Time Capsule question...

Discussion in 'Apple' started by barcaroller, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. barcaroller

    barcaroller Guest

    I would like to get an Airport Extreme with an external 1TB hard-drive,
    so Time Capsule would be a natural choice, but my question is: can I use the
    Time Capsule hard-drive as I wish or will Time Machine somehow limit access
    to it? In particular, can I deactivate Time Machine completely and still
    have access to the hard-drive?
     
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  2. In article <h2or56$abv$-september.org>,
    "barcaroller" <> wrote:

    > I would like to get an Airport Extreme with an external 1TB hard-drive,
    > so Time Capsule would be a natural choice, but my question is: can I use the
    > Time Capsule hard-drive as I wish or will Time Machine somehow limit access
    > to it? In particular, can I deactivate Time Machine completely and still
    > have access to the hard-drive?


    Yes. Just don't set it up as a Time Machine drive. It is pretty simple.
     
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  3. barcaroller

    barcaroller Guest

    "Lloyd Parsons" <> wrote ...

    > Yes. Just don't set it up as a Time Machine drive. It is pretty simple.


    If it were set up as a Time machine Drive, would I still be able to use the
    hard-drive for other stuff (e.g. creating and mounting other filesystems)?
    If yes, would I have to partition the hard-drive?
     
  4. In article <h2ovvd$fkf$-september.org>,
    "barcaroller" <> wrote:

    > "Lloyd Parsons" <> wrote ...
    >
    > > Yes. Just don't set it up as a Time Machine drive. It is pretty
    > > simple.

    >
    > If it were set up as a Time machine Drive, would I still be able to
    > use the hard-drive for other stuff (e.g. creating and mounting other
    > filesystems)?


    Yes.

    > If yes, would I have to partition the hard-drive?


    No.

    --
    Member National Rifle Association
    Member American Civil Liberties Union
    Member Human Rights Campaign
     
  5. In article <h2or56$abv$-september.org>,
    "barcaroller" <> wrote:

    > I would like to get an Airport Extreme with an external 1TB hard-drive,
    > so Time Capsule would be a natural choice, but my question is: can I use the
    > Time Capsule hard-drive as I wish or will Time Machine somehow limit access
    > to it? In particular, can I deactivate Time Machine completely and still
    > have access to the hard-drive?


    You can do what you want. I haven't noticed any interference between
    the Time Machine function and using the hard drive to save other data.

    The limit is how much space is available. Eventually, when the HD is
    full, Time Machine will start deleting old backups to meet its needs.
    But that doesn't give you any free space for additional data.

    The one problem I've had, is that the Time Capsule doesn't seem to
    support AppleTalk. I had an AppleTalk (EtherTalk) printer connected to
    the AirPort, that stopped working when I switched to the Time Capsule.
    I ended up going back to the AirPort Extreme to support the printer, and
    have the Time Capsule Wireless Mode set up to "Extend a wireless
    network", with the AirPort Extreme specified as the host.

    Fred
     
  6. barcaroller

    barcaroller Guest

    "Fred McKenzie" <> wrote in message ...

    > The limit is how much space is available. Eventually, when the HD is
    > full, Time Machine will start deleting old backups to meet its needs.


    So Time Machine will make backups until the hard-drive is physically full?
    Can Time Machine not be configured to use only a specified amount of disk
    space (say 250GB or 25%)?


    > But that doesn't give you any free space for additional data.


    Why is the newly-freed space not available for my own data?
     
  7. David Empson

    David Empson Guest

    barcaroller <> wrote:

    > "Lloyd Parsons" <> wrote ...
    >
    > > Yes. Just don't set it up as a Time Machine drive. It is pretty simple.

    >
    > If it were set up as a Time machine Drive, would I still be able to use the
    > hard-drive for other stuff (e.g. creating and mounting other filesystems)?


    Not easily. There is no mechanism to partition the internal drive in a
    Time Capsule. This means you are limited to working with files on a
    single file system.

    If you use a Time Capsule as a Time Machine backup destination, the Time
    Machine backups will eventually grow to fill all free space on the
    drive.

    This means that you will eventually have no space to store other files
    unless you manually delete old Time Machine backups to make room.

    To prevent Time Machine using all of the drive, the easiest solution is
    to create one or more fixed size disk images, and use them to store any
    incidental files you want to keep on the Time Capsule (which won't be
    backed up by Time Machine).

    Another option would be to connect an external drive to the Time
    Capsule. Use the internal drive for your Time Machine backups and the
    external drive for incidental file storage (which won't be backed up by
    Time Machine).

    --
    David Empson
     
  8. David Empson

    David Empson Guest

    barcaroller <> wrote:

    > "Fred McKenzie" <> wrote in message ...
    >
    > > The limit is how much space is available. Eventually, when the HD is
    > > full, Time Machine will start deleting old backups to meet its needs.

    >
    > So Time Machine will make backups until the hard-drive is physically full?
    > Can Time Machine not be configured to use only a specified amount of disk
    > space (say 250GB or 25%)?


    No. The usual way to force that is to partition a hard drive but the
    Time Capsule can't be partitioned.

    > > But that doesn't give you any free space for additional data.

    >
    > Why is the newly-freed space not available for my own data?


    Because when Time Machine deletes old backups because the volume is
    nearly full, it will immediately fill most of that space with new
    backups, and will keep filling it until the drive is nearly full again.

    You can't easily control when the deletion of old backups will occur, so
    you wouldn't have a predictable opportunity to use any of the space that
    Time Machine freed by deleting an old backup.

    In addition, on a Time Capsule, Time Machine uses Sparse Disk Images to
    hold its backups. Typically these will NOT shrink in size when an old
    backup is deleted - there will be additional free space within the disk
    image but not on the Time Capsule's own file system.
    --
    David Empson
     
  9. barcaroller

    barcaroller Guest

    "David Empson" <> wrote ...

    > Not easily. There is no mechanism to partition the internal drive in a
    > Time Capsule. This means you are limited to working with files on a
    > single file system.


    Ah, that's important to know. So, just to clarify, I can't just format and
    set up filesystem partitions on a Time Capsule hard-drive, regardless of
    whether I'm using Time Machine or not. Is that correct?


    > To prevent Time Machine using all of the drive, the easiest solution is
    > to create one or more fixed size disk images, and use them to store any
    > incidental files you want to keep on the Time Capsule (which won't be
    > backed up by Time Machine).


    I don't know what you mean by fixed disk size images. Will you please
    elaborate?


    > Another option would be to connect an external drive to the Time
    > Capsule. Use the internal drive for your Time Machine backups and the
    > external drive for incidental file storage (which won't be backed up by
    > Time Machine).


    Another option is to just get an Airport Extreme with an external hard-drive
    and have Time Machine backup to the internal drive. I assume Time Machine
    is smart enough not to fill up the internal system disk (I can't imagine
    Apple developers allowing that).
     
  10. In article <h2p35c$7qc$-september.org>,
    "barcaroller" <> wrote:

    > > The limit is how much space is available. Eventually, when the HD
    > > is full, Time Machine will start deleting old backups to meet its
    > > needs.

    >
    > So Time Machine will make backups until the hard-drive is physically
    > full? Can Time Machine not be configured to use only a specified
    > amount of disk space (say 250GB or 25%)?


    Only by partitioning.

    > > But that doesn't give you any free space for additional data.

    >
    > Why is the newly-freed space not available for my own data?


    Because only enough is freed for the current backup.

    --
    Member National Rifle Association
    Member American Civil Liberties Union
    Member Human Rights Campaign
     
  11. In article <h2ovvd$fkf$-september.org>,
    "barcaroller" <> wrote:

    > "Lloyd Parsons" <> wrote ...
    >
    > > Yes. Just don't set it up as a Time Machine drive. It is pretty simple.

    >
    > If it were set up as a Time machine Drive, would I still be able to use the
    > hard-drive for other stuff (e.g. creating and mounting other filesystems)?
    > If yes, would I have to partition the hard-drive?


    You could, but Time Machine will eventually fill all free space, that is
    how it works.

    Partitioning would be the way to go, but you have to remove the HD and
    connect to your Mac (using the appropriate enclosure) to do it. You
    can't partition the drive inside the TC.

    Possibly a better way is to buy a Time Capsule 500Gb version and add an
    external USB2 HD to it. That way you can use the TC drive for Time
    Machine and have another drive to use in other ways.

    Or buy an Airport Extreme, attach a 1GB drive or so to it, partition it
    the way you want and your done. The downside is that Apple doesn't
    support that although it currently does work.
     
  12. David Empson

    David Empson Guest

    barcaroller <> wrote:

    > "David Empson" <> wrote ...
    >
    > > Not easily. There is no mechanism to partition the internal drive in a
    > > Time Capsule. This means you are limited to working with files on a
    > > single file system.

    >
    > Ah, that's important to know. So, just to clarify, I can't just format and
    > set up filesystem partitions on a Time Capsule hard-drive, regardless of
    > whether I'm using Time Machine or not. Is that correct?


    Correct. The only tools available in Airport Utility for manipulating
    the internal drive in a Time Capsule are to erase it, verify/repair it,
    and back up or restore tofrom an externally connected drive.

    You can't access the Time Capsule drive using Disk Utility's volume
    maniupulation tools, so there is no way to partition a Time Capsule's
    internal drive.

    (Some people have apparently proved you can partition a Time Capsule by
    pulling it apart, removing the hard drive, connecting to a Mac to
    partition it, then reassembling the Time Capsule, but the Time Capsule
    is not designed to be opeend, so this will void your warranty.)

    With an external drive connected to a Time Capsule or Airport Extreme,
    you can connect it to a computer (temporarily) to partition it, then
    move it back to the Time Capsule or Airport Extreme, where all of its
    partitions are accessible.

    > > To prevent Time Machine using all of the drive, the easiest solution is
    > > to create one or more fixed size disk images, and use them to store any
    > > incidental files you want to keep on the Time Capsule (which won't be
    > > backed up by Time Machine).

    >
    > I don't know what you mean by fixed disk size images. Will you please
    > elaborate?


    You can use Disk Utility to create disk image files.

    As far as the "host" file system is concerned, the disk image is just a
    big file. When you mount the disk image, the operating system treats it
    as a separate volume.

    There are two major types of disk image: normal disk images and sparse
    disk images.

    Normal disk images are a fixed size. You specify the size when you
    create the disk image (or it is determined from the size of a source
    volume or folder if you instruct Disk Utility to create an image from
    existing data rather than just creating an empty disk image). The size
    of the disk image file will be a little larger than the size of the file
    system it contains, due to overhead for the disk image file itself (plus
    overhead within the contained file system, e.g. directories).

    Sparse disk images are a variable size on the "host" file system. You
    specify a maximum size when you create one, but they start out quite
    small (in disk usage) and grow as you add more files to the file system
    within the disk image.

    A sparse disk image may be a single file (with a nominal maximum size
    but only the used parts of the file actually having space allocated on
    the host file system) or a "sparse bundle", which is a folder pretending
    to be a single file (a general concept known as a "package") which
    contains a large number of relatively small files (a few megabytes
    each).

    > > Another option would be to connect an external drive to the Time
    > > Capsule. Use the internal drive for your Time Machine backups and the
    > > external drive for incidental file storage (which won't be backed up by
    > > Time Machine).

    >
    > Another option is to just get an Airport Extreme with an external hard-drive
    > and have Time Machine backup to the internal drive. I assume Time Machine
    > is smart enough not to fill up the internal system disk (I can't imagine
    > Apple developers allowing that).


    You assume wrong.

    First, Time Machine doesn't let you back up to the same drive as the
    source data, unless you override it. If you think about it, this is a
    very bad idea: if your hard drive failed, you would lose all your
    original data and all your backups. It doesn't matter if you are dealing
    with one or multiple partitions - you should never use the same physical
    drive as a backup for your source data.

    Secondly, Time Machine doesn't care what drive you are using to do the
    backups as far as its disk usage is concerned. If you were foolish
    enough to store your Time Machine backups on your startup volume
    (ignoring Time Machine's warnings about not doing that), the Time
    Machine backups would eventually fill the entire volume and your system
    would probably be unbootable because it wouldn't have space to store
    temporary files and virtual memory swap files.

    --
    David Empson
     
  13. In article <1j2dxhd.d0y266uqmahN%>,
    (David Empson) wrote:

    > barcaroller <> wrote:
    >
    > > "Fred McKenzie" <> wrote in message ...
    > >
    > > > The limit is how much space is available. Eventually, when the HD is
    > > > full, Time Machine will start deleting old backups to meet its needs.

    > >
    > > So Time Machine will make backups until the hard-drive is physically full?
    > > Can Time Machine not be configured to use only a specified amount of disk
    > > space (say 250GB or 25%)?

    >
    > No. The usual way to force that is to partition a hard drive but the
    > Time Capsule can't be partitioned.
    >
    > > > But that doesn't give you any free space for additional data.

    > >
    > > Why is the newly-freed space not available for my own data?

    >
    > Because when Time Machine deletes old backups because the volume is
    > nearly full, it will immediately fill most of that space with new
    > backups, and will keep filling it until the drive is nearly full again.
    >
    > You can't easily control when the deletion of old backups will occur, so
    > you wouldn't have a predictable opportunity to use any of the space that
    > Time Machine freed by deleting an old backup.
    >
    > In addition, on a Time Capsule, Time Machine uses Sparse Disk Images to
    > hold its backups. Typically these will NOT shrink in size when an old
    > backup is deleted - there will be additional free space within the disk
    > image but not on the Time Capsule's own file system.


    I think you can limit Time Machine by shrinking the sparsebundle when
    it's first created. At least, Time Machine hasn't expanded the ones I
    made yet. I'm backing up three computers to one crappy LaCie 5big with
    no partitioning or quotas so I have pretty much the same problem.

    --
    I will not see your reply if you use Google.
     
  14. barcaroller

    barcaroller Guest

    "Michelle Steiner" <> wrote in message ...

    >> So Time Machine will make backups until the hard-drive is physically
    >> full? Can Time Machine not be configured to use only a specified
    >> amount of disk space (say 250GB or 25%)?

    >
    > Only by partitioning.


    Except that, if I understood David, partitioning is not possible on a Time
    Capsule hard-drive (unless the hard-drive is extracted from the Time
    Capsule).
     
  15. barcaroller

    barcaroller Guest

    "David Empson" <> wrote ...

    > Correct. The only tools available in Airport Utility for manipulating
    > the internal drive in a Time Capsule are to erase it, verify/repair it,
    > and back up or restore tofrom an externally connected drive.
    >
    > You can't access the Time Capsule drive using Disk Utility's volume
    > maniupulation tools, so there is no way to partition a Time Capsule's
    > internal drive.
    >
    > (Some people have apparently proved you can partition a Time Capsule by
    > pulling it apart, removing the hard drive, connecting to a Mac to
    > partition it, then reassembling the Time Capsule, but the Time Capsule
    > is not designed to be opeend, so this will void your warranty.)
    >
    > With an external drive connected to a Time Capsule or Airport Extreme,
    > you can connect it to a computer (temporarily) to partition it, then
    > move it back to the Time Capsule or Airport Extreme, where all of its
    > partitions are accessible.
    >
    >
    > You can use Disk Utility to create disk image files.
    >
    > As far as the "host" file system is concerned, the disk image is just a
    > big file. When you mount the disk image, the operating system treats it
    > as a separate volume.
    >
    > There are two major types of disk image: normal disk images and sparse
    > disk images.
    >
    > Normal disk images are a fixed size. You specify the size when you
    > create the disk image (or it is determined from the size of a source
    > volume or folder if you instruct Disk Utility to create an image from
    > existing data rather than just creating an empty disk image). The size
    > of the disk image file will be a little larger than the size of the file
    > system it contains, due to overhead for the disk image file itself (plus
    > overhead within the contained file system, e.g. directories).
    >
    > Sparse disk images are a variable size on the "host" file system. You
    > specify a maximum size when you create one, but they start out quite
    > small (in disk usage) and grow as you add more files to the file system
    > within the disk image.
    >
    > A sparse disk image may be a single file (with a nominal maximum size
    > but only the used parts of the file actually having space allocated on
    > the host file system) or a "sparse bundle", which is a folder pretending
    > to be a single file (a general concept known as a "package") which
    > contains a large number of relatively small files (a few megabytes
    > each).


    Thank you for this detailed, informative response.



    > You assume wrong.
    >
    > First, Time Machine doesn't let you back up to the same drive as the
    > source data, unless you override it. If you think about it, this is a
    > very bad idea: if your hard drive failed, you would lose all your
    > original data and all your backups. It doesn't matter if you are dealing
    > with one or multiple partitions - you should never use the same physical
    > drive as a backup for your source data.
    >
    > Secondly, Time Machine doesn't care what drive you are using to do the
    > backups as far as its disk usage is concerned. If you were foolish
    > enough to store your Time Machine backups on your startup volume
    > (ignoring Time Machine's warnings about not doing that), the Time
    > Machine backups would eventually fill the entire volume and your system
    > would probably be unbootable because it wouldn't have space to store
    > temporary files and virtual memory swap files.


    Yes, I understand the senselessness of backing up to the same physical
    hard-drive but I don't really care that much about Time Machine backups (aka
    System Restores on Windows). I tend to back-up my own "critical data"
    independently anyway (never to the same physical drive). Complete system
    backups are just a mere convenience for me.

    I am surprised that Time Machine will continue filling up a disk without any
    consideration to the consequences. It should be a minimal enhancement for
    Apple developers to set some kind of physical limit.
     
  16. In article <h2qelc$5h5$-september.org>,
    "barcaroller" <> wrote:

    > >> So Time Machine will make backups until the hard-drive is
    > >> physically full? Can Time Machine not be configured to use only a
    > >> specified amount of disk space (say 250GB or 25%)?

    > >
    > > Only by partitioning.

    >
    > Except that, if I understood David, partitioning is not possible on a
    > Time Capsule hard-drive (unless the hard-drive is extracted from the
    > Time Capsule).


    True, but you can remove the drive from the TC, partition it, and put it
    back in the TC. I doubt that it's worth the effort, though.

    By the way, you can partition the sparse bundle, but I don't know what
    good, if any, that would do.

    --
    Member National Rifle Association
    Member American Civil Liberties Union
    Member Human Rights Campaign
     
  17. Tom Stiller

    Tom Stiller Guest

    In article <h2qfi8$e03$-september.org>,
    "barcaroller" <> wrote:

    > Yes, I understand the senselessness of backing up to the same physical
    > hard-drive but I don't really care that much about Time Machine backups (aka
    > System Restores on Windows). I tend to back-up my own "critical data"
    > independently anyway (never to the same physical drive). Complete system
    > backups are just a mere convenience for me.


    Do you mean to imply that System Restores on Windows and Apple's Time
    Machine are equivalent facilities? If so, either I misunderstand
    Window's System Restore, or you misunderstand Time Machine.

    --
    Tom Stiller

    PGP fingerprint = 5108 DDB2 9761 EDE5 E7E3 7BDA 71ED 6496 99C0 C7CF
     
  18. In article <h2qfi8$e03$-september.org>,
    "barcaroller" <> wrote:

    > I am surprised that Time Machine will continue filling up a disk
    > without any consideration to the consequences.


    Time Machine is based on the premise that the backup volume will be used
    solely for the Time Machine backup. Therefore, there are no
    consequences to its filling up the volume.

    --
    Member National Rifle Association
    Member American Civil Liberties Union
    Member Human Rights Campaign
     
  19. Michelle Steiner wrote:
    > In article <h2ovvd$fkf$-september.org>,
    > "barcaroller" <> wrote:
    >
    >> "Lloyd Parsons" <> wrote ...
    >>
    >>> Yes. Just don't set it up as a Time Machine drive. It is pretty
    >>> simple.

    >> If it were set up as a Time machine Drive, would I still be able to
    >> use the hard-drive for other stuff (e.g. creating and mounting other
    >> filesystems)?

    >
    > Yes.
    >
    >> If yes, would I have to partition the hard-drive?

    >
    > No.


    Yes, if by 'other file systems' the poster means non Mac file systems.

    --
    John McWilliams
     
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