: Help me setup my network backup infrastructure

May 8th, 2008, 09:41 AM
I have multiple Macs (4 of them). Each one is running Leopard with Time Machine on separate external hard drives, a mix of Firewire and USB 2.0.

If I connect my 4 existing external drives to an Airport Extreme, can I set each Mac's Time Machine to backup to a separate disc? Can I daisy chain 4+ external drives to the Airport Extreme? I don't really care about speed because it's just backup.

I thought also of connecting a 5th drive that contains my media library to the A.E. If I try to watch a Quicktime video from this network drive, what can I expect? Jerky, stop and go video? Or will it be smooth?

Finally, has anyone heard if future Airport base stations or Time Machines will support Firewire?

May 8th, 2008, 11:20 AM
A usb hub will allow you to connect your 4+ external drive to the Airport Extreme. Each will show up as separate Air Disks, and each computer can backup to individual disks. You will have to recreate your Time Machine backups, because they are stored differently when the backup is done over the network.

Video playback will be smooth, with the likely exception of 1080p HD video.

I haven't heard anything about Firewire support.

May 8th, 2008, 02:31 PM
I have an old PC, running XP Pro, that I use as a server, as well as for backup.

I presently back up my PB to an external FW drive. I also now have a MB, which is not being backed up presently (as it's new, not much on it - but I have already lost some pictures!).

When I try to set up TM, I cannot choose the HD on the PC as a backup drive. The MB does "see" the PC, and I am able to write to the HD on the PC (from the MB).

What am I doing wrong?

May 8th, 2008, 03:17 PM
It's due to the format of the drive. The drive on your PC would likely be formatted in NTFS (or possibly FAT32). Time Machine will only backup to drives that are formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled); this is the common format for Mac drives, and likely why your external FW drive works. Because windows does not read Mac OS Extended (Journaled), it would be impossible to use a PC as a Time Machine backup source.