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Can Time Capsule Be Set Up As a NAS ?

Just got myself a new Time Capsule which I am planning to set up as a WiFi router for my broadband connection. Given that it comes with a 2TB hard drive that works with Time Machine for backups I was trying to figure out a way of using that 2TB drive as a NAS. Is that possible ??

Comments: 8 Responses to “Can Time Capsule Be Set Up As a NAS ?”

    7 years ago

    Yes, you can use the drive inside the Time Capsule as just a plain drive. You don’t need to use it as a backup drive.
    There are three things to keep in mind:
    First, you are backing up some other way though, right? Like with an external drive connected directly to your Mac? Just want to make sure.
    Second: OK, so you are backing up your Mac some other way. How do you plan to back up the data on the drive on your Time Capsule? Say you put a bunch of files on there. Where are those getting backed up to? You should come up with a plan.
    Third: If you plan to both backup to the TC and store other items on the TC, you should make sure you first do it right (two partitions, not one) and that you come up with a backup plan for that second partition.
    Time Machine using an entire drive, so you can’t simply create a TM backup (either on an external drive or a TC) and then shove some of your own files there. My inbox is littered with people asking for help after doing that and corrupting their TM backups.

    John M. Hammer
    7 years ago

    Gary, are you sure that using a single volume of a Time Capsule’s hard drive as a Time Machine backup and for storing files is a problem? I don’t see how, as long as free space remains available on the volume. The Time Machine backup is stored as a disk image, a single file itself, so I don’t see how the presence of other files on that volume is going to cause a problem – except, of course, if the volume runs out of room to expand the TM disk image as additional/changed files are added to it.

      7 years ago

      Yes. Time Machine will keep going until it fills the drive. It saves version after version of each file. Since the OS is changing files all the time, this happens fast. Then it keeps the most recent version of the files, plus some other recents as well, maintaining the drive at near 100% capacity.
      If you start sticking other files on there manually, it messes up the ability of TM to manage the drive.
      I get tons of emails from people who have done this and ended up having to erase and start TM over again to set things right.
      Plus — even if there was some way to do it — you would end up with NO BACKUP of those particular files. So there’s that.

    John M. Hammer
    7 years ago

    I’m sure that’s correct. And it is certainly better to partition the Time Capsule’s drive if one wants to use it for both Time Machine and as a NAS. However, until and unless the drive nears capacity, it isn’t a problem to share a single volume. In my experience, it can take a long time to fill up. It should be safe until the user can get around to partitioning the hard drive, which will generally result in the user having to start a new Time Machine backup set (losing all the earlier backups).

      7 years ago

      How long it takes to fill up the backup drive really varies from person to person. Someone who takes a lot of video, or likes to play with iMovie projects can do it fast, even though they are only a “casual user.” Someone who doesn’t take any pictures or video and only does web, email and a few documents will take a long time.

        Joseph Allen
        7 years ago

        Large-capacity external hard-drives (EHD’s) are soooo cheap these days, why play with fire. I presently have one EHD dedicated to Time Machine. I would buy a 2nd EHD so Time Machine can continue to have its own dedicated EHD. Gary, I presume that Time Machine will backup the contents of a 2nd EHD … ????

          7 years ago

          Yes. But always check to confirm. Easy to do — try a test by using Time Machine with a file on that drive selected.

    7 years ago

    DON’T mess with (partition, or otherwise try to squeeze now-cheap TBs out of a DEDICATED Time Machine drive)
    Simple advice. I suggest you follow it.
    Or – not.

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