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Time Machine

2857 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Dec 13, 2007 12:23 PM by cleveralias RSS
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chancorey Calculating status...
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Oct 30, 2007 11:52 PM
Ok, before somebody gets reply happy. Please only reply IF you have actually tried this.

I really want to get Time Machine to work with Leopard over my Airport Extreme N. I have somewhat tested this, and it seems to work, but I am hoping to get confirmations.

I have been reading that:
1. Plug your External HD into your Mac via USB
2. Setup Time Machine as normal, but do not do the initial backup
3. Unplug the external HD from the Mac
4. Plug the external HD into the AEBS
5. Mount the External HD from the AEBS
6. Perform the initial backup through Time Machine and everything should work wirelessly.

Is this indeed correct? And any major issues by doing this? I was able to get to step 6 on the Macs at work, but the initial backup was so slow, I did not have time to complete the initial backup. I am hoping somewhere out there somebody has done it.
Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • Agent O Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 31, 2007 1:59 AM (in response to chancorey)
    Not exactly the same steps, but I can confirm this works.

    I allowed the first backup to run through USB, as the 73gb I have on here was taking forever over wireless.
    Macbook Pro 2.4, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • J. Everett Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
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    Oct 31, 2007 10:25 AM (in response to chancorey)
    Time Machines makes its subsequent backup of the file system without taking up additional room (except for changes) on the backup drive through the use of a newer file system feature called hard links. See this article for more details:
    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/07/10/12/roadto_mac_os_x_leopard_timemachine.html&page=1

    Thus, even if you can trick Time Machine into using a disk mounted on a AEBS that was once mounted directly on your Mac, you have no assurance that the AEBS AFP file server functionality is going to have the necessary, fully-functioning support for hard links. IOW, your 'backup' might not be worth anything.

    I'd guess, if anything, you might have better luck taking a drive that first used in Time Machine on a Mac using a networked shared drive from another Leopard Mac. From what I've read, when using Time Machine with a drive shared over the network from another Leopard box, Time Machine creates a sparse disk image on that share rather than the share directly, and then Time Machines uses that sparse disk image in which to store its backups. This way, you might have a better shot of the file structure being properly handled, since I'd think that the local machine would be handling the file system details, rather than the file server which will only be serving up the raw image. This approach MAY still work when transfered to an AEBS.

    Personally, however, I'd give up on dream of thinking the AEBS is ever going to make a viable backup server. It's too slow -- too slow for a single user's backup, and certainly too slow for multiple users in a household. I'd just connect the drive locally for local use, and share it with Personal File Sharing for other users in the house to back up over the network. The CPU on the AEBS is never going to be able to compete with the speed and capabilities of the CPU of a Leopard capable Mac.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • iveand Calculating status...
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    Oct 31, 2007 10:39 AM (in response to J. Everett)
    While I see the validity of the point that an AEBS hard drive will never give the performance of a drive connected directly to a much higher powered Mac, I (and I believe many many others) are in the boat of not having a desktop type configuration. We travel a lot, and at this stage only have laptops. I need a place where both laptops can get to the same harddisk for purposes of filesharing so that I don't have multiple versions of commonly used files all over the place with no hope of keeping things sync'd up.

    Thoughts on this? What else can be done for those of us that don't want a hard disk permanently dangling off the laptop?

    The AEBS "hosted" harddisk was ideally going to be my answer, and I was planning on using it for backups as well. Maybe the backup idea would be too much of a hog, but I have a good handle on file organization and have all I need in my personal directories or specified folders that I back up. I don't forsee the need for "bootable backups" and backing up the system. If I crash, I have all my personal files and preferences, and then just reload the OS. Then I get a clean fresh start instead of restoring a cluttered backup.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • iMinds Calculating status...
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    Oct 31, 2007 5:04 PM (in response to chancorey)
    Yeps...works perfect for me too. Will need a larger HD though to back up my ish.
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5), 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, C2D
  • J. Everett Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
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    Oct 31, 2007 8:03 PM (in response to iveand)
    iveand wrote:
    Thoughts on this? What else can be done for those of us that don't want a hard disk permanently dangling off the laptop?


    What would you say to someone who said they want to charge their battery but doesn't want a power brick "permanently dangling off the laptop?" What would you say to someone who said they want to run a secondary monitor but doesn't want a DVI cable "permanently dangling off the laptop?" I'm guessing you'd tell them, "Sorry, can't be done -- either you live with the cable that provides the functionality, or you live without the functionality."

    You can realistically expect only so much out of wireless data transmission, and especially out of only a $170 wireless router. I mean, I know the AEBS is somewhat expensive for a wireless router, but it's cheap as dirt for any kind of real NAS. For a trivial price, you get trivial functionality.

    If you want more, you probably need to pay more. For example, you could:

    1) If you really want a "one solution does everything", buy a Mac mini, hook it to your AEBS network, hang shared drives off it, and connect to it with your laptops for multipurpose file serving needs. Of course, you'll pay $600+ for the luxury, but you'll get a device with a real CPU, running a real OS, with a real amount of memory, and you'll have reason to expect real functionality out of it. (Hook it up to your TV as well and keep Front Row running and you'll get even more value out of it.)

    2) Learn to live with using the AEBS only for the basic filesharing of your commonly used files. For Time Machine, get a small bus-powered firewire 2.5" SATA hard drive enclosure and stick a 250GB (or larger if possible) 2.5" SATA drive in it. Also get an little 8" firewire cable. Stick some Velcro on the enclosure, and also on the top of your laptop. When you want Time Machine functionality, stick the drive to the Velcro on your laptop and hook in the Firewire cable. You'll be able to walk around the house just like you would with a bare laptop. Of course, you'll pay more for a 2.5" drive and enclosure, and won't be able to get a 1TB disk size, but you'll keep your laptop mobile.


    The AEBS "hosted" harddisk was ideally going to be my answer, and I was planning on using it for backups as well. Maybe the backup idea would be too much of a hog, but I have a good handle on file organization and have all I need in my personal directories or specified folders that I back up. I don't forsee the need for "bootable backups" and backing up the system. If I crash, I have all my personal files and preferences, and then just reload the OS. Then I get a clean fresh start instead of restoring a cluttered backup.


    The thing is the AEBS might well be able to handle the load under the carefully controlled, very limited circumstances you might be describing here (like say, if your exclude everything but folders containing rarely altered Pages and Keynote files.) However, I'd bet its not worth the potential support nightmare for Apple to allow the functionality and expect the user base to be carefully controlled and limited -- especially when Time Machine seems marketed as some full-service, no-tweaking, it-just-works solution.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • J. Everett Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
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    Oct 31, 2007 8:26 PM (in response to chancorey)
    chancorey wrote:
    *Big Sigh* The only reason I bought AEBS was to have Time Machine work with it. Now that apple has backed out of their promises, I feel quite ripped off. Fine, I agree, betas and pre releases don't assure anything, but Steve Jobs himself stated clearly that this feature was going to be introduced....


    Maybe Steve will apologize and offer us an Apple Store gift certificate, like iPhone buyers got.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Mindflux Calculating status...
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    Nov 3, 2007 4:32 PM (in response to chancorey)
    Forget all those steps! You don't even have to hook your external drive to your mac at all to get TM working.

    Open terminal:

    default write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

    hit enter on that, open up time machine.

    enjoy.

    you can thank me.. or not.

    Message was edited by: Mindflux
    Mac OS X (10.5)
  • fabrica64 Calculating status...
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    Nov 3, 2007 5:10 PM (in response to Mindflux)
    It works! On SMB shares too!! Thanks, thanks, thanks!
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • iMinds Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 4, 2007 8:30 AM (in response to Mindflux)
    could you be a little more explicit on this?
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5), C2D, 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM
  • JPO Level 1 Level 1 (130 points)
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    Nov 4, 2007 9:32 AM (in response to Mindflux)
    PowerMac Dual 1.2 Ghz. G4 / MacBook 2.16 Ghz. Core2Duo, Mac OS X (10.4.10), 600 GB SATA 1.5, 1.12 GB RAM / 160 GB 7200.2 Momentus, 2 GB RAM
  • Steven Kutoroff Level 3 Level 3 (785 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 4, 2007 12:40 PM (in response to chancorey)
    Yes, Time Machine and the Airport Extreme Air Disk setup as described works, but only sort of...

    I've been running a very similar setup and used a similar configuration sequence to get it going.

    In order to keep the backup a reasonable size, I have made quite a few exceptions on what to backup. What is left is probably a space of less than 10GB in size and does not contain significant dynamic data. My network connection the AEBS is 1GB wired.

    Twice now the Air Disk has gotten in a bad state. Each time the volume had to be repaired by bringing it to the computer and running Disk Utility. Each time one of the TM files is damaged. There is one TM specific folder, named "Backups.backupdb" and a TM file named Your Name's Computer_hhhhhhhhhhhh.sparsebundle, where the h's are the MAC address of the computer. That file is being consistently whacked and it gets a nasty little red bar added to its icon. Disk Utility seems capable of the repair, but it takes several minutes.

    Yes, just before Leopard came out the feature to use Time Machine on the AEBS was silently killed.
    So I guess I should have returned the AEBS to the Apple Store for my money (yeah, they love doing that).
    I guess I should have said, no I don't want Leopard and not purchased it either.

    Yes, it was only a promise and I spent money on a promise. Sounds like I am not alone.

    I have other issues with Leopard, but I like so many of the other features.

    The "Air Disk" seems to named as a derivative of "Air Head".
    PowerMac G5 1.6GHz, Mac OS X (10.5), Airport Extreme & Express
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