3 Replies Latest reply: Apr 9, 2009 8:19 PM by John Galt
mhollis Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
I just installed a brand new Time Capsule. I am looking forward to using it and I am currently backing up my 1T boot drive on my older Mac as I write this (it will take a while...).

I have an older AirPort Extreme (not Dual Band and not 802.11n) that I would like to use in the back bedroom as an extension to the network. As configured, I copied all of the old stuff off the older Extreme to set up the Time Capsule and everything worked, typically of what you would expect from Apple. My new network is WEP protected and works just fine. My old network was unprotected but I didn't have any data sitting on an internal-to-Airport hard drive.

Question 1: When I tried to turn on my old AirPort (which is configured to have the same name as my new Time Capsule), all my Mac would recognize was the old AirPort even though Time Capsule had a green light and was connected to the Internet. My Mac lost its Internet connection and the AirPort Extreme base station reported that it was not connected (via Ethernet) to my Cable Modem. Is there a way to reset my older AirPort Extreme Base station so that it can extend my network and it does not confuse the AirPort Setup Utility? Is the issue one where now that they both think they're the primary system they fight? Is the fact that they have the same name the issue?

Question 2: My wife just switched from a Dell PC to a Mac (hurray!). She has been using Time Machine (actually, I have been) to back up her 15" Macbook Pro to a USB/Firewire external drive. But in order to do this, she has to plug the computer into an USB hub, turn on the drive and tell Time Machine to do its thing. I would love to be able to have her Mac just do the backups over the wireless network using Time Capsule and I would like to attach the portable hard drive to the USB port on my new Time Capsule so that her Macbook Pro will just do its thing without any intervention on anyone's part. For purposes of security, I would like her to be on hew own drive and my backup of my older Mac to be on my own drive. Can Time Capsule make it possible for Time Machine to just recognize her currently-configured drive over the Time Capsule USB port over the 802.11n network? Is this just the simple matter of attaching the drive and telling her computer to go find it?

Thanks loads.

G4, Mac OS X (10.5.6), iPhone 1.12
  • 1. Re: Brand new Time Capsule: Extending the network
    John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (36,425 points)
    Q1: Yes, yes and yes. If you copied everything from your Extreme to the TC, made the TC your new access point, then powered up your old Extreme, it's still creating the same old wireless network, and so is your TC. Your Mac still wants to talk to it even though it has no Ethernet connection. The Extreme is reporting everything correctly. Such a configuration is not useful for anything other than self-abuse.

    Since your older Extreme isn't capable of 802.11n, using it will constrain you to operating a b/g compatible network, which your TC can certainly create in addition to an "n" network. You will be dissatisfied with its throughput if you plan to use it to run Time Machine wirelessly though. This may render your Q2 moot.

    Is there a way to reset my older AirPort Extreme Base station so that it can extend my network and it does not confuse the AirPort Setup Utility?


    You can create a WDS. The "extend a wireless network" option is strictly for 802.11n networks.

    I suppose you can have the TC create a separate "n" only network to be used with Time Machine. You'll have to switch to that network for wireless backups, and forget about the older Extreme while doing so. It's up to you to determine if that's more trouble than it's worth. And yes, you can have another hard disk connected via USB.
  • 2. Re: Brand new Time Capsule: Extending the network
    mhollis Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    OK, I suppose the next step then, will be to get an "express" with "n" capability (assuming Apple sells those). And my old, trusty AirPort Extreme will be donationware. I know a really good school...

    Would I have to reset or erase it? It's the version that had the dome and will share a USB printer, as well as one Ethernet printer or connection to an Ethernet router for internal routing, as well as the WAN port, which is Ethernet.

    And I shall hook up the little portable hard drive to the Time Capsule and back up my wife's Macbook Pro that way (which will be a lot easier).

    BTW: Connection to my older computer is slow. It's 802.11b, with an AirPort card. It may take a day and a half to back up the boot drive. I started the backup at about 4:00 PM today and it's now headed towards 10 PM. I have backed up 5.75G of 596.2G, just under one tenth of what I have on my boot drive (1T).

    So it will be poky for the venerable G4. Lots faster for my wife's new Macbook Pro.
  • 3. Re: Brand new Time Capsule: Extending the network
    John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (36,425 points)
    The 802.11n Express is the current version. Still about $99 and worth every cent.
    mhollis wrote:
    Would I have to reset or erase it?

    You don't have to, but the school will probably want to since they won't be able to do anything without your password (assuming you assigned it one).
    ... started the backup at about 4:00 PM today and it's now headed towards 10 PM. I have backed up 5.75G of 596.2G, just under one tenth of what I have on my boot drive (1T).

    By my math that's just under +one hundredth+ in about six hours. Assuming that rate remains consistent, the whole 596.2 GB will take almost 26 days. See what I mean?