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Windows Home Server-All About the Apple, Part B

Windows Home Server-All About the Apple, Part B

Sep 6, 2011 12:58 PM,
by Eric B. Rux


Last month I told you about the Windows Home Server Launchpad for the Apple. Now let’s dive into this little app a little more.

The first button on the Launchpad is Backup. When I first saw this button, I started to get a little excited – there has been talk about better Apple backup support – and here it is (or, so I thought) right here in front of me. I clicked on the button, and was surprised to see the Apple Time Machine wizard appear. No matter how much I fiddled with it, I could not find a way to link up Time Machine and WHS.

Unfortunately, I could not find an official step-by-step from Microsoft. I did, however, find the solution on the Windows Home Server forums. Michael Leworthy (a Microsoft employee) and Ken Warren (fellow MVP) discuss the steps that need to be followed in order to mate Windows Home Server and Time Machine. I have expanded on their explanation and created a step-by-step procedure:

  1. Create a share on your Windows Home Server.
    a. Open the Dashboard (not Launchpad) on a Windows-based machine.
    b. Click on Server Folders and Hard Drives.
    c. Click on Add a Folder.
    d. Enter in a name for the folder (I called mine AppleTM).
    e. Enter in an appropriate description (Apple Time Machine Backups).
    f. Click on Specific people and add in the account that will be performing the backup (I added myself, Eric B. Rux).
  2. Configure Time Machine to backup to non-Apple storage (perform this on each Apple that you will backup).
    a. Open Finder and search for Terminal
    b. Open Terminal
    c. Paste the following command (all one line) into the terminal window and press return.
    defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes
  3. Create a sparse file on your Apple and then copy this file up to the AppleTM share that you created above. You will need two important pieces of information to create the sparse file:
    a. Name of your Apple computer: _______________
       i. This can be found on your Apple by going to: Apple menu > System Preferences and clicking Sharing. The computer will be listed at the top of the window.
    a. MAC (Media Access Control, not “Mac” as in Apple”) address: _______________
       i. This can be found on your Apple by going to: Apple menu > About This Mac > More Info. Look under the Network section for:
    “Ethernet – MAC Address: 00:26:08…” (your address will be unique)

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Windows Home Server-All About the Apple, Part B

Sep 6, 2011 12:58 PM,
by Eric B. Rux

AppleTM Screenshot

  1. Use the information above to create the sparse file. Open a Terminal (Open Finder and search for Terminal) and enter in the following command:
    ‘hdiutil create -size 200g -fs HFS+J -volname “OSXBackup” Apple_00608 291F13.sparsebundle’
    Notes: The 200g is the amount of space that Time Machine will use on the server. “Apple” is the name of your Apple computer that you found in step 3a above, and the 00608… number is the MAC address you found in step 3b.
  2. Now copy this file to the AppleTM share on your Home Server
    l. Click on Shared Folders on the Launchpad (on your Apple machine where you just ran the command above).
    a. Select he volume you want to mount. Choose the AppleTM share that was created in step 1d above.
    b. Now simply drag and drop the sparse file that you created above to the Home Server share (AppleTM). Even though the name says sparse, the file is over 300MB, so it may take a few minutes to copy.
  3. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’re almost there. The last step is to configure Time Machine.
    a. Open up the Launchpad on the Apple that you want to backup. Click Backup.
    b. Time Machine should open. Click Set Up Time Machine.
    c. Slide the Time Machine switch to “on.”
    d. You should see your “AppleTM” share listed, as shown in the above screenshot. If not, click on “Shared Folders” in the Launchpad to connect to the share. The share AppleTM should immediately become available for use in Time Machine.

That’s it! You can now back up your Apple computer to Windows Home Server.

As I wrote this article, I wondered why this process is so difficult. While IT professionals and Home Server enthusiast might eagerly jump at the chance to try this out, this is clearly well above the average user’s skills. My hope is that Microsoft will automate this process so that this feature is available to everyone.

Until next month, have fun with your Home Server!

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