WHS+Mac+TM Backup, does it?
May 1, 2009 12:46 PM   Subscribe

How do you get Time Machine working with Windows Home Server?

I have spent several hours combing the internet and trying out everything I could find to get my MacBook Pro to backup up to Windows Home Server (WHS) using Time Machine/iTimemachine (TM) and Samba (SMB)

I have tried the following:
1) Changed all users/passwords to be the same on the WHS share dirve, Server, and MacBook
2) Created new images that had the same name as the backup file created by TM.
3) Put that new image in the WHS share drive that I point the back up disk option in TM to.
4) Disconnected all other users to this drive on the network
5) Manually and systematically mounted the TM back up drive (the WHS shared drive)
6) Verified and Repaired the sparsebundle using Disk Utility

I nearly tried every suggestion I could find that made sense to me.

Some things to add:
1) WHS is on a refurbished machine not the HP MediaSmart server.
2) I can access all the shared WHS drives/folders from my MacBook so I know SMB is working.
3) the TM error codes were usually 20, 21 and 40.
4) My NAT fire wall has the 137 port enabled
5) I am running OSX 10.5.6 on the MacBook Pro
6) It does seem to start creating the sparcebundle

I know this is not normally a place for technical questions but I figured there are a lot of smart people on Ask and I am hoping one of them knows how to fix this.

Here are the errors from the system.log:

May 1 13:18:29 Wallawoo /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[2842]: Backup requested by user
May 1 13:18:29 Wallawoo /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[2842]: Starting standard backup
May 1 13:18:35 Wallawoo /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[2842]: Mounted network destination using URL: smb://MacBackup@serverName:139/MacBackup
May 1 13:18:35 Wallawoo /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[2842]: Backup destination mounted at path: /Volumes/MacBackup-1
May 1 13:18:37 Wallawoo hdiejectd[2856]: running
May 1 13:18:37 Wallawoo /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[2842]: Failed to mount disk image /Volumes/MacBackup-1/Wallawoo_0019e33a0278.sparsebundle (DIHLDiskImageAttach returned: 109)
May 1 13:18:37 Wallawoo /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[2842]: Waiting 60 seconds and trying again.
May 1 13:18:39 Wallawoo /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[2842]: Ejected Time Machine network volume.
May 1 13:20:50 Wallawoo /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[2842]: Giving up after 3 retries.
May 1 13:20:55 Wallawoo /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[2842]: Backup failed with error: 21

I appreciate any help!
posted by birdlips to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I should add, I have ports 137-139 enabled for Samba.
posted by birdlips at 12:49 PM on May 1, 2009

HAHAHAHAHAHA. Finally someone else who has my fucking problem.

I have a MacBook Pro with a custom built WHS, and it was killing me not being able to backup using Time Machine.

It's completely unsupported, but one night I sat down and spent about four hours hammering on it and I finally got it to work, and it has been working reliably since then, backing up over WiFi.

Although, to be fair, I have yet to need to *recover* a file, so while it does appear to function, and the disk is being mounted and data is being sent and I can seemingly browse my backups, it's all very "USE AT YOUR OWN RISK FOR THE LOVE OF GOD."

Let me go back and look at my notes and see if I can get you on the right path.
posted by kbanas at 1:26 PM on May 1, 2009

Best answer: This is essentially the big trick that I was missing.

So, I made a user in WHS that had the same name and password as my primary account on my MacBook Pro. Then I made a share in WHS called "OS X BACKUP" and gave my WHS user account permission to use it.

Then, after I made sure I could mount it on my MacBook Pro via Samba (smb:// X Backup in my case) I set about trying to setup Time Machine on it, and it never, ever worked.

Basically the trick is that you have to make the backup on your MacBook Pro (as essentially an empty file), then move it over to the share, then point Time Machine at it and make Time Machine pick up the file you generated and start using it.

Look at the link I posted above. Basically backing up to WHS is no different than backing up to a NAS or anything else, so try Googling "Time Machine NAS"

Oh, also, first you have to turn on support for unsupported volumes, as documented here.

If you have specific questions, please drop me a mail. I'm happy to help.
posted by kbanas at 1:31 PM on May 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh dammit.

Now that I actually read your post, I see that you've... already tried most of what I said.

I just got overly excited at the idea I could solve a problem for someone else, which is a rarity.

Huh, I'm stumped.
posted by kbanas at 1:33 PM on May 1, 2009

Stupid question - are the machines on the same LAN? Is one connected via WiFi and the other via Ethernet?
posted by kbanas at 1:35 PM on May 1, 2009

I should mention that I tried using the unsupported-device hack with Time Machine to use my ANS as a target disk, and although it nominally did work for a little while, it eventually became so slow that every backup cycle would time out. IIRC, Time Machine created a .dmg file on my NAS, which eventually got to be huge, and would take forever to mount on the desktop before the backup cycle could proceed.

Given this detailed view on why even the catholic Time Capsule remote-target setup is "doomed to suck", I'm inclined to think it's not worth it. I also don't think it makes sense to rely on a hack for your backups.
posted by adamrice at 1:38 PM on May 1, 2009

So, I don't really know anything about WHS, but I did manage to hack a backup onto the shared fileserver for my macbook using these instructions. Maybe that will help?
posted by polexa at 1:58 PM on May 1, 2009

I know nothing about TM or WHS, but the "Failed to mount disk image" error coming straight after the successful mount of the drive suggests that whatever user/group Time Machine runs as (the logged in user? root? Something else? I dunno...) doesn't have read/write permission for either that drive or that file.

If you find someone who does have it working, start by getting them to check the user/group ownership and permissions on the .sparseimage file that TM created.
posted by Pinback at 4:07 PM on May 1, 2009

I had this problem until I bought an HP MSS and used their software. I hated buying their hardware, but oh well, it now works perfectly over Wifi and hardwired. I wish they'd sell it separately!

Try everything you did, but over a hardwired connection. With my MB I was only able to complete one or two backups over wifi before I would get error messages about being unable to mount the drive for backup.

The issue with SMB I think is that its not entirely reliable. There are some things in SMBv2 that are for intermittent network links, until then I think TM backups over SMB without third party software are not reliable.
posted by SirOmega at 5:13 PM on May 1, 2009

Response by poster: kbanas, glad to see you share the pain. What a pain in my arse this has been. Anyway, thanks for the link it set me off on the right track. In the end the problem was that my SMB login id was not the same as my MacBook machine name. Once I fixed that the steps of creating a local image and moving it to the WHS share worked.

Thanks again!
posted by birdlips at 11:40 PM on May 1, 2009

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