fixed : use one printer in two networks at the same time

Question :

I have a network printer on my (private) network that I would like to make available to the people on my AirPort Guest Network, but I don’t want guests to access my private network.

Is there a way to do this ?


Answer :

There are options to do this, but it can’t be done the way you would find most elegant probably… the problem is the restriction in AirPort Guest Networks that users can’t connect to each other, so adding the printer to the AirPort Guest Network won’t make it available to any AirPort Guest Network user.

On the other hand, an other restriction on most network printers is that they only have one Ethernet-card that is shared between the UTP-cable port and the WiFi connection, so the cable-connection and the WiFi-connection will always have the same IP-address, making it impossible to connect the cable to your private network and joining the Guest Network using the WiFi-connection at the same time…

Your best option is to connect the Ethernet/UTP-cable and/or the printer’s WiFi to your private network and creating a separate network to be used as a Guest Network to which the printer can be connected using it’s USB-cable. Since you will need an extra wireless router or an extra (secondhand) AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule to create this separate Guest Network, you can plug the printer’s USB-cable into that wireless router / AirPort Base Station / Time Capsule.

You could also use a printer server, if it isn’t possible to connect the printer’s USB-cable into the wireless router / AirPort Base Station / Time Capsule. You can find relatively cheap print servers on, or

Regarding the setup of your networks, you will probably be best off doing it like this :

  • set your internet modem in router mode (if you would set it in bridge mode, you wouldn’t be able to connect two separate networks behind it)
  • connect both routers (or AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule) to the internet modem
  • setup one router (or AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule) to create the private network and private WiFi network
  • setup the other router (or AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule) to create the Guest Network and Guest WiFi Network
  • make sure that the IP-ranges issued by both routers are completely different (to prevent easy connection from the Guest Network to your private network (and the other way around)
  • if any of your routers give a “Double NAT” error, just ignore it

That’s it !

the only downsite is that having such a complex network setup with multiple routers will have negative influence on your (internet) connection speed ; this difference in speed will probably not be very big if you have few devices connected, but if you have a lot of devices connected that also use a lot of bandwidth (like video streaming) you will probably have slower internet speed than you used to…

enjoy !


fixed : Time Capsule shuts down almost immediately after startup

Question :

I have a 1st generation Time Capsule that always used to work fine, but recently it shuts down almost only seconds after I turn it on.

How can I solve this ?


Answer :

Most of the time, this problem can be solved rather easily.

The cause could be a broken HardDrive inside your Time Capsule (if that’s the case, go here to see instructions on how to replace the HD), but most of the time this specific problem turns out to be an overheated (and therefore broken) power unit.

Even though this type of Time Capsule is marked obsolete by Apple, it will still function in your current WiFi network and can still be configured using the current AirPort Utility app version 6 and newer.

The main problem is probably not going to be to replace the power unit, but finding a new power unit. You might find one on Amazon, but since it will probably be a secondhand item, your will probably have more luck searching for an “A1254 power unit” on eBay, AliExpress or Google Shopping

When you have found a new (secondhand) A1254 power unit, you can build it into your A1254 “1st generation” Time Capsule this way :

  • put the Time Capsule upside-down and use a hairdryer to heat up the rubber base plate and loosen it’s glue (if you don’t do this, you will probably rupture the base plate when you try to take it off)
  • then follow the iFixit manual for replacing the power unit and make sure not to skip the important comment at Step 2 : “The two screws in the top center of this picture should not be removed at this time. They are locating pins on the hard drive.”
  • after taking out the broken power unit and putting in the new (secondhand) power unit in, put your Time Capsule back together doing the iFixit steps in reverse order
  • after plugging the Time Capsule into the power, you can reinstall it into your WiFi network using the AirPort Utility app on your Mac (or on your iPhone/iPad)

That’s it 😉

enjoy !

fixed : upgrade broken HD in old Time Capsule

Question :

My 1st generation Time Capsule always used to work fine, but now the internal HardDisk is broken.

Can I replace the HardDisk easily ?


Answer :

Yes you can.

In the ‘old’ flat Time Capsule (like the A1254 “1st generation” Time Capsule), the HardDrive is rather easy to replace. And even though Apple has marked this TimeCapsule ‘obsolete’ it is still able to preform properly and it can be maintained using the current AirPort Utility version 6 and newer.

To do so, follow these steps :

  • get yourself a new HardDisk, preferably a low-energy HD like the Western Digital WD Green 2TB or 3TB (get it on, or ; these low-energy HDs are especially suited not only because of their low power consumption, but also because of their ability to stay cool during operation since these old TimeCapsules tend to overheat when a regular HD is installed
  • then, place the TimeCapsule upside-down and warm up the rubber bottom plate with a hairdryer to loosen the glue (if you don’t do this, it is nearly impossible to get the rubber bottom plate of without rupturing it)
  • then follow the steps as outlined in this manual by iFixit and be sure to read the important note at Step 2 : “The two screws in the top center of this picture should not be removed at this time. They are locating pins on the hard drive.”
  • then replace the HD and rebuild your TimeCapsule doing the MacFixit steps in revers direction
  • when done, plug your Time Capsule into the power and access it using the AirPort Utility app on your Mac (or iPhone/iPad)
  • in the AirPort Utility app, select the TimeCapsule’s icon and click Edit
  • in the window that opens, go to Disks, then click Erase Disk
  • when that’s done, your new Time Capsule’s HD is ready for use

That’s it 😉

enjoy !

fixed : retrieve WiFi-password from iPhone [without hacking]

Question :

We have a password-protected WiFi-network at our local sports club. My iPhone automatically logs on when I’m near, but now my son is a member too and he would also like to connect to the WiFi when he’s around. Problem is, nobody seems to know the password… I’ve typed the password once long ago, but I didn’t write it down… Is there any way to see the password that is stored on my iPhone ?


Answer :

Yes, but you need a Mac and iCloud for it.

To be more precise : you can’t retrieve passwords on your iPhone (or iPad) the way you can on your Mac, by just opening the Keychain utility.

But there’s a way around this :

  1. on your iPhone, go to Settings –> iCloud
  2. there, make sure “Keychain” is set to “On”
  3. then, on your Mac, go to Apple [top left corner] –> System Preferences –> iCloud
  4. in the window that opens, make sure there’s a checkmark in front of “Keychain”
  5. then, on your Mac, click anywhere on your desktop
  6. then make sure “Finder” is displayed top left, next to the Apple-icon
  7. then press the [SHIFT]+[CMD]+[U] key-combo on your keyboard
  8. in the window that opens (named “Utilities”) double-click on the “Keychain Access” icon
  9. in the window that opens (named “Keychain Access”) select “iCloud” from the list on the left
  10. now, find the name of the WiFi-network you are interested in, and double-click on it
  11. in the window that opens (named like the WiFi-network), make sure the “Attributes”-tab is selected
  12. then, put a checkmark in front of “Show password:”
  13. in the (unnamed) window that opens it is said ‘Keychain Access want to use the “Local Items” keychain.’ typ your Administrator’s password and click “OK”
  14. now, the WiFi-password you are looking for will be displayed in the previous window (at “Show password:”)

…that’s it !

enjoy 😉

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fixed : shared disks not visible in Finder

Question :

When I’m at home, I usually am able to see my Time Capsule in the paragraph named “Shared” in the shortlist on the left side of each Finder window.

But today, I don’t even see the “Shared” paragraph… How can I connect to my Time Capsule to view the files I’ve stored on it ?

Answer :

There can be several causes for your problem, but these two are the most common :

#1. you have accidentally switched off viewing of shared volumes in the Finder preferences

to correct this :

– click on the Finder icon in the Dock (the half-blue-half-grey square-face icon)

– then, in the top menu bar, go to Finder –> Preferences

– in the window that opens, click on the “Sidebar” tab

– then, in the “Show these items in the sidebar:” list, make sure there’s a checkmark in front of “Connected servers” (in the “Shared” paragraph)

– then close the Finder Preferences and you’re done ; enjoy !

#2. OSX has automatically logged on to a different WiFi-network than your primary WiFi-network (getting logged on to your Guest-network can cause this problem for instance…)

to correct this :

– click on the AirPort/WiFi-icon in the top menu bar (the ‘piece of pie’-icon)

– in the list of available WiFi-networks that appears, click “Turn Wi-Fi off”

– then click on the AirPort/WiFi-icon in the top menu bar again, click “Turn Wi-Fi on”, wait for the available WiFi-networks to appear in the list, then select your primary WiFi-network to connect to

– this should resolve your problem, but to make sure your Mac won’t auto-connect to the wrong WiFi-network again, do this also :

– go to the Apple-icon (top-left in the top menu bar) –> System Preferences –> Network

– in the window that opens, select “Wi-Fi” in the shortlist on the left

– then click the “Advanced”-button

– in the window that opens, select the “Wi-Fi”-tab and scroll down though the list of “Preferred Networks:” until you come to the name of your Guest-network (or other WiFi-network you unwillingly connected to)

– then click on the ‘Minus-sign”-button to delete your Guest-network (or alike) from the list of preferred networks, then click the ‘OK’-button to save and exit

…that’s it !

enjoy 😉

Note : if situation #1. occurs, your Time Machine backup would still be operating, but if situation #2. is the case, Time Machine won’t be able to see your Time Capsule either, even if you have internet access…

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fixed : “No Volumes Found in backup”-error

Question :

I was trying to get Migration Assistant-app to put all my data on my new Mac, but when I select the sparsebundle backup-file from Time Machine in Migration Assistant, I get an error : “No Volumes Found in backup”.

How can that be ? I’ve made a new TimeMachine-backup just minutes before, and I didn’t get any errors there… what is wrong ?

What can I do to fix this ?

Answer :

Time Machine is great. But there seems to be a bug in the backup-software that causes this “No Volumes Found in backup”-error you’ve encountered. Normally, this error-message should only be displayed when a sparsebundle backup-file is corrupt (for some reason), but it turns out that it is now also displayed when a sparsebundle backup-file is incomplete…

This is probably due to a disconnection from the backup-disk during the TimeMachine-backup process (for instance because of shutting down the Mac, or switching from WiFi- to Ethernet-connection or vice-versa, during backup).

If the original files are still available on your Mac, the solution is rather simple : just go back to your Mac and use Time Machine to make a new backup. If you want extra insurance to prevent this error, either make a new Time Machine backup to a new/fresh harddrive (preferable an external USB- or FireWire-harddisk), or follow the backup-routine outlined in this post.

If the original files are no longer available on your Mac (e.g. your Mac is stolen, sold or you’ve just done a clean install on it, wiping off all of it’s data), you are in trouble…

…in that case, you could try using Disk Utility to repair the sparsebundle-file. If that works, you are in extreme luck… if that doesn’t help, you have very few options other than using the Terminal-app or a specialized expensive retrieving app like DiskWarrior (the cheaper knock-offs turn out not to work in most cases… too bad…).

I will be posting instructions on how to use the Terminal-app for this shortly (in a new post).

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tip : make sure your TimeMachine-update is useable

Question :

While doing a regular check on my Mac with Disk Utility, it just informed me that I have a potential hardware failure, should save a many data as I can and reinstall.

So I was planning on doing a TimeMachine-backup and disk-reformat, followed by a clean install of OSX and copy-back from TimeMachine.

But… I recently found reports on a bug in TimeMachine, that might prevent TimeMachine from recognizing the latest backup…

Is there a way to make sure that my latest TimeMachine-backup is useable ?


Answer :

This bug seems to occur with unfinished TimeMachine-backups, either due to disconnection, unplugging or switching from WiFi to Ethernet or vice-versa…

As with all things in life, nothing is 100% sure or secure…

But if you want near-100% assurance that your latest TimeMachine-backup will work after a ‘clean install’, do this :

– make sure your Mac is connected to your TimeMachine-backup-disk in only one way, so if it’s an external harddisk disconnect the Ethernet-network cable and set AirPort/Wifi to OFF, to have the connection ‘only via USB’ or ‘only via FireWire’ and if your TimeMachine-backup-disk is a NAS or TimeCapsule, disconnect from AirPort/WiFi (and preferably connect the Ethernet-cable from the NAS or TimeCapsule straight into your Mac, and if possible, stop all other network-connections over Ethernet, by disconnecting all cables, and shutting down AirPort/WiFi) to have the connection ‘only via Ethernet’

– do a new “Back Up Now” in TimeMachine, and make sure it finishes completely before you do anything else (preferably, shut down all other apps before backing up also)

– then startup the Migration Assistant-app (from the Utilities folder in the Applications folder), and type your Mac’s administrator-password when asked

– in the first window, select “From a Mac, Time Machine Backup or startup disk”, and click “Continue”

– in the next window, select the disk that your TimeMachine-backups are on (if you’re on a Time Capsule, you will need to type your TimeCapsule-password when asked), and click “Continue”

– in the next window, a list of all backups (a.k.a. sparsebundles) available on the disk will be displayed ; now you will have to wait a little for each sparsebundle to display what the date is of the backup-version that can be retrieved… if that date matches today’s date, you have a perfect backup available, and you can exit the Migration Assistant-app by repeatedly clicking the “Back”-button

…but if the date is different, or the “No Volumes Found in backup”-error is displayed, your backup is useless for easy recovery ; you will have to exit the Migration Assistant-app, and start over the entire backup-routine explained above, and then check again in the Migration Assistant-app …you have to keep repeating this entire routine until you get today’s date displayed below the backup’s name

If you do not do as described above, you are in serious, enormously time-consuming trouble…  (even though this doesn’t always mean that your personal data is lost… everything might be lost, but… it could also mean you will have to repair the sparsebundle-files and/or it could also mean that you will have to copy everything back ; folder-by-folder or even file-by-file… either in the Time Machine-app or in the Finder ; and all applications will have to be manually reinstalled again…)

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