Replacement for my 2008 Time Capsule


Just not a good time for all of my “vintage” hardware from Apple (I laugh, since thinking of 12 years as “vintage” is hilarious). It seems perhaps my Time Capsule is also failing. The NAS part of it has a tendency to disconnect and then it requires a hard reboot (unplug, plug dance) to get it to work again. It does not show up as green and is not accessible in Airport Utility, however both wireless and wired connections continue to function. Connection by mounting the address in Linux (which is how I access it on my Linux machines) also doesn’t work. So it’s not an issue with macOS.

Doing my due diligence and searching, some users report the internal processor/logic board for the Time Capsule itself can start failing, and this is a symptom showing it’s going out to pasture. Just not a good time to be 2008 logic boards in my household I guess.

I upgraded it some years ago with a 3TB drive, and now with my Mac Pro gone the same way, I have 7TB of storage I can’t all put into my Linux box, and given they are 3.5inch drives, they definitely aren’t going into any of my MacBooks. I have a lot of video project footage on these drives as well as time machine backups and media backups. I paid like $50 for my Time Capsule several years ago, at least ten maybe. It has served me quite well, and I’d prefer not to spend a bunch of money.

Anyone got any suggestions?

I was using a TC of similar vintage at work for Time Machine backups of the office machines until recently. I made the mistake of turning it off one day and that was it; gone. A known issue with that model apparently. I tried all of the things and finally got it going again after a month but we had a terrible storm only a few weeks later and the ceiling leaked exactly where the TC was and drowned it. We were probably lucky it didn’t start a fire.

Anyway, I ended up getting us a 2 bay Synology. Pretty sure it was this model. It takes a couple of 3.5" drives. From what I recall it’s best to have two identical disks but not mandatory. It would be worth checking that though, as I researched it for a different, 4 bay, model. This is the 3rd Synology NAS we’ve bought and they’re all going well. Admin is via a web interface and it’s a bit clunky compared to a Mac, but I’m sure you wouldn’t have any problem with it. The OS, called DSM, is a Linux variant I believe and seems to be very stable.

Do you have a spare MacBook/Mini floating about you could add some external drives to for TimeMachine duties? No pretty, but potentially free.

Can definitely vouch for Synology NAS units. Unfortunately not a cheap option, but very happy with the functionality of them. I have two different units, the DS420j and DS918+.
Time Machine is supported along with a large range of other apps / functions.
Variety of different configs available.

I have external drive caddies. The issue is that I use my Time Capsule as a router, as a wireless access point, for backups, and for NAS (project files, music, videos, etc). It has a 3TB 3.5 inch internal. If the Time Capsule dies I lose router, WAP, and NAS. And I’d prefer an all in one unit. I even have my time capsule mounted up in a corner on the wall where the ethernet comes in.

Another idea? Is it the internal drive board that is on the fritz? Does it work with a USB attached drive?

Basically what happens is that the ability to connect to the storage device part of it fails, this makes both the internal and any external drives fail to be accessible (they are fine though, physically). It does not impact the ability to use wired or wireless connection. This apparently tracks with what I have read about the failure of the part of the board responsible for maintaining the shares. So, I suppose it’s possible that one could connect a NAS via eithernet to the Time Capsule and merely not use it as a storage device–it would become an Airport?

Yeah, but NASs aren’t cheap.

Another alternative would be a new(er) non apple router running Gargoyle/OpenWRT which should be relatively cheap and allow TimeMachine as well as your other things while being more customisable. Just make sure you have enough ROM/RAM to do all the things you want to do and that whatever you get is fast enough to handle the internet speeds you can get.

I have a GL.iNet GL-AR150 Mini Travel Router (or something like that) which I picked up ages ago to replace an aging DLink DIR-825 running Gargoyle only to find out that it could only handle throughput of about 30MBit because of it’s CPU. Not so great when you’re paying for a 100MBit connection :stuck_out_tongue:

A lot of newer routers have USB ports allowing you to attach a USB HDD for storage. Some will support time machine as well.
If you need router functionality, this is probably the easiest route.

I have no control over my internet, the entire building is on a shared connection. Everything is included in my rent, which I prefer, but it means I don’t have control over any of the utilities, obviously. I think it’s really slow, especially for Japan, but at least it’s unlimited. Unlike Straya.

Have been using a dual bay synology for a long time and just upgrade the drive size every few years. Works well and easy.

I have a AirPort Extreme with a portable hard disc connected to it. I use it for Time Machine duties for my MB Air. It works well, but the AirPort Extreme is long in the tooth and I will be stonkered when it dies. From some reading Time Machine won’t work with non Apple WiFi Router + Hard Disc combination. But it will work via a modern iMac on the same network, so we may have to get a new iMac then. The current iMac is pretty old (2008) so it is due for replacement.

Using Time Machine with a portable computer is being ignored by Apple now that they have discontinued their WiFi routers. I’m hoping the above solution works.

Today I set up a Samba share with one of the 1TB drives that came out of my defunct Mac Pro 3,1 now installed on my Linux box, and wouldn’t you know it, my MacBook Pro running Catalina thinks it’s a Mac! Maybe this means it is can be Time Machine’ed?


Asus routers allow time machine via their USB ports. Not set it up on my router as rarely use the laptop and just manually back it up but could be another option to look into.

You used to have to turn on TimeMachine on unsupported volumes to make it work on non Apple devices. Hell, even on USB connected devices on the AirPort Extreme… TimeMachine has always been a little questionable on portable devices. I hope that Linux install works for you.

That and you got to deal with the random “hahahahah screw you, start again” message when it decided that your archive wasn’t up to snuff anymore. I’ve had archives that lasted many years including cloning onto a new machines, but others that decided they weren’t viable after a few months. So random.

Well, that gives hope for the future. I will look into that and keep it up my sleeve for when I need it. Thanks for the info.