Peter Sichel on Why Time Machine Doesn’t Support USB Drives Attached to AirPort Extreme Base Stations

Peter Sichel (of Sustainable Softworks) in a comment at MacInTouch:

There is an option to have Time Machine show other network attached disks:

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

But Apple is hesitant to enable this as the default since it places the integrity of interrupted Time Machine backups at risk. So Apple is in a difficult spot with respect to supporting 3rd party NAS devices.

I heard a similar explanation from a few people at Macworld Expo last week, albeit regarding AFP, not USB — more or less that the AFP implementation in current AirPort base stations isn’t robust enough. Backups seem to work, but fail when you attempt to restore from them.

Thursday, 24 January 2008