8 Replies Latest reply: Nov 4, 2012 7:58 PM by BDAqua
Margaret Cushing1 Level 1 (25 points)

That is the question.  We have two iMacs and a laptop, assorted Time Machine backups on external hard disks and feel that there must be a more integrated solution.  I can't spend a lot of money (retired, pension) without asking innumerable irritating questions because I don't have a basic understanding.  Where do I go for that?

iPad, iOS 5.0.1, No 3G
  • John Galt Level 8 (45,978 points)

    Various and sundry Time Machine backups is a good thing. You could consolidate everything using a Time Capsule, but do you really want all your backups on one device? I certainly don't.


    Label your external hard disks with the machine they are backing up, and just make sure you use Time Machine routinely. There really isn't much more to it than that.

  • Margaret Cushing1 Level 1 (25 points)

    No, I want NAS and RAID.  My husband wants to share files between his iMac and his laptop  AND still be able to recover old stuff from Time Machine.  So we can start again from here with a new wireless device and try to discover if we choose one which facilitates daisy chaining whether it's DSM allows you to access  daisy chained backups in Time Machine

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,978 points)

    TM will work with a RAID but these are two separate ideas. I'm not really certain what it is you want to accomplish.

  • Margaret Cushing1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Sorry, John.  I haven't gone into much detail because I have so many questions and things I don't understand about wireless networking.  That's why I asked for advice on where to go to get myself more knowledgeable.  Then I may get many of the answers and understand exactly what's left to ask.


    I did think of just buying a wireless NAS/RAID product to attach to the router and figure it out from there.  But they are quite expensive, particularly if you have no idea what you are doing!

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,978 points)

    Well, my impression of a wireless NAS has been that of "a solution in search of a problem" but that's just me. You can certainly attach a USB hard disk drive to a Time Capsule or AirPort Extreme however, which provides a means of sharing files across your network. The device appears in the Finder under "shared" and otherwise behaves as if it is directly attached to your computer.


    If I may anticipate your next question: how to configure Time Machine to back up this NAS device? The answer is simple, it can't. Time Machine is not designed to do that, but you can use other utilities such as Carbon Copy Cloner to perform scheduled backups.


    In any event, since you are retired with presumably more time than money, to answer your initial question about a basic guide on the subject I would start by perusing Apple Support Communities contributor and resident Time Machine guru Pondini's comprehensive FAQ on the subject.


    This specific question is addressed here: http://pondini.org/TM/2.html but there is a wealth of addition information to draw upon.



  • Margaret Cushing1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Thank you very much, John.  I will use some of my retired time to do as you suggest.  I think there may also be products other than Tme Capsule and Airport Extreme which do back-up storage, shared files mirroring and streaming, but the language they use is very Windows based.

  • Margaret Cushing1 Level 1 (25 points)

    I've read both the links you kindly gave me.  The. FAQ document was very interesting but the instructions on how to read backups from external HD back ups from other macs did not work.  Maybe they are not up to date with Lion.  Pondini is also very averse to anything not mac.  He sees Time Capsule and assorted external hard disks as the answer.  Isn't  that what RAID is about?  You back up and make a mirrored copy because no disk is 100per cent safe.  One WILL fail.  But I cant't see how you mirror Time Capsule, or what you do when it is full. So, I still haven't found how to set up my home network so that 3 mac machines can back up wirelessly using Time Machine and share files, and maintain a copy of all back ups.  Synology seem to offer a solution, but I need to understand the language they use.  Back to where I started!

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,276 points)

    Pondini has done fantastic & expansive detailing of TM, which I admire no end, that being said, I think myself that it requires too much Rocket Science, & fails far too often, & can't be tested until you need it... in my mind, that it's not anywhere near a viable backup option... unless you're not aware of real backup options.