Currently Being ModeratedJun 1, 2011 9:59 AM (in response to kidfastidious)
If I connect a external hard drive to the router can I use it to do time machine on all computers on the network (granted the hard drive is large enough.)
this is not supported by Apple ☞
it may work for a while but you risking your backups to become corrupted in the long run !
also see this user tip.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 1, 2011 10:00 AM (in response to kidfastidious)
You can certainly "share" the drive among other users when you connect it to the USB port on the AirPort Extreme, but Apple specifically states that Time Machine can’t back up to an external disk connected to an AirPort Extreme.
The Support Document is here:
Currently Being ModeratedJun 1, 2011 10:19 AM (in response to kidfastidious)
Yes you can. I have that exact setup. Ever since I bought my Airport Extreme I have used time machine to back up wirelessly onto a USB hard drive connected only to my Airport Extreme. Works like a charm.
Just make sure you format the drive to "Mac OS Extended (journaled)" in the disk utility, and create one empty folder on the disk. Do this with the drive connected to your computer directly, then once you plug it into the Airport Extreme, it will be recognized.
Every once in a while your computer may fail to access the "sparsebundle" file for back-up - just disconnect the drive from the Airport Extreme and from the power source wait a minute and reconnect. This only happens occasionally when I have had my computer connected to other wireless networks.
I have not tried multiple back-ups from multiple computers on a single disk, so I can't comment on that, but with a USB hub you can connect multiple disks to the Airport Extreme and perform a back-up for each computer on it's own disk connect through the hub. Disks used for time machine back-ups need not be dedicated to the back-up, they can still be used for all sorts of other storage as well.
Hope this helps.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 1, 2011 3:26 PM (in response to Marc Hanna)
Yes you can.
Congratulations, you are one of the very few lucky ones that have actually been able to make this work.
We see posts from users all the time who have tried this and experience corruption issues either initially or within the first few months of operation.
You can offer no guarantees to any other user that it will work for them as long as this is not officially supported by Apple. Most of us who have tried this have experienced three types of corruption problems.
1) Time Machine simply doesn't work at all
2) Time Machine works for a few weeks before corruption issues begin
3) Time Machine works for a few months before corruption issues begin
As a forum regular, I have tried this myself as an experiment 4 different times over the past 2 years and none have worked well for more than 1-2 months. Yes, the drive was completely erased and formatted correctly, good cabling was used, etc.
So, I cannot recomend that any user try this, because I can't offer any assurance that it willl work for them. You seem to feel otherwise. Are you really telling this user than it will work for them? Or, are you telling us that it works for you, but you cannot say whether it might work for others?
Currently Being ModeratedJun 1, 2011 3:41 PM (in response to Bob Timmons)
I didn't realize this was such an issue for people. It has worked for me on two different macs and on two different AEBS's with at least three different hard disks. Currently, I've switched to an SSD, it doesn't have nearly the capacity but its very reliable and fast - my back-ups went from taking minutes to taking seconds - I just don't get as far back of a history.
I can confirm the the back-ups worked properly, because a year ago I had my MacBook stolen and I restored the new from my back-up - beautiful and flawless!
Maybe I've done something different but I can't imagine what. If it was an accident, I can't imagine having done it twice
I wonder if the corruption issues are associated with the failure to open the sparsebundle file that I mentioned. Like I said, this is cured by unplugging the USB and power from the drive.
BTW, I have also successfully performed remote time machine back-ups over the internet to my AEBS attached disk, however it is so slow on account of upload data speeds that I abort them. Now that I'm intrigued by the topic, I'm going to try a remote back-up with my MacBook tethered to my Android phone.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 1, 2011 4:03 PM (in response to Marc Hanna)
Thanks for the info. As you might imagine, Apple does not support this type of setup for a reason.
While I can't speak for Apple, I can say that overall, this is not a reliable way to perform Time Machine backups for most users.
There is hardly a week that goes by that we don't see a post from a user who is experiencing issues with this type of configuration.
For more info, you might want to look through this document by Pondini, our resident guru on all things Time Capsule and Time Machine.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 7, 2011 9:16 PM (in response to kidfastidious)
I've been having a different issue. I have a LaCie hard drive attached to my airport, not for back-ups, as I use an iomega drive for that, but simply storage of extra files. The odd thing is that I can't seem to search the drive. When I connect it to my laptop, it works just fine.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 8, 2011 6:01 AM (in response to kidfastidious)
This sounds confusing for sure. I've been backing up my macbook pro and my wife's macbook air since last December to an external portable notebook drive that was formatted properly connected to the usb port of an Airport Extreme.
I have only experienced the issue on my macbook pro once of not accessing the sparsbundle file but that was easy to fix by disconnecting the drive from the usb port and plugging it back in. Besides that it has been working fine.
I can't comment on restoring any files since I haven't had to do this at all. (knock on wood)
Currently Being ModeratedJun 8, 2011 5:14 PM (in response to kidfastidious)
I just noticed one more thing, I connected my epson all-in-one printer to the airport, and am able to use it through the Print menu. However, when I checked just now, the airport admin doesn't show it.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 8, 2011 6:13 PM (in response to jemiljan)
I just purchased a LaCie 1 TB drive to use as a TIme Machine backup. Once you format it properly and make sure the file sharing feature is enabled in your Airport Utility > Disks > File Sharing, the disk should show up under shared disks in a finder window sidebar. Then go to "Connect to Server" under the "Go" menu and the Airport disk should show up under Recent Servers. When you connect to this (after entering whatever passwords you have) the attached drive should mount onto the desktop and Time Machine will recognize it. I am backing up to my disk via Airport Extreme as I type this. It is extremely slow though and the initial backup will take a long time (perhaps overnight) but at least it does backup. Supposedly it is not a reliable long-term solution and the disk could be corrupted, but if you are using this as a quick fallback for the data on your actual computer, it seems like a viable method. Remember it is being used as a backup, not long-term storage.
Currently Being ModeratedJun 8, 2011 7:35 PM (in response to Alvin Martinez)
^^That's how I would connect if I were outside my local network that the AEBS is on, but when I'm in range the disks are just visible when I click the AEBS icon on the side bar in finder.