieving files

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by shannonlynn21, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. shannonlynn21 macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2013
    I recently bought a Time Capsule because my MacBook Air apparently can only handle about 900 photos before it's completely out of memory. I set it up and it seems to be working. I need to delete the photos off my computer so I can add new ones.

    I guess I'm used to Windows where you can click on something like the flash drive and see whats on it. I want to be sure my photos are actually on the Time Capsule before I start deleting stuff from the computer.

    My question is how do I view whats on the Time Capsule. I went to finder but it seems to pull up whats on my computer. Please be very specific because apparently I'm an idiot. This doesn't seem like it should be so damn difficult.
  2. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    Whatever folder/application you are in or want to view, go up to the top where the Time Machine icon is (upper right, looks like a cicrcle with an Arrow / clock iclon) and click "Enter Time Machine"

    Truthfully though I think you might be better off buying an External Hard Drive and just loading the photos on there. Time Machine is more for backup in case something happens, not necessarily for storing your photos.
  3. shannonlynn21 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2013
    Thank you for your reply. I thought that's essentially what I was buying. Do you have a suggestion for a hard drive? I spent $300 bucks on the time capsule to be able to store my photos.

    When i go into time time capsule like you said, a new window pops up. It shows my time capsule. When I click on it, it shows sparsebundle..... When I click on that, nothing happens.
  4. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    You need to double-click on the sparsebundle to mount it. Inside you will see full drive structure that you backed up, minus the excluded files/folders, conficured in TM preferences.
    PS Indeed, you can use the TC drive as a network drive. You will need to move or copy your files from Mac to TC.
    You can't use TM backups (anything stored inside those sparsebundles) as a working storage for your files. These files are not user modifiable.
  5. shannonlynn21 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2013
    I don't know specifically how to move the photos to the TC. I have photos in iPhoto. I need to move them to the TC so that I can delete them from iPhoto so I can empty my photos from my iPhone. Also I need to know how to access them from TC in the future. Even when I double click the sparsebundle, nothing happens. I don't understand why this is so complicated. I'm actually not an idiot, but sort of new to Apple products.
  6. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    I think you have two distinct needs:

    1.) more storage space to hold some or all of your growing iPhoto library
    2.) a whole-system backup plan

    The most straightforward solution to need #1 is probably an external hard drive directly connected to your MacBook Air via USB or Firewire. If it were me, I'd get a sizable external drive (1 to 3 TB) and move the entire iPhoto library onto it. Then when you import photos they go directly to the large external drive instead of the much more limited external storage of your MacBoook Air (MBA). You won't run out of space for a long time. The disadvantage of this is that you'll have to plug in the external drive to work with or view your photos.

    Some network attached storage (NAS) solutions could also meet need #1 but would be more expensive and more complicated to set up and use.

    To address need #2, my opinion is that the Time Capsule (TC) is ideal. Time Machine (the program) can back up all the data on your MBA and any directly connected hard drives onto the TC, and do it without having to remember to plug in a backup disk. TC is great for backing up portable computers.

    Note well the differences between need #1 and need #2! For 1, you want "permanent" storage, where the files will not be deleted automatically, and you want to be able to use the files easily, quickly, conveniently.

    For 2, convenience of accessing the files is not so important, since you only use them if a hard disk crashes, or you or some malware deletes some important file. Here you want a plan which keeps, at a minimum, one current copy of every file, plus as many older versions of it as is practical. You want the system to automatically delete old out of date versions of files to make room for new ones. This is what the TC is best suited for.

    All that said, your TC can serve as a simple NAS in addition to being the destination for your Time Machine backups. You can store "working files" on the TC and access them, just a little slower and a little less convenient than a directly connected hard drive. However, there is one big problem with this: any files you "manually" store on the TC drive will not be backed up -- therefore, if they exist nowhere else, you are at risk of losing them forever due to hard drive failure!

    You can try it out. First get drag-and-drop access to your TC disk; I'll give some hints how it's done on my system (10.8.5 with an old 1st-generation TC).

    Open Finder. Look on the left under Shared -- you should see your time capsule there with whatever name you gave it. Click once on the TC name. Then you should see the TC internal disk name, whatever you chose -- double-click on that.

    Wait for a moment. Now you will see a something.sparsebundle file named after your MacBook Air machine name. Leave it alone -- that's your Time Machine backup. Also, you may notice a new "disk" (actually a Volume) show up on your desktop (if you have Finder preferences set so).

    Now, I'd create a new folder that would contain any files you want to store on the TC drive. (REMEMBER - these files won't be backed up and if they don't exist on your MBA drive you could lose them!) After you've created the folder, simply drag the files into it in the normal way! You can then access them another time using Finder.

    This is very convenient when you want to share files between different computers on your local network -- they can all access the TC disk -- even Windows machines. You could copy your entire iPhoto library to the new directory on the TC disk. Then new imports would go there. (I haven't tried this -- it could be that slow TC access might be a problem, but in theory it should work.) But, again, your precious iPhoto library would be (automatically) backed up -- you'd have to manually or otherwise get it backed up.

    So, I think you need the TC you've got for backups, but should get a (relatively) inexpensive USB or Firewire drive to hold your iPhoto library.

  7. shannonlynn21 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2013
    Brian- you are very kind to be so detailed.

    I made a folder on TC and it is currently copying 930 photos to that folder. Two hours is the estimated time!

    So once it is done copying, I should be able to delete those photos from my MBA, correct? The risk is that if something were to happen to the TC, my photos would be lost. Also correct? I may decide to grab an external hard drive to have an extra copy just in case.

    I almost think the TC may have been a waste of money in my case. Other than photos and music, I can't think of anything else stored on here that would cause a huge tragedy if I were to lose them. I mostly use this for web browsing.

    The photos won't be deleted from the TC automatically once I deleted them from my MBA, right?

    Again, thank you very much for taking the time to help me. :)
  8. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    IMHO you'll soon find that the iPhoto usage experience 100% off of a network drive is a PITA. Except if you only use it occasionally.
    The speed difference is that big! That's when you move the whole iPhoto Library off to TC.
    If uou just archive old photos to TC and continue to use MBA for iPhoto Library storage, then nothing changes.
    Indeed your MBA's internal disk and TC's disk are separate entities, so adding/deleting on one doesn't affect the other.
    PS TM is the easiest backup system there is and gives you additional peace of mind, esp. having a MBA with SSD drive. Because when SSD's fail, data recovery from them is much harder than from old-school HDD's, if possible at all.
  9. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    Yes, unfortunately copying/retrieving files from the TC is pretty slow, which makes it pretty mediocre as a general-purpose NAS or file server. For backups it doesn't matter much (they run unattended in the background) and for file recovery/disaster recovery it also doesn't matter much (because these events are rare), but for your usage it sure would be nice if it were faster. An external disk drive would be much faster.

    Once it's done copying, yes you may delete those photos from your MBA, if you wish. You can always copy them back from the TC onto the MBA later, whenever you want.

    And yes, the risk is that if the hard disk drive in the TC fails, you will lose all the photos you copied onto the TC disk. I think copying them to a new external drive would be better -- then the "main" copies would be on the external, and you can (and should) tell TM to back up the new external drive, so if it fails the TC will have backups and you'll not have lost them.

    Maybe, but I personally think it is worth backing up the entire system, and it's worth having an automated system for doing so (because people tend to be lazy and forgetful about boring things like backups). Even though the photos and music are the most important, there's likely to be other files you would miss if you lost everything. Bookmarks, email, notes? And you really need to back up the music and photos anyway, so you might as well back up the whole system (it doesn't take that much space). The SSD in your MBA could fail without warning. When you get a replacement put in, what do you do next? You could reinstall Mountain Lion, then spend time reinstalling every app you had and spend hours re-configuring settings and preferences. Or, you could just tell TM to restore everything from backup and your system will be restored to exactly the state it was for the last hourly backup. Very little time lost.

    OTOH, if you don't agree and just bought the TC, I think Apple will let you return it within 14 days(?) of purchase. Not sure, though.

    Right. Neither the Time Machine program nor the Time Capsule hardware will delete the photos you put there. TM does automatically delete old backups (in the .sparsebundle) but that won't affect the photos you put there. Only you or a disk crash would "delete" them.

    You're very welcome! :)
  10. shannonlynn21 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2013
    So, I went to bed last night when it was transferring the photos. When I woke up, the TC was blinking orange and it now my MBA says TC can't be found. Errr.
    I didn't have time to fool with it before work this morning, so I guess that's on the agenda for tonight. I have no idea what the issue is now.
  11. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    AirPort Utility is supposed to report on the cause of blinking amber light.
    Does Fider report file copy could not be completed? If not, then you're set.

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