Sunday, August 16, 2009

How to backup time machine to a external hard drive connected to a PC

If you have a MacBook or MacBook Pro in a PC network then you can understand that it is sometimes difficult to get along. Also, if you're at all like me, you buy as few apple products as possible because they cost waaaay too much.
So, lets get to the point shall we? If you have a macbook, and it has 5-8 hours of battery life... then you probably didnt buy it so you could keep it on your desk all day did you? No? I didnt think so, you want portability. I found that it is very hard to plug an external hard drive into my macbook pro and remain portable, and like I said: time capsule, apples wireless backup solution, is way too expensive. Today I will show you how to build your own time capsule to backup your mac wirelessly. It isnt hard as long as you follow my instructions.

Items needed:
Any kind of mac with leopard installed, preferably with latest updates.
A PC with XP, Vista, or 7
an external hard drive that you want to backup to. i recommend that the size of the hard drive be larger than your macs hard drive.

Note: This is not a perfect solution, your PC will need to be on for your mac to backup to it's external hard drive.

Phase One: Prepare the windows machine.
Find the name of this PC, it is usually under properties on the right click menu of "my computer"
Plug the eternal hard drive into the PC
Once windows recognizes it and installs its drivers: open my computer
right click the backup drive and click share
on xp, set up sharing as usual
on vista and 7, click advanced sharing
check share this folder
name it, and then click permissions
check full control
open network and sharing center
make sure that file sharing is on
Phase Two: Prepare the MacBook
open terminal
paste: defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
hit enter
quit terminal
Mount your network drive by clicking finder and pressing command+k or going to go>connect to server. type in smb://your_pc's_computer_name and then mount the backup folder.
select the network backup in Time Machine.
Start Time Machine (Menu button > Backup Now) and watch your remote location.
A file is created with the structure ComputerName_MACAddress.tmp.sparcebundle. Copy this file's name.
On your Mac, open Disk Utility. Click “New Image.” Use the following settings:
Save As ComputerName_MACAddress
Volume name can be whatever you want, i named it the same as my backup folder.
Change partition to “No Partition Map”
Change Image Format to “Sparce Bundle Disk Image”
Custom Volume size. Set the maximum you want to use on your remote location, my backup was 232GB, and I used 200GB.
Save the image file to your desktop. Move this file to your remote location.
Tell Time Machine to backup again and it should be working.

Contgrats, you now have a working time machine backup to a PC's external hard drive.
credit for a large part of phase two goes to Jason Davis

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