Netgear Stora and Time Machine Setup

Netgear Stora NAS boxHaving just got a Netgear Stora I wanted to use it as my time machine backup (I have an old ibook G4 and 10.5 so some of this may or may not work for 10.6 – i haven’t tried it!). It turns out this isn’t a simple operation (despite ease of use supposedly being a big selling feature of the Stora…). Here are the steps I eventually worked my way through to get this working:

  1. Enable unsupported time machine devices. In the Mac terminal type:
    defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
  2. Enable “Computer Backups” on the Stora through the web interface – this is an option in preferences. Select a password and set the changes through “Submit”
  3. Mount the share in finder by going to Finder -> Go -> Connect to Server. Use smb://ComputersBackup@Stora/ComputersBackup
  4. Enter the password (username should be ComputersBackup)
  5. Open up a terminal and create a “sparsebundle” image locally by following the steps below:
    1. In a local directory run:
      hdiutil create -library SPUD -size $SIZESPEC -fs HFS+ -type SPARSEBUNDLE $MACHINENAME_$MAC_ADDRESS.sparsebundle
      where $SIZESPEC is the size (in bytes, or suffixed with g or t for Gigabytes and Terabytes – note you can resize it later, but you can’t make it bigger than the space on your HD. $MACHINENAME is the ‘name’ of your machine and $MAC_ADDRESS is the mac address (seen in Network Preferences) in the form aabbccddeeff (i.e. no colons!).
    2. Copy it to your network drive by typing
      cp -r $MACHINENAME_$MAC_ADDRESS.sparsebundle /Volumes/ComputersBackup$/
      you can now delete the local .sparsebundle file
    3. Resize to the size of backup you want by running the following command on the network mount:
      hdiutil resize -size $SIZEg $MACHINENAME_$MAC_ADDRESS.sparsebundle
      where $SIZE is the size in GB (note the g after the size number
    4. Load up time machine and select the ComputersBackup mount for backup. It should now detect the image and start backing up to it, using only the size of image that you have created (e.g. 200GB, rather than filling the entire drive!)
  6. Pat yourself on the back get a cup of tea which it backs up and wonder why it wasn’t easier!
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12 Responses to Netgear Stora and Time Machine Setup

  1. tomodachi says:

    not that ive gotten it working yet. Every time buy netgear stuff i die a little trying to fix their shit.
    apparently the share should be:
    the $ sign in windows shares means its a hidden share.

  2. zarg404 says:

    I don’t really understand if the size limit is possible with TimeMachine.
    I just followed your steps and I have seen on the logs:

    Resizing backup disk image from 200.0 GB to 931.1 GB

    So TimeMachine checks the sparesbundle file before doing it’s first backup and adjust it to the maximum space it found on the network disk…

    Anyway, your tutorial is the only one I found which works.
    Thank you !

  3. micah says:

    fyi, I got this working with Time Machine. The complicated steps not required, not now anyways. Ensure you have the LATEST updates to the box, keep updating until there are no more. THen open desktop applications folder, run the package, it runs through and sets up a ‘Stora2’ connection and then once its done, time machine will see it. The key / trick was the update on the unit,t he latest firmware. Otherwise it can’t find stora2 or whatever.

  4. Knutur says:

    Thanks micah, I was pulling my hairs out, this is not described anywhere in the documentation for the Stora, this really made my day 😀

  5. Kevin says:

    I believe I was able to setup a simpler solution.

    1) I created a user account on the stora specifically for backups.
    2) connected to the stora with the filemanager: Go->Connect to Server using the smb://ipaddress
    3) logged in using the backup user credentials
    4) Configured time machine to use the newly mounted volume.
    5) Done

    Works like a charm:)

  6. Kevin says:

    Actually, the above worked for my iMac, but did not work for my mini. I used the setup application provided by NETGEAR and I was able to setup my mini as well. I think NETGEAR’s setup package probably automates the above functions. By the way, thank you for this post. It is nice to know these steps will work if needed!

  7. Alan says:

    Note that this instruction does not work post Lion upgrade; there are changes in Time Machine that necessitate changes in the Stora to support “new” AFP features …. Sigh …


  8. jauslan1 says:

    I have last week installed NetGear ReadyNAS RNDU4000 with 8 TB HDs ( 4 ) on my Home-network. so it haves in the Menu Structure from NetGear a Point Names BAckup, and there have a point for klick backup with TM. user was fix readynas but the PW can set your self. NAS Drive reserves 2 TB for TM self default was on 500 GB i set it to 1000 GB but Netgear reserve self 2 TB for so i 6 TB for all other files Movies etc.
    I start TM options i can see the NAS Drive NetGear, ( bevor ic ant see if not klick this options on Netgear menu for TM compatibility. ) so i can see Neatgear but not who BIG , should 2 TB…..
    So i start the TM Backup it Backit-up and also restored but i cant see the File Sparsbundle. i can not connect to this 2 TB . Anybody have an Idea, maybe its hidden ???
    Thanks all for an Idea…Feedback see you Angelo Basel Switzerland.
    Now i wait for an Answer from Netgaer Support in Poland, since one Week

  9. jauslan1 says:

    The NetGear Support gived Answer
    Sehr geehrter Herr Jauslin,

    vielen Dank, dass Sie sich an den Netgear Support gewendet haben.

    Es hat ein bische gedauert die Lokalisation von Time Machine Backups zu
    finden und hier die Lösung:

    Die Backups von Time Machine werden in /c/.timemachine gespeichert.
    Um diesen Ordner zu zugreifen loggen Sie sich bitte auf dem NAS mit AFP
    und folgende Anmeldedaten:

    Benutzername: readynas
    Kennwort: das Kennwort von TimeMachine Konfiguration

    And everything are OK.

  10. Scnewhomes says:

    Thank you soooo much! You are awesome! =D

  11. Sarah says:

    Got stuck on the second part on step 2 can anyone help? PLEASE

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