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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Fixed! Time Machine Backup to Network Device for Mac

In a post I made a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I was struggling to backup my Mac Mini to my network NAS device. With some help from Vince's Blog, as well as my own tweaks to the process, I was able to get the Time Machine backups to work against a network device.

With a little patience and using the process, you too should be able to get the backup to work on the OS X system to any network drive or device. I performed these actions on my 10.5.6 version of the Leopard operating system.

Here is the process I went through, with screen shots...

1. Go to your Terminal and type the following command to enable "Unsupported Network Volumes" for Time Machine:

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

2. Mount the network volume where you want to store the Time Machine Backups using Bonjour or the appropriate method.

3. Get the Ethernet Address of your Mac. You can either do this through the Terminal and typing "ifconfig en0 | grep ether" to pull the address or by going to the System Profiler (About Mac --> More Info), clicking on Network, and then Ethernet.

Terminal Example:

Mac Mini, iMac, MacBook, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, Mac, PowerMac Time Machine Backup to a Network: Grab mac address from Terminal Console
System Profiler Example:

Mac Mini, iMac, MacBook, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, Mac, PowerMac Time Machine Backup to a Network: Grab mac address from System Profiler

4. Open the "Disk Utility" application under utilities and select the "New Image" option to create you new disk image and save it to your Desktop.

a. Start with changing the Image Format to "sparse bundle disk image".

b. Change "Partitions" selection to "No partition map."

c. Leave "Encryption" as is, set to "None".

d. Change "Volume Format" to "Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled)".

e. Change "Volume Size" to "Custom" and enter a volume size less than the available space on your network device. In my example, roughly 102,400.00 MB translated to 100 GB of space.

f. Change "Volume Name" to something like "Computer Name Backup", or "Ken's Mac Mini Backup in my case"

g. Make sure "Where" is set to "Desktop". There is a known issue where if you try to create the sparse bundle disk image on a network drive, it will fail.

h. Choose "Save As" name as the "ComputerName_MACAddress.sparesebundle", in my case I entered "kens-mac-mini_001ff3466104".

i. Click on "Create" to finish the process.

Screen Shot of the example:

Mac Mini, iMac, MacBook, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, Mac, PowerMac Time Machine Backup to a Network: Settings to create sparse bundle disk image

Note: If you do not do the above in the order, you may get the message:
Disk Utility: The image size was changed to 51.7GB because the volume selected cannot hold a XXXGB image.


Here is the screen shot of the error:
Mac Mini, iMac, MacBook, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, Mac, PowerMac Time Machine Backup to a Network: Error message if you do not create choose the settings in the right order

5. After the sparsebundle disk image is created, exit out of the Disk Utility application.

6. Unmount / Eject the Disk by dragging and dropping to the trash.

7. Move the .sparsebundle disk image file you created to your mounted network location.

8. Open up the time machine preferences, and click on "Choose Backup Disk".

9. Select your new disk image and then click on "Use for Backup".

Mac Mini, iMac, MacBook, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, Mac, PowerMac Time Machine Backup to a Network: Choosing your new disk image for the network backup

10. Your Time Machine should start the initial backup process.

The disk is mounted on your Mac:
Time Machine Backup mounts the sparse bundle network drive
Your Time Machine Backup Begins:

Time Machine is backing up my Mac Mini to the network

Now you are backing up your Mac via Time Machine to a network drive!

74 comments:

Adriana said...

Hi - thank you for this trick. I just tried it, but I am getting an error message in Time Machine that states: Error: The backup disk could not be created. TM will not backup. Any clues or advice to offer??

The only part of the instructions I got confused on was on the following:
7. Move the .sparsebundle disk image file you created to your mounted network location. WHERE AM I MOVING - CAN YOU SHOW SCREEN SHOT?

Thank you!

wethackrey said...

The terminal command to return the ethernet address is "ifconfig en0 | grep ether" - not "if config en0 | grep ether". Otherwise a great article.

Bryan Hertz said...

Hi Ken, thanks for your great post. I tried it and everything worked, except when Time Machine goes to create the backup image it fails each time. I can select the disk image to use for backup from Time Machine preferences, and it looks as if it is going to work, but after about 5 minutes it fails with an error message that says, "Time Machine could not create the disk image."

I am doing this over wireless using a Buffalo NAS drive. Any idea what the issue could be?

Bryan

Dave I. said...

You are the friggin' man!!!

Thank you.

Dizor said...

@ Bryan-
1. Try plugging in your mac in to the router with an ethernet cable
2. Then try time machine.

If that works, the problem is with the name of the file. You should be able to get it to work over the airport no problem, however you will have to rename the file.

If you followed this article, you created a file that could only back up via Ethernet "en0"
You need to replace the "ethernet" mac address with the "Airport" mac address "en1".

Here is an example:
If ken wants to back up via "Ethernet"
If Ken's Ethernet MAC address is-
'00:1f:f3:46:61:04'

Then His back up name should be:
'kens-mac-mini_001ff3466104'

If ken wants to back up via "Airport
If Ken's Airport MAC address is-
'00:1f:f3:46:66:77'

Then His back up name should be:
'kens-mac-mini_001ff3466677

Hope this helps!

Gregg said...

Outstanding write-up. The best I've seen!

Here are two additional tips for anybody trying this:

* Be sure that your Mac's name does not contain any unusual characters. I had a single-quote in mine, and it prevented me from getting backups started. Console messages showed successful mount of the network volume, but unsuccessful mount of the spare bundle file. "Failed to mount disk image /Volumes/BackupServer/._John Smith's Macbook Pro_000000000000" So to be safe, I went into System Prefs -> Sharing and changed my Computer Name to eliminate the single-quote. I also removed spaces while I was at it, but I don't know if that was necessary. Then I reperformed all of the steps in this blog.

* Some commenters have suggested that if you are configuring to backup over WiFi that you should instead use the Mac ID for your WiFi adapter (en1). For me, this was not the case; even though I was setting this up over WiFi, it only succeeded when I used the MacID for my ethernet port (en0) as the original instructions suggest.

Gregg said...

One other tip:
I am backing up to a share on a Windows Vista server.
To get it to work for me, as a prerequisite, I needed to create an entry in my SYSTEM keychain (not to be confused with your regular "user" keychain) for the network volume path where I will be depositing the sparsebundle file. If you fail to do this, you may experience failure setting up Time Machine with an error like mine in the Console log indicating that it was not able to mount my network volume (even though you may have already mounted it on your desktop successfully). The error text from the Console log was:

/System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[10939] FSMountServerVolumeSync failed with error: -5023 for url: smb://SERVERNAME;username@hostname/MyBackups

Turns out that Time Machine makes is own "background" mount (even if you already have it mounted on your desktop), and it needs to look in the SYSTEM keychain (whereas your desktop mount uses your "user" keychain). So even if you have successfully mounted it on your desktop and let it automatically add your credentials to your keychain, you'll likely still need to manually create a SYSTEM keychain entry for your network host.

Dan Morelle said...

Cheers. I've been looking for a workable solution to this for ages. It works!

Scott said...

Worked like a charm! In fact, if you can't create a disk image large enough on your local drive you can go in afterwards and resize it (once you move it to the network drive).

Key things to make it work.. You must name the Disk Image to match you machine's name_MACAddress.. I made this mistake it had to go back and do it again.

Great article!
-Scott

Mark Lindsey said...

(Nobody cares about backup: but everybody cares about *restore*.)

Do you have any experience actually restoring from a backup made in this way?

Ken Hanscom said...

Point taken. That's been the tape backup's mantra for years...easy to backup, impossible to restore.

I have successfully restore minor partial backups, meaning within the same week through Time Machine using this technique several times.

I have not tried a complete, or full restore at this point.

Has anyone else?

-Ken

HouseOnAngeline said...

Hi Ken,

This is awesome. But i seem to have reached a snag. My shared volume is a external 2T drive attached to my vista ultimate server. I shared a folder within that drive and i can access it from the via smb no problem.

I followed the instructions, but time machine fails in the "preparaing..." stage consistently, with this error in the console..

7/13/09 1:32:06 PM System Preferences[503] Time Machine: Error authorizing or mounting network volume: Error Domain=NSOSStatusErrorDomain Code=-6602 "Operation could not be completed. (OSStatus error -6602.)"

Any ideas? Really appreciate it.

dluong said...

Gregg, how do you create the SYSTEM key chain you mentioned?

Ken,
Thanks for a great article, after following these instructions, I was able to back up my Mac Air (via wifi) with OS X 10.5.7 to an external drive share attached to my Windows Vista Home Edition PC.

However, I find that after the initial full back up was successful and a few hourly incremental backups, I started to get errors in Time Machine and Finder reports an error about not being able to repair the disk; and I will have limited access to the disk.

Have you or anyone else seen this type of error recently?

Many thanks for your help

sonelux said...

Works like a charm!

Martin said...

Thanks, I can also confirm you need the ethernet mac not the wifi mac. I also found this article useful to setup an ubuntu afs server
Ubuntu afs time machine server

Thomas said...

Thank you so much! Time machine FINALLY WORKS!

David said...

Great guide. But, I cannot get anything other than the full disk in the network storage device to appear. It is an NAS200.

Is there some need to mount the new disk image on the network storage disk?

Having tried ethernet mac and wifi mac (about 10 times). In step 7, move, I'm assuming this is to 'Disk 1' on the shared server. I can't put the file on the shared server, only into the 'Disk 1' mounted volume.

Any ideas would be great.

ctrout said...

Yo Ken,

If I wasn't sick I'd head into your office first thing in the morning and tell you how crazy it was to find your name on the post that helped me get Time Machine working with my NAS....crazy how small the Internet can be sometimes ;)

For anybody that this might help, the MacBook Air appears to use the MAC Address of the AirPort when the AirPort is disabled and the machine is connected to the network via a USB adapter (which reports a different MAC Address with ifconfig).

If you're getting an error when Time Machine is attempting to prepare the disk, the system.log from (Applications - Utilities - Console) should show the exact name Time Machine is expecting for the disk image.

Here is the snippet from my system.log file:

Oct 1 02:57:27 airtrout /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[23924]: Creating disk image /Volumes/TIMEMACHINE/airtrout_001f5bd3621a.sparsebundle

Here is the snippet of my ifconfig output (notice that the system.log shows Time Machine attempting to use the MAC Address of the "inactive" ethernet adapter instead of the active adapter...seems strange to me):

en0: flags=8823<UP,BROADCAST,SMART,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
ether 00:1f:5b:d3:62:1a
media: autoselect (<unknown type>) status: inactive

en1: flags=8863<UP,BROADCAST,SMART,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
ether 00:1e:c2:fb:e6:e9
media: autoselect (100baseTX <full-duplex,flow-control>) status: active

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. Two things need to be added: 1) as one user mentioned above, create the disk image name using the LAN MAC address and not the AirPort MAC ID; and 2) when creating the initial disk image using Disk Utility, the image will fail unless the local hard disk is large enough for a backup. The solution to item two is create the disk image bundle using an external hard drive large enough - then move the image bundle to the network drive.

Serge A said...

Anyone try this with Snow Leopard?

Ken Hanscom said...

Anonymous...on your comment for #2, I did not have the experience with the Disk Utility drive creation failing. I created a 100GB drive image on my 80GB drive...with no problems.

-Ken

Ken Hanscom said...

Serge...works the same on Snow Leopard, without any issues. Check my Snow Leopard upgrade post here...http://www.somelifeblog.com/2009/09/snow-leopard-not-so-smooth-upgrade.html

Stefanie said...

Thanks, Ken! Cliff pointed me to your posting because it was the clearest tutorial out there. This was very straight-forward and super helpful. We've got my Mac all setup now too :-)
Thanks and see you at the office!
-Stef

Serge A said...

Well it would seem an apple-induced password limitation is preventing me from enjoying all this time machine goodness. Passwords are alphanumerical + special cars at my company, whereas apple's implementation only seems to be hqppy with alphabetical pwds... Can anyone confirm?

Key West WebWorks said...

Ken, thanks very much for this.

One quick question for you, please. As others have suggested corrections/improvements to your tutorial, have you reflected those?

In other words, can/should I rely on what you've laid out in the beginning? Or do I need to read all the rest? :)

Mike

Ken Hanscom said...

Mike...some of the key items (for example my typo on ifconfig) have been updated, but many of the additional posts are tweaks or slightly different applications (for example a MacBook Air which I don't have). Depending on your situation and success with the original discussions, you *might* need to browse...

-Ken

Key West WebWorks said...

Thanks.

Mike

Lisa Boyd said...

Hey Ken,

Thanks so much for a detailed tutorial on how to do this. I've been trying a few different things and can't seem to get it to work. I get the same error message in Console as HouseOnAngeline above:

11/28/09 12:16:55 PM System Preferences[17875] Time Machine: Error authorizing or mounting network volume: Error Domain=NSOSStatusErrorDomain Code=-6602 "Operation could not be completed. (OSStatus error -6602.)"

Do you have any idea what could be causing that? I noticed when I go into Time Machine to setup the disk, I'm not able to select the disk image name I created but rather the directory that I have mounted on the external drive.

Any ideas?
Thanks - Lisa B.

Tyler said...

I too just got this working and so far it seems to be backing up great. I too as mentioned above used the ethernet mac address and not the airport mac address and I am using wireless to backup. I also created my initial image as a 500 GB image on my computer which is only a 250 GB harddrive and had no issues. I then moved it to my NAS and told TM where to backup to and so far so good.

eric stevens said...

If you create this image at more than 250gb, it will eventually lead to a corrupt backup (once the amount of data crosses about 250gb). Sparse bundles created by Time Machine have a much larger band size (128M) than those created by Disk Utility (8M). You will exceed the band limit and even old successfully written data on the backup volume will no longer be readable. There is no way to recover from this, your entire backup is now tanked.

So if you're creating (or already have) a backup whose total size is over this limit, you can convert the band size of the sparse bundle with this command:
hdiutil convert -format UDSB -imagekey sparse-band-size=262144 -o new.sparsebundle old.sparsebundle

mike said...

Arghh, can anyone confirm that what eric says is true? No offense to eric, it's just that if this is correct, I'm screwed.

Anyone have any other way to use network drives for Time Machine backups that are larger than 250GB?

Ken Hanscom said...

Mike,

My backup size is still in the 100GB range, so I have not encountered yet -- and cannot confirm. However, it seems as if Eric has posted a workaround. Is the work around giving you any issues?

-Ken

Mike Kaiser said...

Eric's workaround is helpful, to those who's backup is less than 250gb. Mine is larger.

elf said...

The command to allow the user of networked drives was key. I was able to see all my shares out there that I could select for backup from Time Machine.

I could not resist to simply select a share and allow the backup to start (without doing anything else). Time Machine began preparing the drive, which by looking in the share meant that a file was being copied there. It had the format machineName.tmp.sparesebundle. When I saw this I figured this was going well and would work fine, but after a while it failed and the temp file went away. That is when I realized I should follow the rest of the instructions in the post. They worked well (with the gigagit ethernet MAC address, not the wireless). I am not backing up over my wifi...9GB of 80GB so far.

I am intrigued however to understand why Time Machine itself could not create this sparesebundle file on the remote share. Figuring that would might shorten the steps. I am very new to Mac so I am not sure where to begin, but I would not mind to try to figure out.

Praveen said...

Hi,

Thanks for this tutorial - really helpful. I was able to finally back up time machine to a USB drive connected to my NAS. (I can back up to any folder on the NAS or to a folder in the external USB drive attached to the NAS). Only thing I noticed is it works over ethernet only. I tried to create the sparsebundle for airport as said in the first comments (en1), but it didn't work. When I try with the sparsebundle for the airport mac address, it always tries to create a new sparsebundle file macbookpro.tmp.sparsebundle and exits with an error code 45. If any one could throw some light on that, it would be interesting.

Thanks
Praveen

Anonymous said...

Worked great - thanks so much!!!

After my Time Capsule bit the dust and Apple said they will not support it, I think this is my best option.

Thanks again!

Roo said...

Let me chime in my with "thank you." This post was hugely helpful. It took me a few tries to get it right (all due to user error, such as putting in my IP address instead of MAC address. D'oh!), but it's working now.

And my thanks to the other commenters whose posts also helped me greatly.

Jim said...

Hi Ken,

Thanks for this I'm having a problem with TM saying there is a problem with my network user name and password.

I'm connected to the network resource, I enter the password when prompted and I've also added the resource to my keychain all to no avail. I'm looking to back up to an SMB share.

Any help much appreciated.

Cheers
- Jim

Rahul said...

Thank you Ken! I searched many sites and found similar things EXCEPT it didn't say to format as Journaled, case sensitive. I AM SO HAPPY!

I have an XP desktop which I made a partition called Time Machine. Then I shared it on the network, and connected via my Mac using Wi-Fi. It took only about 3-4 hours to backup 14.62 GB of info!

David said...

Ken,

Initially everything worked fine the first day, several backups were made. The second day, I get the following error: {The backup disk image "/Volumes/ls-macbook-2-1/macbook_0017f2d474d3.sparebundle" is already in use.}

It was saving to "ls-macbook", a folder on my NAS, so why is it now looking/creating "ls-book-2-1"?

Now every time TM attempts to backup, it fails.

Thanks - David

bblattman said...

My mac mini died the other day (hard disk and dvd drive) and I rushed to replace it with a new one, confident that time machine had been working with my dlink nas 323 over my network, and restore would be simple. In the past, time machine appeared to be working fine with the setup I was using (I can't remember how I set it up, relative to the steps mentioned in this discussion, but it seemed to be working fine). Unfortunately, upon booting up the new machine, I chose the option of restoring from time machine but my backup wasn't found. I let the new machine run through its normal initial boot up and opened migration assistant. It located the time machine backup, but stalled when "calculating." I called Apple support, and they said my networked time machine to d-link nas set-up wasn't supported, not to mention that time machine would be confused by the different serial numbers on the replaced and new mac mini. Time didn't permit working with the apple technical rep to resolve this last night.

This seems like a bad problem, and I'd welcome any helpful comments.

Anonymous said...

OK, so I had time machine backing up to my NAS drive and now I need to restore. My internal drive on my Mac Mini died and I've installed 10.5 on an external firewire drive. Now I want time machine to restore to the firewire drive before I take drastic measures with the internal drive (disk utility repair did not succeed, it will need to be erased).

I've modified the system preferences to show unsupported volumes, but time machine does not see the NAS drive/sparse bundle.

Can anyone help?

-David

Anonymous said...

Praveen, I was receiving the error code 45 also. Make sure you copy the sparsebundle file to the correct locartion. It should be the same directory where the macbookpro.tmp.sparsebundle is created.

Anonymous said...

Praveen, I had the same issue. Use the MAC address of your wired ethernet even though you plan to backup with Wi-Fi.

Sola

Anonymous said...

Great job, works perfect

Manny said...

Working nicely.. the sparsebundle from diskutil did the trick for me..
thanks a bunch!!!

LTO Ultrium Tape said...

ok its working now!

weetzie bat. said...

I'm getting errors that says my sparse bundle is in use. :( Any ideas?

Alexander said...

Hi.

I'm curious — is this supposed to work with Snow Leopard 10.6.2 as well?

I created the sparse bundle disk image, but "step 9" fails for me; but how do I tell Time Machine to use this image? It's not listed.

Ken Hanscom said...

Still works great for me on 10.6.2. I'd recommend double-checking the steps and some of the early comments.

-Ken

Alexander said...

Hm, so it IS supposed to work on Snow Leopard. Okay, thanks a lot, good to know.

I really don't know, what I might have done wrong.

* I ran the "defaults write" command and "defaults read" shows, that "TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes" IS set to 1
* I'm trying to backup via WIFI. The WLAN interface is en1 and my system's hostname (ie. output of hostname command in Terminal) is "MacBook-Pro.local". en1 has MAC 00:25:00:4a:bd:df.
* Backup should reside on a SMB mounted volume; it's mounted to /Volumes/share.
* For testing, I created a "Mitwachsendes Image-Bundle" (growing image bundle; in disk utility "Image-Format", this is the last option). Size: 4.6 GB. No partition. Format: Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled)
* Named the image file "MacBook-Pro_0025004abddf", created the image and then unmounted it.
* Copied sparsebundle directory/"file" from ~/Desktop to /Volumes/share (ie. root directory of share).

This takes me to step 9. of the description: Select your new disk image and then click on "Use for Backup".. But it's not shown there.

Any idea, where I went wrong?

Dorian said...

I can confirm it works in Snow Leopard 10.6.2 and I want to stress out that you MUST use the ETHERNET MAC address and NOT the Airport MAC address (even though the backup is performed wirelessly).

Thank you!!

Jim said...

Thanks for this post Ken, I've been looking for something like this for a while.

One question though, when naming the disk image, should I use my computer name or the name used on the local network?

Jim Smith's Computer

or

jim-smiths-computer

Ed said...

This is just what I needed to do to justify the recent Mini purchase in our household. Soon I'll have to move one aging PPC Mac to Leopard so I can back it up as well, wirelessly.

Tiago Sousa said...

Perfect! Thanks!

undegar said...

Hi,

First of all, Ken, thanks for your input on this matter.

It worked first time but was so slow even though I was backing up through ethernet to my NAS in SMB.
Then, I encountered the "Backup Disk Image ... is already in use"

I didn't try the entire procedure from scratch yet because I would like to raise one question here:
Is the sparsebundle size the max size which is allocated to time machine?
I noted that Time Machine was reporting the full disk drive available size, much higher than the size of the sparsebundle image.

Thank you,

Undegar

Harlan said...

I had a problem using this (amazing! thanks!) technique when I changed the password on my network drive. I would enter my new password when prompted, Time Machine would act as if the password was correct (unlike if I typed in an incorrect password), but would give a password error when it tried to actually do the backup. To fix, I followed the instructions in this Apple Support answer to change the password to both Time Machine paths in my keychain, and everything worked again.

Hope this is useful information!

Printerman said...

Thank you very much for a perfect solution. I followed your instructions to the letter and had zero issues. Backing up to my network-shared drive as I write this. Excellent work.

Anonymous said...

so it would seem that this is available for restoring files to an otherwise healthy mac?

so far the castrophic hd loss or replacement machine posts here, neither can use the nas based timemachine image for restoring/reinstallng to 'bare metal' yes?

seems if you had a 2nd healthy mac and an external drive you could copy the nas hosted image to an external drive, then do the 'migration' steps ken showed in his snow leopard link above when first (re)installing 10.6 - point it to your timemachine image you've already copied to your usb drive (from your nas). thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ken. This is the best (and only) real solution. I'm now using TM with my Iomega 1TB network drive and doing a backup as I type this. Just one question...my desktop now has my Iomega drive and my newly created backup drive, in my case it's called GaryMac Backup.

What happens whem TM completes the backup? Do I keep buth drives mounted?

Anonymous said...

Will this work with a ps3

Grove said...

Hi Ken!

I've been trying your tutorial, but I have a problem with step 9.

When I choose my NAS (HomeDisk in my case) for backup, I enter my password and username, cliking "Connect" and then is says:

"You do not have the necessary read, write and append privileges on the selected network backup disk."

What is wrong? Did I do anything wrong in the previous steps?

Anonymous said...

Well done, and many thanks.

I'm backing up a MacBook Pro with OS 10.5.8 to a Maxtor Central Axis NAS device, and it appears to be backing up OK (only 5 mins into it).

In your step 2, you write, "using Bonjour or the appropriate method." I spent a fruitless hour bumbling around the machine and the Web for how the heck to run Bonjour. In a fit of exasperation, I searched for "mount network drive mac os" and discovered I could simply use Go > Connect to Server in the Finder, then enter smb://192.168.1.178 to mount the NAS volume. Guess I've been on Windows too long.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Worked like a champ!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I did this on 10.5.8, created a sparsebundle on imac, disk utility, it changed the size to 220gb and said that was all that was available. I moved it to the network drive, which is 1tb. It is working, but will my backups be limited to 220gb? If so, that's a waste of a 1tb drive. How can I get TM to use all of the 1tb drive for the backups? Thanks

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried to see if restoring your computer from this method works? Thanks

Luiz said...

Great post! The solution worked perfectly for me at the Snow Leopard. Note: I used iTimeMachine (freeware) to let TimeMachine use network drives. Let's see how it goes...

Nat said...

Thanks so much! These very detailed instructions worked perfectly in OS X 10.6.5 on my wife's new MB Air. You do need to use the wireless MAC, but the wireless adapter is still en0, so "ifconfig en0 | grep ether" will still get the info you need.

I am using a D-Link DNS-321 NAS box. I initially though I need to use AFP and I installed the protocol, but it was very slow, and it works just fine as a (default) Samba share—and at a usable speed.

Oddly, when I made the 150 GB sparsebundle file under 10.6.5 it was about 330 MB; when I made an identically (I think) specified file on my MBPro under 10.5.8, it was a little over 100 MB.

Nick said...

I just spent 6 straight hours trying to get my new NAS to work with time machine. Your post is THE ONLY one that worked, and so easily done!! Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

I did it with SMB. But if I use SMB i can`t restore form recovery DVD, because I cant mount SMB drive. Then I try to use NFS, but it doesnt work ( I cant mount sparsebundle on NFS drive. And If I try to restore from NFS with recovery DVD, I mount NFS dirve without problem and TM shows avaliable bundle, But there is no one backup...

Anonymous said...

Wooohooo! You're the man! Ok, I can confirm: OSX 10.6.6 and a 2010 Macbook Air backup works on a WHS in combination with your brilliant instruction, the hint to mount directly with "go.. smb" in the comments and the add. hint on the wireless mac for the Macbook Air. I am using iTimemachine, too. And I was sooo close of giving up and buying this timecapsule thingy..

IgnasN said...

I have exact problem as Praveen has. It is not the issue about the location, because it tries to create it to the same location where the sparsebundle is and creates it without mac address, but fails when I name it correctly with the mac address. When I name it the same name as it tries with the tmp part, it creates something like drive 1.tmp.sparsebundle. I am using mac book air. Please help me with this.

Anonymous said...

Ok I've been working on this for a while also.. But i finally got it working using this article.

I'm running ver. 10.6.8.

I didn't have enough space on my local hard drive so I created my image on my external drive that I was going to use for backup anyway. I also named the file wrong but just going in an renaming the file worked. I'm backing up using Time Machine to network drive connected to Cisco E3000 formatted as FAT32.

Thank you very much..!!

Tarun said...

I tired it and it worked like a charm. I had created a 250 GB backup and moved it to the seagate Go Flex Home agent. It worked well for a month and then all of a sudden I got a message '“an error occurred while copying files to the backup volume'. It wanted me to start a new backup. I could use time machine to restore it to any time point from when I created it but it would not recognize it as a destination for further backups. This happened when it got upto 225GB of data. My macbook has 320GB disk out of which I am using about 206 gb. Does anybody has an idea what may be wrong? Help please!!1