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Dying Time Capsules
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shifuimam
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Oct 13, 2009, 12:18 AM
 
Are Apple Time Capsules Short Lived? - Time Capsule - Gizmodo

Unfortunately, the referencing site is currently down (I'm guessing it got slashdotted or something).

I always did find it a little ridiculous that Apple used some of the worst hard drives on the market for the 1TB Time Capsule - not to mention that neither model uses multiple drives for any kind of redundancy.

This particular run of problems may be related to the power supply. Still, kind of a problem.
     
CharlesS
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Oct 13, 2009, 12:38 AM
 
But but but… they’re server-grade!

Really though — it’s a hard drive. Hard drives die after a while. The good news is that you can replace the hard drive if the built-in one goes bad.

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The Final Dakar
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Oct 13, 2009, 09:08 AM
 
I thought the root of the problem had something to do with the power supplies, not the hard drives.
     
Love Calm Quiet
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Oct 27, 2009, 04:51 AM
 
The reviews in the Apple store raise interesting questions (though the users rather noobie). People seem to love the performance (except one who complained that if multiple people are backing up at once [?from scratch? - he doesn't say.] everyone's throughput suffers. duh.

However, there are lot of 1-star reviews - mostly complaining that "it died" after 18mos. Unfortunately they don't say *what* died: the HD? To me that's a key issue: I'd like to know that if the MoBo/powersupply dies I can lift the HD out and drop it into another TC.

Also: am I missing it or is there no Apple Care for the TC (or: only if bought with an entire system or some such?)?
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Doc HM
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Oct 28, 2009, 04:47 PM
 
Given the amount of heat that Time Capsules generate I'm not surprised the the drives go awol after such a short time, or that other components suffer. Time machine should really be viewed as only one part of a back up strategy, however on the plus side at least people who never considered backup have something in place now.
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Spheric Harlot
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Oct 28, 2009, 05:45 PM
 
It's not the hard drives; it's the power supplies.

Replacing the Time Capsule's blown caps:
Apple Time Capsule Repair Type2 (LaPastenague)

Replace the entire power supply with an external one:
Apple Time Capsule Repair Type1 (LaPastenague)
     
Simon
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Oct 29, 2009, 04:22 AM
 
I thought this bad capacitor problem should have blown over by now. Are there still bad capacitors out their being used today or did the TC somehow end up using bad capacitor leftovers?
     
Simon
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Oct 29, 2009, 04:23 AM
 
Ah, here we go. Just found the WP article.

Apparently bad capacitors were still being used in manufacturing as late as 2007.
     
Andy8
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Dec 12, 2009, 02:23 PM
 
My 500GB TC just died, power supply, just out of warranty.
     
Cold Warrior
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Dec 12, 2009, 02:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Andy8 View Post
My 500GB TC just died, power supply, just out of warranty.
sometimes apple will replace things even out of warranty if convinced that the problem was a defective product line or manufacturing problem. The stained MacBook palm rests come to mind as one example.

I would print out some of those articles and call apple support or visit a genius bar with specific references to what's been discovered. Ask for a swap.
     
Simon
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Dec 12, 2009, 03:03 PM
 
I'll second that. If your TC is just out of warranty talk to Apple. If you're just a bit lucky they'll treat it as if it were still under warranty. I had them once swap a MLB on a 14 month old iBook (w/o AC) for free that way. Be friendly and honest. Try to explain. Point out it's just out of warranty. Good luck.
     
besson3c
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Dec 12, 2009, 05:05 PM
 
I don't know why Apple doesn't make a slightly larger time capsule mirrored to a second drive, as Shif says... I know that the odds of your computer's HD and the TC drive dying at roughly the same time are sort of remote, but surely there are some people that would gladly tradeoff a little extra size and price for a little extra security?
     
seanc
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Dec 12, 2009, 05:57 PM
 
They should increase the size, just to add a large fan that running slowly, whenever the TC is in use.

Heat will kill hard drives
Heat will kill capacitors
Bad capacitors in the PSU can kill the HDD
     
Simon
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Dec 13, 2009, 02:59 AM
 
I'd like to see Apple increase the size of the TC, AP Extreme, and Mac mini so that they finally don't need the darn power supply brick anymore. I know that's additional heat within the enclosure, but the power brick makes cabling such a mess. And it kind of defeats the purpose of having a compact computer/device in the first place.
     
CharlesS
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Dec 13, 2009, 05:23 AM
 
On the other hand, if a computer won't start up due to a blown power supply, it's dead simple to get up and running again if the power supply's external.

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angelmb
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Dec 13, 2009, 05:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
They should increase the size, just to add a large fan that running slowly, whenever the TC is in use.

Heat will kill hard drives
Heat will kill capacitors
Bad capacitors in the PSU can kill the HDD
hmmm… so tempting to buy
     
Simon
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Dec 13, 2009, 05:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
On the other hand, if a computer won't start up due to a blown power supply, it's dead simple to get up and running again if the power supply's external.
Absolutely. And as I mentioned there's already a heat issue that doesn't need to be made any worse. I just don't like the brick for esthetic/design reasons. But there are no doubt good reasons to have it.
     
seanc
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Dec 13, 2009, 01:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by angelmb View Post
It doesn't have to be that large!

Plus, I believe the brand of the product you linked to is called Lacie...
     
besson3c
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Dec 13, 2009, 02:31 PM
 
I've always been a little apprehensive about those turnkey RAID appliances/NAS devices such as the LaCie posted above. It is often unknown which SATA/RAID controller they are using, how reliable it is, and what it does to notify the user when/if a drive fails. It is also often unknown how difficult it is to replace drives without trying to get hold of a manual or something, especially since this model's 5 bays are not hot swappable like others I have seen.

The problem is, if you really want to backup 2 TB of stuff, unless you happen to have another 2 TB lying around you can use as another backup, the security of my data is a mystery to me. There are never any guarantees, but then again I'd never purchase a product if I knew that its SATA controller was garbage.

In the case of RAID 5, you also have to be cognizant of power failures. Most RAID 5 cards have batteries for making the last of the writes, but without a UPS this battery will only last for so long.
     
seanc
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Dec 13, 2009, 03:18 PM
 
I'm happy with the Buffalo Terastation Live and Pro NAS devices.

The one we're using in our office is running on 4 250Gb Samsung Spinpoint drives with a RAID 5. It's a bit smaller than the Lacie and has a medium sized fan in the back running at 1000rpm.
One of these drives failed a couple of months ago. The NAS gave an alarm to alert us of the failure, emailed us repeatedly and stopped the shares on the device. The emails and LCD on the front of the unit told us drive 3 had failed.

We shut the unit down, opened the front door and slid drive out. Took the old drive out of the carrier and popped in a Western Digital 250Gb. Booted it up (it complained about drive 3 again), rebuilt the array and it's been fine. It did say the shares may not be available while it was rebuilding the array, but we were able to access them and continue working.
     
besson3c
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Dec 13, 2009, 03:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
I'm happy with the Buffalo Terastation Live and Pro NAS devices.

The one we're using in our office is running on 4 250Gb Samsung Spinpoint drives with a RAID 5. It's a bit smaller than the Lacie and has a medium sized fan in the back running at 1000rpm.
One of these drives failed a couple of months ago. The NAS gave an alarm to alert us of the failure, emailed us repeatedly and stopped the shares on the device. The emails and LCD on the front of the unit told us drive 3 had failed.

We shut the unit down, opened the front door and slid drive out. Took the old drive out of the carrier and popped in a Western Digital 250Gb. Booted it up (it complained about drive 3 again), rebuilt the array and it's been fine. It did say the shares may not be available while it was rebuilding the array, but we were able to access them and continue working.

Beauty!

I wonder what percentage of turnkey NAS products behave identically consistently? I don't mean to infer that most don't, I honestly don't know. Accepting some degree of magic is I guess a price you pay for a turnkey product.
     
Andy8
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Dec 15, 2009, 02:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
sometimes apple will replace things even out of warranty if convinced that the problem was a defective product line or manufacturing problem. The stained MacBook palm rests come to mind as one example.

I would print out some of those articles and call apple support or visit a genius bar with specific references to what's been discovered. Ask for a swap.

No luck so far, 35 minutes on the phone with Apple HK, 25 minutes on phone with Apple Australia, and now this morning in person with the authorised service centre in HK, all refused to repair or replace my 18 months old dead TC.

Registered my dead TC here for now

1406 registered here so far!
     
msuper69
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Jan 14, 2010, 06:33 PM
 
My 1TB TC just died. Appears to be the power supply.

My problem is figuring out how to get the damn thing open without breaking something.

Anybody got a clue?
     
Simon
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Jan 14, 2010, 06:44 PM
 
     
Andy8
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Jan 14, 2010, 08:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by msuper69 View Post
My 1TB TC just died. Appears to be the power supply.

My problem is figuring out how to get the damn thing open without breaking something.

Anybody got a clue?
This gives you 3 step-by-step repair guides you can follow if your keen.

Totalling 1882 fallen Time Capsules as of 15-Jan-2010 01:06 GMT + 0200
     
Eyenigma
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Jun 20, 2010, 09:25 PM
 
Does anyone have any information if the time capsule debacle of them dying with faulty power supplies has been remedied? Looking for a NAS device, and like the form factor of the TC, but don't want a turd after 18 mos.
     
Wiskedjak
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Jun 20, 2010, 09:58 PM
 
I honestly don't trust any hard drives that have anything less than a 3 year warranty.
     
Drakino
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Jun 20, 2010, 10:33 PM
 
Not certain on the Time Capsule situation, though the two that I have bought for family members are still running at this point. One is now a year old, and the other is a bit past the 18 month mark.

NAS wise, if you want Time Capsule like Time Machine support, but also the ability to also have more then one drive, I'd recommend looking into the NASes offered under the Netgear ReadyNAS brand. I bought an NV+ right when NetGear acquired the company (Infrant), and 3 years later the unit is still solid and seeing updates. It works with Macs really well with AFP support and Time Machine compatibility. Mine still has 2 years left in the warranty, and has just sat in my walk in closet performing it's duties. It also shares out music over the iTunes network sharing service, along with DLNA for PS3/360/TVs that support it. They don't offer router functionality, so thats one downside compared to the Time Capsule.
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Tuoder
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Jun 24, 2010, 03:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Love Calm Quiet View Post
The reviews in the Apple store raise interesting questions (though the users rather noobie). People seem to love the performance (except one who complained that if multiple people are backing up at once [?from scratch? - he doesn't say.] everyone's throughput suffers. duh.

However, there are lot of 1-star reviews - mostly complaining that "it died" after 18mos. Unfortunately they don't say *what* died: the HD? To me that's a key issue: I'd like to know that if the MoBo/powersupply dies I can lift the HD out and drop it into another TC.

Also: am I missing it or is there no Apple Care for the TC (or: only if bought with an entire system or some such?)?
Whenever I read short or vague reviews of a product, I'm skeptical. If someone says "It crashed.", or "It broke.", this can easily mean "I broke it.", or "I don't know how it works.". The same goes for positive reviews, of course. If someone says "Awesome! Love it!", frequently they don't know why they should like or dislike a product compared to it's competitors.
     
angelmb
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Jul 12, 2010, 11:40 AM
 
     
slugslugslug
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Jul 12, 2010, 02:59 PM
 
Well, mine has a serial number in the right range, but it’s lasted at least 2 years now. I kind of wish they’d let people do preemptive exchanges, since I’d rather not have to worry about it dying. I guess the fact that they’re not handling it that way implies that it’s a minority of those Time Capsules that will kick the bucket.

Also, the support page about the recall mentions that there are options for backing up data, so it seems like the problem isn’t with the hard drive.
     
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Jul 12, 2010, 10:57 PM
 
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slugslugslug
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Jul 13, 2010, 08:31 PM
 
^That’s what the post above my last one was referring to. What I was getting at is that they’re only replacing ones that have already kicked the bucket.
     
Andy8
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Jul 13, 2010, 08:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by slugslugslug View Post
^That’s what the post above my last one was referring to. What I was getting at is that they’re only replacing ones that have already kicked the bucket.
Well let us hope that Apple replaces mine, it died late last year.
     
slugslugslug
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Jul 15, 2010, 11:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Andy8 View Post
Well let us hope that Apple replaces mine, it died late last year.
Let us hope that you’ve gone to the support page linked to above and checked your serial number. If it’s in the appropriate range, Apple will probably replace yours.
     
Andy8
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Jul 15, 2010, 07:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by slugslugslug View Post
Let us hope that you’ve gone to the support page linked to above and checked your serial number. If it’s in the appropriate range, Apple will probably replace yours.
Yes my serial number was within the ranges quoted on the Apple support page.

I took my dead TC down to our Apple Authorized Service Provider and they gave me a replacement right away!

My concern now is that they replaced my dead TC with an exact same model, which may fail again without warning anytime soon! (my replacement TC has a serial number in the same range!)
     
ghporter
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Jul 15, 2010, 07:31 PM
 
I don't know how I missed this thread all the way back in October, but I did. TC threads go in Networking, so I'm moving this thread there...

Andy, can you contact that ASP and ask them about the "same serial number range" issue? I'd be interested to see what they had to say about it.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
slugslugslug
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Jul 16, 2010, 12:21 PM
 
If the problem is with the power supply only, it seems likely they’re just replacing those on other returned models without replacing the serial number printed on the case or embedded how/wherever it is in the rest of the circuitry.
     
   
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