Third Party NAS Time Machine Backups Killed in Lion


Upgrading to Lion will for now mean that you can't back up to third-party NAS servers with Time Machine

Among a slew of other changes and upgrades in OS X Lion, it has been confirmed that the new version of Time Machine in Lion temporarily kills the option to backup to a third party NAS server.

Apple stresses the importance of the Time Machine mentality in Lion, with the Versions feature working in the same way to keep backups of your documents and other files. Killing the ability to backup to a third party NAS (Network Attached Storage) drive reflects Apple’s desire to, well, have you buy more Apple hardware.

Dong Ngo of CNET notes his experience when trying to backup to his NAS server on Lion,

“I tried the new OS with a few NAS servers in the last two days, and while Lion could still see the NAS server as the backup drive, the backup would fail to proceed, giving an error message that reads, “The network backup disk does not support the required AFP features.”

Apparently, there were also issues with third party NAS backups in Snow Leopard as well. There were several error messages and bugs with reading Time Machine backups from a NAS drive.

If you use a third party NAS server for backing up your Mac, you might want to check to see if the server’s manufacturer supports (or will support) Lion at all. For what it’s worth, Synology’s new beta of DiskStation Manager works well with Apple’s latest cat.

  • carlosnvelez

    Yes. We’re having this issue with our Buffalo NAS drives. Buffalo cannot provide an estimate as to when problem will be resolved.

  • Allan

    check out this forum for Buffalo NAS owners.  They are working on it, and there is a workaround for mounting the NAS drives, but TM is still broken, fix pending.

  • EpiRen

    I had that issue with Dolly Drive, but a quick contact to their support staff pointed me to the fix: a beta version of their software that is optimized for Lion. It worked, and all is good with the world now.

  • Andrew DK


  • tMyers327

    just updated to Synology’s DSM beta 3.2 works just like normal…thank god for the beta

  • brandonmartinez

    Sadly, I was affected by this. I have a Western Digital MyBook Live (2TB) that I was using for its Time Machine support. Thankfully, from what I can tell, they should have a fix out sometime in August.

  • Callum Kerr

    I’m MASSIVELY pissed off about this, for the first time in my life I’m raging about what Apple’s done to one of their products. A backup is more important than the computer or hardware itself, it sickens me to think that Apple actually did this … and worries me about what else they could do in the future =/

    I’m using a Western Digital MyBook World Edition 2, they’re working on a fix.

  • photografia

    Similar results here with my Seagate GoFlex Home. Seagate says that they are working on a solution but in the mean time no Time Machine backups to my NAS.

  • Saul Tannenbaum

    Netgear released an update for its ReadyNAS X86 products on Wednesday that supports Lion.

    I chose the ReadyNAS because they’re a financial support of the Netatalk project, which supplies the Appletalk implementation that all these NAS devices use. Netatalk has to be upgrade to version 2.2 for Lion TimeMachine compatibility. 

    None of this should be a surprise to NAS vendors. Its been talked about on ReadyNAS forums for a couple of months, and Netatalk 2.2 has been out for awhile now.

  • huyett

    Key word: “Temporarily”

  • highlightshadow

    Glad its ok for you …. but i got a perfectly working DS207+ and they’ve already said because they stopped updating it april this year thats it … they’re not gonna support it 

  • sebzar

    I don’t understand Apples more and more egocentric approach. They killed easy sharing with family and friends by discontinuing MobileMe. iCloud is focused on sharing stuff amongst your own devices and not the devices others own. You need to be a geek to connect OS X and iOS software to a NAS and even more of a geek to be able to push your iTunes and iPhoto library on a NAS. The latter, often killing your iPhoto library. And then we have the problem of sharing those libraries with other household members. And off course we want to have access to our iTunes library on a NAS directly from an AppleTV!!!! To keep things short… Apple has lost it’s understanding of the concept of sharing and that is a shame. Apple also seems to de everything possible to keep any NAS out of the houses of home-users. Why is a big question mark for me. Our libraries get bigger and bigger. People need large storage space not on their mac, but safely on a network and easy access to that storage.

     I’m eagerly awaiting a NAS re-invented by Apple that wakes up when being accessed. That has iTunes, iPhoto and Time Machine support. A NAS that the AppleTV can access directly. Libraries that can be shared by all (Apple) devices in a household. RAID support etc. Call it HouseCloud or FamilyCloud for example. 

  • longislandiceteaplz

    Your DiskStation is 4 yrs old..! it’s like saying..

    My 8th grade Nike shoes don’t fit me anymore… Nike needs to fix this..

  • longislandiceteaplz

    You have a 4 year old DiskStation (07)..!

    That’s like saying..

    My 8th grade Nike shoes don’t fit me anymore… Nike needs to fix this..

  • Robert X

    This has the bent that Apple “did this on purpose”. I don’t think that is or was the case at all.

  • CharliK

    Do these machines have software provided by the manufacturer (drivers or whatever). If yes then why didn’t they test it and update it before Lion was released to prevent such problems. The info has been out for a while. 

  • Gerd

    This is due to NetAFP withholding the open source release of netatalk 2.2 (which implements the features needed by time machine in lion).

    They (or should I say Frank Lahm who seems to be the sole developer of netatalk nowadays) did this in order to secure funding for their development efforts from NAS vendors. AFAIK Up to this threat only netgear had a commercial agreement with him. Synology joined soon, and presumably all the other NAS vendors that offer support soon have also entered an agreement but too late in order to have a firmware upgrade available in sync with lion.

    You probably reported on the netatalk 2.2 spat and at least should have been able to include this reason in your reporting

  • Alexander

    It has nothing to do with Apple’s egocentriccity or something like that. It has to do with stronger security implementation. NAS connection is based on the AFP protocol with DHCAST128 credentials exchange. DHCAST128 is considered unsafe (password is send in cleartext) and therefore switched off in Lion. Simple solution:

    1. Start OS X Terminal and enter following commands:

    sudo chmod o+w /Library/Preferences[press enter]
    defaults write /Library/Preferences/ afp_host_prefs_version -int 1[press enter]

    2. Restart your Mac

    3. Make a connection to your NAS from within Finder (important!) with Cmd-K

    4. Restart Terminal and enter following commands:

    sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ afp_disabled_uams -array “Cleartxt Passwrd” “MS2.0? “2-Way Randnum exchange”[press enter]
    sudo chmod o-w /Library/Preferences[press enter]

    5. Restart your Mac and presto!

  • Soho22

    lol am I halucinating? Now people complain about them killing the overpriced, slow turd that was mobileme when before the whole world would whine about it. There is nothing egocentric about discontinuing a bad product and replacing it with something better.

  • Soho22

    Adverb: (esp. as a direction) In a quick tempo.
    Noun: A movement or passage marked to be performed in a quick tempo.

  • Soho22

    So now its Apples fault that manufacturers didn’t test their stuff? There was plenty of time.

  • sebzar

    To be honest. I have never experienced any big problems with MobileMe. And discontinuing a ‘bad’ product with something that doesn’t have the same functionality is not replacing nor fixing. I call that throwing in the towel and start something different. 
    iCloud doesn’t resemble the functionality of MobileMe. The first letter in iCloud says enough. It is made around I not me and my friends and family. Where is photo-gallery sharing in iCloud? Where is iDisk in iCloud? I replaced iDisk with DropBox for $99 a year. Get extra storage but not the same functionality for the price MobileMe used to be. Apple is loosing its reputation for making things just work when it comes to easy sharing.

  • Alexander

    That’s what I said…. ‘to be performed in a quick tempo’..  

  • Luís Guedes

    Presto means “Done” in italian..

  • adamutt

    Dolly Drive works great with Lion, pretty much my whole back up plan at this point. NAS is so 90’s

  • Sheldon Stokes

    And also don’t forget to mention that withholding the netatalk source is a violation of the GPL.  


  • ichiroa

    Because those manufactures are lazy and focused on the 85% rather than 15% (us)

  • winski

    Thanks for the extra heads up this morning…. I got a note from the Seagate folks this morning
    telling me my 1.5 tb Free Agent Desk model would probably NOT work on
    LION and that they had no intention of fixing them. So now on top of
    every thing else, the HHD makers are telling us to buzz off too??


  • David Hamono

    Mods, please delete.

  • Alexander

    In addition, the connection in step 3. should be made with the Cmd-K function and entering either the ip address or the DNS name of your NAS.

  • Alexander

    Ooops I forgot to mention that step 3. means that you make a connection with the Cmd-K function from an active Finder window and enter either the IP address or the DNS name of your NAS.. It will work, I can guarantee you that…

  • techbajan

    And if you have no Internet connectivity?!

  • techbajan

    It never ceases to amaze how people so passionately defend Apple as if they are actually an insider and knows FOR SURE that many of Apple’s actions are done unintentionally. Apple has shown itself with its history of legal action, its products and its attitude towards forcing industry change that it cares about one thing: being on top. It doesn’t care about it’s users as much as many of you nutjobs would like to think. What it cares about is the fact that it knows their products are considered as the Holy Grail by its ever-increasing fanbase and until users/buyers start to show their dismay with Apple by not buying its products, this attitude will continue.

    I’m a Mac user and have most things Apple and I admit I love most of their products but my love for the products do not extend to the company or its attitude towards others. In my opinion, MBPs are the best laptops on the market and OS X is the best consumer OS (not business OS); that’s why I have a MBP and always have a current one. Because of that, I have a Time Capsule (though the hard drive showed up as “Failing” just yesterday evening). I have my iPad 2 that I use when I don’t want to take my Mac around with me. When my phone contract expires in September, I’ll probably be getting an iPhone. Why do I have all these? Again, solely because I have a Mac and seamlessly integrating other manufacturer’s devices with my Mac experience in most cases requires too much workarounds, editing, or additional third party tools and I don’t want to spend my days at work working on users’ technical issues and then have to come home to my own.

    Now, try and tell me that Apple didn’t intentionally design their products so persons just like me would throw our hands up in the air and say, “I might as well buy the Apple version to this product type!” After all, it makes good sense from a business’ standpoint but in the grand scheme of things, Apple is NOT interested in sharing and in its users’ needs, only in its users’ obsessions.

    If it was Microsoft or any other company, all you that are making excuses for Apple would be saying, “Oh, they should have tested it and worked with third-party manufacturers to make sure it was compatible with third-party products.” At least for you same people who cuss Microsoft for their often-flaky software, Microsoft HAS TO deal with a market that is as open as the grand canyon and that has so many different products/drivers to take into consideration. They don’t have the luxury or ruling with an iron fist that Apple has fostered over the years. Disagree? Just talk to developers who try to get their products in the App Stores that would otherwise compete with Apple offerings.

    I think it’s time the DoJ took a good look at Apple’s anti-competitive practices.

  • techbajan

    This affects me too. My Time Capsule hard drive was reported as “Failing” yesterday and while I’ve opened it and thought of replacing the hard drive, I’d rather buy a third party NAS with either RAID 1 or RAID 5 so I don’t have to backup my TC, which to me defeats the purpose of spending so much money for a piece of kit. Now, I’m concerned that if I buy or build a third party NAS, it either won’t work now with Lion or the next time good ol’ Apple releases an update, it will break support again.

  • 930dreamer

    Tried this all on my Mac running Lion with a Seagate GoFlex Home and couldn’t get it to work. I was able to mount it as afp but when I tried to setup TimeMachine with it I get the following:

    Time Machine can’t access the backup disk “GoFlex Home Backup”.
    The operation couldn’t be completed. (OSStatus error 2.)

    Any suggestions?

  • Buddy Zinny

    My sentiments exactly!  Come on Apple, wouldn’t it be great if my useless ATV could access my NAS without all the jailbroken palaver.  
    Now Lion won’t access it either without hacks.  This sucks.  

  • Richard


  • techbajan

    Errrr, I think you need to lay off the Mount Gay Extra Old mate. You sound like a drunkard that just stumbled onto the pavement and heard two people having a friendly discussion and decided to YELL YOUR WAY IN.

  • android1966

    yes another good reason for avoiding apple products, next you wont be able to wear any clothes that are not branded as apple and woo betide you if you try to buy something while wearing levi’s

  • sheffters

    I managed to get it working via a sparsebundle.