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  1. #1

    lschwarcz's Avatar
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    Question Time Machine backup to networked drive issue
    I have a Windows 7 desktop system with an attached external drive and my MacBook Pro (Lion). I'd like to backup my MBP using Time Machine to the external drive on my Win 7 system. The two systems have been networked together and I'm able to manually copy files to and from this external drive from the MBP.

    The issue is that when I try to setup Time Machine I don't see any way to select this external drive as my backup target. I'm only given the option of opening up the AirPort Utility that will scan for AirPort devices.

    Can I backup to this attached networked drive? If so, any hints how to set it up?

    Thanks in advance!
    Larry.

  2. #2


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    You cannot backup to a Windows Machine using Time Machine. Time Machine requires a volume that is in HSF+ Format and Windows cannot natively ready HFS+ without 3rd party software. Even if you had the third party software this is very unlikely to work. You have to hook the drive up directly to the macbook pro for this to work.

  3. #3

    lschwarcz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanlon View Post
    You cannot backup to a Windows Machine using Time Machine. Time Machine requires a volume that is in HSF+ Format and Windows cannot natively ready HFS+ without 3rd party software. Even if you had the third party software this is very unlikely to work. You have to hook the drive up directly to the macbook pro for this to work.
    All I can say is, "RATS!" Thanks for the quick answer even if it isn't the answer I wanted .

    I do have another external drive but it's not too big (only 160GB). Right now it wouldn't be nearly large enough to hold a whole backup of my system. But, I think it would work if I excluded my iTunes library.

    I'm also trying to get SyncMate (http://mac.eltima.com/sync-mac.html) up and working to sync my data files (including the iTunes library) sync'd between my two systems so that should work fine as a data backup.

    Thanks again!
    Larry.

  4. #4

    Slydude's Avatar
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    There is a procedure that allows Time machine to back up to a Windows SMB share. You can find one method here. Similar methods have been around for a while and I think I saw some reports of data loss in the early days so do your homework before trying this.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  5. #5

    lschwarcz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    There is a procedure that allows Time machine to back up to a Windows SMB share. You can find one method here. Similar methods have been around for a while and I think I saw some reports of data loss in the early days so do your homework before trying this.
    Hi Slydude,

    Thanks for the link! Looks like something I'd like to try.

    The link doesn't mention if I need to run that script one-time or each time I want to backup the Mac. I suppose I can discover the answer buy trial and error (sometimes more error than trial ).

    If this works it would pretty much solve my issue! And, I could then use my other external drive (it's the original drive that came in this MBP) for other storage!

    Thanks again!
    Larry.

  6. #6

    Slydude's Avatar
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    I backtracked the original hint that the scripting simplifies. Unless I misunderstand something, entirely possible given my extremely limited knowledge of shell scripting, you would only need to run the script once too setup the basic parameters.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  7. #7

    lschwarcz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    I backtracked the original hint that the scripting simplifies. Unless I misunderstand something, entirely possible given my extremely limited knowledge of shell scripting, you would only need to run the script once too setup the basic parameters.
    Hi Slydude,

    I just started to follow that procedure. But, the script has a passed in parameter for the max storage size. Any idea how to estimate how much space I'll need? If I under or over estimate can I adjust the size afterwards?

    Thanks again!
    Larry.

  8. #8

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Good questions. I'll see what I can find out. Perhaps others here will have a good answer.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  9. #9

    lschwarcz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    Good questions. I'll see what I can find out. Perhaps others here will have a good answer.
    I just did a quick Google search and found this link that pretty much says to have about 1.5X space available as you're currently using!

    how much space is needed for Time Machine? - MacNN Forums

    I'm already using about 280GB on the MBP (which includes the iTunes libraries for myself and my wife). So I should probably allocate 500GB.

    I guess the good news is that the space needed for my desktop Win 7 system is only about 30 Gig currently. I do have a copy of my iTunes library on there but I don't need yet another copy of that so I don't need to worry about it.

    So, it looks like my 2TB backup disk should be big enough it's just a matter of how to allocate the space.

    But, what if that space initially allocated for Time Machine is fixed (can't be expanded) then I should probably allocate even more! Anyone know of that space can be expanded after it's been used and is getting full?

    Thanks again!
    Larry.

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