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*Updated* iTimeMachine fixes Time Machine on AirPort Extreme Base Station | Creation Robot
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*Updated* iTimeMachine fixes Time Machine on AirPort Extreme Base Station

January 21st, 2008 · 6 Comments

Update: Apple has released this update that fixes the problem. After installing the update Time Machine will see and use USB drives attached to an Airport Extreme Base Station. No more hacks required.

Update 2: For an easy to follow guide on how to get this running see Michael’s post here.

Here’s the old post, you can pretty much ignore all the below now:

Time Machine is supposed to be ‘backup for the rest of us.’ You plug it into your Mac and it does everything for you. That is the rub of the problem though. Plug it into your Mac. Most Macs are laptops and plugging your external disks into your laptop can be a pain, both in terms of logistics and remembering.

If you are using NAS or Apple’s own AirPort Extreme Base Station this shouldn’t be a problem, should it. Your laptop should back up over wireless to your NAS or the USB disk in your AirPort Extreme Base Station. You would think, but no. Apple has disabled that functionality in Time Machine.

Rather than introduce new hardware, in the form of TimeCapsule, that addresses this issue, lets fix the old software. We all know that it is a ‘simple’ software fix, so do it already – Apple please fix Time Machine right now.

Until the fix appears, and I’m not sure it will now that Apple is selling a ‘hardware fix’, here’s a workaround for getting your Time Machine to backup to NAS or AirPort Extreme Base Station USB disks; iTimeMachine.

iTimeMachine is a utility, the only utility, that enables the use of AirDisks and Network Disks in Time Machine. Even with the new release of TimeCapsule, users can still not use AirDisks with Time Machine. You can do it with iTimeMachine.

What’s New: iTimeMachine v1.1 now checks if you have network drives enabled. It also uses a toggle button instead of the old UI design. It now includes a progress indicator. It also automatically opens up the Time Machine preference pane and gives tells the user that it has enabled AirDisks.


Category: Apple · CreationRobot · IT

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chris // Feb 26, 2008 at 5:39 PM

    Sounds as if what Michael says is true, just a pretty face to the Terminal hack.

    I haven’t tried this program at all much less in 10.5.2 but everything was fine doing a network backup (besides speed) before the OS update.

  • 2 Jackdaw // Feb 22, 2008 at 11:17 AM

    Not tried it yet on 10.5.2. I have more to add to this post as iTimeMachine and the like is not the best solution for backing up data. Other work arounds exist to the issue of using TImeMachine.

  • 3 Mike // Feb 21, 2008 at 8:29 PM

    I don’t think iTimeMachine works with 10.5.2, I get a filed to make disk image error… Anyone else get this?

  • 4 James H. Young // Feb 21, 2008 at 2:08 AM

    I agree with that this piece of software just enables the preference to view the unsupported disk and still requires lots of additional work for the user. I have posted a fairly detailed description of how I got TM to work with AEB on my blog but as Michael states: beware. It’s always recommended that the user has an additional and supported backup scheme.

  • 5 Jackdaw // Jan 24, 2008 at 2:26 PM

    Thanks Michael, I know about the terminal hack but opted for the interface version as it is easier to use for most people. Backups are always only as good as the quality of the stored data and the ability to retrieve that data. I don’t see that using this config change is overly dangerous; after all if you were really serious about backups you probably wouldn’t be using TimeMachine to begin with. For the rest of us, this is good enough. Always appreciate your comments, like your site too, it’s on my read list :)

    For those wanting to dare the terminal:

    defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

  • 6 Michael Long // Jan 22, 2008 at 7:01 PM

    This just puts a pretty face on a Terminal hack, and does nothing to actually fix the problem. Yes, it lets Time Machine backup to network drives… but did it actually do a backup.

    It would be terrible to count on such a backup, only to find out that some of your data is missing or corrupted.

    Wait for Apple to release a fix.


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