fixed : Google Chromecast-ing option not showing up

Question :

I have some Chromecast devices (a Google Chromecast, a Google Nest Hub, a Google Home Mini, etc.) that I want to stream to from my iPhone. But even though te Apple AirPlay streaming option shows up, the Google Chromecast option only shows up in some of my iPhone apps and not in the other ones : in my case I can stream to Google Chromecast devices from the Spotify and Netflix iOS-apps, and not from Disney+, AmazonPrime and ZiggoGo…

What is wrong ? How can I solve this ?

Answer :

Even though AirPlay is always available on iOS/iPadOS and Apple AirPlay devices are automatically detected by default, the Google Chromecast option is turned off by default.

Since you can stream to some Chromecast-able devices and not to others, you seem to have turned on the option to do so per app individually. Yes, you need to switch on the Chromecast-ing option for each individual iOS/iPadOS-app…

To do so, do this :

  • make sure that your iPhone/iPad is connected to the the same WiFi network that the Chromecast-device(s) that you want to cast to is/are on
  • open the Settings.app in iOS/iPadOS
  • in the Settings page that opens, scroll down to Privacy (the blue icon with the white hand) and click on it
  • in the Privacy page that opens, click on Local Network (the blue icon with the white globe outline)
  • in the Local Network page that opens, scroll down to the app(s) that you need and set it’s slider to ON (slide to right will make the slider green and turn the option ON)
    • your apps are now able to discover the Chromecast devices that are on the same WiFi network
  • now, turn on the app that you want to stream from and the Chromecast-icon should appear (note that in most cases the AirPlay-icon will immediately appear and the Chromecast-icon will be added with a slight delay)
  • then start the video (or audio) you want to play and click on the Chromecast-icon to select the Chromecast-able device you want to stream to

…that’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : delete an old TimeMachine-backup file from a Time Capsule

Question :

I’ve bought a new MacBook and I want to use my existing Time Capsule for it’s TimeMachine-backups, but it’s full. The backup-file, a .sparsebundle-file, from my previous MacBook that I am going to pass on to one of my children, is far too big.

I have installed my new MacBook from the old MacBook’s TimeMachine-backup, so I am not needing that backup again, but I want to make two new TimeMachine-backups as soon as possible : one for my new MacBook and one for the old MacBook right after my child starts using it.

But, I can’t seem to delete the old .sparsebundle-file from my Time Capsule completely… I’ve done several attempts, but I keep running into the same error message “The operation can’t be completed because some items had to be skipped. For each item, choose File > get Info, make sure “Locked” is deselected, and then check the Sharing & Permissions section. When you are sure the items are unlocked and not designated as Read Only or No Access, try again.”. On first sight, the .sparsebundle-file is still there. On further inspection, it turns out the the .sparsebundle-file has shrunken in size.

But… what can I do to completely delete the old .sparsebundle-file ?

 

Answer :

This problem can occur especially with bigger and older .sparsebundle-TimeMachine-backup-files. Note that the really new TimeMachine-backup-files have a .backupbundle-extension, not a .sparsebundle-extension, but there is hardly any difference

To be able to delete the old .sparsebundle-file, start by doing this :

  1. connect your new MacBook to the Time Capsule using a UTP/Ethernet-cable
    • make sure to shut off AirPort/WiFi on your MacBook :
      • in the top menu-bar, click on the AirPort/WiFi-icon (the piece of pie)
      • in the pulldown-menu, set the WiFi-slider to OFF
    • if you do not have an Ethernet-port or a USB-to-Ethernet-converter on your MacBook :
      • connect your MacBook to the Time Capsule using AirPort/WiFi
      • but make sure to disconnect all other AirPort/WiFi-connected devices
  2. Make sure that your Time Capsule has the latest firmware installed :
    • goto Applications > Utilities > AirPort Utility
    • open AirPort Utility
    • in the AirPortUtility-window, click on your Time Capsule’s picture
    • when prompted, enter the Time Capsule’s password
    • in the popup-window, at ‘version’ check if there is an update available
    • if so, click on the button to install it
    • if just the version number is shown, you already have the latest firmware installed, so you don’t need to do anything extra here
    • exit AirPort Utility
  3. Make sure that you have read&write-privileges on the .sparsbundle-file you want to remove :
    • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the Finder-icon (blue-grey face icon) in the far left of the Dock
    • from the popup-list, select New Finder Window
    • scroll down to the “Locations” group in the menu list at the left and click on “Network”
    • in the window that opens, goto Network > Time Capsule
      • if you have multiple Time Capsule devices, make sure you select the Time Capsule that the .sparsebundle-file you want to delete is actually on
    • if it says “Not Connected” click the “Connect as”-button and typ the Time Capsule’s password
    • if it says “Connected”, you’re good
    • open the Data folder and right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the TimeMachine-backup-file you want to delete
    • from the popup-menu, choose Get Info
    • in the Get Info window that opens, choose these settings :
      • uncheck the check-box at “Locked” (so the file is unlocked, i.e. delete-able)
      • uncheck the check-box at “Hide extension” (so the .sparsebundle extension will be visible in the file name)
      • at “Sharing & Permissions” set Privilege for “everyone” to “Read & Write”
    • close the Get Info window

Having set the above, there are various options that might enable you to delete the old .sparsebundle-file (or .backupbundle-file). Your options are listed below, from simple to extreme. Read all of them before starting, and choose the option you want to try first. Any of these might be successful, and if the one you chose first doesn’t work, just try another one.

Option #1 : delete the .sparsebundle-file from within the Finder

  • goto Finder > New Finder Window
  • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > Data
  • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the .sparsebundle-file you want to delete
  • from the popup-list, select “Move to Bin”
  • wait for the “Move to Bin” action to complete
  • if it doesn’t end in an error, empty the bin/trash (and you’re done)
  • if this ends in an error, try any of the other options

Option #2a : additional TC reset

  • restart your Time Capsule by unplugging the power cable for 30 seconds
  • plug the power cable back into the Time Capsule
  • when the Time Capsule comes back online, follow the directions from Option #1

Option #2b : additional Mac reset

  • shut down your Time Capsule by unplugging the power cable (for 30 seconds)
  • shut down your MacBook by selecting Shut Down from the Apple-menu top-left
  • plug the power cable back into the Time Capsule
  • restart your MacBook by pressing the power button
  • when both your Time Capsule and your MacBook have restarted, follow the directions from Option #1

Option #2c : additionally disconnect other devices

  • shut down your Time Capsule by unplugging the power cable (for 30 seconds)
  • now, disconnect all UTP/Ethernet-cables leading to other devices than your MacBook (you can even disconnect the cable connected to your internet modem-router)
  • shut down your MacBook by selecting Shut Down from the Apple-menu top-left
  • plug the power cable back into the Time Capsule
  • restart your MacBook by pressing the power button
  • when both your Time Capsule and you MacBook have restarted, goto Applications > Utilities > AirPort Utility
  • in the AirPort Utility window, click on the picture of your Time Capsule, typ your password if needed and check which devices are connected
  • then, one-by-one go to each device listed and shut down it’s WiFi-connection
  • when done, close the AirPort Utility application and reopen it
  • again, in the AirPort Utility window, click on the picture of your Time Capsule, typ your password if needed and check which devices are connected
  • you should now see no devices listed at “wireless clients” (except for your MacBook if you aren’t able to connect it using a UTP/Ethernet-cable)
  • then, follow the directions from Option #1
  • NOTE : do not forget to plug all UTP/Ethernet-cables back into your Time Capsule and switch on WiFi on all devices that were previously connected

Option #3 : by backing up the Time Capsule content

  • NOTE : you will need a Mac-connectable external USB-harddisk for this ! (at least as many GBs as the internal HD of your Time Capsule, so 500G, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB of larger)
    • to check if the USB-harddisk is Mac-connectable, plug it into your Mac and if it pops up you’re okay
    • if it doesn’t show up, it’s a Windows NTFS-disk that needs to be reformatted to Mac Journailed format ( note that this erases all content, so ONLY reformat it if it’s an empty brand-new external harddisk ! )
  • NOTE : this method will work 99% of the time, but it will probably take (far) more time than any other method
  • start by connecting the external USB-harddisk to your Time Capsule’s USB-port
  • then, on your MacBook, goto Finder > New Finder Window
  • then, in the top menu-bar, goto Finder > Preferences
  • in the Finder Preferences window, click the Sidebar tab
  • in the list that shows up, make sure that “External disks” and “Connected servers” are checked
  • then close the Finder Preferences window
  • now select the New Finder Window you had just opened
  • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule
  • next to the Data-folder, there is now a new folder named after your externe USB-harddisk
    • for the following, assume that your extern USB-harddisk folder is simply called “usb-HD”
  • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > usb-HD
    • if the “usb-HD” folder is completely empty, you’re okay
    • else, click on the “More” icon (the circle with 3 dot in it) and in the dropdown menu click “New Folder” and call it “TC-backup”
  • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > Data
  • inside the Data-folder select all files (both backup-files and other files) that you DO NOT want to delete
  • drag&drop all the files into Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > usb-HD
    • it may take some time for all files to copy over, so let it run
    • if you run into an error, try copying over every file one-by-one
    • if you still run into an error, just try again
  • when all files are copied over, you can unplug the external USB-harddisk from your Time Capsule
    • as an extra safety precaution, you can unplug the power cable from your Time Capsule before you unplug the USB-cable and replug the power cable when the external USB-harddisk is disconnected
  • then goto Applications > Utilities > AirPort Utility
  • open AirPort Utility
  • in the AirPortUtility-window, click on your Time Capsule’s picture
  • when prompted, enter the Time Capsule’s password
  • in the popup-window, click the Edit-button
  • in the window that opens, select the “Disks”-tab
  • in the Disks window, click the “Erase Disk”-button
  • next, choose the level of security for the erase (“Quick Erase” should do fine, since you are going to use the disk for the same purpose immediately afterwards)
  • then click “Update” and the Time Capsule’s status light wil flash orange-yellow until the disk is erased and the Time Capsule is accessible again
  • then, exit AirPort Utility
  • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > usb-HD or Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > usb-HD > TC-backup (depending on where you put your Time Capsule back-up files)
    • if you don’t see the “usb-HD” folder, make sure your external USB-harddisk is plugged back into your Time Capsule
  • now, select all files from the back-up folder (either “usb-HD” or the “TC-backup” folder within it)
  • drag&drop all the files into Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > Data
    • it may take some time for all files to copy over, so let it run
    • if you run into an error, try copying over every file one-by-one
    • if you still run into an error, just try again
  • when the copying is finished, you should now have your Time Capsule the way you wanted it : exactly the same (backup) files on it’s disk, but without the .sparsebundle(s) you don’t need anymore

Option #4 : manually deleting all files inside

  • goto Finder > New Finder Window
  • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > Data
  • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the .sparsebundle-file you want to delete
  • from the popup-list, select “Open Package Content”
  • in the Finder window that opens click on the “bands” folder
    • if the “bands” folder appears empty, just wait a few moments for its content to appear in the Finder window
  • SHIFT-click on the top file and scroll down to select multiple files, then press the Backspace-button on your keyboard to delete them
    • you are able to select and delete up to 8000 files per batch (according to user ‘cmaryg’)
    • if a batch refuses to delete at the first attempt, just try again – usually it will eventually be deleted anyway (according to user ‘cmaryg’)
    • if a batch refuses to delete after a few attempts, reduce the number of files in it by selecting less files at once and try deleting again
    • if you happen to run into a single file that refuses to delete, do this :
      • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the file
      • from the popup-list, select “Get Info”
      • in the window that opens, make sure that there is no checkmark at “Locked”
      • then try deleting the file again
  • then repeat this for the next batch of files, until the “bands” folder is completely empty
  • if the “bands” file is completely empty, close the Finder window that displays the “bands” folder
  • then, goto Finder > New Finder Window
  • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > Data
  • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the .sparsebundle-file you want to delete
  • from the popup-list, select “Move to Bin”
  • if it doesn’t end in an error, empty the bin/trash (and you’re done)
  • if this ends in an error, you can still try Option #3, but probably this will help too :
    • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > Data
    • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the .sparsebundle-file you want to delete
    • from the popup-list, select “Open Package Content”
    • in the Finder window that opens, select the top folder and drag it to the bin (trash)
    • repeat this for all folders listed
    • then, select the top file and drag it to the bin (trash)
    • repeat this for all files
    • if you run into a file that refuses to delete, do this :
      • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the file
      • from the popup-list, select “Get Info”
      • in the window that opens, make sure that there is no checkmark at “Locked”
      • then try deleting the file again

That should be it !

As mentioned before : the Option #3 method will work (nearly) always, but it’s time-consuming and you will need a lot of extra disk space for it (on an external harddisk).

enjoy 😉

 

fixed : error during firmware-upgrade on Time Capsule

Question :

When I ran the AirPort Utility software today, I noticed that I had a firmware upgrade waiting for my Time Capsule. So I ran the upgrade and that seemed to go okay, until I got a firmware-error…

I know that when you do a firmware upgrade on a hard disk your hard disk is usually bicked and ready for the trash… but what about a Time Capsule ?

What should I do ?

 

Answer :

Most of the time, for a Time Capsule the problem is not dramatic if you run into a firmware upgrade error.

Take these steps, and stop as soon as you succeed :

1- if you have multiple base stations (like Time Capsules or AirPort devices), make sure you run any firmware upgrade on your remote/satellite base stations first, before you run the firmware upgrade on the central/main base station

2-  just run the firmware upgrade again (it may just work fine next time, even without any significant change)

3- just run the firmware upgrade again (yep… just try again… sometimes that’s all it needs…)

4- pull the AC-plug from the base station, then wait 30 seconds and replug the AC… then run the upgrade again

5- pull the AC-plug from the base station, then press the reset button (the little hole – can be pressed with a ballpoint-tip or a paperclip-end) on the base station for 30 seconds… then run the firmware upgrade again (…and don’t forget you’ll have to setup your base station again afterwards)

…that’s it !

enjoy 😉

 

 

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 Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

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 Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de) ; 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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