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 !

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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 : upgrading the firmware on a Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive

Question :

I’ve heard that upgrade in the firmware on my Seagate Momentus XT hard drive will vastly improve the drive’s speed and stability. But… how do I do that ?

Answer :

Here’s a little tutorial :

– put OSX Lion installer on a 4GB USB stick, instructions can be found here :

http://blog.gete.net/lion-diskmaker-us/

– burn the Seagate firmware update on a CDrom and printout the instructions :

http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/215451en

– shut down and completely unplug
– plug in the USB stick
– put the firmware upgrade CDrom in the drive
– startup pressing the ALT key and choose the “EFI Boot” (USB installer) to boot from
– then install the basic OSX EFI
– continue and open Disk Utility
– select the 500.11 GB Seagate disk and Erase to a “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” format (to get a one-partition OSX HFS+ formatted drive)
– then click on the “Info” button and write down the name exactly and completely (e.g. “Seagate ST…..AS Media”)
– exit and restart pressing the ALT key
– now choose the CDrom called “Windows” to reboot from
– when you’re done reading the README, press the ESC key
– press the right key on your keyboard to install the firmware that is right for your model (as outlined in the instructions you’ve printed)
NOTE : in my case the firmware is refusing to upgrade because I have TD27, and that can’t be upgraded to SD28… [*]
– restart normally (booting from the internal drive) ; done !

[*] update : I found a way to upgrade in that case also, go here for more info :

fixed : update firmware TD27 to SD28

 

Some extra info on the firmware revisions :

v28 is the newest, fastest and most stable to date (June 2012)

v27 was never released as an upgrade, it just came preinstalled on some drives ; since it cannot be upgraded to v28, chances are that is nearly the same as v28

v26 wasn’t released as an upgrade either, it also came preinstalled on some OEM-drives (OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer ; which in this case means “separately sold as a spare part”)

v25 was also never released as an upgrade ; it is even doubtful if it was even preinstalled on any OEM-version

v24 was the previous upgrade version, but it turned out to be problematic in some cases

v23 was the upgrade version before that, which also had stability problems and erratic behavior

about firmware versions v22 and earlier very little is known

info : Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive – is it a good upgrade to your Mac ?

Question :

I’m thinking about upgrading the internal HD of my MacBook Pro. At this moment I have a 2.5″ 250GB HD 5400rpm SATA-1.5GBps, and I would like something that’s preferably both faster and bigger. Is the 500GB Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive my best choice ?

Answer :

The jury’s still out on that one…

Expericences with the Seagate Momentus XT vary, though most bad experiences are from people that have firmware versions older than v24 (the current version is v28).

Let me start out by saying that, when your older MacBook Pro is at least a ‘late 2008’ model (which has a 2.5″ SATA II / SATA-300GBps transfer rate) your options are pretty much these :

1- a regular 2.5″ 500GB 5400rpm SATA II harddisk, will go for about €65 (so about €0,13 per GB)

– This is probably your best choice if low noise level and low(est) price are your main reasons to buy. And it will be slightly speedier than your old one, because this SATA-interface is twice as fast

2- a regular 2.5″ 500GB 7200rpm SATA II harddisk, will cost you about €75 (so about €0,15 per GB)

– This is probably your best choice if you primarily want a low price and secondarily the highest speed. Even though these could be a little noisier than 5400rpm drives, the 7500rpm drives are more interesting if have a more intensive usage, like doing a lot of video editing for instance.

3- a hybrid 2.5″ 500GB 7200rpm + 4GB SSD (Flash-memory) SATA-3GBps like the Seagate Momentus XT will cost you €100 (so about €0,20 per GB)

– This is probably your best choice if you primarily want high speed and secondarily the lowest price. The noise level is about the same as a regular HD, and the speed is notably faster (but still no way near SSD-speeds)

4- a 2.5″ 256GB Solid State Drive (a.k.a. SSD ; Flash-memory only) SATA-6GBps like the Crucial M4 will cost you about €210 (so about  €0,82 per GB)

– These ‘drives’ are way faster than any hard disk, and also completely silent, but they’re completely overpriced compared to regular hard disks, so this is only a good solution if you have money to burn… (mind you, this one doesn’t gain any storage capacity compared to your old HD, and the 6GBps SATA-speed has to be geared down to 3GBps since the ‘late 2008’ MacBook Pros don’t support this latest SATA-speed)

To have an indication of the speed increase I herewith include my test scores, based upon benchmarking results from two different benchmarking program.

The benchmarking softwares I’ve used are iBench and NovaBench. They can be downloaded for FREE here :

http://ibench.sourceforge.net/

http://novabench.com/

(NovaBench can also be downloaded from the Mac App store)

the benchmarking-scores I’ve measured are :

the original version : MacBook Pro 15″ ‘late 2008’ with 4GB RAM and 250GB @4500rpm ; iBench score = 3.31 ; NovaBench score = 346

the same, only with doubled RAM-memory, MacBook Pro 15″ ‘late 2008’ with 8GB RAM and 250GB @4500rpm ; iBench score = 3.37 ; NovaBench score  = 389

the same, but both with doubled RAM and doubled HD-capacity (using a Seagate Momentus XT) ; iBench score = 3.38 ; NovaBench score = 402

so… the Momentus XT is a really good step forward from the old internal hard drive, but it’s speed increase is not dramatic.

NOTE : if you need to upgrade the firmware on a Seagate Momentus XT disk from MacOSX, look here :

https://macmanusnl.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/upgrading-the-…t-hybrid-drive/ 

fixed : installing a new hard drive (option 2)

here’s another way of installing a new HD in a Mac :

in this example a new HD was placed in a MacBook Pro (end 2008) running OSX 10.7 Lion

1- prepare

– put OSX Lion installer on a 4GB USB stick ; for instructions, look here :

make sure you have a new DVD-writable or a completely empty 4GB USB-stick, download Lion Disk Maker and follow the instructions that come with it :

http://blog.gete.net/lion-diskmaker-us/
– printout the instructions on how to replace a HD on a MBP 2008/2009 from iFixit

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook-Pro-15-Inch-Unibody-Late-2008-and-Early-2009-Hard-Drive-Replacement/841/1

– make a TimeMachine backup

2- replace the HD

– shut down and completely unplug
– use the directions from iFixit to get your current HD out, and the new Momentus XT in

3- install a fresh versions of MacOSX and add your data from TimeMachine

– plug in the USB stick
– startup pressing the ALT key and choose the “EFI Boot” (USB installer) to boot from
– then install the basic OSX EFI
– continue and open Disk Utility
– select the new harddisk and Erase to a “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” format (to get a one-partition OSX HFS+ formatted drive)
– install a new version of OSX Lion
– during this installation, you are asked to migrate from a TimeMachine ; do that (and make sure you’re connected to your TimeMachine backup-disk through a cable – Ethernet/UTP, USB or FireWire)
– when the install is done, restart normally (booting from your new internal harddisk)
– then update your mailbox (this will be asked and done automatically)
– then goto Software Update (under the Apple logo in the upper left corner) and install all available updates
– restart and boot from the USB stick (“OSX EFI”)
– open Disk Utility and Repair Disk Permissions on your new internal harddrive
– restart normally (booting from the internal drive)
– again, run Software Update to install all available updates (in my specific case, there was a ‘rather important’ EFI update a this point)
– repeat Software Update once more to make sure there are no extra updates
– shut down
– restart normally ; done !

Note : if you’re looking for an other way to upgrade your harddirve, look here :

https://macmanusnl.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/installing-a-new-hard-disk-1/ ‎

fixed : installing a new hard disk (option 1)

Here’s a simple 3-step way of replacing a HD in a Mac :

[ in this example a new HD is put into a Mac mini (version mid 2007) ]

1- clone the internal HD directly onto the new HD
These instructions assume you have another Intel-Mac and a USB-enclosure for a SATA-harddisk (that you will afterwards use to turn the old internal HD into an external one) available :
– put the new harddrive into the USB-enclosure
– connect the USB-cable to your other Intel-Mac
– connect the Mac mini to the Intel-Mac using a FireWire-cable
– (temporarily, just during startup) connect a USB-keyboard to your Mac mini
– startup the Mac mini while pressing the T-key on the keyboard (“Target Mode”)
– both the Mac mini and the USB-connected new HD will now show up in your Finder (on the Intel-Mac)
– open Disk Utility
– click on the Erase-tab
– select the USB-connected HD list on the left, and erase it in MacOS Extended (Journaled) format
[ BEWARE : do NOT format your HD in MacOS Extended (“Case-sensitive” Journaled) mode ! As that will prevent some applications to run ! e.g. Adobe Photoshop 10 Editor ]
– click on the Restore-tab
– from the list on the left drag the partition of your Mac mini onto the “Source”-field
– then drag the new partition from your new HD onto the “Destination”-field
– click the Restore-button, and wait

2- replace the HD
– open the instructions on how to replace the HD from the iFixit-website (or print them out) and read them

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-Mac-mini-Model-A1176-Hard-Drive/1108/1

– get the new HD out of the USB-enclosure
– now gently open the Mac mini enclosure
– blow the dust of the interior using a compressed air blower [ do NOT use a hair dryer ! ] or using a vacuum cleaner with a piece of thin cloth (e.g. a napkin) tightly fit to the suction tube (to prevent anything from actually being sucked in)
– replace the HD (make sure the connectors are clean and fit thight)
– while you’re at it, you might also check the AirPort-card connector
– and finish up (all using the iFixit-instructions)

3- test the new HD
– restart

Note : if you would like an alternative procedure for replacing a hard drive in a Mac, look here :

https://macmanusnl.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/installing-a-new-hard-drive-2/ 

fixed : a (relatively) quick fix for Photoshop not wanting to install on Case-sensitive formatted HD

Question :

Today, I wanted to install Photoshop on my Mac, but the installer refused because I have my Mac HD formatted in “MacOS Extended (Journaled, Case-sensitive)” format.

How can I easily fix this ?

Answer :

Photoshop (both Photoshop Elements and Photoshop CS) can not be installed on a Mac that has a “MacOS Extended (Journaled, Case-sensitive)” formatted internal HD. It just can’t. There is only one route to fixing this that will help here : you need to reformat your HD.

So here’s the quickest way to reformatting and restoring your Mac’s internal HD without loosing data :

– make a Time Machine backup of your HD
– plug an OSX 10.7 installer (USB-stick or DVDrom) into your Mac

Note : if you don’t have an OSX-installer, here are directions on making one :

– make sure you have a new DVD-writable or a completely empty 4GB USB-stick

– download Lion Disk Maker and follow the instructions that come with it :

http://blog.gete.net/lion-diskmaker-us/

– restart while pressing the ALT-button
– choose the OSX EFI volume to boot from
– open Disk Utility
– click on the Erase tab
– select your internal HD, and “MacOS Extended (Journaled)”
[ and NOT “MacOS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled)” !!! ]
– click Erase (a new name for the HD is not important)
– when the erase (reformat) is finished, exit Disk Utility and go to “restore from Time Machine backup”
– make sure your Mac is connected to the Time Machine disk by a cable connection (either Ethernet/UTP, USB or FireWire)
– select the volume called Data and continue
– select the subvolume that has your previous HD’s name
– click Restore and wait
(restoring can take up to one hour)
– afterwards restart your Mac normally
– do a quick check to see if things work properly
– put in the Adobe Photoshop Elements installer DVDrom and follow the installer instructions
– done !