Mac Leopard and WHS do NOT Play Nicely


On the SuperSite for Windows back in January 2007 Todd Headrick, the WHS Product Planner told Paul Thurrott in his Windows Home Server Preview that Mac users could access the WHS shared folders as they would any other Windows share and that WHS would be a great back-end store for Time Machine. The name of the new backup feature in Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Microsoft’s own WHS page said that “Mac users have the ability to save to and remotely access Windows Home Server”.

But despite what was said you cannot use your Windows Home Server shared storage as a backup target for Time Machine.
Cristopher Price explains that:

Apple killed SMB (Windows Sharing) support for Time Machine, that’s what. So, basically, Time Machine can’t see the Windows Home Server shares… or any other PC drive shares. Support has been scaled back to AFP (Mac OS) file sharing only.

So, It was planned to be in there but due to bugs and crashes SMB was withdrawn at the last minute from Apple’s new Mac OS X Leopard.

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Comments (14)

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  1. gn!uz says:

    I think the topic title is misleading. Leopard works very smooth with Windows Home Server (SMB shares). I’m using it!!
    It’s just not possible at this time to use these SMB shares as backup resource for Timemachine. So for the time being, just hook-up an external disk to your mac. It seems Timemachine is capable of backing up to the FAT filesystem and there a some workarounds that make it possible to backup over the network.. And in time Timemachine will have the possibility to backup over SMB shares.. Just not yet.. I don’t see why this has anything to do with Windows Home Server..

    I’m using Bootcamp with Leopard and have installed the Connector software for Vista! In Leopard I use all the available shares on the Windows Home Server.. Rock solid!!!

  2. Hi gn!uz,
    Thanks for your comment. Prehaps I was a bit hasty in posting this. I got the info from another mac user, not being one my self I could not check, so thank you for posting your experience with it.

  3. It wasn’t withdrawn last minute either – and support wasn’t scaled back. It’s just that the technology isn’t possible with volumes apart from those running the HFS+ file system (with AFP, network volumes are treated as HFS)

    The reason being is that the NTFS file system does not support hard links, which are what are used by Time Machine for the backups.

  4. Fanboy says:

    Huh? NTFS cannot do hard links? Do your homework, pls…


    There is even a utility called fsutil in Windows to create hardlinks…..

  5. DigitalDude says:

    I bought WHS on the announcement it would allow Time Machine Backups. Anyone know of a working solution or have a feeling if it will soon be supported?

  6. DigitalDude says:

    Others are having success with this solution for a NAS. I wonder if we can modify it to work with WHS:

    You need an external USB drive

    Connect the drive and format it HFS+
    for this example I will name it backup
    Set it up as the Time Machine drive once formatted.

    Go into system preferences and turn off Time Machine.

    Go into FrontView and create a share, for this example I will name it backups, set a quota you want to use I did double my Mac’s hard drive

    Open terminal
    type the following commands

    cd /

    cd Volumes

    ls -a -l (make note of .00 filename)

    cp ./backup/.00filename ./backups/.00filename

    cp ./backup/.com.apple.timemachine.supported ./backups/.com.apple.timemachine.supported

    sudo umount backup
    sudo umount backups

    then go back into Frontview and rename backups volume to backup
    connect to ReadyNAS through finder afp://IPADDRESS
    choose backup volume to connect to

    Relaunch TimeMachine…

  7. Brian says:

    Another reason for WHS not working with Time Machine is probably due to the metadata that is included on HFS+ filesystems that shows up as .DS_Store and . files on SMB shares accessed by a Mac.

    Now I’m wondering if Apple will join the home server fray and come out with their own system that will work as a back-end for Time Machine but will leave the Windows users high and dry backup-wise.

  8. Thanks for your comments Chris Boulton, Fanboy and Brian.

  9. Hi DigitalDude,
    Did your USB drive method work?

  10. Rich says:

    Hey guys,

    I have tried this http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/10/how-to-enable-time-machine-on-unsupported-volumes/ and it works just fine…. Am currently using it to backup to a NAS drive I have.


  11. Hi Rich,
    Thanks for the info.

  12. Darin says:

    Leopard does NOT worky smoothly with WHS. All files show up as ZERO bytes when viewed from my Mac Pro. I have frequent connectivity issues and strange mapping problems that make folder look like they have moved. I have none of these problems when accessing WHS shares from XP or Vista.

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  14. mac leopard says:

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