What's the correct way to set up an Apple Time Capsule at Mines?

Tags Mac Apple

Setting up the Apple Time Capsule on your home network is generally easy and straightforward -- as is usually the case with Apple products. However, when Time Capsule is attached to the Mines campus network, unforeseen problems arise. This is a guide to setting up Time Capsule on the Mines network in an approved, and secure, fashion. To maintain network security -- and access to our network infrastructure -- all members of the Mines community must use the following instructions while setting up their Apple Time Capsule.

These instructions are complex, but should be followed to the letter. As always, if you need further assistance please submit a Mines Help Center "Helpdesk" support request at https://helpdesk.mines.edu.

Prior to getting started, you'll need to request what is called a "static IP address" for your Time Capsule. Do that first, here: https://netreg.mines.edu

When you request your static IP address, you will be asked to provide a name for your Time Capsule. Do so using the following (ALL-CAPITALS) format: BUILDING CODE-ROOM NUMBER-MINESUSERNAME. So, for instance, if the Time Capsule of John Smith will reside in room 227 of Berthoud Hall, he would request this Time Capsule name: BE-227-JSMITH. (See the campus map at https://www.mines.edu/campus-tour/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/07/Campus-Map-Download.pdfPDF versionText only version for other building codes.) On the Static IP Address Request Form, the "Machine Type" should be listed as "Apple Time Capsule." The "Operating System" field may be left blank.

Submit that form and we will be in touch.

Once you have your static IP address and official Time Capsule device name assigned, you may configure the device. In addition to the IP address and network name, you obviously need the Time Capsule (with power cord) and two Ethernet cables. Remember: You should connect to your through a wired, Ethernet connection only -- not through a wireless connection -- whenever possible. Not only is a wired connection much faster, but backing up to Time Capsule wirelessly may create a large amount of network traffic and will slow down wireless networking for you and those around you. Those with desktop Macs should use this method if possible (laptops may differ). At the very least, connect to your Time Capsule via wire the first time you back up your system. After that initial -- potentially very large -- backup, only incremental backups will be transmitted to Time Capsule and a wireless connection is acceptable at that point.

Depending on your current setup, you may only temporarily need a second Ethernet cable to be used during the configuration process. If your ideal setup is to directly connect your Mac to your Time Capsule full time, then you will need the second Ethernet cable permanently. If you need more Ethernet cables, you can purchase them from the Computer Commons (CTLM 156) or from the Mines Bookstore. Tip: When choosing a cable, pick one longer than you think you may need.

To set up your Time Capsule:

  • At your desk, near your Mac, plug the Time Capsule power cord into the wall.

  • Connect one Ethernet cable from the Ethernet wall jack to the Time Capsule port located at the far left, closest to the USB port and power supply.

  • With your second Ethernet cable, connect one end to your Mac and the other end to any of the three appropriate ports to the right, on the back of the Time Capsule.

  • Turn off your Mac’s wireless access so we know for sure that you’re configuring your own Time Capsule and not someone else’s. To do so, open the System Preferences application and click the Network icon. Then click "Turn Wi-Fi Off." (On older versions of Mac OS X, click the AirPort icon at upper-right of the Mac desktop to turn off AirPort wireless networking.)

Now configure your Time Capsule:

  1. Open the AirPort Utility located in your Mac's Applications > Utilities folder by double clicking on the AirPort application icon.

  2. In the AirPort Utility, click on Other AirPort Base Stations and then your (not-yet-configured) Time Capsule.

  3. Change the Network Name and the Base Station Name to the name you used when you requested the static IP. Then enter the password you want to use for your Time Capsule. It is recommended that you use either your ADIT password or the login that you use for your Mac, if different. 

  4. Click Next. Click Next again to create your Time Capsule network. You'll wait a minute or two while the Time Capsule configures itself.

  5. Click Done and then close the AirPort Utility

Enter Time Capsule parameters:

  1. Now reopen the AirPort Utility and then click on the Time Capsule icon.

  2. Click Edit.

  3. Click on the Internet tab and select Connect Using Static IP Address. 

  4. Enter the following parameters then click Update:

  • IP Address: (this is the static IP address you were assigned earlier)

  • Subnet Mask:

  • Router:

  • Primary DNS Server – can’t change

  • Secondary DNS Server:

  • Domain Name – can’t change

Enter more Time Capsule parameters:

  1. Again, open the AirPort utility, select your Time Capsule, and click Edit.

  2. Click on the Internet tab again.

  3. Enter the following: Primary DNS Server:

  4. Click on the Wireless tab.

  5. Select Off from the Network Mode dropdown. This is required by Campus Network Security.

  6. Click on the Network tab.

  7. Select Off (Bridge Mode) from the Router Mode dropdown. Again, this is required by Campus Network Security.

  8. Click on Update, Continue. (This part will take a minute while it makes the system changes.)

  9. You should now see several other Time Capsules listed in the AirPort Utility.

  10. Close the AirPort utility.

Configure Time Machine (back up software) to back up to your Time Capsule (hardware):

  1. Click on the Time Machine icon located in the top right of your Mac desktop and then Open Time Machine Preferences…

  2. Click on Select Disk…

  3. Highlight your Time Capsule then click Use Backup Disk.

  4. Click Connect if your password automatically was entered in the Password field, otherwise enter the same password that you used previously, above.

Looking back at the Time Machine window, Time Machine is now set to ON and your Next Backup will begin in… a few seconds.

Your Time Capsule -- and Time Machine -- have now been configured. Turn your AirPort (wireless) back on by opening System Preferences, clicking Wireless, clicking the Wi-Fi option at left, then clicking "Turn Wi-Fi On." Again, though your computer is not required to be on a wired Mines network connection to back up to Time Capsule, it is strongly suggested that for your initial backup you are either directly connected to the Time Capsule via Ethernet cable or directly connected to the wired Mines network. The first backup backs up everything on your hard drive and can take several hours. After the initial backup, the average backup time is a couple of minutes because it only has to back up any changes in your files.

It is strongly recommended that the Time Capsule be plugged into a surge-protected power strip, or even an uninterruptable power supply.

You can arrange your Time Capsule in one of two ways going forward:

Keep the current setup. Connect one Ethernet cable from the wall to your Time Capsule and a second Ethernet cable from your Time Capsule to your Mac. This is the fastest, most convenient, and most secure method for those with desktop Macs.

If an Ethernet wall port is available and active, connect your Time Capsule to it and back up wirelessly to it. This is probably the most common way to configure a Mac laptop for Time Capsule.

In some cases, you would want to tell your Time Capsule not to back up particular files or folders. For instance, if you have created virtual machines with VMWare or Parallels, you would want to exclude the entire VMWare image folder, since each virtual machine is seen by Time Capsule as a single (very large) file. Each time a change is made in the virtual machine -- for example, each time you save a file or a setting -- Time Capsule will attempt to back up the entire virtual-machine file to Time Machine, creating huge amounts of excess wireless network traffic. In VMWare, the default location of the virtual-machine folder is Macintosh HD > Users > your account name > Documents > Virtual Machines. To exclude the folder click on Options from the Time Machine window, click on the [+] sign and navigate to the above folder (or wherever you currently have your Virtual Machines stored).

In April 2018, Apple announced that it would discontinue the AirPort Time Capsule. However, ITS will continue to support the device as long as practicable.


Article ID: 70087
Sun 1/13/19 10:56 PM
Fri 5/20/22 2:35 PM

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