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Time Machine + Airport Extreme + USB HD

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since i had to search for quite some time to find a good solution for my backups, i wanted to give you a quick guide on how to do it:


1. hook up your external USB hard drive to you computer and make 2 partitions with Disk-Utility (8Gb/rest, both formatted with Mac OS extended(journaled))

2. insert your Snow Leopard installation DVD and click on restore in Disk-Utility, use the DVD as the source and the 8Gb partition as the destination (you can drag the icons from the left into the fields on the right)

3. reboot your Mac(after ejecting the DVD) while pushing the cmd-key to make sure you can boot from your copy of Snow Leopard

4. attach the HD to your Airport Extreme and share it over the network

5. open the Finder and mount your time machine partition(the bigger one on the external disk)

6. open Time Machine and select that partition as your backup partition, after a few minutes of wireless backup manually stop the backup

7. unmount the drive and wait for it to spin down, the unplug it from the Airport Extreme and attach it to your computer via USB.

8. open Time Machine again and declare the same partition as your backup partition and finish the initial backup (Time Machine will detect your already started backup and finish it)

9. once that is finished, you will have to hook it up to the Airport Extreme on last time and redeclare your backup partition again.

10. Done!


I think this method is the best because your initial backup is fast, your hourly backups will be wireless and automatic (time machine also mounts/unmounts the drive without asking) and if you have to restore the whole system after your primary harddrive failed you can do it fast, via USB.

Just boot with the drive attached pressing CMD and choose the restore option from on of the menus before the installation.

And the best thing is that you can still use your laptop everywhere in your house without having to plug/unplug your backup-disk all the time ;)


But there's one more thing....

I have heard that some external enclosures won't spin down the drive when they are attached to an Airport Extreme, so i would recommend checking that first. Because it's loud/annoying and uses too much energy.

Edited by daywalkerdha

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