Time Machine server with Synology

I was using a 2TB USB disk as a Time Machine storage for my MacBook Pro. The thing is I keep forgetting to plug it to run the backup. So, I’m going to use this storage as a Time Machine remote storage with my Synology DS409-slim.

The MacBook Pro runs Mac OS X Lion 10.7.1 and the Synology runs DSM 3.2-1922.

First thing you need to do is plug the USB disk to the syno. Browse to “Control Panel”, “External Devices” and check if the USB disk is recognized. I’m using a Western Digital My Book Essential and it appears as a “My Book 1110” device. It ships with two partitions: one for WD backup software, formatted in FAT32, and one for the data. Select the “USB disk” and click the “Format” button. I did choose the following options:

  • Formatting Option: Entire disk
  • File system type: EXT4

Wait while the icon text indicates “Formatting…”. It took quite a few minutes in my case.

Once done, using the “Get Info” button, you can check that the status is “Normal”. Look at the “Shared folder” name. In my case, it was “usbshare1”.

I decided that the disk would only be used for Time Machine. So I did change the shared folder name. Browse to “Control Panel”, “Shared Folder” and select the USB disk share. Click the “Edit” button and replace the “Name” value. I used “Time Machine”.

Then, browse to “Control Panel”, “Win/Mac/NFS”, “Mac File Service”. Check the “Enable Mac fie service” option, select the shared folder’s name in the “Time Machine” dropbox and click “OK”. The network service will restart so be sure not to have any network task running.

Now, from the MacBook, click the “Time Machine” icon and open the preferences. Click the “Choose Backup Disk” button and select the remote disk. Mine was “Time Machine on Syno (Time Machine)”. Fill-in the credentials and you’re done.

The backup process will be run automatically when my MBP is connected to the network and be stored on the remotely accessible USB disk.


  • Stephen Inoue Sun, 15 Apr 2012 07:42:31 +0000 Reply

    Joel – I’m in your debt. Found your post and it helped me with a couple of mistakes I was running into. Thank you for posting this! I’m blogging about this and going into depth covering setting up Time Machine, but I was happy to find your post and see that it was straight forward. Thanks!

    • Joel Carnat Wed, 25 Apr 2012 18:33:51 +0000 Reply Author

      Glad it helped!

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