13 Replies Latest reply: Apr 23, 2013 6:14 PM by Nooria
Nooria Level 1 (0 points)

Hi all,


We returned from a two-day trip today to find that the light on our Time Capsule had gone out.  We use it as a WiFi hub, and nothing (wireless, Airport Utility, or otherwise) will now acknowledge its existence.  We've tried all the obvious stuff like switching outlets, etc., plus resetting, but no go.  When you pick it up, though, it seems to be doing SOMEthing (i.e., it's humming).


It's less than a year old.  Time Capsule 2TB, Model A1409.  It's connected via ethernet to a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac running 10.8.3 (if that's relevant).


Thanks in advance.

iMac (20-inch Early 2008), Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,946 points)

    Leave it off several hours or overnight..


    When you are ready to test plan to do a factory reset.


    So hold in reset before applying power

    Apply power and keep holding in reset.. if the LED lights great if not, keep holding in reset for 15sec.. that is long enough to do anything.


    No light shows at all or just a flicker at the start.. the TC is dead.

    Return and replace under warranty.


    I have seen 2 other posts in the last couple of weeks with the same symptoms.. I have yet to see one to investigate.. but I think it is bad ceramic capacitors on the board.. they short out.. the disk could still be running though.


    Fortunately you have warranty so let Apple fix it. 

  • Nooria Level 1 (0 points)

    Sounds good, but didn't work.  We just took it to the Genius Bar, and it's being replaced, a 40 mile drive because they didn't have one in the store, thus necessitating two 80-mile trips.


    I have a further question:  has ANYONE had one of these things work properly and last for more than a few months?


    We bought ouf first one, one of the very first, talked into it as a router for the household AND a way to safely back up our data, having just had a Mac die badly.  Two years later, it was dead, and we lost everything.


    We then purchased this one.  It had more memory.  We've noticed that at every trip to the Genius Bar, we're told "these things" (not just Time Capsules) only last a couple of years."  Sure enough, the new one is now dead, less than a year later.  Again, we have lost everyhing.  I am a writer.  This makes me very unhappy.  The "Genius" was not at all surprised that this one is dead.  The replacement will "continue" the warranty, which I assume this one will have to die sooner, as it surely will. 


    Apple is the product we've relied to be different from the rest.  "Old Macs never die" is the adage.  I'm curious:  why should we pay so much more for Macs when they clearly DO die, sooner and sooner, and we could go out and buy the "other guy's" junk for way less?  If it isn't going to last, why bother?  I love my Macs, but this is getting ridiculous.  And it appears that the Time Capsule in general is a complete bust.


    Message was edited by: Nooria

  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,946 points)

    Apple should post them out to you and supply a box for return of the old item.. if the store is so far away you should deal with them over the phone.


    The TC has had issues. The first one was flawed design. The Gen4 has been much better, but unfortunately you have got hit by a rare fault.


    IMHO, most consumer electronics today is built for a life.. warranty plus 3days. AppleCare on any computer also covers the TC, so effectively it has a 3year warranty if purchased with a computer which has apple care.. it is now wise to sell off products at the 2.5 year mark whilst they still have value.. and still work..people pay more if it has warranty still and buy again. It is not the way we would like the world to be, but that is the way it is.


    The other point is not to use the TC for anything but backups. The loss of the unit simply should put a hole for a short time in your backup program. Using it for data storage as even Apple seem to be recommending is unwise. There is no access to the disk. It is a sealed unit and no parts are available.


    If you want network storage Apple do not make any. Buy Synology or QNAP as the best in that field. They offer RAID plus auto backup, because they are designed as a file store.


    Failed TC is kind of speciality some of us have.. even if Apple won't repair them we do.

    https://sites.google.com/site/lapastenague/a-deconstruction-of-routers-and-modem s/apple-time-capsule-repairers

    But the fault you mention is new and inside warranty you are better getting a replacement.. which could run for 5years without a hiccup.. but I do not trust them past 3years.. and I do not trust them at all for storing your only copy of files.. but that is true of everything.

  • Nooria Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for this list, which I have carefully stored.  Turns out our TC was almost a year old, and we just got in under the wire.  Used to be Apple was looser about this kind of thing, but no more.  Given our record with these machines, I think another solution needs to be found.  At least we now know not to use this thing as a router, as it was originally intended. 


    I'm considering going back to Snow Leopard, which I believe caused me far fewer problems, not to say running way ore of my special software that I cannot afford to replace. 

  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,946 points)

    Actually it is ok as a router, as long as you have something around to work in the role.


    The issue is more using it as a trusted file store which it isn't. The key design of the TC is to provide backup target for time machine to laptops, so it can be done over wireless. As most people will not use an external drive continually plugged and unplugged.


    On a desktop machine you can use external drive. They are cheaper, faster and more reliable as a backup target than using TC. So I do think if you run desktop computer just plug in a USB drive as the backup target and even use a couple of them (they are cheap) so you have multiple backups. Also use a backup software like CCC or superduper which can create a full disk image.. that is a far superior backup from a getting out of trouble point of view.. if you make it bootable then the computer can be booted from the backup.


    Snow Leopard is very good.. I still tend back to my desktop with SL rather than Laptop with Mountain Lion. It just seems more solid.. !!

  • Nooria Level 1 (0 points)

    As long as I have you on the line, I wonder if you could answer this:  If I do return to my beloved Snow Leopard, would I be able to transfer my current collection of music and photos?  I'm pretty sure I could back up all my music to my iPod, and I know there's a way of bringing it back to my desktop, but I'm wondering about my zillions of photos.  In Mountain Lion--which I have now, and HATE--have they been put into some format that will make it impossible for me to import them back to Snow Leopard?  And if so, would I do better to accomplish all this before I do my first backup on the "new" TC?  We have Macs all over our house, it wouldn't be too hard to back all this up without using DVDs or whatever....but I want to make sure I won't lose something important.  I already returned to Snow Leopard once, but finally got talked into ML by my twenty-something daughter, who thinks its great.  I don't like it, obviously, and I lost a lot of stuff like my Adobe Creative Suite, etc.  So--if you don't mind giving me your opinion--would it be feasible to go back to Snow Leopard?  My iMac is about five years old, and going strong, but I don't want to tax it.  Thanks for your thoughts--and anyone's, for that matter!  I know there's a whole section on this, and I'll take a look at that, too.....

  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,946 points)

    I am a recent emigre to Mac.. and came in just at the point of swap over from Snow Leopard to Lion.. I am happy I stuck to Snow Leopard. So I do not have the info you need. I know all about the inside of the TC because I repair them.. a couple of hundred anyway. and even some Mac computers.


    iTunes should be no problem.. according to the continual annoyance of upgrade to OS.. itunes.


    What's New in iTunes 10.6.3


    iTunes 10.6.3 includes support for OS X Mountain Lion and addresses a number of important issues:


    • Addresses a problem where iTunes may become unresponsive when syncing an iPad (1st generation) that contains an iBooks textbook

    • Fixes a problem where photos synced to a device may appear in an unexpected order

    • Resolves an issue where iTunes may unexpectedly delete playlists created on a device

    • Fixes issues where iTunes may unexpectedly delete apps on a device

    • Improves overall performance and reliability


    So it should run on Snow Leopard and work identically.. YMMV ..


    iphoto is version 11 in both.

    In SL machine it is 9.1


    In latest version for Lion and ML it is 9.4.3.. I would not know if the libraries can be interchanged but I would say it should.


    Look at the documentation for setting up network sharing of the iphoto library as that may make it clearer.. but you should ask for specific help in iphoto area.








    You can do an install of the SL to an external drive and simply change target boot drives.. that allows you to change back to SL on a trial basis to see if it works.. rather than blow the machine away and discover later what you want is impossible to achieve.. after a long time in computer support.. I find it much easier to simply do new installations on new hard drives. Then any changes I make to a PC and any old files are totally unchanged.. Hard disks are cheap. Buy FW800 for your old iMac as it is still fast and will give you a good idea.. if you like it you can transfer it to the onboard drive..

  • Nooria Level 1 (0 points)

    Lots of good information here.  Of course, in my usual impulsive fashion, I've already zeroed out my hard drive and installed Snow Leopard.  I know it will work, and I can have all my old programs.  I backed everything up with my iPod, since I'm still waiting for the replacement Time Capsule.  I get myself into trouble sometimes, but I always learn a lot getting myself back out of trouble!  I've been wanting to return to Snow Leopard since I upgraded, and I'm pretty sure it's way more stable than Mountain Lion.  A lot less bloated with far more bells and whistles than needed, too!

  • Nooria Level 1 (0 points)

    I hope you're still around, LaPastenague, because I have a further question:  Apple is going to replace the Time Capsule, but I stupidly reformatted my hard drive, not realizing my mail wasn't backingi up to iCloud.  Also, I have "mail rules" that seem to have taken some important email off the Gmail server, so my question is this:  Can I put the hard drive from the OLD TC into the NEW one and retrieve a few things?  I was told, first time mine filed, that I could do that, or buy one of those cases to hold the disc drive so I could retrieve things from it, but I never did it.   I was hoping you could tell me the possibilities for retrieving at least some important mail and a few other thigns from the old TC.  Apple was not happy about letting us keep it, we had to go all the way to Cupertino (by phone) to get permission to hang on to the old drive.  Thanks if you're around and you can answer this.

  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,946 points)

    Don't open the new TC.. that will void its warranty.


    Good on you for pursuing this all the way to the top.. I am impressed.


    You can buy a USB holder.. pull out the drive and plonk it in that.




    That will give you full access to the old sparsebundle which you can mount and open with TM.


    That is assuming the drive is still ok of course. But your issue is not something I have seen yet.


    Would love to get my hands on one with the problem and see what gives.

  • Nooria Level 1 (0 points)

    If I can get my stuff off it and you want it, there's no reason other than exorbitant shipping that would keep me from sending it to you to do what you like with!  I have a terrible mess going at the moment; not only did I impulsively go on and reformat my hard drive, my SuperDrive has decided to die--seemingly, it's been off and on for awhile--and thus I couldn't get my Mac to accept any of my software discs, so am operating with practically nothing, except what I could download....and in the middle of all THAT, I got hacked!  What a mess.  I feel violated.  And don't be impressed with me for getting Cupertino to intervene, my husband did it....he's not the Mac fanatic I am, cut I guess he had dumb luck actually getting someone on the phone who seemed to think it was her job to fix this problem.  She even called me back to let me know she had taken care of it, and to go get our new TC!  Amazing.  If you are genuinely interested in this thing, I'm not sure how to connect with you to exchange information, especially after just getting hacked.....Let me know if you're interested, and if you have any ideas.  The Time Capsule promises much and delivers little, as far as I can tell.  I LOVE the idea of it, but we haven't had very good luck with them, which puzzles me, because we are pretty conservative users, and have used Macs all the way back to the Performa. 


    By the way, I'm looking for a OPTIARC DVD RX AD 5630A Superdrive....don't know how that translates to your country, but I'm open to suggestions.  My iMac--about five years old--is getting to be like an old car, I just keep replacing everything......

  • LaPastenague Level 8 (48,946 points)

    OPTIARC DVD RX AD 5630A Superdrive


    Do you mean you are pulling your iMac to pieces to replace the internal drive? That is super amazing.


    Just buy a USB dvd drive.. or get a USB stick with the OS on it.. even Apple stores now sell it I think.. the idea that the computer has to boot from hidden partition is great until the hard disk itself dies.


    But at 5years you are due a new Mac me thinks.


    You can find my email on my website here.




    Down the bottom.. I cannot post my email or PM via this forum it seems.


    And yes, the shell of the dead TC interests me. It won't weigh that much with the hard disk out.

  • Nooria Level 1 (0 points)

    No, no, I'm not saying I'm replacing the hard drive (although I have been known to do tha with my old G4 and my TiBookt; it's easy.....


    I'm saying I need to replace the CD/DVD-RW Superdrive.  How hard could that be?  I've already replaced the screen....


    And hey--why buy a new Mac?  Just one more thing to chuck on the landfill (or put in my closets, which are full of old Macs now)...  It looks like new, and cosmetically, they haven't changed a thing, really.....  Why should I spend a couple of thousand bucks when I can replace these things for far less?


    I will go to your web site and write to you re the TC, when I get a chance.