UPDATE: Version 3 directions have been posted on the site. It’s easier than using the Applescript that has been failing for people that had a Windows partition. You can find the version 3 here.
I thought it was about time to revisit an earlier post, which has been quite popular, on how to backup your Mac using Time Machine to a Windows Home Server. There have been many updates 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 working with Windows Home Server again.
I was messing with Linux commands and doing research on creating sparse image files when I came across a site that simplified the process with an AppleScript. You can read about that script and directions here.
I have simplified the directions to work with Windows Home Server. This isn’t supported by Apple or Windows Home Server. While it works for me, it is still hacking and I can’t guarantee that things won’t go wrong.
1. Click here to download the AppleScript that will help in the process. Just unzip it we will use it later.
2. Download iTimeMachine. You will need to install it and enable AirDisks. There is also a linux command to do this. If you want to know just leave a comment and I will provide it for you.
3. Logon to your Windows Home Server and create a new folder for your Time Machine backup. I called mine JJ MBP backup. Make sure you give whatever user account you want to use access. Once created you can close out of the Windows Home Server.
4. Now we can start the preparing the backup folder. In the left sidebar in finder you should see your Windows Home Server. Mine is called “Server” and will be under “Shared”. You need to click on your Home Server, logon and browse to your newly created Time Machine backup folder. Double click on it so it will mount the folder. I also show mounted volumes on my desktop to make it easier.
5. Now that you have mounted your backup folder you need to drag that to the AppleScript you downloaded in step one. Since I have my backup folder show on my desktop and I placed the AppleScript on my desktop I just drag and drop. You can also see the mounted folder in finder and drag it to where ever you saved the AppleScript. It will run a little program that you will have to OK. Once it’s done you will see the AppleScript icon disappear from your dock.
6. The program is done now and it’s time to transfer the sparse image to your backup folder. The AppleScript saved the sparse image in your Home directory. Browse to it and then transfer the sparse image to your Windows Home Server backup folder. Mine was about 450mb so it won’t take long to transfer.
7. Now that the sparse image is on the server open time machine and point it to your Windows Home Server backup folder. You shouldn’t get the error about creating backup and it should start transferring files quickly. Depending on how much data you have it could take a long time for the initial backup. My 14GB took about 1.5 hours over wireless.
Bonus: To make it easier to backup the files create a startup item that mounts your Windows Home Server backup folder. Every time the computer starts it will auto-logon to the folder so Time Machine will work automatically. If you are not connected to your network you will get a error but I find it easier to deal with one error message when I’m away than trying to remember to connect so Time Machine will work.
Now you have your Time Machine backing up to your Windows Home Server. It’s not too many steps and thanks to that AppleScript it makes it a lot easier. The directions I was working on required a lot of time in the Terminal which would scare a lot of people. I didn’t even think about creating it in a AppleScript.
Let me know if you have questions. I have created a video below to help people follow the process I have outlined above. I hope everyone has success.