I just purchased a new Iomega NAS IX2-200 4TB. I need to regularly backup this NAS. Time Machine would be the best option. How do I setup so the Time Machine will backup this NAS to my external Hard Drive?

I don't want to backup my Mac, that's already been done on the Time Capsule. Instead I just want to backup my NAS drive. But I'm not sure how to go about this, as the NAS is a network drive.

  • What are you going to use as the disk for Time Machine? A Time Capsule is one disk so smaller than the NAS
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 12:25

3 Answers 3


I wouldn't use Time Machine for this, it is best at backing up your local Mac. The NAS you have has a built in backup function that can use a local USB drive or a network share (as well as other options). So if you want to backup the NAS to a drive mounted on your Mac just set the share up on the Mac then configure the NAS to backup to that share on a schedule. If you really want to use Time Machine you would have to mount the NAS or more likely specific directories on the NAS then include those in Time Machine on the Mac, This article gives good info on backing up several types of network shares to your Mac thru time machine: http://lifehacker.com/5685547/how-to-set-up-time-machine-to-back-up-to-a-networked-windows-or-linux-machine


First of all: Is your external hard drive big enough to store the backups? If your NAS has 4 TB capacity, I doubt it. Keep in mind that, because Time Machine keeps old versions of files, a Time Machine backup directory will require more space than the original files. For a (full) 4 TB NAS, I think 8 TB backup space would be adequate.

If this is not a problem for some reason, Time Machine will backup every data source that is available in the Mac's folder hierarchy, so just mount your NAS there and you should be set.

  • Don't worry about disk space I have plenty ;-)
    – Steven Wu
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 11:07
  • currently my mac is using time capsule. which backups my mac. but I want to use a separate hard drive (with enough space) to backup my NAS. How do I create a new Time Machine account so it doesn't disrupt the current time capsule setting but a separate backup just for my NAS?
    – Steven Wu
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 11:10

Time machine does not back up everything the mac has access to. It is also not able to backup network sources in mac's folder hierarchy. At least not out-of-the-box.

So when you setup the time machine backups, by default it will disable external USB hard drives connected to the mac. You can however manually override that and have time machine backup a USB drive. You can't do that with network shares though. At least I've not been able to find a way to do that. To my knowledge that's impossible. You can't even see those shares in the tree structure when you use the file browser from within Time Machine.

I backup my photos on my nas, and I would like to have the option to include that folder with the time machine. I've not been able to figure out how to do that so it seems that it's not an available option.

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