Using Airport Extreme w/ external drive as Time Machine backup?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Littleodie914, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000

    Littleodie914

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #1
    The Airport Extreme page on Apple's site mentions you can connect an external hard drive to the Airport Extreme, and use it to share files.

    Does anyone know whether the external drive can be used/recognized as a Time Machine backup?

    I have a 2TB external drive I have been using for USB Time Machine backups connected to my Mac, but I would really like to connect this existing drive to the new Airport Extreme, and hide them in a closet somewhere.
     
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #2
    I've used an extreme-HD setup for years without much issue. I found the extreme interface to the hard drive to be quirky, however. An unplug/replug was needed once a week or so, and an extreme reset about once a month. An external drive connected to a time capsule seems to be much more stable.
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    This IS supported on the new tower version of the Airport Extreme and is even mentioned in the manual. So you should be okay. However, it was not supported on the previous flat Airport Extremes. Some users were able to get it working, but it seemed unreliable.

    If you do this, you will need to start your backup over since the networked TM backup uses a different format.
     
  4. majkom macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #4
    Hi, is it possible to use external hdd connected to new AE as I time machine backup disk and as a shared disk? I mean, if I divide usb disk into 2 partiotions, one used for time machine and second just for lan disk.. is it possible??
     
  5. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    SE Penna.
    #5
    Simply, yes.
     
  6. page404 macrumors regular

    page404

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #6
    Are you sure it's not supported? I've been using it for months now without a glitch. Configuration was easy too.
    That in fact is true. And it SUCKS.
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Positive. If you search Lion or Mountain Lion help it even explicitly tells you not to do it. Like I said, it seems to work fine for some people, then is erratic for others.
     
  8. yiasou macrumors newbie

    yiasou

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    #8
    Hi all, thought I would bump this. Is this still the case with the latest Airport Extreme and MacOS Sierra?

    As in, if I have a HDD plugged into a Extreme and do my Time Machine backups like this over the network, so I have to RESTORE using that method also? Or can I just unplug it from the Extreme directly into my mac when I want to restore?
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    You would have to restore over the network. Plugging that disk in to the Mac directly won't work because the data is stored inside a sparse bundle image.

    There is a work around where you can attach the drive to the Mac then open the sparse bundle image and drag the entire Backups.backupdb file out of the sparse bundle and to the root of the drive, then you could use that to restore locally over USB or whatever.
     
  10. yiasou macrumors newbie

    yiasou

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    #10
    Great thanks for that! Nice work around, I think ill go ahead with mounting it to the Extreme and see how we go!
     

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