Using Windows Home Server

All about Windows Home Server, the Digital Home and Security.

Backing up a Mac with an HP MediaSmart EX485 or EX487

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Now that the new HP MediaSmart Servers are shipping, I thought I would post something on how to configure your Apple Mac to use Time Machine to back up to your Windows Home Server.

Time Machine is an application that comes preinstalled on a Mac that allows you to backup everything on your computer – a bit like WHS. This includes documents, photos, applications, and more. Time Machine takes hourly backups of your computer and will keep those backups for 24 hours, daily backups for a month and weekly backups until your backup disk becomes full up.

This is essentially a walk-through from installing the software on the Mac, to performing your first backup.

There are a few important things to note however before continuing on.

1 – the Apple Mac needs to be running Mac OS X 10.5 or later.

2 – you need an HP MediaSmart EX485 or EX487, the for previous versions will not work until HP release the software update and there is currently no dates for this.

3 – Backing up a Mac doesn’t work in quite the same way as a Windows client, which I will come onto in a moment, and there is no way to do a complete system restore onto a Mac from WHS, again which I will cover in a moment.

4 – it is assumed that you have already set up your Windows Home Server and configured it just as you would have previously.

Ok, so here goes….

The first thing you need to do, is check that you have Administrator rights on the Mac. To do this, click System Preferences, Accounts and ensure that the Allow user to administer this computer is checked.

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Once this is done just pop the Software Installation Disc that came with the MediaSmart into your Mac. Double click on the Install HP MediaSmart Server Software.pkg icon.

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Click Continue on the Welcome Screen, then read the EULA and click Continue again, then assuming that you agree with the EULA (you have to otherwise you cannot continue) click Agree.

You now have the option to change the install location should you really want to. When you have changed it, should you want to, click Install.

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You will need to enter your Mac account password and then click OK.

The installation will now commence and should only take a moment or two. When it has completed you will see the Installation completed successfully screen – just click Close to finish.

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This will bring up the Preferences windows. Enter the name of your WHS and also the Server password.

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If it connects successfully you will see the word Authenticated appear above the Apply button. If it fails you will see Validation Error. Just enter the details again. If it still fails, and you are sure that the details are correct, just check that the WHS is online and that your Mac is connected to the network.

The next step is to configure the amount of space that will be used to backup your Mac.

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Enter the amount of backup disk space you want to use in GB and click the Apply button. This will then prepare your WHS. Depending on the size you selected this might take a few moments.

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You will the be asked if you want to use “Backup to HP MediaSmart Server” to back up using Time Machine. Click Use as Backup Disk to continue.

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And that is is – Time Machine will now be used to backup your Mac to your WHS.

There is nothing else you need to do, the first backup will start within an hour. When your Mac is backing up, you will be able to see the progress.

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Just as you had with backing up your Windows clients, the first time you backup your Mac it could take a long time, so be patient.

If you want to see information about your backups, for example, when the last backup took place, or when the next backup is due, just open Time Machine.

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Time Machine will just continue to run in the background for you.

When you want to restore from Time Machine, you get a cool looking view which allows you to switch between backups and select the files you want to restore.

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As I mentioned earlier, you cannot restore the entire computer in the same way as you can with Windows clients and WHS. If you want or need to restore your Mac, you must first install the Mac OS, then the HP MediaSmart Server Client software, select the disk called Backup to the HP MediaSmart Server in the Preference window and then run Time Machine, selecting the backup you want to restore.

It is important to note as well that the backups are stored on your WHS in a shared folder called Mac, your Mac doesn’t show up on the Computers and Backups tab. It is also important to note that by default, the Mac shared folder has duplication turned off, so if your backups are important to you, you should consider switching on folder duplication for the folder.

If you open the folder, you will see a file the size that you created earlier.

mac folder

And that is pretty much it. It is simple to install, configure and use to make sure that your Mac clients are backed up, and the restore process is straightforward as well. It is a shame that it doesn’t work in quite the same way for the Mac as it does for Windows, but at least you have everything you need to get your Mac back up and running in the event of a major problem.

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Written by Andrew Edney

February 16, 2009 at 8:42 pm

2 Responses

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  1. […] Read the original post: Backing up a Mac with an HP MediaSmart EX485 or EX487 […]

  2. […] You can read the guide here. […]


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