back to article Apple's Time Machine now works as advertised

Apple has finally opened OS X Leopard's Time Machine wireless backup capability to disk drives lacking the glossy plastic anointment of Cupertino. With a Wednesday release of software updates, Time Machine can now recognize a USB hard drive connected to a wireless network as valid backup disk. That is — assuming the drive is …


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  1. David

    Is this the update?

    I found this the other week but haven't tried it myself:

  2. Jay

    What I want to see... the ability to use Time Machine to a network share. I guess I fail to see why this hasn't been taken care of by now?

  3. Gavin Lyons


    Make sure the external drive is formatted to HFS+ otherwise Time Machine wont pick it up.

  4. Mad Hacker


    Not sure why this isn't working for you. I've been doing Time Machine over a network share since day 1. No need to spend $$ on Apple's Airport hardware for me! :-)

  5. Paul van der Lingen

    I still don't understand the fuss

    I've been backing up several mac's to a USB drive plugged into a mac mini on my network. Timemachine works fine over both the cat6 ethernet cables and the the 54Mb/s wifi.

  6. Mike


    If you mean "the ability to use Time Machine to a SMB/CIFS network share hosted by J. Random Windows box off a Platters R'us gray-market drive", then I think I can explain. The sequence goes something like:

    1) Apple spends a bunch of time/money to get this working.

    2) Sales of Apple hardware, at Jobs-level markup, drop off.

    3) Next time Redmond makes an un-announced and undocumented tweak to SMB/CIFS, in the continuing war on Samba, all those customers going the cheaper route scream at Apple, driving up support costs and creating a bunch of bad press.

    Exactly how would this be in Apple's interest? Not saying they will _never_ do it. Some hacker there has probably gotten it working in a bootleg project, but I wouldn't expect it to be a high _official_ priority.

  7. Bob Bobson
    Gates Halo

    It's called VSS

    Good to see that Apple have caught up with Vista and Server 2003.

  8. Dan Hardiker

    iTimeMachine works wonders

    I've been using this for a while now, you can even use TimeMachine against a WebDAV drive.

  9. Jared Earle
    Jobs Halo

    Only new on Airport Base Stations

    The reason it didn't work before was Airport base-stations shared over WebDAV, like iDisks and the like and Time Machine couldn't speak DAV. If you were sharing network drives over AFP, there never was a problem, even if the share was on 10.4 for some people.

    I have a headless G5 in the kitchen (where else?) with over a TB of drives plugged into it over USB, Firewire and SATA, all of them are seen as valid Time Machine drives. I use a USB one at the moment.

    So, this is only news on Airport Base Stations. It's worked on everything else as advertised for months.

  10. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Jobs Horns

    A bit harder for CIFS

    Time Machine would crash some CIFS servers because the entire disk image is built as 8MB files in a single directory. You'd get to about 125 GB archived and then Samba dies. I don't know if Apple has fixed that yet. You can hack it if they haven't:

  11. Anonymous Coward

    'works as advertised' ???

    As I never saw how it was originally advertised, I have no idea what this means.

    All I can say is that Time Machine still (as of 10.5.2) does not work work with a CIFS share on a NAS device visible on my network.

    The trick with:

    defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

    only worked upto 10.5.1 and that's all that the 'iTimeMachine' software did.

    Apple 'fixed' 10.5.2 so that the above tweak no longer worked under 10.5.2 -- thanks a lot, Apple!

    So for now, forget using your own NAS to use TimeMachine for performing backups. Apple are being pretty pathetic about this and losing my favour rapidly.

    Mine's the one with 'Rotten Apple' written on it.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    Thanks for that info and the link. I just had a look but, ominously, the first line says:

    "NAS backup can be enabled in MacOS 10.5.1..."

    That's 10.5.1, and all the stuff I read said that backup to NAS worked in 10.5.1, but NOT in 10.5.2

    So... for 10.5.2 ???

  13. Webster Phreaky
    Jobs Horns

    IMAGINE if that was Microsoft for Vista .... MacTard Hypocrites.

    Funny how this ALL TOO OFTEN PROOF that Apple and all you MacTard are full of sh1t about the perfection of Apple and OS X. If this were a MS and Windows problem, you A-Holes would be harping about this for months and all the Apple Hack Media types would be bashing MS in every publication and broadcast.

    Yet the F O's at Apple coding get away with murder over an issue that has been simmering for many many months, a lot longer than MS has ever taken to fix any bigger issue in Vista! NOT A SINGLE BERATING comment in any Apple Pimp publication, not a word said by Apple Whores like Mossberg or Leo Laporte.

    Look in the mirror Apple Tards, see a hypocrite pussy, because you put up with this kind of BS from Apple and their pimps, and Apple sees it and keeps taking advantage of you. You get what you deserve ... over-priced Apple crap that's always buggy.

  14. Gareth Irwin

    @ Freaky

    Did Steve jobs do you in the arse when you weren't looking or something you knob?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Webster

    Get a life! As usual your comment is fueled with passionate hate for Apple and foul language, rather than solid fact or a good point. Your comments are typical of someone who who has an axe to grind rather than a point to make.

    What happened , did they fire you? Or did you old company switch over to Apple and you being a dinosaur couldn't operate them, so you got fired, Or would you really like to own one but can't scrape the cash (it is a big issue with you webs, the cost of things).

    Quit ragging on Apple go play with vista if you love it so much!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    what do you mean....

    i need to back up my mac - doesnt it just work?

    Paris - cos she would own a mac - being a triumph of style over substance.

  17. Gritzwally Philbin

    Rotational Devices!


    Backing up to an external drive using sort-by-date method to keep track of your files.. Who'd have thunk it... wait.. oh, you mean like I've been doing since the time I was running OS 8.6?

    Ah yes, The Wheel.

    ..such a lovely way to get around. Glad Apple's finally discovered it!


  18. Webster Phreaky
    Jobs Horns

    @Gareth Irwin ... still puckered and wanting more.

    Afraid that was you that got it in your "arse" from Stevie Gods everytime you bought an Apple POS, but then again you brits love it in the "arse", don't ya.

    Oh and tell your communist friend "Paul Warne" that freedom of speech is still in force in the free non-Apple controlled world. 95% of the world knows that you Apple freaks just can't take any criticism .... bunch of arrogant socialists!

  19. Gareth Irwin


    I love you Webster, are you a scientologist? El Reg should employ you.

  20. Anonymous Coward


    How F**king dare you! Don't you EVER call me a socialist! Say what you will about computers and systems, but don't ever give me a political label with out knowing me.

    This site is concerned with IT and science and NOT political swing, DON'T you EVER forget that.

    DON'T you dare brand me a socialist.

    Today you have not only proved you lack of understanding of ElReg writings but also a lack of understanding fellow users political views.

    I am so angry with you!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Cant get Time Machine to work on Home Server share

    Well I still cant get time machine to work on my Homer Server network share. It see's it now I've got iTime Machine installed but it fails when it tries to do the backup.

    Probably something to due with the fact that I'm a bit of a newb and Luddite when it comes to Apple and networking but it sure is frustrating. Just like Paris :)

  22. Keif Gwinn

    @Bob Bobson

    VSS is a completely different, whilst very useful technology.

    Time Machine is incremental backup using a fancy interface, file and directory linking and some meta data.

    VSS allows disk writes to be buffered and managed so consistent disk images can be taken.

    To all the OS warring people, you should be happy that any of this technology works at all. Marvel at the fact that hundreds of thousands of electrical wiggles a second allow you to blow smoke up each others arses constantly on this tired and boring debate. Then go outside and get some fresh air.

  23. Scott Mckenzie


    Move on, find someone who cares - or is that the main issue? There is no-one?

    You haven't a clue, criticism implies that you have a knowledge of the product/resource you criticise, whereas you clearly demonstrate no meaningful knowledge of anything other than blinkered views, a vengeful hatred of Apple, personal abuse and clearly no knowledge of anything outside of your own sheltered world.

    Hopefully, one day the Reg will understand this and ban you... but probably not.

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