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time machine to HD on network?

1335 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Jul 7, 2012 10:28 AM by Linc Davis RSS
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Antonio Conte Level 2 Level 2 (440 points)
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Jul 6, 2012 1:43 PM

Hi,

 

We have a 2tb firewire 800 drive connected to an imac which in turn is connected to our network. Each of us works off this 2TB on a daily basis. there's about 1TB left free at the moment and I'd like each of our machines to be set up with Time Machine enabled so that we all backup to that drive also.

 

If I point Time Machine on each of the machines to this mounted 2TB drive, will it automatically setup a folder for each user's machine's TIme Machine?

 

I'm worried it will wipe all our working folders on this drive? or can you setup a Time Machine folder on the drive?

 

thanks in advance.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.4), 17" 2.5GHx Intel COre i7,16gb ram,
  • MacVal Calculating status...
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    Jul 6, 2012 1:53 PM (in response to Antonio Conte)

    Using Time Machine over a networked drive it is not recommended or supported by Apple. The software doesn't stop you from configuring it that way, so many people do it anyway. If you do a search in Apple's Support secion you should find a technical document about it, or there is an excellent article here:

     

    http://pondini.org/TM/Airport.html

    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,930 points)
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    Jul 6, 2012 2:21 PM (in response to Antonio Conte)

    It isn't supported by Apple, but there are plenty of websites showing how to get it working. Some people claim that because Apple doesn't go out of the way to prevent you from doing something, then they support it. I don't buy that.

     

    In any event, you would not want to use the free space on an existing drive for Time Machine. Time Machine needs its own, dedicated partition. You would have to repartition that drive to use it with Time Machine. Again, you could make it work on a single partition, but you will regret it later.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,160 points)
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    Jul 6, 2012 2:30 PM (in response to Antonio Conte)

    Contrary to what's stated above, backing up to an AFP-shared drive attached to a Mac is supported by Apple:

     

    OS X Lion: Disks you can use with Time Machine

     

    And the answer to your question is that TM will automatically create a disk image file to hold the backups of each client. However, you need some way to back up the other data on the drive. You can't back it up to itself.

  • MacVal Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 6, 2012 3:20 PM (in response to Linc Davis)

    This Apple article specifically states that you can't use a drive connected via Airport:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2038

     

    I read the article posted by Linc Davis. I must admit it is open to some interpretation because of how it is worded, but I read it differently. It says: "Time Machine can’t back up to an external disk connected to an AirPort Extreme, or to an iPod, iDisk, or disk formatted for Windows."

     

    He must be interpreting it to read "Time Machine can’t back up to an external disk connected to an AirPort Extreme disk formatted for Windows.", which might imply that it CAN be connected if it is formatted for Mac. But given all the other (and more specific) articles published by Apple and elsewhere on the subject, I don't think that is the correct interpretation.

     

    This would be a VERY big deal if this was now supported by Apple, so I can't imagine that they just suddenly changed their minds and decided it was now supported without any announcement of new features and without it being part of any major software upgrade. It is more likely that the correct interpretation of that sentence is that those 4 items listed are to be read separately, as in:

     

    "Time Machine can’t back up to an external disk connected to an AirPort Extreme."

    "Time Machine can’t back up to an external disk connected to an iPod."

    "Time Machine can’t back up to an external disk connected to an iDisk."

    "Time Machine can’t back up to an external disk connected to a disk formatted for Windows."

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,160 points)
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    Jul 6, 2012 3:23 PM (in response to Antonio Conte)

    You have, I gather, original data on that drive now. Like all data, it has to be backed up, or you'll lose it when the drive inevitably fails (if not sooner.) Backing up to the same drive gives you no protection from a drive failure.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,160 points)
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    Jul 6, 2012 3:39 PM (in response to MacVal)

    The OP doesn't say that his drive is connected to an AirPort Extreme. He says it's connected to an iMac. I was answering the question he asked, not a question he didn't ask.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,160 points)
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    Jul 6, 2012 4:36 PM (in response to Antonio Conte)

    Everything except cache and log files, and whatever else you choose to exclude.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,160 points)
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    Jul 6, 2012 4:56 PM (in response to Antonio Conte)

    You should partition it. TM does a better job of managing space if it has a volume to itself. Don't back up your backups.

  • MacVal Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 6, 2012 5:08 PM (in response to Linc Davis)

    Linc Davis wrote:

     

    The OP doesn't say that his drive is connected to an AirPort Extreme. He says it's connected to an iMac. I was answering the question he asked, not a question he didn't ask.

    The title of this post is "Time Machine to HD on Network?" so naturally I assumed he was talking about... well, just that... backing up Time Machine to a HD on a network. Perhaps the OP should clarify.

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