How-To: Use Time Machine with a Windows Home Server



UPDATE: I have created a new post with directions that currently work. You can find the new version here.

UPDATE 2: Version 3 directions have been posted. You can find the new directions here.

I built a Windows Home Server a few weeks ago. It has been great and I would recommend it to anyone. While I do have Windows computers, I also have some Mac computers. I have a Mac Mini, MacBook and a MacBook Pro. I wanted all my Macs to backup to the Windows Home Server just like my Windows computers do. But the Connector software is only for Windows and probably always will be. There is a way around it and it works very well.

Things you will need:
1. Windows Home Server
2. iTimeMachine – on your Mac

Let’s get started:
1. Login to your Windows Home Server. You will need to create a new shared folder. I called mine JJ’s Mac Backup, you can call yours whatever you want. You will need to tell Windows Home Server what account to use.

2. Install iTimeMachine on your Mac computer. This program lets Time Machine access networked drives. Once installed run the program and click use network drives.

3. In order for Time Machine to see your network folder you need to login to the shared folder. Now my Windows Home Server shows up under “Shared” when I click on the hard drive. You might need to click “Go” -> “Connect to Server” if your Home Server isn’t list in “Shared”. You will need to login to the folder you created.

4. Now that you are logged into the Windows Home Server folder go to Time Machine and choose your drive. That folder should show up as a disk.

That’s all there is to getting your Mac to backup to your Windows Home Server.

To make things easier on the laptops I created a shortcut to the shared folder on the desktop. I just have to double click on that to login then click on the new time machine icon by the clock and tell it to backup. On the Mac Mini I saved the password to the shared folder and let it automatically backup whenever it wants.



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Comments

Are you sure you were able to get your macs to backup to the NTFS file system on your windows home server? Have not been able to get my macs to backup to an ntfs file system. Everytime, there is an error creating the file.

It is probably because I have ntfsprogs on my Macs for when I was testing imaging for Windows. I got the installer from Bombich.com but I don’t see it there anymore. I would just do a search for ntfsprogs for Mac. Let me know if that works. Also with the recent updated bug list for Windows Home Server I have stopped using this setup. It’s not that I was worried about the backup. I was more worried about it affecting my other files.

[…] wanted to backup it’s entire contents to the server. Through the straight-forward tutorial of multimedia-pcs.com, I was able to set up a back-up disk for Time Machine in minutes using iTimeMachine. Still awaiting […]

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[…] How-To Use Time Machine with a Windows Home Server […]

After much searching i finally found your website and it solved everything i have been trying to fix on my time machine!

Only problem is i’ve tried everywhere but i can’t find itimemachine because all the websites are down.

Do you know where i can get a copy of itimemachine?

Jules,

I’m glad you pointed that out. The website is gone. Since it was a free program I would use BitTorrent to get the file. The latest version was 1.1. I look around to see if I can find some alternative ways.

Thanks so much Jeremy.

I’ve tried mininova and a couple of google searches with the name ‘torrent’ added in but no luck there.

So if you happen to discover where to find the program it would be much appreciated.

I can’t find the itimemachine file anywhere. I’ll look at alternatives and try to post them this weekend.

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

Type the above in Terminal. That will enable network volumes in time machine. It’s what iTimeMachine did.

Jeremy, awesome article.

The only thing is that the terminal commands that you listed above work, and allow me to see the WHS folders. The issue is that I keep getting an error message that says ‘Time Machine unable to create backup image’. This is the first time I am running Time Machine and have never gotten it working.

Any thoughts/tips/tricks?

Hi,

re the above ‘Time Machine unable to create backup image’

I was having exactly the same trouble until I followed the article about creating the sparse bundle locally then copying it to the backup share.

http://www.readynas.com/?p=253

And if you’ve got a PC.. All you need is Genie Timeline.
A Time Machine for Windows with support to backup from and to a WHS.
an amazing simple backup tool

[…] to Windows Home Server and Mac OS X that has complicated the process just a bit and therefor my previous directions no longer work. Below I will highlight a still fairly easy process to get your Mac Time Machine […]

[…] how-tos since 2008 on getting the current Windows Home Server to work with Mac. You can see version 1, 2 and 3. It’s obvious by the 10s of thousands of visitors to those pages and the numerous […]

[…] I have had multiple people confirm that they are working. For informational purpose you can find Version 1 and Version 2 of my directions. Version 2 has some good comments if you have […]

This URL makes it really easy to configure your Mac’s Time Machine to backup to a NTFS network drive:

http://code.stephenmorley.org/articles/time-machine-on-a-network-drive/

[…] on a WHS (although many have, refer to Guide: Backing Up Your Mac to WHS 2011 With Time Machine or How-To: Use Time Machine with a Windows Home Server for example). I haven't ever set one up, although when I ran the WHS (the first version) with my […]

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