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Time Machine on a disk attached to your Airport router

So Apple decided to only allow network backups to the Time Capsule. That's fine with me, in general, but I already own an Airport Extreme and don't feel like paying Apple for putting an HDD into a box. After some googling, I connected the pieces I'm now sharing with you:

1) Enable 'unsupported' volumes:

$ defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

2) Mount your remote AFP volume and set it as backup target in the Time Machine preferences (Note: this will not work correctly, don't worry...). While doing the backup, keep a Finder window with the AFP volume open, as a sparse bundle gets created and deleted during this failing backup, you should copy its name while it's there. This step is optional, you may also find out the name manually. The sparse bundle will be called ${hostname}_${mac_addr}.sparsebundle, where $mac_addr is the MAC address of the NIC connected to the Airport router, in lower case and without the colons.

3) When you have the name, you can use Disk Utility to create the sparse bundle yourself, as Time Machine doesn't quite make by itself. See above for the file name and choose a descriptive volume name. Volume Size is up to you, Volume format should be the default (Mac OS Extended, journaled). Use no encryption, no partition map and choose 'sparse bundle disk image' as image format. After creating this sparse bundle on your local machine, unmount it and put it on your AFP share.

4) Now you're ready for take-off. Configure your backup in the Time Machine preferences and start it. Time Machine will now find your previously created sparse bundle and happily mount it. Keep in mind that backups over the air are still slow, in spite of 802.11n.

Reposted bySheenaHomer SheenaHomer

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