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Can I use a portion/partition of a 3T time capsule as a network drive ?

744 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Mar 23, 2013 4:40 PM by Pondini RSS
Sid Dee Calculating status...
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Mar 22, 2013 7:27 AM

...  In order to host my 800G + Music Library and make it available from all my devices ?


Thanks !

OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Ralph Landry1 Level 7 Level 7 (28,815 points)

    If you have the drive partitioned into a single partition for Time Machine to use for backup, you would be better off adding a second partition for your other material to make sure TM stays in its own space and your other material stays in its own space.

  • edex67 Level 4 Level 4 (3,235 points)

    You can use the TC to store media, but it is not an iTunes server. You can store data within the TM partition, however there are reasons why you would not.

  • edex67 Level 4 Level 4 (3,235 points)

    Do they apply even with 3TB of space ?

    Most likely not, no. But remember, for TM the drive needs twice the amount of space available on the computer being backed up (for example, if you have a 500GB drive the TM backup space would need to be 1TB).

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    Sid Dee wrote:

    . . .

    1.  One tech told me that partition could be acheived, but was not reccommended and no support would be offered on such a configuration

    You cannot partition a Time Capsule's internal HD (short of physically removing it, placing it in an enclosure to make it an external HD, partitioning it, then putting it back.  That voids the warranty).


    Disk Utility does not even see the disk.  Once Time Machine puts a sparse bundle disk image on it for your backups, you can drag that into Disk Utility's sidebar if you need to repair or alter it, but you can't do anything to the disk itself with Disk Utility.   All you can do to it with Airport Utility is erase it.


    2. . . . He also told me that we could use TC's HD space  to drop files as is, simultaneously with the use of Time Machine. 

    True.  But that can cause space conflicts, eventually.  There are some workarounds, but they have their disadvantages, too.  See  #Q3 in Using Time Machine with a Time Capsule.


    And you may have permissions problems with the files as well.


    He also told me that it was not advised to put the music library on the TC because it could lead to some bad performance in lecture.

    That depends on your connection.  If it's Ethernet, probably not.  Wireless, maybe.  If you have a good connection, it may be ok.  The downside is, if it seems to work well, and you begin to depend on it, and then a new source of interference appears (usually from outside), you may be in a pickle.



    3.  A third tech told me that I would have to mount the TC as a network HD before beeing able to drop files




    and unmount it as a network HD in order for TM to work properly w. backups (so no simultaneous use).

    Not correct.  You may see slower response, of course, while a backup is running, but simultaneous access is not a problem.


    However, if you use the disk image workaround in #Q3 above, only one Mac or user can open that disk image at a time.


    He told me he himself dropped his music library on TC and apart from slight (1 or 2 secs) delays in commands some time, the setup was working perfectly well.

    Yes, again depending on the connection.


    I tend to think that this mount/unmount hurdle could be overcomed by partitionning...

    If you don't mind removing the drive and voiding the warranty, yes.  You'd still have the problem of contention for the wireless signal.


    And however you put other data there, you have another problem:  How are you going to back it up?  Time Machine cannot back up from a network drive.  You'd have to use a 3rd party app, such as CarbonCopyCloner, ChronoSync, or the like.


    Message was edited by: Pondini

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    That really wouldn't save much space, since Time Machine "thins" all backups after 24 hours, except the first of the day;  after 30 days, those are reduced to one per week.


    It varies greatly depending on how you use your Mac, but a good rule of thumb is, your backup drive should be 2-3 times the size of the data (not necessarily the total capacity of the drive) it's backing-up, to allow several months to a year or more of backups.


    You can't alter the "thinning" schedule.


    You can't alter the hourly backup schedule via Time Machine.  There are some 3rd-party utilites that can do that, but it's not recommended, and, as noted above, won't save very much space.  See Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #13 for details.


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