Time machine on NAS Drive


macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 30, 2005

Does anyone know how to setup TM on an external drive that I only connect to through the network? It's a lacie 500g drive.



macrumors newbie
Nov 2, 2007
Re: Time Machine on NAS Drive

I have the same question and no matter what research I do it seems that there is no easy answer. I have a LaCie NAS Raid device which I can see under shared in Leopard but is not under devices which is why I assume Time Machine can't see it, is that right..I don't know? Hence when I open Time Machine it doesn't give me the option to select a NAS drive (or even my existing drive for that matter). I find it incredible that Apple hasn't allowed for NAS support but only for direct USB or Firewire connected devices

I'd be so happy if someone could show me how to get this to work.


macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2007
If you find out, let me know. There was a fair amount of discussion about network drives over on the apple forums. I'm not connecting through a network, but I am tryiing to get Time Machine to recognize a Lacie external firewire (the Safe model). I think it has to do with Lacie firmware, as there are several comments spread about in various forums about it - in particular the Safe model.


macrumors newbie
Nov 2, 2007
Maybe 10.5.1 will fix it?

I'm still looking for an answer but hopefully update 10.5.1 will patch it.


macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2006
Long Island
Look for some of the airdisk or readynas threads.



This is not a straight forward thing to do so...

There seems to be two ways to do it. The thread I linked above has the first way, which I haven't tried.

Some folks have had luck with this command if your disk is attached to an AEBS:
defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

The second way is more intricate, but works.

Mount your NAS Share using AFP, have the mount be a temporary name.

You need either to have an external drive formatted as HFS or you need to create a very small partition on your internal drive and call it something like MPBackup.

Start Time Machine and choose this small disk partition.
Stop the Time Machine from doing any backup.
Time machine should have created two files with a "." notation (meaning its hidden from finder and terminal "ls" commands.

Go into the terminal application and type

cd /Volumes

This will give you all the mounted disks including your share volume from the NAS. You should see MPBackup (or whatever name you used) and the temp name that you chose for your NAS drive.

Type in
cd /Volumes/MPBackup
ls -a

You should see two files starting with a "."

You need to copy these two files to the NAS share. You can do that by typing

cp -p /Volumes/MPBackup/.* /Volumes/<the NAS mount name>

You then need to type in:

umount /Volumes/MPBackup

This will unmount (eject) your MPBackup partition.

You then need to rename the NAS Share MPBackup and re-mount it.

At this point, restart Time Machine and it should see the disk.

Make sure you have sleep set to never (system preferences->energy saver) so the machine doesn't go to sleep during a backup.

After the first backup is completed, when you eject the NAS Share or your shutdown your machine, Time Machine won't see it again until you re-mount the drive correctly.

Time machine creates a file called <whatever>.sparsebundle or something to that effect.

If you double click that file in the finder, it will mount the drive and you will see a disk show up on your desktop.

Start Time Machine and it will then see the disk and start doing the incremental backups...

I'm writing this from memory, since they don't have Macs here at work. The steps are there, as you can see, its not straight forward. The file names change, so I can't give you specifics, but the above should work. I'll try and answer any questions you might have about it.

I have this working on my ReadyNAS NV+ and I did a 300GB backup over Wireless G. It took about 3 days to complete the initial backup. I came home and mounted the Drive like I did above and it did the incremental backup. Next stop is to try and restore something just to make sure it works.

Good Luck!
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