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Question: Apple Time Capsule Model A1355 Hard Drive Upgrade

Hi,


I have an Apple Time Capsule (model A1355) with a 1TB hard drive which I'm looking to upgrade.


I am after either a 2 or 3 TB hard drive (depending on cost) and am looking for recommendations.


I am based in the UK.


Many thanks in advance for your help.


Stophen.

MacBook Pro with Retina display, OS X El Capitan (10.11.3)

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Mar 3, 2018 10:37 AM in response to Stophen In response to Stophen

An A1355 version of the AirPort Time Capsule is going to be at least 7 years old and as much as almost 9 depending on when it was originally placed into service. The average useful life of this model was in the 3-4 year old range, so you have had remarkably good luck with your Time Capsule.


In general, the Time Capsule power supply usually fails before the hard drive fails.


So, if you are thinking about installing a new hard drive in the Time Capsule, it really would not make much sense to do this....unless.....you have recently replaced the power supply inside your Time Capsule or you are planning to also replace the power supply as part of the new hard drive installation.


Even if you could find a shop to do this, the cost of parts (Apple does not sell replacement parts) and labor to rework the Time Capsule would probably surpass the cost of simply buying a new Time Capsule.....which will come with a new warranty and a lot faster wireless performance.


If you are a dedicated do-it-yourself type of person, there are articles on the Internet about how to do this, but having done this myself 3-4 years ago, frankly it was not worth anywhere near the time and effort.


For starters, I had to buy a used 3rd Gen Time Capsule to find a replacement power supply, and since I had already replaced the hard drive a few months before this, I had to pull the power supply from the used Time Capsule to install it in my Time Capsule. Having done this, the power supply only lasted a few more months before it failed.


Bottom line.....we would not recommend that you try to install a new hard drive in a 7+ year old Time Capsule. But, other users might disagree, so you might want to wait for other opinions.

Question marked as Helpful

Mar 3, 2018 12:17 PM in response to Stophen In response to Stophen

As far as suitable disk for the TC, any "green" drive will be suitable.

By green here I mean low power type. It used to be easy because WD had a line of GREEN drives.. which is what Apple used in the next edition.. and for the larger drives in the Gen3 which you could buy with 2TB or even last model with 3TB.

Nowadays almost any drive not marked Enterprise tends to have very low power consumption.. so my recommendation is the cheapest 3.5" you can get hold of.. WD scrapped the Green series.. but they still have Blue and Purple.. either of those is fine. Seagate have such a huge range of drives as well it is hard to pick.. but usually the cheapest ones are fine. The most recent version of the TC changed to seagate barracuda. You can buy slow drives, ie NAS type if you want. It is not a requirement but they often tend to be low power particularly in idle state.

Since the data transfer to a TC is slow.. and by slow I mean.. really well below cheapest NAS.. even a 5400rpm laptop drive could work.. although you would have to DIY the mounting.. in fact laptop drives of 2TB (even recovered from a suitable shell.. buy Seagate not WD for this). Any standard SATA drive.


But I agree with Bob.. I would only do this project as a DIYer with full knowledge the TC could break down the first week after you install the drive. Especially as the power supply in it is now aprox 7 years old. Whatever you buy must be suitable for other projects.


I wrote a lot of details about alternative power systems..

Apple Time Capsule Repair Type3 - LaPastenague


One of the nice things about using a laptop drive is that you no longer need two voltages.. just 5v is enough and will power both the board and the drive. That means you can remove the internal power supply and use a simple external power supply of 5V and 4A (voltage must be exact .. current is min.. more is fine.. 5v 5a for example.) The actual requirement is 15W ie 3A but almost all power supplies are now rated for intermittent power.. ie you should run them at no more than 70% of max rating continuous average.

Laptop drives are also much lower power consumption.. and even if they are slower it will make no difference with a TC.

If you use a 3.5" drive you need 12v and 5v with total rating of around 36W


Have fun!!

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 3, 2018 10:37 AM in response to Stophen In response to Stophen

An A1355 version of the AirPort Time Capsule is going to be at least 7 years old and as much as almost 9 depending on when it was originally placed into service. The average useful life of this model was in the 3-4 year old range, so you have had remarkably good luck with your Time Capsule.


In general, the Time Capsule power supply usually fails before the hard drive fails.


So, if you are thinking about installing a new hard drive in the Time Capsule, it really would not make much sense to do this....unless.....you have recently replaced the power supply inside your Time Capsule or you are planning to also replace the power supply as part of the new hard drive installation.


Even if you could find a shop to do this, the cost of parts (Apple does not sell replacement parts) and labor to rework the Time Capsule would probably surpass the cost of simply buying a new Time Capsule.....which will come with a new warranty and a lot faster wireless performance.


If you are a dedicated do-it-yourself type of person, there are articles on the Internet about how to do this, but having done this myself 3-4 years ago, frankly it was not worth anywhere near the time and effort.


For starters, I had to buy a used 3rd Gen Time Capsule to find a replacement power supply, and since I had already replaced the hard drive a few months before this, I had to pull the power supply from the used Time Capsule to install it in my Time Capsule. Having done this, the power supply only lasted a few more months before it failed.


Bottom line.....we would not recommend that you try to install a new hard drive in a 7+ year old Time Capsule. But, other users might disagree, so you might want to wait for other opinions.

Mar 3, 2018 10:37 AM

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Mar 3, 2018 10:37 AM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

Hi Bob,


Thanks for your reply, wow I didn't know they had such a short life expectancy!


I have to say, in my case it hasn't missed a beat and has been great for the last eight years!


Does anyone have a suggestion of a replacement hard drive so I can compare the price difference between that and a new time capsule?


Many thanks,


Stophen

Mar 3, 2018 10:37 AM

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Mar 3, 2018 11:18 AM in response to Stophen In response to Stophen

LaPastenague is very experienced in taking Time Capsules apart and replacing components inside the Time Capsule, so perhaps he will see this post and offer some additional information.


He may also echo the previous advice that it would frankly be foolish to replace the hard drive in a 7+ year old product unless you are also planning to replace the power supply.


All too often, the increased current requirements of a new hard drive will cause an older power supply to fail almost immediately, so you might want to consider that very real possibility.


Congratulations on your very good luck with your Time Capsule. My two 3rd Gen Time Capsule both failed right on schedule between 3-4 years of operation.......like an average 3rd Gen Time Capsule.

Mar 3, 2018 11:18 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 3, 2018 12:17 PM in response to Stophen In response to Stophen

As far as suitable disk for the TC, any "green" drive will be suitable.

By green here I mean low power type. It used to be easy because WD had a line of GREEN drives.. which is what Apple used in the next edition.. and for the larger drives in the Gen3 which you could buy with 2TB or even last model with 3TB.

Nowadays almost any drive not marked Enterprise tends to have very low power consumption.. so my recommendation is the cheapest 3.5" you can get hold of.. WD scrapped the Green series.. but they still have Blue and Purple.. either of those is fine. Seagate have such a huge range of drives as well it is hard to pick.. but usually the cheapest ones are fine. The most recent version of the TC changed to seagate barracuda. You can buy slow drives, ie NAS type if you want. It is not a requirement but they often tend to be low power particularly in idle state.

Since the data transfer to a TC is slow.. and by slow I mean.. really well below cheapest NAS.. even a 5400rpm laptop drive could work.. although you would have to DIY the mounting.. in fact laptop drives of 2TB (even recovered from a suitable shell.. buy Seagate not WD for this). Any standard SATA drive.


But I agree with Bob.. I would only do this project as a DIYer with full knowledge the TC could break down the first week after you install the drive. Especially as the power supply in it is now aprox 7 years old. Whatever you buy must be suitable for other projects.


I wrote a lot of details about alternative power systems..

Apple Time Capsule Repair Type3 - LaPastenague


One of the nice things about using a laptop drive is that you no longer need two voltages.. just 5v is enough and will power both the board and the drive. That means you can remove the internal power supply and use a simple external power supply of 5V and 4A (voltage must be exact .. current is min.. more is fine.. 5v 5a for example.) The actual requirement is 15W ie 3A but almost all power supplies are now rated for intermittent power.. ie you should run them at no more than 70% of max rating continuous average.

Laptop drives are also much lower power consumption.. and even if they are slower it will make no difference with a TC.

If you use a 3.5" drive you need 12v and 5v with total rating of around 36W


Have fun!!

Mar 3, 2018 12:17 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

Mar 3, 2018 12:17 PM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

Hi,


Thank you both for your replies.


While I am an 'avid' DIY'ier I don't have enough time for this at job at the moment so I will heed your advice and buy a new one.


Oh, just thought can you plug an external drive (via USB) into the back of my current TC to extend it's capacity or does the storage need to be all internal?


Cheers,


Stophen.

Mar 3, 2018 12:17 PM

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Mar 3, 2018 12:44 PM in response to Stophen In response to Stophen

You can connect a USB drive to the USB port on the Time Capsule......but....the USB port on the Time Capsule is old and slow USB 2.0, and the internal processing on the Time Capsule.....assuming it is running correctly.....will further limit speeds to about half that of normal USB 2.0 on a computer. So, things are going to be S--L--O--W.


And, this will place additional demands on the 7+ year old power supply inside the Time Capsule.


The USB drive will represent an additional hard drive, so it will not increase the capacity of the Time Capsule hard drive. In other words, you will have two separate drives.....the Time Capsule drive and the USB drive.

Mar 3, 2018 12:44 PM

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Mar 3, 2018 12:56 PM in response to Stophen In response to Stophen

Tesserax did a good deal of testing on the latest airport and TC with measurements of real world file transfer speeds.

The older model TC or airport will not be significantly different (at least Gen3 TC or Gen4 AE).


AirPort Disk - Throughput Testing


The speed of the USB is disappointing.. to say the least.

It also can be very unreliable.. depending on the exact USB disk you buy. With the Gen3 TC you MUST use a powered hub.. the power supply is already pushing it limits without anything in USB.. as Bob noted above.


It may work for you using wifi since the speed of the network in Gen3 TC is not that great either.. you will certainly feel the lack of speed over ethernet.

Mar 3, 2018 12:56 PM

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Question: Apple Time Capsule Model A1355 Hard Drive Upgrade