Upgrading Old Time Capsule

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Sami, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Sami macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2008

    I have one of the first Generation time Capsules. 1TB.

    I am now in a position where I need a bigger backup disk.
    I would like to upgrade the internal disk to a 2TB.
    Has anyone done this. I have read a lot of reports of going from 500gb to 1tb but no one has mentioned going from 1tb upwards.

    I have read somewhere that the older time capsules can't regcognise the disks bigger than 1Tb.

    Has anyone tried this with any success?

    Also I am looking at what disk to put inside. Do any of you have recommendations for a "server grade" 2tb disk.

    Any help would be appreciated.


  2. troop231 macrumors 603

    Jan 20, 2010
  3. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I have a first generation Time Capsule that I've upgraded from 500GB to 1.5TB, so that 1TB limit is a myth.

    While any 3.5" SATA HDD will work, most here seem to recommend the WD Caviar Green series as it runs at a much cooler temperature than other HDDs making the risk of the Time Capsule overheating less likely.

    I can't help with any recommendations for server grade hard drives though, but from my experience with drives, I highly recommend either Seagate or Western Digital.
  4. Sami thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2008
    Thank you both for you help.

    I am glad to hear that the 1TB limit is a myth.

    The only reason I ask about server grade hard drive is because I was wanting to match what apple had said was in there.

    skorpien can I ask you what drive you put in?

    Did you use one of the WD Caviar Green series drives that you mention?


  5. nexp macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2008
    I'll probably do the same procedure today (I'm waiting for the delivery).

    I ordered a 1,5TB WD Caviar Green, to replace my 500GB that started to cause a lot of errors even when connected by and usb to sata adapter.

    If I find any problems I'll report here.

  6. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I actually have a Seagate Barracuda drive in there. I'm not sure if it's the 5400 or 7200 though as it has been a while since the upgrade. I had read about the WD Green drives after I had purchased mine, and when I bought it I had intended on using it as an external drive connected to the USB port (Time Machine was having issues reliably mounting the external, so in it went).

    As for a server grade drive, I personally think it's overkill for the Time Capsule. It is not a true server and the hard drive is not being accessed on a constant basis. I think a cooler running hard drive will go longer in preserving the life and reducing the risk of failure of the Time Capsule than a server grade drive would. And if you do have extremely important data, you should probably back it up to more than just the Time Capsule.
  7. Arran macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    Started with first generation TC 500GB

    Upgraded after about a year to a 1TB WD Caviar Green. Ran great. Nice and cool - despite hourly TM backups.

    Upgraded again after about 8 months to 2TB Caviar Green. It runs much hotter now - seems like the hard drive never spins down. Removed the rubber base 'mat' and enlarged some of the smaller perforations to help airflow. Stuck on some little rubber feet to lift it 0.25" off the surface (again, for airflow). It's been running like that for about 3 months now. Hourly backups work fine.
  8. Sami thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2008
    Hi All

    Thanks very much for all your help.

    I have ordered a WD 2TB Green Caviar and I will put it into my Time machine when it arrives.

    I'll also report back here when I have completed it.


  9. NightFox macrumors 68020


    May 10, 2005
    Shropshire, UK

    Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I'm wanting to go this route myself: upgrading my Time Capsule with a WD Green drive. However, I've seen a couple of people comment that when fitted in the Time Capsule, the WD drive keeps spinning continuously and doesn't 'sleep' between backups like the stock drive does. If true, this would rather negate the improved energy efficiency of the WD drives.

    Can anyone who's upgraded to a WD Green drive confirm if this is the case? Does the WD behave like the stock drive, or does it spin all the time?

  10. tonyled macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2009
    cant tell you if it spins all the time but i can tell you i upgraded my 1st gen from 500gb to 1tb over a year ago and have had zero problems since. id say it cut the temp in half too. it runs considerably cooler
  11. Sami thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2008
    Nots Sure what you mean about stock drive.

    I can report the 2tb WD Green Caviar went in and was recognised with no problem. I have been using it ever since and it has been working well. No problems at all.

    With regards to constant spinning I have no idea and wonder why you are worried about that, if it works it works.

    I think it must power down because the time capsule drive is not always on my desktop it must just appear when the the time machine powers it up and starts backing up.

    Also in terms of heat it does get hot but I can't tell if its hotter or not than before as the original drive in there also got hot.

    Hope that helps.

  12. NightFox macrumors 68020


    May 10, 2005
    Shropshire, UK
    Thanks Sami,

    I mean the original drive that comes fitted to the Time Capsule as standard.

    I've also fitted one now and it's all running fine. Like others have experienced, the fan doesn't come on at all any more. However, this concerns me slightly because with the original drive, it seemed like the fan came on as soon as the drive span up, not after a delay which you would expect if it was controlled just by a temperature sensor. I know there is a temp sensor, but can't understand why it sounded like the fan started straight away previously.

    Because I changed to a WD Green drive to save a bit of energy! That would be like changing all the light bulbs in your house to low energy ones, but then leaving them all turned on all the time.

    I think the icon on the desktop only indicates that OS X has mounted the drive, nothing to do with whether it is running or not.

    Don't think it gets as hot as the other one, but it does still get quite warm if doing a big backup and I'm a bit surprised/concerned that the fan never seems to come on at all. Does yours ever come on any more?

    Yes thanks!


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