What's the problem with only 1 hard disk in Time Capsule?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by paragonj, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. paragonj macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Hello all,

    Please keep in mind that in this post I am only talking about PERSONAL backups at home, not small business use or anything.

    I have been reading multiple complaints about the fact that Time Capsule does not include multiple disks and/or RAID storage. Why is this an issue? What are the chances that both your computer hard disk and Time Capsule are going to fail at the same time? I can understand the complaint that you would lose the archives if your Time Capsule disk failed, but is that really worth the much increased cost of a second disk and/or RAID setup?

    I would imagine that most consumers are just interested in protecting their data from total destruction, and it seems to me that Time Capsule fits that bill fine. Please, let me know why I'm wrong, or what I'm missing....I just don't get it.
  2. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    There's nothing wrong with it. People feel the need to complain about whatever. Its best not to get sucked into such whine fests. They are a waste of time.
  3. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    I guess it just comes down to what kind of catastrophic destruction you're preparing for.

    I can't imagine having my hard drive and a backup hard drive go bad at the same time, unless it's something that might effect everything (huge power surge, house exploding, etc.), in which case having a 2nd drive in the same box might not be that helpful.

    That said, I have absolutely nothing against people being extra careful about protecting their data. Much better to be too cautious than not cautious enough.
  4. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    When using TC for backups it's not much of a problem.
    Two HD's would give you an extra level of redundency.
    With one primary HD and one backup HD, you'd still loose everything if both HD's were lost around the same time. With one primary and two backup HD's you'd have to loose three HD's around the same time.

    But having your two backup HD's in the same place doesn't help much. For it to matter, you have to have already lost two HD's at the same time. In most cases where this would happen (house damage/fire/flood/lightning/etc.) , you are going to loose all three hard drives. Another way people loose their backups is through error when restoring ("oops, I meant to restore from HD A to HD B, but I accidentally restored from HD B to HD A") are usually propagated to both backups when using RAID.

    It's a lot better to have a second tier backup that is offsite. These days you'll probably need to make some tradeoff between cost/time and amount of data. You might choose to only backup your most important financial docs, for example, rather than buy enough off site storage to backup your entire HD.

    Hmmm... It would be awesome if Apple extended TM or TC to handle this kind of second tier offsite backup--maybe as a kind or premium service of .Mac.
  5. mmccaskill macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2007
    Yeah the only thing wrong with 1 hard disk in TC is if it died, then you'd loose all the backups. It would make more sense to at least have two disks in RAID 1. I can't imagine the hard disk in TC is easily removed. I assume that one would have to have it serviced by an Apple technician should the hard disk die.

    In either case I'd rather continue using my external USB TM drive in parallel with TC. But then the data on each drive isn't the same, but that is better than only using one drive.
  6. comacnut macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2007
    It would be nice if there were two drives. I thought about keeping items on the drive that I didn't want taking up space on my laptop drive. With two drives the items on time capsule that were not on my laptop could be backed up. It's not a deal breaker but would be convenient.
  7. paragonj thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    I see where you're coming from on this, but I guess I am trying to look to the common person who would purchase Time Capsule. While I would consider myself to be more than just the average user, I guess I just don't see the value in the time/effort/money it would take to have a second full backup of your Time Machine disk at an offsite location. If my Time Capsule drive died, I would be a little peeved, but as long as my primary drive didn't die also, I wouldn't consider it the end of the world.

    I do think that backing up important personal files (home folder, for example) to an offsite location through the internet would be a worthwhile redundancy layer. I don't currently have .Mac, but would consider getting it for just this reason. Are there any other backup services that offer online automated backup of the home folder? I don't really see a need for any of the other services that .Mac offers, so $100 a year seems a bit high.
  8. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    That brings up an excellent point. If you have to drop your TC off at the local Apple store for a few days to get it serviced, you're without a network during that time too.

    Losing a hard drive for a few days: Drive to BestBuy, pick up a new hard drive for $99, and have the problem solved within a few hours.

    Losing your router for a few days: Much more complicated problem to solve.
  9. mmccaskill macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2007
    Indeed. Could be anywhere from 2 days to over a week, depending on what day of the week one takes the TC to an AppleStore.

    I'm still interested to know what about a USB HD connected through Apple Base Extreme doesn't work? But since I only have a 802.11g router, I figure I'd rather utilized the 802.11n card in the MacBook so I'll buy a TC anyway.

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