11 Replies Latest reply: Sep 18, 2011 4:49 AM by Bob Timmons
Holmz82 Level 1 (0 points)

I have a new iMac and and a new 2 TB Time Capsule. I bought the Time Capsule to not only use with time machine but also as a wireless external hard drive. What is the best way to set this up from the beginning? Do I just create a new folder under the data folder in my Time Capsule and then start dragging and dropping files? I want to make sure I have the best setup from the beginning. Thanks

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,232 points)
    Do I just create a new folder under the data folder in my Time Capsule and then start dragging and dropping files?

    That is the way that you would do it. You can create as many folders as you like....keeping in mind that you are taking space away from Time Machine backups when you do this. Ideally, the Time Capsule would be used exclusively for Time Machine backups.


    A more sophisticated approach would have you creating one or more disk images on the Time Capsule drive. The advantage of creating a disk image is that you can "reserve" a given amount of space, similar to a partition.


    The disadvantage is that it takes a long time to create a disk image on the Time Capsule drive. For example, a 50 GB disk image would probably take 2 hours or so....if the Mac was connected to the Time Capsule using Ethernet.


    With wireless, it would probably take 3-5 times longer, maybe more depending on the connection speed.

  • Holmz82 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you. If I decide I want to create a disk image and partition a certain amount of space, what steps would I take to do this? Should I leave a minimum amount of space for Time Machine backups? I don't have a lot of files on my iMac, so my current backup was only 60GB.


    I have read a lot of different posts regarding keeping libraries on a time capsule and the disadvantages/advanatages of doing so. I bought my iMac with a 500 GB hard drive with the intention of getting the 2TB Time capsule for the extra storage. I would like to keep my library of the digital copies of my DVD's and purchased iTunes movies on the Time Capsule since the file sizes are larger than just music and pcitures. My plan was to then be able to stream my movies to an Apple TV. Does anyone know if this is possible and how well it works?

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,232 points)

    My opinion is that the Time Capsule should really be used as it was designed....for Time Machine backups....not as an "everyday" hard drive.


    For one thing, access to files on the Time Capsule drive if you place movies, music, images, etc. on the drive is going to be very slow....and really slow if you plan to connect using wireless. Expect lag, stutters, signal drops, etc.


    That brings up another question.....if you move your movies, music, images, etc over to the Time Capsule drive.....how will you back up this data?  Surely, you plan to keep "original" versions on one drive and "copies" on another to be safe, correct?


    My suggestion would be to add an external USB or FireWire drive and attach it directly to your Mac. Move your movies, music, etc. to that drive. Access will be very fast to your media this way. Highly recommended.


    Then, Time Machine will backup both your Mac and the hard drive.....so you have backups of everything. Make sense?


    Although I do not recommend that you move your files over to the Time Capsule drive based on the information that you have provided so far....If you still want to setup the disk image on the Time Capsule drive, follow these basic steps:


    Open Macintosh HD > Applications > Utiltiies > Disk Utility

    Click New Image at the top of the window

    Make sure that the little arrow next to the Save As box is pointing up

    Navigate through the Finder like interace to open up the Time Capsule drive

    Name the disk image and select the size that you want

    Click Create


    Allow a very long time for the image to created.

  • Holmz82 Level 1 (0 points)

    So far you have been very knowledgable and extremely helpful. I recently ran into another issue with my iMac and my Time Capsule. I am currently using my time capsule to create a wireless network in my house. I have the time capsule hooked up to my cable modem with an Ethernet cable. Once I went through setup with airport on my iMac I turned off the wireless on my modem and the time capsule was set up to creat a network and work as a bridge. Everything was working seamlessly. I was able to connect to my network with my iMac, iPad, and iPod touch. I Also have an zipper express base station that I set up to join the network and use to stream music for external speakers. So for the night I had a wireless network up and running and my iMac completed it's first back up with time machine.


    Now is where the problem begins, when I wake up the next morning and wake up my iMac, it does not connect to the wireless network and gives me an error message that another device on my network is using the same IP address. So I started troubleshooting this on my own and reset both my cable modem and the time capsule. After this, the time capsule and the iMac are assigned separate IP addresses and everything works seamlessly again.


    Then I come home from work today and the same issue is occurring. Once again my iMac says it cannot connect due to it's IP address being used by another device. I feel like there has to be a way to fix this other than resetting my cable modem and time capsule every night.


    Thank you in advance for any help you can provide. I hope I explained the issue and set up thoroughly enough.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,232 points)
    I have the time capsule hooked up to my cable modem with an Ethernet cable. Once I went through setup with airport on my iMac I turned off the wireless on my modem and the time capsule was set up to creat a network and work as a bridge.

    This means that your "modem", which must actually be a gateway device (combination modem/router) is handling the DHCP IP address assignment tasks for all devices on the entire network.


    Here is what I think is happening:


    The gateway device assigns a given IP address to a device like the iMac. The iMac goes to sleep for a period and when it wakes up again and wants to rejoin the network, the gateway tries to issue a different IP address to the iMac. So, a conflict message is generated.''


    Most gateways and routers will "remember" a device that has connected recently and issue the same IP address when it reconnects. Your gateway is not doing this properly.


    To solve this issue, you will need to get with your service provider to find out the procedure to have your gateway assign a "Static IP" address for each computer or device that connects to the network.


    Once this is setup, the iMac and other devices will always get the same IP address from the gateway and the conflict messages will go away.

  • Holmz82 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you again for the quick response. You are correct my "modem" is an ATT Gateway. I was able to get into the settings and even though I could not change the iMac's IP address to static, I could change it to a private fixed IP address. So far it is working, but the true test will be when I go to use it tomorrow.


    Thank You again for all the help!

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,232 points)

    A "private fixed IP address" is the term that AT&T must use for their gateways, while other manufacturers may use the term "static IP address".


    They are one in the same.


    Good luck. Keep us posted on your results.


    Once you know the actual fixed IP address that is being assigned to each Mac, there is one more tweak that can be made on each Mac to tell it to only connect to that specific IP address manually.

  • Holmz82 Level 1 (0 points)

    Update: A private fixed IP address" did not work. It worked until I had to reboot my iMac and then I had the same issue. So I went into network setting on my iMac and and in advanced settings, manually set an IP address that was at the end of the series that my ATT Gateway would assign. This did not work immediately, but has been working all day long today so I am keeping my fingers crossed.


    Also, before I my Gateway setting I could not select for it to use a Static IP address, but now it has my iMac listed as connected Static IP with address assignment as Static IP- noDHCP when all my other devices are listed as Connected DHCP. Hopefully this fix will work, only time will tell.


    What was the other tweak you mentioned?

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,232 points)

    What was the other tweak you mentioned?

    Since the private IP address did not work....I'm afraid that it does not matter. I was going to have you tell your Mac to manually connect using the specific private IP address that the router was providing.


    Not sure which AT&T gateway you are using....but if it is a 2-Wire product, these devices are known to have DHCP problems. The other router that AT&T uses is an Actiontec, which seems to be better behaved in this regard.

  • Holmz82 Level 1 (0 points)

    You are right.... It is a 2-Wire product. So far manually assigning the iMac an IP address is working.


    Currently I have an airport express that is set up to join my network. Mainly because I ran into issues setting it up to extend my network. The time capsule appears to provide strong enough signal in every room of my house. Would you say it is best to leave the airport expres set up to just join the network and not extend it?

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,232 points)

    We drifted off course from the original topic of how to setup the Time Capsule as a wireless hard drive when the discussion turned to DHCP assignments and now even further off course again with a question about "extending".


    If you don't mind, please start another post for the question about the "join" and "extend" setup including any error messages that you received when you tried the "extend a wireless network" configuration on the AirPort Express.


    Many thanks.