Time machine via WiFi -

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jlblodgett, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. jlblodgett macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    Not sure if this is the proper place for this question....

    My main computer is an iMac - to which I have a Lacie external hard drive attached and used as a time machine drive.

    Now, I know I could have two machines use that one Lacie external hard drive for time machine purposes - is there any way to get my MacBook Air connected to that Lacie external hard drive for time machine purposes?

    I do NOT have a time capsule - I just have the Lacie firewire'd into my iMac. Is there any way to make it so my Macbook Air could use that same Lacie drive, through the iMac, via WiFi?
  2. dtjm macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2011
    Short answer, yes it is possible because I have done it. However, it's really slow on my network (Linksys WRT54G) and it locks up my router even after the backup is complete, so I don't do it anymore. If I recall, this is what you need to do:

    1. Make sure the hard drive is formatted as HFS+ using Disk Utility.
    2. Share your drive from your iMac under System Preferences > Sharing.
    3. On your laptop, go to Finder and mount the shared drive from your iMac
    4. Go to System Preferences > Time Machine > Select Backup Disk and choose the shared drive

    Time Machine will try to mount the disk and run backups every hour, although I don't think you will get errors if it can't mount the drive. Instead of creating files directly on the disk though, it will create a sparsebundle image and store the files inside that sparsebundle.
  3. jlblodgett thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    Thank you for the reply - I will try that out when I get home, tonight.

    My MBA is the 128 GB model - so I wasn't thinking that a backup would take that long or take that much space, but going over the WiFi network I could see where that might create some problems.
  4. dtjm, Aug 16, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011

    dtjm macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2011
    I did a backup over WiFi 54g for my new MBA with Lion, pretty much fresh out of the box and it took about 10 hours. I'm guessing because both my iMac and MBA are on Wifi, there are probably a bunch of packet collisions. Maybe if you hook up your iMac by Ethernet it will be faster.

    [Update: I just got a Airport Extreme 5th gen and it's taking about 2 hours for a full backup from scratch (about 50GB).]
  5. eckthroi macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2011
    WOW! 10 hours- thats CRAZY!!!! I did the same with 64GB. It started off saying it would take a long time as well, but then it started transferring quicker after I walked away and was finished in 37 minutes. I read another post where someone had to wait along time for a backup. I wonder what happened that made mine go so fast?

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