Feeds

Apple Time Capsule catches plague

Internal heat blows power supply capacitors

Application security programs and practises

Apple Time Capsule wireless backup boxes are failing, with 409 deaths reported so far on the timecapsuledead website.

The Time Capsule is a combination of a SATA hard drive and Airport Extreme router, which can store backup data from Macs via their Time Machine software. It can also function as network-attached storage for Macs and PCs using Airport software.

One user said he had two Time Capsules failures in a week. Both were bought and commissioned in the first week of March 2008.

The TimeCapsuleDead website was set up by Pim van Bochoven of The Netherlands and launched on 12 October. It has gained 409 entries since then.

The average time to Time Capsule failure is 17 to 18 months. If users open up the device to try and recover data from the drive they void Apple's warranty. There is a discussion thread about dead Time Capsules here. One poster said: "Clearly we all think the concept is a great one, but it appears to be a duffer of a product."

Another user said spending: "$500 on a product that lasts only 18 months is not worth it, especially on a product that you rely on for backups."

One Register reader added: "Apple should be honouring a 2-year warranty anyway by law, and a backup device with a life of 18 months, that dies with no way of getting data out, is hardly fit for purpose."

A poster called Monte Miller repaired his 1TB Time Capsule by replacing blown capacitors. Pim van Bochoven said: "That is in fact the problem. It's the power supply that goes down. The lifespan of the capacitors is greatly compromised because the temperature (in the Time Capsule box) is too high for too long."

Apple is known for its elegant designs and Time Capsule has its power supply in the box. In Van Bochoven's view "Apple should have added an external power supply" which would run cooler.

The scary prospect is that this will affect all Time Capsule users. Their machines will fail after 17 to 18 months because the internal temperature is high enough to degrade the working life of the capacitors in the power supply. It will less of a worry if the fault affects only a proportion of the capacitors, but we don't know if this is the case or, if it is, what proportion is involved.

Van Bochoven says more users are registering their dead machines all the time. He carefully checks serial numbers and other information to ensure only valid Time Capsule deaths are recorded on his site.

Apple has been asked for a comment but has not yet been able to respond. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.