Monday, June 1, 2009

Time Machine backup on HP MediaSmart

HP just released the support for allowing Mac OS X computers to back up to the older models of HP MediaSmart Windows Home Servers.  I installed this, so I can back up our Mac mini to our server.  I have been using an external USB drive, but this would enable me to stop using that drive as a backup for the Mac mini, but instead, I can use that drive as a removable backup drive for the server itself.

The setup on the server was very straight forward.  All I had to do was create a share named "Mac", and I didn't have to give any user write permissions to it.

Then on the Mac, I installed the HP MediaSmart software.  After a reboot, when I launched the software, it asked for the server name and adminstrator passowrd.  Once those were configured, I clicked on the Backup tab.  This is where I had some problems.

The software suggests a size for a backup partition that is about the same size as the boot drive on the Mac.  The Mac software creates a disk image in the "Mac" share, with a name containing the serial number of the Mac that is running the software.  This allows multiple computers to be backed up to the same server. When I tried to create this backup partition it kept failing that there wasn't enough space, even though there was plenty on the server.  I could get it to work, if I specified a very small partition size.  But when when I specified a size that would be big enough to backup the whole mac, it would fail with the same error.

I found that I was able to get this to work by turning off Folder Duplication.  Once I did that the disk image was able to be created.  Then I was able to enable Folder Duplication.  I have been able to backup the Mac mini to the server with no problem.


  1. I had the same problem as you with the software saying there was not enough space to create the backup disk. I'd just added a 300GB drive to my EX470, that I'd previously been using as my Time Machine disk fitted within my Mac Pro. I found that if I reduced the backup disk size to 300GB with folder duplication "off". Can you turn folder duplication off from a single setting on WHS, or do I just have to turn it off on each individual share?

  2. The only way that I believe that you can turn off Folder Duplication is in the Console for each share individually.

  3. [...] that our MediaSmart Windows Home server supports backing up our Mac OS X computers with Time Machine, I freed up the 1.5 TB USB drive that had been connected to our Mac [...]

  4. Hey Everyone,

    I have a EX470 and was wondering if someone can post a link to the software? I've tried on HP's site but it not letting give me the option for a mac.


  5. I spent quite a bit of time on the phone with HP support today, as I was having exactly the same problem - everything showed that I was authenticated, but the time machine on my macbookpro was saying it didn't have enough space. But it has 4TB of new space, so that couldn't be the problem.

    It turns out, the problem was that the server was trying to connect via IP address, rather than the hostname that we gave it. I pinged the IP address, and updated the host name file (through terminal) and it magically worked.

    This thing seems like it will be a great addition to our office, but setup sure is finicky.

  6. [...] while ago HP added Time Machine support to their MediaSmart servers.  I have mentioned previous problems getting Time Machine to back up to the server.  Since I had to restore the server, I had to [...]

  7. If you haven't already, be sure to get a cheap flash drive and do the following so that you can do a bare metal recovery of your Mac if needed!


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