Time Machine on Synology NAS

Nermal

Moderator
Original poster
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,677
1,183
New Zealand
I've recently bought a Synology NAS and have attempted to set up Time Machine backups to it. Synology's docs suggest creating a new user account (let's call it "tmuser") and assigning a quota to it so that the backups don't eventually gobble up all the space on the NAS.

However, I've run into a problem. With my backup running, I was unable to access any of my other shared folders via Finder; clicking them would give a message to the effect of "the original item could not be found". Presumably Finder was using the tmuser account instead of my day-to-day account.

Going in the other direction doesn't work either; if I have a shared folder open in Finder using my normal account, then when I try to initiate a Time Machine backup as tmuser it immediately fails.

I'm using an SMB share and have not configured AFP (per Synology: "For macOS Sierra and later, Time Machine uses SMB, instead of AFP, as the default protocol."). I'm running on OS 10.13.6 and have the latest DSM on my NAS (it's a DS418j, if that matters).

I can't be the only person to have run into this, but I'm struggling to find any information about it. Does anyone have any suggestions on what's going on here, and how to resolve it?
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2015
976
260
on the land line mr. smith.
Have not seen it.

For first TM backups, I tend to manually mount the TM share in the Finder, using the TM share credentials. All this while normal (non-TM) shares are mounted with their own credentials.

FWIW, even though TM to Syno works pretty well most of the time, I have given up on it. Too fiddly for me. I am now using the Syn Cloud Station Backup instead, and I like it (just backing up user data; can't speak to a full volume backup).

Don't be confused by their naming conventions....CSBU works with Drive running on the server. They are rebranding Cloud Station tools and consolidating under the Drive feature....which hopefully will be much better, and more clear. Tons of users confused as to which tool to use, and when Drive 2.0 (currently in beta) is released, hopefully it will clean this mess all up.
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,538
1,818
I use TM to Synology and it works like clockwork.

The only issue I sometimes see is that waking up from sleep i need to drop the connection to the NAS in the morning as it says connected but isn’t. That’s for my user account though, not for time machine.

I have my NAS power cycle during the night and I believe that’s what causes the issue there. My NAS cycles while my MacBook Pro is sleeping. To circumvent this i just disconnect the drive from Finder and on my desktop I have a shortcut to a folder on my NAS which I double click and this restores the connection. Again, this doesn’t affect Time Machine which chugs on regardless. Maybe because the MacBook Pro is sleeping during the NAS power cycle so Time Machine wouldn’t notice.

I’m running Mojave. I found HS quite unstable for some reason.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Original poster
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,677
1,183
New Zealand
In the meantime I've gone back to my USB hard drive, but I would like to get this working.

Howard2k, are you using a separate account as advised by Synology? I also wonder whether I should try enabling AFP for Time Machine: Despite some notes about SMB being the default protocol in modern MacOS, I noticed that it's actually choosing AFP when I click the NAS in the Finder sidebar.
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,538
1,818
In the meantime I've gone back to my USB hard drive, but I would like to get this working.

Howard2k, are you using a separate account as advised by Synology? I also wonder whether I should try enabling AFP for Time Machine: Despite some notes about SMB being the default protocol in modern MacOS, I noticed that it's actually choosing AFP when I click the NAS in the Finder sidebar.
Yes, separate account.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Original poster
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,677
1,183
New Zealand
I finally got around to retrying this. This time around, I enabled AFP as well as SMB. Like last time, I couldn't access any of my "normal" shares while the initial backup was running. However, I let it complete and now everything seems to be behaving itself; I can see all the shares, and the incremental backups are working :)

In short, it seems that the key is patience while running the initial backup.
 
  • Like
Reactions: satcomer