Feb 14

In this previous article I describe   how to backup your computer using Apple’s Time Machine  and an external hard drive.  Here’s how to do it using a network hard drive:

Step 1. Throw out your My Book Live.

Step 2. Go and buy an Apple Time Capsule

Step 3. Turn on Time-Machine.

I kid you not!  I am sorry if anyone followed these instructions below. The My Book Live has been more trouble than it’s worth.

1. The drive stopped working in under 1 year.

2. After many calls to Western Digital they still havn’t provided a warranty replacement.

3. They use some weird custom drive format that can’t be read by OSX or Ubuntu or Windows, so you cna’t get the data off your backup if it crashes.

I’ll leave this article below for your information, but DON’T TO IT!!!

It’s worth paying more and using Apple’s time capsule for peace of mind and better support should something go wrong, plus it’s easier to set up.  

Time Machine is a piece of Apple software, but you need to have some hardware for it to back up onto.  One option is external firewire or USB hard drive –  a good option if you only have one computer. A second option is to run it on a networked external storage device.  That means that it plugs into your network, via an ethernet cable, and any Macintosh on your network can backup to it.  This is how Apple’s ‘ Time Capsule’  works. It’s a great option if you have more than one Macintosh in your house. There are non-Apple solutions available – this article explains how to set up Apple’s Time  Machine on a Western Digital My Book Live.

1. Buy a My Book Live. I picked up a 2 Tetrabyte one up for  $221 from amazon.com*, shipped to Australia for $317 – compare that to Apple’s Time Capsule at $649, there’s quite a difference. Apple sell the Western Digital MyBook on their website, but not the networked MyBook Live.

2.   Assuming you already have a network –  some kind of a router connected to the Internet and connected to your home computers – plug the ethernet cable  from the My Book Life into your router,  then plug the power adapter in. At this stage the My-book live that I had needed firmware updates and this took a bit of fiddling. I won’t explain it here, but basically I needed to login and tell it to upgrade it’s firmware automatically from the web. The manual firmware upgrade did not work.

3.  Go to  System Preferences/ Time Machine, or use the menu Go/Applications/Time Machine

Click ‘Select Disk…’

4. There should be a disc  that automatically appears that says on “MyBookLive – backup” –  select this disc and click ‘Use for Backup’.

When it asks you for a password, select the ‘Guest’ option.

5. Make sure the time machine slider is set to ‘On’  and Time Machine will automatically backup your machine every hour, every day and every week.

6. Go to System Preferences, Spotlight, and click on the ‘Privacy’ tab. Click the plus button and select The My Book Live is a great solution because it comes ready to work with Time Machine out of the box.  All you have to do is plug it into your ethernet router and your computer will find it  as easily as an external hard drive.

16 Responses to “How to back up your computer automatically (with MyBook Live and Time Machine)”

  1. Rabih says:


    any idea how to backup specific folders on Mac on the mybook live duo? i could back up full pc on timemachine or so however i can not access my files as photos and music and documents like i used to do when backing up a windows laptop.

    i need to choose specific folder and back it up automatically as in when i add files to it it can automatically back them up to my book live duo and i can access them from there.

    Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2013 Wayne Connor. All rights reserved. | Hosted on bluehost.com Click here to find out why.