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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Using an old PC drive for backup?


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cjburr

 
Member Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 25
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Mac Specs: MBP 2.66Ghz i7 8GB 1067 Mhz DDR3 240GB OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro SSD & 480GB Mercury Pro SSD

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As a recent convert to the Mac I'm a little unsure if my plan is going to work and would like some input as to whether what I intend to do will work or if my "Plan B" would be a better choice.

The plan: Take my old 1TB drive from my old pc, copy the files I wish to keep over to the wife's new iMac via an external enclosure with usb output, reformat the drive to Mac Extended journal, set it up as the destination drive for Time Machine, back up the new iMac, leave it be until they come out with a Thunderbolt enclosure that will allow me to buy my own drives and set up a RAID array to be used as the permanent solution.

"Plan B": Purchase the 3TB Time Capsule/WiFi router, hook it up to the new iMac using the ethernet connection, set up Time Machine for the iMac.

Question 1: Can I set up my wife's MBP to back up to the Time Capsule over the WiFi connection? It doesn't appear that I can select a destination drive for Time Machine that is accessed via WiFi, at least not the WiFi network I have here in Afghanistan. Does the Time Capsule/WiFi router combo allow this?(sorry that was 2 questions )

Question 2: If it can't be set up over WiFi with the Time Capsule, how can I set it up that her MBP will be backed up without any effort on her part? Would setting up a partition on her MBP for the purpose of back up via Time Machine be the only way or will she have to physically hook up to the Time Capsule to use it?

Question 3: Upgrading both our MBP's to Lion will allow us to access the Cloud, would using that as our backup be the easiest/cheapest way to go? I'm not sure I'll be comfortable with merely using the Cloud as my backup but am wondering if that is an option.

I've tried searching for this but these particular answers have eluded me, however the set up of the Time Machine has been explained nicely, thanks for that.
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cjburr

 
Member Since: Jun 25, 2010
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It appears you can select the Time Capsule via WiFi in the Airport utility set up? or am I not reading this correctly? The drive on my local network doesn't show up for me so perhaps this is only an option with the Time Capsule?

Seems like it will back up her MBP over the WiFi but do you need to partition the Time Capsule drive for each MBP and the iMac so they each have their own space on the drive to back up to or does the Time Capsule differentiate between them by itself?

The support tutorials on the Apple.com page are pretty good, perhaps if I download the user manual it may help but my download speeds here in the sandbox are about 4 to 20 kbps so perhaps someone will chime in with an answer before I have to resort to dragging down our pitiful network with a download.

Thanks for providing me a place to ask questions even as I still try to figure it out myself
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cjburr

 
Member Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 25
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Mac Specs: MBP 2.66Ghz i7 8GB 1067 Mhz DDR3 240GB OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro SSD & 480GB Mercury Pro SSD

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The user manual did the trick. I will be able to set up a network that will allow the iMac, and both MBPs to back up either wirelessly or through an ethernet cable and also set up a guest network to allow my kids to access the internet and each other on their iPod Touch and be able to limit this if necessary with the parental controls.

Some more reading will be required but it looks like I can set up to screenshare and also have remote access to my wife's MBP and the iMac should she run into trouble. This will be a godsend as I will be in Afghanistan for awhile and sometimes not even Skype can help.

I will say though that the only trouble we have had since switching to the Macs last year has been with the old wireless router I had and some issues with the cable/internet provider. The MBP have performed flawlessly for my wife, as she puts it,"it just works!" Mine has withstood the rigors of Afghanistan with only a few bad pixels on my screen and the HDD making some noise to the point that I replaced it with an OWC SSD, however the drive is still functioning as a backup without failure so far. Since maxing out the memory and installing the SSD my MBP is a screamer.

I will take it to the Apple store and see if they will fix my screen, I'm out of warranty but the fact that there wasn't a store here in Afghanistan may persuade them to fix it as a gesture of goodwill, I'll even pay the difference to upgrade to the hi-res screen if they'll let me LOL.

To others looking for answers I will highly recommend the apple.com support pages in conjunction with this site. I may have asked my questions too soon but writing it down seemed to help me a bit because as usual as soon as I ask something I find the answer myself making my question moot.

If anyone has any suggestions on other ways to skin this cat please feel free to post, I'm open to anything that may help or provide a better way to do this.
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cjburr

 
Member Since: Jun 25, 2010
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As an aside, I can also use the drive from my pc with the external enclosure plugged into the Airport Extreme router with usb as the destination drive for the Time Machine backup.

So I'll ponder the costs and decide what to do before I get to go home and go to the Apple store.
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Slydude

 
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Congrats on finding the answers to your questions before anyone here chimed in. As you've discovered things just work (most if the time).

If you haven't already done so I suggest doing the initial backup via ethernet. Since there is so much to be backed up the first time that can get very time consuming when done wirelessly.

Stay safe while in Afghanistan

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

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

 
Member Since: Jun 25, 2010
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I will definitely use the ethernet for the initial backup of the MBP's and the new iMac.

As I purchased an Airport Extreme I'm going to use the external usb drive as my backup until I can purchase a Thunderbolt enclosure to use as a RAID array for my backup.

As my wife really prefers not to have to do anything with the computer maintenance wise, I'm hoping this will be a stable network for the family's use that won't require much help from me via the remote access.

I must say I'm extremely pleased with the help and documentation provided directly from Apple online. The tutorials and help available from the support pages is not something I'm used to having coming from the pc world. Usually I'm faced with trying to get answers from forums and spending large amounts of time looking everywhere for answers. I think from here on out I'll go directly to Apple first and if the answer isn't there, I'll come here
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Slydude

 
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You're welcome to come here first but I guess if you insist on going to Apple first I guess we will just have to cope.

Have to agree with your wife on the maintenance issue. I'm as big a computer geek as the next guy but I rather spend time doing something new rather than maintenance.

Here's a tip that I discovered about drives connected to the USB port on Airports and Time Capsules that may not be in the documentation. When it happened to me I hand visions of lost data:

If you ever experience something that makes you think the drive needs minor repair Disk Utility does not see it in the drive list as long as it is connected to the Airport. The solution is simple. Make sure the drive is properly ejected then connect it directly to one of the Macs. Now it should appear in Disk Utility when that's launched. Once repaired it and safely ejected it can be reconnected to the Airport/Time Capsule.

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

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

 
Member Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 25
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Mac Specs: MBP 2.66Ghz i7 8GB 1067 Mhz DDR3 240GB OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro SSD & 480GB Mercury Pro SSD

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thanks for the tip, I'll file that one away for future reference 8)
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Slydude

 
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You're welcome. Hope you never need that tip.

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

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