Why won't this work? WD external HDD as time capsule

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Brows, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Brows macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #1
    I have a Western Digital 1TB external hard drive and i want to set it up as a wireless harddrive. My modem has a USB plug in it which i have plugged the external hard drive into. I want to set it up as my time machine backup drive just like a time capsule but i dont have the $ at the moment and i do have the HDD and modem. Can i make this work? What would i have to do to make it happen??

    I have a 17" MBP 2011 early
    cisco modem
    western digital my book 1 tb drive

    Im still pretty new to mac's and all and as much as ive been using PC's for a while there is still so much out there that i have no idea about. Always willing to learn though

    Thanks in advance

    Brows
     
  2. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    You used to be able to set up an external HDD on an Airport Extreme about 2 years ago, but Apple removed the functionality citing it was enabled by mistake. Now all you can do use a Time Capsule or set up a Mac with OS X Server.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    I must be misunderstanding your post, or misunderstanding what's on Apple's site:

    Apple - AirPort Extreme - Technical Specs
     
  4. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
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    #4
    AirPort Disk ≠ Time Capsule.

    You're misunderstanding both my post and Apple's site. That is of course until I misinterpreted the OP's question. When I read Time Capsule, I assume Time Machine backups.

    If the OP wants just to use a network disk for storing files, I would consult the user guide for the Cisco router and find out how to set up a network disk. Without a model number number I cannot help with the latter.
     
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #5
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #6
    Take Time Capsule out of it. Your post says:
    But Apple clearly says otherwise. You can't use it for backups, but you can still share a HDD plugged into an AirPort Extreme. I know that doesn't satisfy the OP's intended use, but your post sounded like you couldn't use a HDD connected to an AirPort Extreme at all. I now understand you meant:
     
  7. hafr macrumors 68030

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    Sep 21, 2011
    #7
    If your modem allows a hard drive to be connected to the USB port and share it, and the MBP can see and write to the disk - then yes.
     
  8. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #8
    I was making a point that the functionality of the using the AirPort Disk as a backup medium was no longer an option, and it used to be.

    Otherwise, neither of our replies are relevant seeing the OP does not have an Apple router.
     
  9. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #9
    You're confusing what Apple officially supports, and what is possible.

    Connecting an external USB-drive to an AEBS and having Time Machine use it for backups isn't more difficult than to format the drive to the correct file system, plug it in to the AEBS, start Time Machine and choose the drive. No tweaks, no changes, no secrets.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #10
    Mac 101: Time Machine
     
  11. hafr macrumors 68030

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    Sep 21, 2011
    #11
    The link doesn't work for me, but why would you link to an Apple site when I say that what Apple doesn't officially support works?

    According to Apple, what I'm doing with my AEBS 4th gen with the latest firmware is impossible. And I promise you I'm not the only one doing it...

    If you don't believe me, google it (or search the MR forums). If you don't believe anyone but Apple, try it yourself.
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #12
    Apple has been having problems with their site in recent months. For any link to Apple's site that doesn't load at first, refresh the page a few times and it will load.
     
  13. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #13
    As I have already pointed out. Apple has removed the ability to simply just "format the drive to the correct file system, plug it in to the AEBS, start Time Machine and choose the drive."

    I've tried it a zillion times. It's no longer a "simple" few steps.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #14
    [MOD NOTE]

    Lets stay on topic - this thread was seriously derailed.
     
  15. Hawkeye16, Feb 13, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012

    Hawkeye16 macrumors regular

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    #15
    GGJ and OP,

    I bought a WD Live 2TB drive and with both my Linksys WRT54G and Asus n56u routers it is seen and can be used for time machine backups. It is a ethernet connection instead of USB but I don't think that should matter (right?)

    I would guess that the drive came formatted FAT32 since it was windows and mac compatible. I did no formatting or changes before plugging it in and setting it off.

    My time machine backups are working just fine on it.
     
  16. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #16
    It makes a HUGE difference. If it's an Ethernet drive, the enclosure itself actually handles how computers communicate with the drive via whichever network protocols. If it's a USB connected drive, it's up to the AEBS to control how different computers communicate with the drive.

    In either case, formatting is not an issue. With the AEBS, it can share either a FAT32 or an HFS+ drive (though it needs to be formatted HFS+ for it to work with Time Machine), and the computers communicate using either AFP (Mac OS X) or SMB (Windows).

    As for your WD Live, I would assume it's formatted EXT or some other such format used by most NAS units (I could be wrong, this is just an assumption). Regardless, the computers still communicate with it using AFP or SMB most likely. And WD Live lists Time Machine backups as part of its functionality, so regardless of the router, you'll be able to use it as a target drive for Time Machine.

    For all intents and purposes, the WD Live is a NAS. A USB connected HDD is turned into a NAS of sorts using the built in USB server of the AEBS/Time Capsule.
     
  17. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #17
    Have you mounted the disk first? It seems like it's something a lot of people seem to overlook.
     
  18. Hawkeye16 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
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    Iowa

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