Time Capsule Upgrades

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by moonchilddave, May 4, 2011.

  1. moonchilddave macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2009
    I have a 500G Time Capsule that I think the HD is going on as backups keep failing - and I've been wanting to increase the storage capacity on for a while now anyway. So I've ordered a Samsung Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM drive for replacement as I've read that if you upgrade the firmware on this drive, it does spin down properly.

    While I've got the case apart, I also plan to cut a hole for the fan:


    Are there any other mods that I might want to do while I have it apart? I originally bought it from Small Dog Electronics as a refurbished unit.
  2. jpg macrumors regular

    May 15, 2009
    About the modding instructions you mentioned:
    You might need 3 x 100 Ohm resistors depending on your unit. Some fan engines need more power to operate (3x100Ohm => 33 Ohm instead of 2x100 =>50). Apple changed them some time ago so you will need to try which one you need (just get the extra one before modding and try it out).

    Other than that replacing the disk of your TimeCapsule is pretty straight forward.

    Remember to format the disk after you inserted it. It will not automatically do this if the disk is already formatted. The TimeCapsule will then create 3 Partitions (swap, something else, and your Data partition). Don't know if you really need this setup as mine worked that way at the beginning. I guess it is better if you do it that way because it then resembles the 2GB TimeCapsule more accurately.
  3. shenfrey macrumors 68000

    May 23, 2010
    I have just bought a 2009 (refurbished) 1TB time capsule, I am liking it. The fact that its all done in the background and is also powering my internet, its a gem.

    I have just had a quick look through that article you provided, I had no idea that the time capsule really was just an airport and a hard-drive, I thought there was more to it, I thought some fancying soldering was involved in the process but no, the hard-drive is just next to it lol. Well thats certainly made me look at it a little differently!

    Anyway good luck with the modding mate, I hope it all works out for you, let us you know how you got on after the initial back up of it has been completed : )
  4. moonchilddave, May 6, 2011
    Last edited: May 6, 2011

    moonchilddave thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2009
    Ok, I'm in the middle of the upgrade now. However, I'm thinking of roatating the fan 90 degrees and flipping it so that it pulls air from the power supply and blows it out. I'm thinking that may be a better solution, as pulling air in will also pull dust in - and accumulated dust is going to create more heat and a shorter life. Has anyone else done it this way?

    Thanks for the tip on the resistor... I read the fan itself is about 15ohms, and I have 2 15ohm resistors that I will wire in series - so that should cut the voltage going to the fan down to 1/3 (with 2/3 across the resistors).

    Also, I found an ISO image with FreeDOS and the firmware for the drive (and instructions on use) here:


    Apparently there can be data loss if there is a SMART request while writing data - which should be a rare occurrence, but I'd rather avoid that altogether.
  5. moonchilddave thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2009
    Just as a followup to anyone interested... I did end up flipping and rotating the fan to blow on the power supply - as well as taping over the top of the fan so it only pulls air in from the opening I cut in the case. Initial Time Machine backup finished and all is working great. The drive spins down after a backup completes (which is why I went with the Samsung drive instead of a WD green drive), and when not backing up the top of the case is only a slight bit warm to the touch (barely noticeable). During a prolonged backup it does get warm - but not HOT like it was before. Overall - a worthwhile upgrade. Also, I ended up throwing away the rubber boot off the bottom as it seems to serve no real purpose.

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