Time Capsules Dying?!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ejrizo, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. ejrizo macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2007
    Los Angeles

    It seems as if Time Capsules from the first batch in March 08 are starting to die of the same symptoms... anyone else having issues with this?

    My Time Capsule was amazing working great then all of a sudden one day it is turned off and cant get it to power on... no lights, no spinning drives, no nothing... so now i have a big expensive paper weight!... I feel like i have been had.

    anyway discuss if you have similar problems. everyone seems to think its a defect of Apple.
  2. CalMin macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2007
    Mine just died today. Same way as described in the Apple thread. :(
  3. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...part of the reason I opted to get a AEBS and plug my own HDD into it was for the simple fact that routers get hot, apple routers get hotter than others as they are usually smaller and the last thing you want your HDD to do is get that hot... they have very little venting on them so I'm glad the 1TB price was so high that it was much more cost effective to go the AEBS/USB HDD route like I did...

    All HDD's die, the time capsule idea just seems to speed up the problem due to the small enclosed space with little venting...
  4. CalMin macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2007
    If you read the Apple thread this is not the HDD's failing, it's the power supply. It seems to be happening right around the 18 month mark. It's fixable, but this would void any chance of a warranty claim. This is clearly a manufacturing defect for them all to be failing at the same time.

    TUAW has picked this up http://www.tuaw.com/2009/09/11/are-apple-time-capsules-out-of-time/
  5. RudyG macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2009

    Same thing happened to mine this weekend. I posted my experiences here. :(
  6. conrado macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2009
    Time Capsule - Mine is dead too

    It seems from what I have read on multiple forums, including the Apple site and here, my 1 TB TC died right on schedule - 18 months and 2 weeks after purchase. Same exact symptoms - the green light goes off and appears that the power supply just died.

    Although it is being replaced under the extended warranty of my MAC, Apple's policy on data recovery is SCANDALOUS. THey refuse to allow me to recover my own data - they will not permit the Apple Certified dealer from transferring my data from the old to the new TC. This seems entirely at odds with the purpose for which one buys this product. SCANDALOUS!!! Apple should be embarrassed and ashamed of itself!
  7. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    Not only that...they are taking your data, which may be sensitive in nature, out of your control.

    They may dispose of the data...then again they might not. Who is to say? Nobody. What contractional obligations are they under to ensure your privacy? None.

    A few months ago I looked at TC, but after seeing how the HD was not removable, I passed and got a ReadyNAS from Netgear. If something goes wrong, I can take care of the HD myself, to ensure my privacy.
  8. srl7741 macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2008
    In my world
    Mine dies today or last night while I was sleeping. It's the first generation 1TB model. I have a MBP and iMac using it, I'm off to the G-Bar in a bit. This should be interesting to see what they tell me.

    It's disappointing to say the least. While I have everything important to me backed up to another external drive and also have one hard copy but the purpose of the TC seems to be worthless.

    I'm thinking it's beginning to look like an easy daily recovery method but can be expected to fail within one year.

    Best advice I can give to anyone when asking about the TC is that it's nice for daily/weekly/monthly mishaps but don't count on it and make certain you have data backed up to another location b/c the TC will fail and when it does your on your own.
  9. srl7741 macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2008
    In my world
    An update from today:

    The Apple Store gave me a new TC, it fell under Apple Care and they said the power supply was bad and they can't replace it. What that really means is they don't allow for the fix and their system is set up to simply replace. So he gave me the option to pull out my old drive, insert it into another enclosure and pull the data off then return to the store and make the swap. I thought that was pretty nice since we all know that would void the warranty if I were to open the TC and do that.
  10. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    my TC died a few days ago, just found this thread.

    we didnt buy it with a computer, being 20 months old its clearly out of warranty.

    i am COMPLETELY outraged that
    1. apple will not recognise that this is their fault (there are literally thousands of cases out in the interenet where they are starting to fail)
    2. they refuse to replace the PSU because the part is "not replaceable".

    after a few hours of tedious searching, i have found two possible ways to fix it.
    1. replace the 2x1500uF and 1 470uF capacitors
    2. use an external PSU and "mod" your TC to use that as a PSU.

    any questions feel free to ask.
  11. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I don't use a "Time Capsule", and can't understand why anyone would waste their money on them. They're overpriced for what they can do, with a fancy name.

    It's supposed to be a backup drive, right?

    If one needs nothing more than a backup drive, the most cost-effective way of doing it is to buy a bare SATA drive (or better yet, buy _2_ drives), and a SATA docking station similar to these:

    Then, use either SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner to "dupe" your boot drive to the backup drive at regular intervals.

    Either application will create for you a FULLY BOOTABLE DUPLICATE BACKUP that you can immediately turn to to get going again if you have problems with your main drive. Can one boot from a Time Capsule?

    - John
  12. tuamtuem macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2009
    That's why I still do not purchase it at this time. I really like it. The functionality,design and compatibility is quite good. But many thread tell that it will spontaneous dead just after the warranty has expired! :(

    I don't know why apple doesn't care about this point so, thinks carefully before you buy it to keep your important data!.

    *I will wait Apple to fix this point by the end of this month. If this problem still occurred, I will try the Netgear ReadyNAS:eek:
  13. tuamtuem macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2009
    What will you do next if your new TC still dead and its warranty was expired? I'm pretty sure that Apple didn't extend the warranty coverage for your new TC, though they gave you a new one.
  14. slapguts macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2008
    Hey, check out www.TimeCapsuleDead.org. It's a memorial register for time capsules. For every one added, there is an average life span widget. Average life span right now is at 17 months, 19 days.
  15. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    i think you're missing the entire point of TC, (and its really not that overpriced for the features you get). i think the point of it is to allow multiple copies/version of documents to be created, allowing you to 'backtrack' if you make mistakes.

    most people that purchase the TC need it for more then just a backup drive, i.e. wireless router, wireless storage share point, router for their other computers, and many more.

    cloning is a great secondary option as a backup, but again you are missing the point about the whole 'backtracking'. for a clone you would need many many external HDDs to do this.

    no, one cannot boot from a TC (maybe there is a hack though). you can perfectly restore your computer to its most recent state if the computer dies.

    my advice; buy it when you buy a computer and get the full apple care. that gives the thing 3 years to die. if it hasnt died by then, i think you are safe. it is a GREAT little thing, but suddenly dying like that is rediculous.

    well apparently they do not see it as a problem, even though it clearly is.

    just be careful with the ReadyNAS and any other non-apple storage devices as they will mostly only support FAT32 for their drives, meaning you cannot use them to backup to for a number of reasons.

    i registered my dead TC on there :D funny stuff.

    i will be looking around for the apparent three dead capacitors and will buy them, i will report back to see if this will fix it.
  16. Takuta-Nui macrumors regular

    Apr 30, 2009
    Since this is just now becoming an issue, does anybody think Apple would have quietly fixed it in past updates? I'm quite concerned because I want to get one as soon as possible due to university work needing backups, but I want it to be a worthwhile investment.
  17. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    the current TCs are still using the same model of PSUs, and they still do not have adequate cooling built in.

    the decision is yours of course, but its a no-go for me.
  18. SpanishClash macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2007
    Never again Apple, NEVER!

    Doesn't surprise me at all, the quality of Apple hardware has taken a steep dive in the last few years. I've been an Apple convert since 2000, every Mac that I purchased between 00-05 is still up & running, however systems purchased since 06 are nothing but CRAP, mainly MacBooks. I had a 2 year old MacBook battery explode on me, to this day Apple refuses to accept any responsibility for the DEFECTIVE battery, even though their own technicians admit that the battery was DEFECTIVE. Apple phone costumer service is crap, at least the one based in the US is. You name it, iPods, iPhone, Apple keyboard, HD's, all died within the first 2 years of purchase. Needless to say, STAY AWAY from Apple HW. Hackintosh is the ONLY safe way to go now a days. Unless of course u want to OVER pay for neat hardware that's going to die on you in a matter of a couple of year.....the exploding battery was fun to deal with, you should try it. <S>

    Never again Apple, NEVER!
  19. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    So it's great that you didn't run into any issues with Macs you purchased between 00-05, but the simple fact was that Apple products during those timeframes had PLENTY of quality issues.

    If you care to do some real research, you'll quickly see that Apple has always had batches of quality issues. This isn't something that magically started in 2006.

    The iBook G4s had so many issue that the Consumer Complaints Board in Denmark had to officially look into it.

    Apple 17" PowerBooks had the vertical line display issue.

    The last generation of Apple 15" PowerBooks had the horizontal line banding issue.

    The US Consumer Product Safety Council made Apple recall iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 batteries.

    The Titanium PowerBook G4 had issues with peeling and chipping paint, excessive heat, and a denting case/weak hinges.

    The 12" PowerBook had an issue where the stuff on your skin could pit/corrode the area by the keyboard your wrist would contact.

    Some model eMacs had so many issues Apple issued a warranty extension.
  20. Dondon macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2009
    Mine too...

    Mine bit the dust 2 days ago. Exact same scenario, dead power supply unit.

    I was faced with two choices:

    Warranty the item, losing all my data, and sending a disk into the wild with several years of tax records on it.​

    Void the warranty, remove the drive and hook it up to an external drive enclosure.​

    I chose the latter. The HDD itself is fine.

    I spent an 1/2 hour arguing with an Apple Expert (and supervisor) , their marching orders are if you opened the device, you've voided the warranty. He seemed to passively acknowledge that Apple was aware of the problem.

    I'd asked specifically about hardware revisions to the PSU in the latest generation, and he could not provide any information.

    Like a dog returning to his vomit, I purchased a replacement unit, full pop retail.
  21. Yavanna macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2009
    You forgot the issues that they had with the G3 Logic Boards!:rolleyes: Still love Apple anyway. They've always stood behind their products (in my personal experience) above and beyond what was expected.
  22. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    its not the quality of the time capsule nor the quality of the power supply. its a REALLY high quality power supply.

    the problem lies with the design of the thing. not enough air flow, it runs at about 60°C all the time and thats too hot for a capacitor.
  23. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "its not the quality of the time capsule nor the quality of the power supply. its a REALLY high quality power supply.
    the problem lies with the design of the thing. not enough air flow, it runs at about 60°C all the time and thats too hot for a capacitor."

    Your post illustrates the huge "blind spot" in Apple's marketing practices and philosophy.

    The Time Capsule (which I've never used and would not waste my money on) _looked like_ another killer Apple innovation. Stylish and functional, eh?

    But Apple's insistence on "style over function and reliability" that we see throughout much of their product line demanded that the TM be so "stylish" that it lacked the most basic (and NON-stylish) appurtenance required - an efficient cooling system that was essential to keep the product operational.

    Put a good fan in there? NO, that would make too much noise! Our uppity customers wouldn't like that! All those folks who have to have "quiet" computers and peripherals. We'll sell 'em something _quiet_.

    We see the same shortcomings all over Apple's product line:
    - A "mighty" mouse that develops mighty big problems because there's no way to open and clean it
    - A keyboard that represents the ultimate in stylishness, but can be difficult to type on (at least for folks like me who learned on old-fashioned devices called manual typewriters)
    - A very stylish computer called an iMac (I own one) that is frustratingly difficult to get into if you have to replace something like a hard drive.
    - "mini" computers that look cute, but also require gynastics to get into above and beyond the sensibilities of the average "end user".

    For a while they were going in the right direction. My g4/MDD is a snap to open and maintain. Apple was leading the way with products like this. What happened?

    Does Apple think their customer base will desert them if they sell a mouse that has a couple of screws to take it apart? Or if they sell an enclosed hard drive that actually has a usuable fan and ventilation system inside it?

    - John
    DISCLAIMER: Before ANYone jumps on me for being an Apple-hater, I've used Apple products all-but exclusively since 1986, Macs since 1987. I wouldn't have anything else - at least not until Apple begins offering a generic version of OS X for installation on 3rd-party Intel computers. I _do_ see that coming someday.
  24. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    there are a few different view points that i can see concerning this, your post is very true - Apple has been somewhat trying to implement cheaper, smaller, more appealing things without the technology being ready to do so. their designs are probably a bit under-tested.

    i am fairly certain that apple would have not known about the capacitor issues, maybe they thought that they could handle the heat? they wouldnt have implemented it if they knew it would die. their testing would have been in short bursts, and would not have been using it for a full 18months let alone probably 6 months.

    nevertheless, this is a pretty big issue and i am annoyed that apple has not yet said that they will return/refund the product and give us a new one.

    in all honesty the fan looks and seems really powerful and efficient. it isnt one of those plastic things that you get off ebay, its more a metal CPU looking thing with some sort of small heatsync on it. i can post pictures if need be.

    the problem lies completely with airflow and that RIDICULOUS rubber bottom (which i assume is to reduce vibration). pull the rubber off and there is an aluminum base with 0.5cm holes every 1cm or so. it looks PERFECT for cooling. i dont know why apple didnt throw away the rubber bottom idea, use the aluminum base, and put some soft rubber feet on the edge - it would have made much more sense.

    i am also an "All Apple User", only ever owned one PC and that was for school compatibility. i do really love this TC, it works perfectly not just as a backup solution, but as a home router (both for our 802.11n computers and 4 other gigabit connected computers) , home NAS, and everything else that its good for. its the perfect solution for us, no other brand makes a NAS that is fully compatible with Time Machine (as most routers only support the FAT32
    filesystem), let alone come with a 1TB HDD built in (for that cheap anyway).
  25. montex macrumors regular


    Jan 17, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    My 1TB TC died a week ago and Apple refused to exchange it. So I decided to fix it myself by replacing the two 1500uF 6.3v capacitors and the single 470uF 6.3v capacitor inside the power supply. I got two 1800uF 6.3v and one 820uF 6.3v capacitor from thecapking.com. I cut out the old capacitors but left the leads and soldered the new caps to them. Now my TC is working normally again.

    I did not replace the rubber base pad because its holds in too much heat. I put a set of 1/2" rubber feet on the metal base plate so more air could pass through the unit. I hope Apple makes a serious redesign of these products, or at least issue a firmware update that turns the fan on at a much lower temperature.

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