Time capsule without a hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by cesarpalache, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. cesarpalache macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2010
    I'm getting out of the time capsule game. My plan is to put the drive into a ReadyNAS, but I'd still like to use the TC as a base station. Has anyone ever booted a TC without a drive in it? Does it work?

  2. cesarpalache thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2010
    For anyone who finds this thread in the future, I was able to remove the drive and still use the time capsule as a base station.
  3. westly197 macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2012
    San Diego
    Thank You!

    Thanks for taking the time to post the answer. I need a 2TB drive and an Apple router so the 2 TB Time Capsule seems like a good value, but if it doesn't work out it's good to know I still have options. I could always remove the drive and put it in an enclosure and still use the TC as a router. Guess the down side is no 5 year warranty on the hard disk, but enterprise bare drives are going for $220 -$299 with the flood issue, so $299 for the T.C. doesn't sound too bad...
  4. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    No reason it shouldn't work....The firmware is still in place even though you have removed the HDD....OP: Out of curiosity, what brand was it?
  5. labiche macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2012
    Time Capsule DOES work without Hard Drive

    I just recently had my Time Capsules internal 1GB drive start to go bad and then luckily before it completely died I backed it up to an external USB 2GB disk.

    Strangely when I added the 2GB external drive, got it backed up, then was able to use both drives fine for a few days before the original internal drive died.

    The Time Capsule got into a state of working fine for the WiFi and Ethernet connections but neither disk would be accessible. This happened once between adding the new disk and I managed to be lucky and it booted again with both disks then both drives becoming unavailable again. When the disks became unavailable I was also not able to get Airport Utility to talk to the Time Capsule.

    Upon rebooting again it became stuck in a state of no completing the boot up until I removed the internal drive.

    There were a number of webpages covering drive replacement but none discussing that it would work without an internal drive. iFixIt had this tutorial describing how to remove/replace the drive.

    In the end I just removed the disk drive and gave it a go. Airport Utility displayed an error about an internal drive error, but it was easily "ignored" and my Time Capsule is back in place with all settings intact and my external 2TB disk drive.

    This post from LaPastenague via Apple Support Forum was very informative.

    I'm hoping this will continue working well, and plan to check if I can now recover the disk drive further, but won't rely on Time Capsule for my complete backup backup.
  6. jefw3452 macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2015
    Want to confirm that removing hard drive does allow Time Capsule to continue working, although it does give the "hard drive error" in Airport utility.

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