Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How to set Maxtor Central Axis as a Time Machine or Time Capsule

If you read my last post, you will see how did I set up the drive on Mac, so that I can access it, even though it will not appear on your system as a mounted drive. If you are now able to access the folders the next step is to set it up as a time machine.

There are crude ways of doing it and then there is a very easy way of doing it. I will list the easy way first but if you want to do it the hard way you can do it. All you have to do is to download the automator script and run it. When it asks for the size of the time capsule, just specify the capacity that you want to use. For instance, if your hard disk is 1 TB and you want to use all of it you can definitely use it. This script will create a file (sparsebundle) on your desktop. You need to copy this file to one of the folders on your network drive. To access these folders go to "Go -> Network" and copy this to any of the folders.

Now, open your time machine preferences and set that particular folder as a time machine. Your system will recognize it and it will be able to back it up over wi-fi. Essentially, you got yourself a time capsule for peanuts.

The hard way:
1) First run this command on your terminal:
defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
2) Run these commands:
NW_DISK_SIZE=1000000 (it can be anything, size is in MB though)
hdiutil create -library SPUD -megabytes $NW_DISK_SIZE -fs HFS+J -type SPARSEBUNDLE -volname "$NW_IMAGE_NAME" "$NW_IMAGE_NAME"

These commands will create a drive in your home folder. The next steps are similar to the easier way of doing this. Hope this will come handy. This is the way to get a cheap Time Capsule as these drives are available on Amazon for dirt cheap such as Seagate Maxtor Central Axis 1 TB Network Storage Server STM310005CAA00G-RK compared to Apple Time Capsule MC343LL/A 1TB Sim DualBand


  1. pretty handy. 2 questions tho:

    when i do it the 'easy' way, and i get asked for the desired size for the time capsule, say i want 300 gigs, how do i enter it? 3000000? 300GB? 300g?

    and with the hard way, you mention yourethernetipaddresswithoutcolons... ethernet is thru cable, but i'm on a wireless network and my maxtor is wired to my airport. so in my case, which ip do i use? and by 'withoutcolons' you mean without the dots?



  2. ok wait, i think i found my answer to one of my questions. by 'yourethernetipaddresswithoutcolons' you probably mean my MAC address?

    other question to add to my first comment tho: the last command ends with "$NW_IMAGE_NAME" "$NW_IMAGE_NAME", what exactly am i supposed to do with that?

  3. Dear LXX,

    For the size use 300g for 300GB.
    The command is fine, you need to use that variable twice.
    The etehernet ip can be found by going to system preferences->Network and then select your current network connection. Then click on advanced tab towards bottom right corner and select the Ethernet tab. You will see your ethernet id there.
    Thank you for clearing it for others.


  4. thanks for your reply. so the confusion lies within 'ehternet ip' vs. ethernet ID'

    on that last command, i presume i just need to type my mac's name without the "quote" and the dollar $ign?

    sorry, n00bie here :)

  5. It is the ethernet ID not the ip address and not your Mac name either. When you go to system preferences, then select network. In the left window pane select your ethernet connection and then click on advanced. In this window click on ethernet and the id that you see at the top is your ethernet id. For the last command you do need ip address.

  6. with the use of your script, second attempt worked like a treat!

    many thx!