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Andyman22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I'm sorry if someone already asked these questions. I tried t find the answers but wasn't getting what I needed.

I just bought a 2 TB Time Capsule with the intent of using it for backups, but mostly for an external hard drive. I don't even see the point in getting one so large if you can't use it for external storage. I've been trying to partition the drive using Disk Utility, but it was saying that the amount I was giving the backup (I tried anywhere between 300-600 GB) was too small.

I tried a half and half partition after an initial backup. It said there was an error, but then it went ahead and partitioned it anyways. I keep having problems staying connected to the Time Capsule, and air port utility doesn't find it in the scan many times, and I don't know what the problem is.

I'm willing to wipe the whole thing clean and start over if someone would be able to help me take the steps to set up a 500 GB partition for backups, and the other 1.5 TB for external storage.

Any ideas?

Mac Book Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8), my hard drive on my mac has 230 GB
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,860 points)
    Hello Andyman22. Welcome to the Apple Discussions!

    I've been trying to partition the drive using Disk Utility, but it was saying that the amount I was giving the backup (I tried anywhere between 300-600 GB) was too small.


    I'm a bit surprised that you were successful in partitioning the Time Capsule's internal hard drive using the Disk Utility as it does not support this. It is my understanding that the only way to do this is to physically remove the drive and attach it directly to your computer using a drive caddy ... and then use the Disk Utility to partition it. Is this what you did?
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (92,300 points)
    Perhaps Andyman22 is referring to this?

    Disk Utility will allow a user to create a "disk image" on the Time Capsule and reserve a set amount of space up to 500MB for that space. Custom sizes are also available.

    Disk Utility > New Image
    (click the arrow next to Save As to display a Finder window that will allow a "save" at virtually any location).
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,860 points)
    Hi Bob!

    Thanks, yes no doubt I wasn't thinking about Disk Utility's ability to create Disk Images and have offered this as a option in the past as an alternative to partitioning the TC's internal hard drive without having to remove it. Thanks for the catch and reminder.
  • Andyman22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Well, in skimming through the forums I remember reading something about being able to use disk utility to partition the time capsule, so I tried that from a couple different angles.

    I ended up trying the partition while time machine was backing up my hard drive. It said there was an error, so i thought it was done for, but then it went on and did the partition anyways, so now I have two roughly 1 TB drives on it. I'm testing out how to make the second an external HD right now.

    I know nothing about drive caddys and wouldn't dare try t take the drive out on my own haha. Is there a way to use the Time Capsule as an external hard drive without partitioning it?
  • Andyman22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Oh maybe that's what you mean by the disk image?
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,860 points)
    Well, in skimming through the forums I remember reading something about being able to use disk utility to partition the time capsule, so I tried that from a couple different angles.


    One thing to keep in mind here is that you cannot partition the TC's internal hard drive with Disk Utility. Instead you can use the Disk Utility to create a Disk Image (.dmg) on this drive which you can mount on your Mac's desktop and treat pretty much like a network drive. It is NOT a true partition. The advantage of this option is that you don't have to remove the TC's drive. The major drawback is that you will not be able to mount this Disk Image from Windows.

    If you really want to partition the drive, it will have to be removed. A drive caddy (they go by different names) is basically an adapter that you "plug in" a raw drive in one end and it connects to your computer with USB. However, you need to also be aware removing the drive will void the warranty. In this configuration, the Disk Utility can actually partition the drive.
  • Andyman22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So if my main goal is using the time capsule as an external hard drive as well as a backup, and I am on a mac, I don't even have to think about partitions, I can just use disk images? Sounds good. Thanks!
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (92,300 points)
    You can also create normal folders on the Time Capsule to store data.

    Open your Hard Drive and look for the SHARED heading on the left
    Click the Time Capsule icon
    Double click the Time Capsule folder
    On the next window, click the gear shaped icon just above and select New Folder

    If you are also using Time Machine for backups, Time Machine will leave those folders alone if it is looking for room to store more backups.
  • Andyman22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    And the purpose for a disk image would just be to make things more organized?
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (92,300 points)
    If you create a disk image, you reserve a certain amount of space for that image. Time Machine will respect that space and leave the disk image alone even if there is a large amount of unused space on the image.

    If you create a folder, it starts with zero space until you add data to it. The folder can be as large as you would like as long as the space is available on the TC.

    So, each has an advantage. The disk image will reserve the space until you fill it up and the folder will not. But, the folder can be as large as you would like as long as the TC has space available.

    Your next question might be can you change the size of a disk image after it has been created? I haven't tried this, but think you probably could.

    For most users, I think the folder concept is probably simpler for them to use and easier to understand. But more advanced users may favor the disk image concept if they feel that space will be at a premium on the disk.
  • jules105 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi. I just got a Time Capsule, Applecare recommended it as my hard drive is almost full. They told me to partition the hard drive and use one half to keep my itunes library on it. I was sad to see the instructions that come with it don't mention partitioning. This discussion is disheartening, I would have to take my TC apart to partition it? and void the warranty? this is crazy. I shelled out a lot of money for this TC......I'm going to call Applecare!
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (92,300 points)
    If you set up a disk image on the Time Capsule and reserve half of the space on the drive for iTunes, what is the issue?
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (92,300 points)
    If it makes you feel better, you could substitute the word "partition" for disk image. I'm sure that is what Applecare meant to tell you.
  • mark28209 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have been trying to create a 200gig disk image on my 500gig TC using Disk Utility (=> New Image) . . . but the process seems to be taking forever (overnight and only 60+ gigs). I cancelled, rebooted, and restarted the process but it again seems glacial. Per one posting, I am now using a shorter name with no embedded blanks. Should I just let this chug along? Thoughts? Thanks, Mark
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