A quick follow-up to my last post… I figured it would be a good time to try out that Time Machine-via-AirPort Disk functionality we forced Apple to release.
So, I booted up from my Leopard install disc, partitioned the drive, rebooted, and ran Restore System from Backup…
Note: You have to reboot after formatting a drive to use it with a Time Machine restore. This is because of a bug in the Leopard installer…
Now, it did find the Time Machine backups via Remote Disk. I selected the latest PowerBook-12 backup, and hit the Continue button. And, and, and… nothing. The system hangs on “Calculating space required to restore data”.
But, there is a silver lining to this cloud. If you unplug the AirPort Disk from the AirPort Extreme, and connect it to the system directly via USB… the backup restores successfully.
I do not know if this is an infinite hang situation… but I did let it run for over 15 minutes. With only 20 GB of disk space used, that should be more than enough time, even taking into account the bandwidth constriction of Wi-Fi.
And, this does point out a nice advantage to AirPort Disk for Time Machine over Time Capsule… you can bypass the bandwidth constraint of Wi-Fi, and plug the Time Machine drive directly into the system, and restore big files fast.
Update: What started as a fun day of restoring over AirPort Disk has turned a bit grim. As a failsafe, I had a second Time Machine drive back up the system via USB (since I figured I’d be the first outside of Cupertino to put this to a true test). My fears appear to have been very justified… as the drive failed during restoration to mount via USB. Disk Utility claims the AirPort Disk now has directory corruption (a bunch of ACLs that shouldn’t exist).
And yes, the drive passed a full file system scan the last time it was separated from the AirPort Extreme. Now, it won’t even respond when connected to the AirPort Extreme… Remote Disk connect fails from inside the Leopard installer.
Off to RadarWeb it goes. Bug 5818277. I would strongly advise folks to not use AirPort Disk for Time Machine until Apple addresses this, or at least investigates. At the very least, keep a FireWire/USB secondary backup Time Machine drive.