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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks System 10.5
First connect your AirPort disk directly to your Mac, and set up Time Machine to use it. If you want to let it back up now, that's fine. Alternatively, you can stop it and let it back up when it's plugged back into the Airport Extreme Base Station (AEBS).

Time Machine creates a file in the root directory of the disk called .1234abc5678 -- the exact name will differ on your Mac. It appears this file has to be in the root of the network shared directory. In my case, I use user accounts to manage my AirPort disk, so the directory that it actually shares out is called /Shared on my disk. So I simply move the hidden .1234abc5678 file, or whatever it may be called, to the /Shared directory. If you let Time Machine back up while plugged in locally, you will also have to move the .sparsebundle file to the /Shared directory.

Eject the disk and plug it back into the AEBS and mount it via AFP, and Time Machine should pick it right up. This method should work for any AFP share, not just AirPort disks.

[robg adds: I strongly advise that if you're going to use this hint to enable TM backups to an AEBS disk that you have an additional backup strategy, preferably something local and known to work well. It's possible that Apple disabled the AEBS Time Machine feature due to issues with the integrity of the backups -- not exactly something you'd want to worry about in your only backup solution. I haven't tested this one, but at some point, I probably will with a NAS that mounts via AFP, just to see how well it works.]
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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: kendals on Oct 31, '07 08:06:33AM

The .00xxxxxxx file is actually your HW Mac address, go into the Network control panel and find your MAC address. This trick will also work for backing up across network volumes as well.



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: robdew on Oct 31, '07 09:06:31AM

I heard that Apple pulled the plug on this due to reliability problems. I don't think I would want to trust my backup system to this sort of hack given that information.



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: smashingnick on Oct 31, '07 09:39:48AM

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THIS HINT.
Time machine will indeed backup to a network share but restoring with the time machine browser will not work.



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: Whosawhatsis on Nov 01, '07 08:50:03AM

but if you plug the drive in directly when you need to restore, it will work, won't it? I know it juggling drives interferes with the convenience of the restore feature, but it would be less tedious to plug it in only when you need to restore than to have to do it every time you back up. That's the type of inconvenience that makes most people not bother to back up.

---
I was offered a penny for my thoughts, so I gave my two cents... I got ripped off.



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: wileyc on Nov 04, '07 10:23:19AM

The way to restore using the Time Machine Browser is simple yet not obvious.

1. Browse to the sparseimage file on the AFP volume you used to backup
2. Open it with DiskImageMounter.app which should be the default. This will mount the sparseimage and the mounted disk will appear on your desktop name something like "Backup of MyComputer".
3. Right click on TimeMachine Doc Icon and Choose "Browse Other Time Machine Disks"

The Time Machine Browser will open and you can restore away



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: iith096 on Oct 31, '07 09:57:40AM

Has anyone tried using a Samba share with Time Machine? I have a Ubuntu file server sharing out a drive via Samba and the drive is visible in Leopard and can be browsed but is not a selectable choice in the Time Machine control panel applet.

If I can figure this out, I am planning to setup a Solaris 10 server with a mirrored ZFS share and have Time Machine backup to it via Airport. I would supplement this backup scheme along with a local daily backup to a firewire drive using Super Duper.

Thanks for your help.

Carlos.



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: mark hunte on Oct 31, '07 10:41:33AM

I have been using my Tm with a networked drive over afp. It works, but I do not think it is reliable (yet) for some reason,
it missed out 5gb worth of data??.

I suspect TM is designed not to hog cpu or any other resource , and just chug along in the background, connected directly by Firewire is slower
than you would normally expect but on my G4 ppc 12'' did about 65gb in just under two hours.

But over the network.. It is VEERRRRYYY, VEERRRRYYY SLOOOOOW. It was like encoding a long dvd. many many hours

I have also restored using the network, which work well.

I will be killing the backup and start again with FW, until the networking in TM gets better.

---
mh



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: brad-x on Oct 31, '07 10:55:13AM

Don't use this hint with a Samba or Netatalk server running on a Linux host. Not all filesystem semantics required by Time Machine are likely to be understood by SMB or Netatalk's rudimentary AFP implementation.

If you're using a Linux server, look into setting up iSCSI disks and mounting them on the Mac with the globalSAN iSCSI client. Time Machine recognizes these natively.



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: azadam on Oct 31, '07 12:10:35PM

I've been running TimeMachine over SMB to a Linux host for a couple of weeks but it's not for the casual geek. The details for those who want it:

1) I'm doing it over a gigabit ethernet cable. It would suck over 100mbit, and would be terrible over 10mbit or wifi so I wouldn't even attempt it unless you've got some cable for at least the initial sync.

2) Since time machine likes to be the main player on a particular drive/mount, I set up a new samba share specifically targeted to a TimeMachine directory. That way I can mount it from Finder and it looks like a happy, empty drive. Now the trick- touch a file in the root of that mount called .com.apple.timemachine.supported - this will override Time Machine's reluctance to use a network drive. As soon as you do that, it'll be a drive option in the preference pane for time machine.

3) Once you've got that started the first time, Time Machine asks you for the network mount password so it can reconnect on demand for making incremental backups. Restoring is trickier than off a regular drive, but not impossible. The trick is that you need to mount that SMB share, and then mount the diskbundle stored on that share, BEFORE you run TimeMachine.app. It'll prompt you when you start it up to select an old backup source- basically you just have to confirm that you want it to use that image you've mounted.


It's plain to see why Apple just killed network backups out of the final release since use over a network has a lot of rough spots, but if you're UNIX savvy and want to make it work, it's certainly possible.

p.s. An added bonus is that SMB respects filesystem quotas... so if you create a timemachine user and assign it a disk quota, you can effectively cap TimeMachine as you see fit and prevent it from consuming an entire disk.



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: jeanray on Oct 31, '07 06:25:04PM

Like I mentioned,

the "touch .com.apple.timemachine.supported" no longer works in the Retail build of Leopard.

Sorry for breaking it to you, it was a nicely written post, but alas, it will not work for anyone.



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an easier file name without the need to look something up
Authored by: lastfuture on Oct 31, '07 02:28:09PM

I have found an easier way without the need to look up the hex code used in the original post:

create an empty file called .com.apple.timemachine.supported in the root of any shared directory you want to use as a backup location, then navigate to that directory from the mac that is running time machine to get it to recognize that ability, open the time machine preferences and select the now available network share as your backup drive.

The empty file can simply be created with the touch command. Just navigate there in the terminal, then enter
touch .com.apple.timemachine.supported

As other have said before me, this is only for the brave and those who want to play around rather than actually know their data secure.



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an easier file name without the need to look something up
Authored by: jeanray on Oct 31, '07 06:23:37PM

You should install the final retail copy of Leopard, you would know that this trick DOES NOT work. This did indeed work in the build prior to 9A581, but no longer.

Please refrain from confusing people in the future.



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: Drakino on Oct 31, '07 11:30:48PM
I went a slightly different way of getting this working using 2 Leopard Macs and a NAS, and it's also working for me to restore as well, both from the Time Machine interface, and off the Leopard DVD. I submitted it as a hint, but it may be in the queue, due to the testing required.

http://www.infrant.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13829

They key thing is to ensure a sparseimage bundle is created, and not just a folder on the hard disk. Moving a sparseimage bundle to a network server is safe, as the Leopard specific HFS changes live inside the disk image. However these specific requirements don't work if all you do is move over the Backups.backupdb folder.

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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: scottzer0 on Nov 01, '07 08:37:51PM

I've compiled all my info from many forums and after some experimenting here's the networked solution that worked for me on the retail leopard:

the share (SMB, AFP, whatever) has to contain a dot-file named your eth0 MAC address (regardless of how you're connecting to the share). this file contains a string that's the encrypted version of your volume name. i haven't reversed this, so the easy way to make this is mount an external USB/Firewire drive with the name of the intended network share and copy that dot file over to the share's root.

the share must also have the ".com.apple.timemachine.supported" file in it's root. easily created at the command line with touch.

permissions don't seem to matter as long as the user can read them both.

cheers,

.zero



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: tc60045 on Nov 01, '07 08:53:49PM

I've been playing all evening with TimeMachine, as I'm intent on having TM backup to a .dmg on my linux server (via NFS).

It appears, after mounting the .dmg as root (yes, root) and cloning a physical TM to a .dmg that there must be a line in the TM code that filters out 'drives' based on Protocol = ...

The only difference b/t my .dmg and firewire drive, as evidenced by 'disutil info' is that protocol value. And TM will have nothing to do with the disk image.

There should be nothing wrong with using a .dmg on a file server, as OS X can happily hardlink or symlink within. So this is most vexing.

Time to disassemble TM and find that line of code...



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: SpazTheCat on Nov 02, '07 05:42:23PM

I've been trying for a day or so now to get the above suggestions to work but have been unable. So, I approached it from a different angle. Rather than making the AFP share appear to be a supported disk in TimeMachine, I turned off the check that TimeMachine performs to see if the disk is supported.

There is a hidden system preference that needs to be change. This can be done by typing the following command in the Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1


After doing this, the AFP share on my Mac running Tiger appeared in the list of disks available to TimeMachine without any further modification. I kicked off a backup and it appears to be running just fine. Rather slow (I wish I had gigabit ethernet), but fine.

Andy



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: odaigle on Nov 05, '07 04:46:32AM

I see a potential issue of using a network drive with TM. Here is what may happen:

1) The backup is made on the server into a sparse disk image, which has a size that is much greater than the physical disk itself. Example: I'm backing up on a 1.5 TB raid disk attached to a linux system though SMB and the sparse disk image created by TM has 2.73TB of capacity.

2) The incremental backups are made, filling up the server drive.

3) TM wants to backup more data and deletes old backups. However, as the backups are kept in a sparse disk image, the space on the physical disk is not freed. Thus, TM is never able to free space for more backups. Backups hangs.

One solution would be to be able to set a maximum size to the disk image that is lower than the physical disk size. However, I did not see this option. I also tried to create a sparse bundle disk image of 300GB and tried to use it as the backup device, but TM did not show the disk image as an available backup device (even though I had the .com.apple.timemachine.supported and .00xxxxxxxxx file onto it).



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: barrysharp on Nov 04, '07 08:24:28AM

PLESE PLEASE PLEASE do not employ this hack - I beg you.

After beta testing TM for 14 months I can assure you this hack will only bring you grief.

I would say that Rob has slipped up on displaying this hack and it should be removed as it will lead some unsuspecting users astray.

Yes - Rob has posted a warning but as you know many people who are anxiously awaiting this feature will try the hack and will have false hopes IMO.

For a Mac bundled backup facility that is not sanctioned by Apple the best advice is to ignore this hint.

---
Regards... Barry Sharp



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: wileyc on Nov 04, '07 10:24:19AM

The way to restore using the Time Machine Browser is simple yet not obvious.

1. Browse to the sparseimage file on the AFP volume you used to backup
2. Open it with DiskImageMounter.app which should be the default. This will mount the sparseimage and the mounted disk will appear on your desktop name something like "Backup of MyComputer".
3. Right click on TimeMachine Doc Icon and Choose "Browse Other Time Machine Disks"

The Time Machine Browser will open and you can restore away



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: wileyc on Nov 04, '07 01:56:36PM

By the way. I'm using this on a ReadyNAS NV+ RAID and it is working great so far. I tested restore and this also works. I will still keep an alternate backup though, since as warned by others, there may be issues we are not aware of.



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: Dornquast on Nov 04, '07 09:21:10PM
Interesting alternative to time machine:

http://www.crashplan.com/features/timeMachine.vtl

It's cross platform, and has many more features while remaining quite easy to use.

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10.5: Time Machine working with AirPort and AFP disks?
Authored by: blanton on Nov 04, '07 11:15:44PM

Registered: Nov 2, 2007 (Apple Support Forum)

Re: Time Machine
Posted: Nov 4, 2007 10:57 PM in response to: chancorey

Time Machine is working, apparently, with my AEBS, and a Western Digital My Book 500GB USB 2.0 drive. I had previously backed up two Powerbooks to this drive, via USB cable direct connect. I then plugged the drive into the AEBS and was able to get it "seen" by Time Machine.

I'm not entirely sure what is going on now, but I suspect it may have begun the backup, again, from scratch, as it's been 27 hours since the process began last night, and the progress bar is at 37.34 GB out of 89.32 GB. At this rate it will take nearly three days. So far it hasn't missed a beat though. It keeps grinding along. ("Backing up 919,307 items") If it finishes, then I'd expect the incremental backups to go pretty quickly, wouldn't you think?

I'm not going to trust this for a while, though. My main backup strategy will be to take a large HD from computer to computer, doing each in turn. And then, backing up that backup drive. I've got mac stuff since 1984 squirreled away. Pretty much everything since '84.

MBpro(s) Mac OS X (10.5)



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10.5: Time Machine working with AirPort and AFP disks?
Authored by: bradn on Nov 06, '07 03:44:12PM

I have TM network backups working for 3 (retail family pack version) leopard macs on a tiger AFP share. Most of the tricks described in this hint did *not* work for me.

After lots of trial and error here are my observations (YMMV of course, but I hope this helps folks out there). Note I have not tested against a leopard shared disk, SMB share or AEBS. I backup using 802.11g for 2 laptops and wired ethernet for an iMac. My server's a G4 Mac Mini so I'm limited to 100mb ethernet.

1) only erase and install machines worked. repeated errors on a tiger upgrsded machine. cool thing is I did a reinstall using erase and install on the 3rd machine after doing an upgrade and a full TM backup. I used that backup during the erase and install to recover all the user data apps etc - something to think about when upgrading.

2) my network drive never showed up as an available disk in TM. they still don't even though TM works fine. no amount of copying .00[mac] and .com.apple.time* files helped in this regard.

3) the only way I got it to work on each machine was to locally attach the drive, do a full TM backup, then reconnect to the drive once it's back as a network share. At that point TM worked but repeated to do a full system backup, this time using a sparseimage file. from then on everything was cool.

4) When I tried to delete the backups.backupdb directory using my tiger server the unused diskspace was *NOT* recovered (i.e. the available space reported by finder and disk utility did not show the recovered space of the removed backups directory. The only way to recover the space was to reconnect the network drive directly to a leopard machine with TM disabled, delete the directory, then holding down the option key empty trash.

5) Each client needs to connect to the share. setting up an auto-connect at login takes care of this automatically

6) I still need to mount the sparseimage file manually to do a restore.

Again ymmv, but I'm looking at 3 machines backing up to a tiger afp shared network drive right now and everything's been running great. Hope this helps others that may have been frustrated up to now.



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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: boudros on Dec 11, '07 05:15:21AM
Actually I had to specify a type for the key, so that it was taken in account:

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes -bool yes

otherwise "defaults" wrote a string, and didn't interpret the new sibling correctly (on my machine anyway).
I now use an afp volume with time machine, but watch the disk space used by the diskimage !!

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10.5: Make Time Machine work with AirPort and AFP disks
Authored by: rthompson on Feb 19, '08 02:49:20PM

I had my USB drive on my APE working with Time Machine under 10.5.1 very reliably. I then upgraded to 10.5.2 and it continued to work. A few days ago however, I needed to suspend a backup operation, and when I came back to restart it, time machine refused to mount the disk image on the drive. After several attempts to get it to connect with no luck I decided to delete the image (the sparce image file) and start over. Now TM refuses to create a new image.

BTW, I tried the suggestions to start a backup with the drive directly connected, then stop the backup, move the sparce image file, reconnect the drive to the APE base station to get it working. I tried this again, but I think Apple has changed something in 10.5.2, because when directly connected TM no longer creates a sparce image file. Instead it seems to be creating a hierarchal file structure on the backup folder to mirror the source.

Anybody else seen this behavior after upgrading to 10.5.2?



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