This evening i was trying out how to use Time Machine on my Mac. Unfortunately I am kind of short on external harddrives at the moment. Here is the full list of steps i did to make my Mac surrender and actually backup over the network onto my windows network share…

  1. Create a read/write windows network share on the target system.
  2. Mount the network share in your mac.
  3. Open a terminal in mac and enter “defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1” – this makes Time Machine accept non-local, non-HFS drives…
  4. Open Time Machine and voila: you see the network share.
  5. Select the network share and wait for the backup process to start. Observe the network share and copy the filename which is created by Time Machine, since we want to create this file for it. The process will end with an error. I found out that Time Machine is unable to create the so-called sparsebundle file.
  6. Open “Disk Utility” on the Mac and create a new image.
  7. Save your new image with the filename like the one created by Time Machine. The name should be something like “ComputerName_MACAddress.sparsebundle”. ATTENTION: The MACAddress HAS to be the MACAddress of the Ethernet, no matter which interface you use for backup. I was trying the backup over wifi and Time Machine created a file with the wifi MACAddress. For some reason this doesnt work. Its possible to backup over wifi, but use the Ethernet MACAddress in the filename. The volume name however can be whatever you like. Custom volume size must be the last value set.
  8. Change partition to “No Partition Map”
  9. Change Image Format to “Sparce Bundle Disk Image”
  10. Set “Custom Volume size” to the maximum you want to use on your remote location. Dont worry, as your Mac doesnt have to have the required space available you can choose whatever is available on your network share.
  11. Save the image and move it to the network share.
  12. Start the Time Machine process again.
Voila! My backup seems to be running now (around 2% finished) and i will keep it running over night. In case anything goes wrong i will write it here. If you have any trouble, feel free to contact me… good luck!