Time machine for two Macs, plugged to Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by r6mile, May 31, 2013.

  1. r6mile macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    London, UK

    I'm going to buy a 2012 Mac Mini for my parents, to use as a family computer. My mother already owns a 2012 MBP. The two would connect to our router via Wifi.

    My question is: is it possible to use a regular USB external hard drive, plugged into the Mac Mini, as a time machine for two computers?
  2. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    If you install Mac OS X Server on the Mac Mini you can use it as a TIme Machine target for the other Macs on your network.
  3. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    If you get a Time Capsule or Airport Extreme (with and external USB drive plugged into it) then you can use that for both Macs and not have to worry about leaving one of the Macs on so the other can share its drive.

    The Time Capsule is designed specifically for what you want, although the Airport Extreme is the same if you plug a USB drive into it. It runs through Wifi or Network so it is no dependent on a Mac for it to be accessed. That is, it as an Apple NAS drive/option.

    If you share a drive on one Mac like I think you are planning, you will need to leave that Mac on for the other Mac to access the shared drive.
  4. Dax71 macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2012
    I never turn off my Mac mini, so install Mac OS X server and use that as a TM server
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Using an Airport Extreme with a USB drive attached for Time Machine is not supported by Apple. Some people manage to get it working, but others have nothing but troubles.
  6. borostef macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2012
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I use my regular hard drive connected to my Mac mini as a Time machine backup for the Mini and for my MacBook... No problems so far...
  7. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013

    I have 5 Macs that all have no problems and I even use a few different drives through a Logitech USB hub on the AE. Never had problems.

    That said, if it is not supported as Weaselboy said and there is a possibility of it not working then it may be better to think twice unless you are happy to fork out the money on the AE. It is an exceptional Router.

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