OS X Timemachine on a Windows Network Share

Another blog of a blog. If you haven’t noticed by now this blog is really a glorified bookmark location of things I need to find again. Hopefully though you might find something useful.

This site explains how to get TimeMachine for a OS X to backup over the network to a share on a windows machine. This is useful so I don’t have to worry about plugging my laptop into the backup drive all the time. It all works seamlessly over the wireless.


As a note if you have trouble with time machine failing when starting the backup you may be using the wrong MAC address. I had setup my sparsebundle with my wired NIC MAC address, not my wireless one. I discovered this while watching the windows share from the windows machine where I saw Timemachine try to make a new sparsebundle with a different MAC address. It then failed… I rebuilt my sparsebundle with the name Timemachine was trying to create and it worked!!!

If you ever want to connect to this backup from another mac you will only need to find this sparsebundle in finder and open it up. This will mount the backup and you can look through it looking for the files you need.

Edit: 11-Sep-2009
The above also worked in Snow Leopard for me (I was using the previously created sparsebundle so did not try from scratch). Some people have had issues however and you may find help on this forum this forum. I must admit this is the one thing about Mac’s I don’t like. They cripple stuff so you have to buy their expensive hardware.

Edit: 21-Sep-2009
I just rebuilt my sparsebunde from scratch and snow leopard now requires you to add a file into your sparsebundle to what I assume is authorise it for use.

I created my sparsebundle manually too using the following command
hdiutil create -nospotlight -library SPUD -size 250g -fs HFS+J -type SPARSEBUNDLE -volname "Time Machine" -verbose "MacBookName.sparsebundle"

Create a text file called com.apple.TimeMachine.MachineID which will contain the following. Place your UUID in this file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">

(Note you can get your UUID from clicking on Apple Logo top left of the screen -> About This Mac -> More Info.
Now copy the sparsebundle across to your SMB share and copy the plist file into it. You may need to copy the plist file separately and move the plist file into it from the other end as the OS X sees sparsebundles as a file not directories.

Thanks to sunkid for his info here

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