As I type, my MacBook is backing itself up to a network Time Machine drive. The drive (1TB LaCie) is attached as a USB AirPort Disk to my AirPort Extreme. It took a fair amount of trial and error to get it going. However, once I figured it out, there really isn't anything to it. While most of what I have found on the interwebs cheers that this is a relatively new feature for the AirPort Extreme, the posts out there aren't especially helpful in discussing exactly how to do it. Thus, here are my notes.
- To begin, attach the drive to a physical Mac.
- Use the Disk Utility and erase the disk using the "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" format type.
- (optional) I went ahead and made two partitions; a little one at the end as a general purpose file share for the network. Not sure if that is a good or bad idea, but thought it would be fun since (I think) I can delete it or resize either partition later.
- Unmount the drive from the Mac and plug it in to the AirPort Extreme.
- On your Mac, open the AirPort Utility and click the Disks tab.
- Click the "File Sharing" button and "Enable file sharing" with "With a disk password". It's kind of a bummer that the APE will not secure each partition with a different option. I would prefer to secure the file share with accounts. Oh well.
- The AirPort will probably have to reboot.
- When it is back online, open a Finder window and double click the AirPort icon under "Shared".
- Open your backup disk, supplying the disk password. You should see a disk icon of your backup disk on the desktop.
- Open System Preferences and click Time Machine.
- Click Change Disk. You should see your AirPort backup disk as an option.
- Choose this disk. When you are prompted for a username and password, provide the name of the disk as the username.
- Let it start backing up. It will take a while.
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