Time Capsule, Super Duper, External drive - Will this setup work?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Broric, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. Broric macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2009
    Having spent most of the weekend backing up a failing iMac hard drive I think its time I really sorted my backups out properly.

    My plan at the minute is to purchase a 2TB Time Capsule and have it setup up like this:

    2TB USB drive plugged into Time Capsule
    Time machine set to backup iMac internal drive to Time Capsule
    Super Duper set up to clone the iMac internal hard drive so I have a bootable drive in case anything goes wrong.

    I know I could achieve this without the Time Capsule but I like the idea of it and with the recent storage bump and HE discount it seems worth it.

    My questions are:

    Will this setup work? I assume I can connect the external USB drive to the time capsule and access it over the network?

    If the external drive is 2TB can I still clone the 1TB internal drive using super duper and have a second 1TB partition or does cloning require that I use the whole physical disk?

    Can both the time capsule and external drive be accessed over the network via Windows 7 machines? Is there a specific filesystem they need formatting to for that to work?

    Can a time capsule be used as an iTunes server independent from the iMac?

  2. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    Time Machine and Super Duper will work fine with what you want to do.

    A cloned backup doesn't need to be the same size as the original hard disk, it will only take up the amount of space the hard drive currently is using. i.e. a 1TB hard drive with 850gb free will only need 150 gb for a backup/clone.

    You can format the external drive into as many smaller drives as you want. Make sure that the partition for Time Machine is as large as the actual Mac hd though, because as the Mac hd adds more apps and files it will take up more space to backup.

    Windows 7 will not recognize Mac formatted hard drives. You can try/buy MacDrive, which will allow Windows to recognize and use Mac formatted drives.


    I assume you want to access the external drive from Windows only for iTunes/media?

    You could do 1TB for Time Machine and 1TB for media/shared files between the two systems. I wouldn't store anything on the Time Machine side that you want to access in Windows, leave the Time Machine partition alone.

    There is also another option, there is an app by Paragon that allows Macs to read/write to Windows formatted hard drives. That would allow you to format that external HD in both HFS+ for Mac (Time Machine partition) and NTFS for Windows (media/iTunes partition).


    If you used the Windows software, MacDrive, it might (MIGHT) be able to use Time Capsule as a media server, no guarantees though because I haven't tried that nor have I read anyone saying it definitely can be done. It should be possible.

    Both of those programs/apps have free trials, so give them a spin.
  3. Broric thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2009
    Thanks, that's helped a lot.

    One thing I'm still slightly confused about though. My Windows 7 machine can see my iMac drive fine and share files with it, likewise I can mount my Windows 7 shares in Lion and access the files fine on them.

    That seems to be against what you state above about Windows not being able to access a os x formatted drive? Or is it because I'm sharing the drive through os x?
  4. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    You can turn on sharing with the Mac and Windows and they can share files. However, a Windows PC cannot recognize a Mac formatted hard drive. If you format the external drive using the Mac and then plug the drive into the Windows PC or into the Time Capsule, Windows will not even see it. It's confusing, I know, but Windows can recognize the Mac computer and share files from it, but an external hard drive, or Mac formatted thumb drive, will not show up in Windows without using either Mac Drive, or using Paragon to format them in NTFS, which is the default Windows drive format.

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