Backing up data to Time Capsule using Time Machine

Earlier this week, I consulted a client who reported that her Time Capsule storage device no longer provided wireless services and that Time Machine hadn’t backed up any data to Time Capsule since the beginning of September.

While onsite, I learned that my customer had recently taken her computer to the Apple Store to find out why her Mac was locking up on a frequent basis. At the store, she found out that her IT department had installed RAM modules in her Mac that didn’t conform to Apple specs. Apple Store technicians did a memory swap that stopped the system freezes. However, in the course of self-diagnosing her Mac problems, she thought her Time Capsule might be at fault and pressed the hardware reset button on the device without going through the process of restoring her wireless settings in AirPort Utility.

After hearing her story, I ran AirPort Utility to restore wireless service throughout the house. However, I ran into an unexpected glitch trying to reconfigure Time Machine as her backup program. At the outset, Time Machine responded to backup attempts with the cryptic message that “The Backup Disk Image Could Not Be Mounted.”

In researching this issue, I found references to this problem on the Apple Discussion Board.

None of the suggested remedies on the aforementioned support page resolved the backup problem. With the customer’s permission, I reformatted the Time Capsule’s hard drive using AirPort Utility and tried running Time Machine again. No go. This time I was stymied by a variation of the previous error, which now indicated that “The Backup Disk Image Could Not Be Created.”

Further research uncovered a litany of cases and suggested solutions.

I verified that my client’s setup conformed to the recommended checklist on the Apple discussion post:

1. Can you see the Time Capsule under Shared in the Sidebar of Finder? [YES]
2. If you click on it in Shared, does the Time Capsule disk appear in the Finder Window? [YES]
3. Can you see and did you select the Time Capsule disk in Time Machine preferences? [YES]
4. Is the name of your Time Capsule less than 27 characters and without any special characters or punctuation?? [YES] If not, this can cause problems.

I also disabled the customer’s anti-virus program (Symantec) in accordance with an Apple KnowledgeBase article:

Despite my best efforts, all attempts at performing a Time Machine backup failed. To resolve the issue, I decided to search for a third-party program that could back up data to the Time Capsule. After finding that both Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper! were incapable of recognizing Time Capsule because it is a network device rather than a local or attached drive, I ended up recommending and installing Synchronize Pro X from


Leave a comment

Filed under Apple Hardware, Apple Software, Third Party Software, Troubleshooting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.