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Bugs & Fixes: Time Machine, AirPort Extreme drives, and multiple Macs

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:00 AM

Post your comments for Bugs & Fixes: Time Machine, AirPort Extreme drives, and multiple Macs here
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#2 User is offline   Luis_Alejandro 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

I just pick it up from my (old) brain… (with no back-up, sorry) but when Apple introduced TimeMachine, in the first place they said that it worked with an Airport Base and an external disk… and a few days after they presented TimeCapsule: Airport Base + internal disk.
What I remember are several discussion about not be able to secure backups to a detachable (a.k.a. external) device or something like that.
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#3 User is offline   PYXL8Rmusic 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:28 AM

I have 2 external USB drives (both identical 2TB WD drives) attached to my Airport Extreme, and use them with Time Machine to back up my family's four MacBooks over wifi. Oddly enough, 3 of the MacBooks share one of the drives and have never ever had any backup issues.

But MY Macbook, which uses the 2nd of the two drives (which is reserved just for MY stuff!), gets that corrupted backup error every few months or so. Usually I have to pull the drive off the network, plug it directly into my MacBook, and run Disk Utility and it (75% of the time anyway) fixes the "broken" backup. But not always... doing a brand-new backup is a big PITA.

I've been using this setup for at least 3 years and never knew that it wasn't condoned by Apple. This article was a completely surprise to me, so thanks... I think!

(Now I'm worried...)
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#4 User is offline   deemery 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:49 AM

On a related note: I recently swapped out the hard drive on a Mini (replaced a 120gb/5400rpm with a 1tb/7200rpm drive :-) Time Machine decided that everything on that disk has changed, and is backing up the whole drive.

A consequence is that I'll lose the older files that changed, to hold the files whose contents haven't changed, but whose underlying drive ID has changed. There ought to be a way to 'bless' a cloned drive to prevent this.
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#5 User is offline   Jayson 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:09 PM

The reason Apple states Time Machine is not supported using Airport Disk does not have to to do with being able to back up to an Airport Disk but with restoring from a Time Machine backup. If, for example, you had a drive replaced at the Genius Bar then went home to use the "Restore From a Time Machine Backup" option, the computer wouldn't see the Airport Disk. If you attach the drive directly to your computer, then the system will not be able to un-package the sparse bundle. It's a catch-22. Backing up is not so much the problem as most have been able to get it to work, it's only when you need it to do what it was intended to do (restore data) that it actually fails.
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#6 User is offline   brucepeck 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:20 PM

I have been using a WD MyBook World as a NAS device connected by an ethernet cable to a Airport Extreme as a Time Machine backup for years and it works fine. Any comments?
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#7 User is offline   DBSteve 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:02 PM

I have been backing up 2 Macs to an external drive attached to my AirPort Extreme for a couple of years with very few problems. I only had to delete a backup and start over one time after I did a clean install of Mountain Lion on my wife's iMac. TimeMachine just wouldn't connect to the old backup. One important change to TimeMachine in Mountain Lion that I haven't seen mentioned in any article is that TimeMachine now allows you to specify more than one backup drive for your Mac. TimeMachine then alternates between the 2 drives at each backup. I haven't tried more than 2. I have a local drive for Time Machine on both of our Macs and the AirPort attached drive. If I loose one I still have the other. The alternating backups have been working perfectly except for the occasional network error that causes the network drive to unmount. This is fixed either by restarting the Mac or by reconnecting to the network drive in the Finder.
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#8 User is offline   RobCollins 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:19 PM

One of my backup solutions (of 6, excluding internet) is for my Home folder only, using Backup 3 (MobileMe backup solution). A Cat 5 cable connects a separate building (about 200 ft away) with an Airport Express base station (in 'bridge' mode – wifi disabled) with two 2Tb drives attached via USB. I have 4 other Macs using Backup 3, sharing the same two remote drives.

Occasionally my Mac loses its connection (happens 4-6 times each year). The I simply re-set the circuit-breaker locally, or go to the building and re-start the base station and drives. Voila! All is good again.

I have found that Backup 3 works well as a NAS solution but it doesn't like burdonsome overheads, like Windows in Parallels (who does?).

I find that having multiple backup solutions ensures reasonably safe protection - some for simple data corruption or loss, for failure of one of the backup drives, others for fire, theft, fire and theft, and most dangerous of all – me.
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#9 User is offline   brucepeck 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:50 PM

Quote

One of my backup solutions (of 6, excluding internet) is for my Home folder only, using Backup 3 (MobileMe backup solution). A Cat 5 cable connects a separate building (about 200 ft away) with an Airport Express base station (in 'bridge' mode – wifi disabled) with two 2Tb drives attached via USB. I have 4 other Macs using Backup 3, sharing the same two remote drives. Occasionally my Mac loses its connection (happens 4-6 times each year). The I simply re-set the circuit-breaker locally, or go to the building and re-start the base station and drives. Voila! All is good again. I have found that Backup 3 works well as a NAS solution but it doesn't like burdonsome overheads, like Windows in Parallels (who does?). I find that having multiple backup solutions ensures reasonably safe protection - some for simple data corruption or loss, for failure of one of the backup drives, others for fire, theft, fire and theft, and most dangerous of all – me.

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#10 User is offline   brucepeck 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:51 PM

Quote

One of my backup solutions (of 6, excluding internet) is for my Home folder only, using Backup 3 (MobileMe backup solution). A Cat 5 cable connects a separate building (about 200 ft away) with an Airport Express base station (in 'bridge' mode – wifi disabled) with two 2Tb drives attached via USB. I have 4 other Macs using Backup 3, sharing the same two remote drives. Occasionally my Mac loses its connection (happens 4-6 times each year). The I simply re-set the circuit-breaker locally, or go to the building and re-start the base station and drives. Voila! All is good again. I have found that Backup 3 works well as a NAS solution but it doesn't like burdonsome overheads, like Windows in Parallels (who does?). I find that having multiple backup solutions ensures reasonably safe protection - some for simple data corruption or loss, for failure of one of the backup drives, others for fire, theft, fire and theft, and most dangerous of all – me.

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#11 User is offline   brucepeck 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:53 PM

Quote

One of my backup solutions (of 6, excluding internet) is for my Home folder only, using Backup 3 (MobileMe backup solution). A Cat 5 cable connects a separate building (about 200 ft away) with an Airport Express base station (in 'bridge' mode – wifi disabled) with two 2Tb drives attached via USB. I have 4 other Macs using Backup 3, sharing the same two remote drives. Occasionally my Mac loses its connection (happens 4-6 times each year). The I simply re-set the circuit-breaker locally, or go to the building and re-start the base station and drives. Voila! All is good again. I have found that Backup 3 works well as a NAS solution but it doesn't like burdonsome overheads, like Windows in Parallels (who does?). I find that having multiple backup solutions ensures reasonably safe protection - some for simple data corruption or loss, for failure of one of the backup drives, others for fire, theft, fire and theft, and most dangerous of all – me.

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#12 User is offline   brucepeck 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:54 PM

Quote

One of my backup solutions (of 6, excluding internet) is for my Home folder only, using Backup 3 (MobileMe backup solution). A Cat 5 cable connects a separate building (about 200 ft away) with an Airport Express base station (in 'bridge' mode – wifi disabled) with two 2Tb drives attached via USB. I have 4 other Macs using Backup 3, sharing the same two remote drives. Occasionally my Mac loses its connection (happens 4-6 times each year). The I simply re-set the circuit-breaker locally, or go to the building and re-start the base station and drives. Voila! All is good again. I have found that Backup 3 works well as a NAS solution but it doesn't like burdonsome overheads, like Windows in Parallels (who does?). I find that having multiple backup solutions ensures reasonably safe protection - some for simple data corruption or loss, for failure of one of the backup drives, others for fire, theft, fire and theft, and most dangerous of all – me.

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#13 User is offline   brucepeck 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:54 PM

Quote

One of my backup solutions (of 6, excluding internet) is for my Home folder only, using Backup 3 (MobileMe backup solution). A Cat 5 cable connects a separate building (about 200 ft away) with an Airport Express base station (in 'bridge' mode – wifi disabled) with two 2Tb drives attached via USB. I have 4 other Macs using Backup 3, sharing the same two remote drives. Occasionally my Mac loses its connection (happens 4-6 times each year). The I simply re-set the circuit-breaker locally, or go to the building and re-start the base station and drives. Voila! All is good again. I have found that Backup 3 works well as a NAS solution but it doesn't like burdonsome overheads, like Windows in Parallels (who does?). I find that having multiple backup solutions ensures reasonably safe protection - some for simple data corruption or loss, for failure of one of the backup drives, others for fire, theft, fire and theft, and most dangerous of all – me.

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#14 User is offline   brucepeck 

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  Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:55 PM

I do essentially the same as DB Steve with 1GB WD MyBook World NAS and a WD My Passport when I am on vacation. Time Machine just alternates between the two HDs.
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