How-To: Configure Time Machine with Windows Home Server 2011

(UPDATE 04/11/2011 – Corrected error with sparseimage. Should be sparsebundle. Directions corrected.)

Note: These directions will not work with Mac OS X Lion as Apple has removed the necessary components to allow this functionality to work.

In today’s how-to, we’re going to setup Time Machine for a Mac client with the backups being stored on Windows Home Server 2011. These same steps should work with Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials as well. (P.S. If after reading this, and you agree with me that setup could be easier, go here and vote.)

Step 1: Create shared folder on server


  • Click the Shared Folders and Hard Drives tab


  • Click Add a Folder, and fill in the details then click Next


  • Click Specific People, and then assign Read/Write permissions to the user account you wish to use on your Mac.

image  image

  • Click Add Folder,and then when the process is finished, click Close.

image  image

Step 2: Enable Network Volume Support and create SparseBundle file

  • On each Mac that you wish to back up, go to the Applications folder, then Utilities, then open Terminal and type the following command then press Enter.
    • defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

Screen Shot 2011-04-10 at 12.20.04 PM

  • We need to determine the MAC address of the Ethernet port (en0) to properly create the sparsebundle file. (NOTE: Even if you are using a wireless connection to backup, you MUST use the MAC address of the Ethernet port.) To do so, in the same Terminal window, type ifconfig and press Enter.  Look for the line starting with en0, and then look just below that for the line starting with ether and make note of the address on that line.

Screen Shot 2011-04-10 at 12.20.42 PM

  • Now we will create the sparsebundle file that Time Machine will use. In the same Terminal  window, type the following command and press Enter. (NOTE: For the hard drive size, it needs to be the size of your hard drive. If you have a 160GB hard drive, then it will be ‘-size 160G’.)
    • hdiutil create –size <Hard Drive size>G –fs HFS+J –volname “<computername> Backup” <computername>_<MACAddress>.sparsebundle
      • Replace <Hard drive size> with the size of your hard drive
      • Replace <computername> with the name of your computer (Can be found in System Preferences –> Sharing) (Note: You may want to change the name to make it something short and simple.)
      • Replace <MACAddress> with the MAC Address you made note of in the previous step, leave out the colons in the address

Screen Shot 2011-04-10 at 12.21.54 PM

Step 3: Copy Sparsebundle to server and enable Time Machine

  • Close Terminal, then go to the Go menu and click Connect to Server, and type in smb://<ip address or name of server>, then press Enter. Choose the Shared Folder you created and click OK.
  • Browse to the location that the sparsebundle file was created in. This will most likely be the root of your user folder. (/users/<your username/)
  • Drag this sparsebundle file to the shared folder on the server

Screen Shot 2011-04-10 at 12.23.18 PM

  • After the file finishes copying, open System Preferences, and then click Time Machine

Screen Shot 2011-04-10 at 12.43.12 PM

  • Click Select Disk and select the shared folder on your server

Screen Shot 2011-04-10 at 12.43.27 PM


  • When prompted, enter the user name and password you wish to use and click Connect.

Screen Shot 2011-04-10 at 12.43.40 PM

  • A countdown of 120 seconds should begin, and then once that countdown finishes, your backup should commence.

Screen Shot 2011-04-10 at 12.46.06 PM  Screen shot 2011-04-10 at 1.01.47 PM

Congratulations! You’ve just configured Time Machine with Windows Home Server 2011.

Microsoft’s “Colorado” Suite is on MSDN and TechNet

Yesterday, Microsoft made available for subscribers on MSDN and TechNet, Windows Home Server 2011, Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials (MSDN Only).

If you are a MSDN or TechNet subscriber, I highly recommend that you check out these releases. Please remember that MSDN and TechNet are for EVALUATION purposes only. If you like these products, please support the teams developing them, and buy them if you are going to use them in production.

Here are the hashes for the RTM releases:

Windows Home Server 2011

File Name: en_server_install_disc_windows_home_server_2011_x64_dvd_658487.iso

SHA1: A01A33EB26DE2A3E91C9C0371B549977173725F3

Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials

File Name: en_server_install_disc_windows_small_business_server_2011_essentials_x64_dvd_664391.iso

SHA1: 58FE96CD15B46107C0030713CB75A18B5FAFEF69

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials

File Name: en_server_install_disc_windows_storage_server_essentials_2008_r2_embedded_x64_dvd_658486.iso

SHA1: 8225F23C29B3BD7C07F0E046B3E6E3AEBBE17DE1
ISO/CRC: 153960D2

To run MSCDCRC against an ISO file that you have downloaded follow these steps.

  1. Download MSCDCRC to the same folder that you downloaded the Vail ISO to. (Click here to download MSCDCRC)
  2. Open a Command Prompt window and navigate to the folder from Step 1
  3. Type “MSCDCRC <ISO filename.iso>” (without quotes)
  4. The integrity check will take a few moments to complete. After the check is complete compare the CRC and SHA hashes to the hashes posted above
  5. If the hashes match then you have successfully downloaded the ISO.

Released to Manufacturing: Microsoft’s “Colorado” Line of Products

This past week, Microsoft released to manufacturing it’s “Colorado” line of products (Aurora, Vail, and Breckenridge). Aurora is now known as Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Vail is Windows Home Server 2011, and Breckenridge is Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials.

Microsoft is committing to making each of these products available for evaluation purposes only on MSDN and TechNet in early April. Below is a brief comparison of each of the products with link to Microsoft’s datasheets.

I’m extremely excited to see these three products launch, and can’t wait to see what OEMs and ISVs come with for hardware and software on these platforms. Over the next few weeks and months I’ll be sharing more about each of these products and how then can benefit you.

  Windows Home Server 2011 Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials
User Limit 10 Users 25 Users 25 Users
Computer Limit 10 Computers 25 Computers 25 Computers
CPU Socket Support 1 CPU Socket 2 CPU Sockets 1 CPU Socket
Maximum Supported RAM 8 GB RAM 32 GB RAM 8 GB RAM
Domain Join? None Domain Controller Yes
Data Sheet Click Here Click Here Click Here

A Gift from Microsoft–HP ProLiant Microserver

HP_ProLiant_MicroServerIn the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to take a moment to announce that during the 2011 Global MVP Summit, Microsoft gave me an HP ProLiant Microserver.

The HP ProLiant Microserver is designed for the small business space, and is meant to be a first server for those that have no real IT infrastructure or are using a peer-to-peer network. The Microserver has a very low price point of only $349 for the base model with no OS.

The server supports RAID 0 and 1, and for those that want remote management, an optional iLO card can be purchased for an additional fee.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be installing Windows MultiPoint Server 2011, Windows Home Server 2011 RC, and Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials RC to test the software and the performance of the ProLiant Microserver. I may have just found my replacement for my aging HP MediaSmart EX475 server.

Thanks for the server, Microsoft!