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Revisiting Snow Leopard and Time Machine on an Iomega ix4-200d

In late 2009, I posted a how-to on making Snow Leopard work with an Iomega ix4-200d for Time Machine backups. I’ll recommend you refer back to that article for full details, but the basic steps are as follows:

  1. Use the hdiutil command to create the sparse disk image with the correct name (a concatenation of the computer’s name and the MAC address for the Ethernet interface).

  2. Create a special file inside the sparse disk image (the com.apple.TimeMachine.MachineID.plist file).

  3. Put the sparse disk image on the TimeMachine share on the ix4-200d (if you didn’t create it there).

  4. Set up Time Machine as normal.

In the comments to the original article, a few people suggested that newer firmware revisions to the Iomega ix4-200d eliminated the need for this process. However, in setting up my wife’s new 13” MacBook Pro, I found that this process is still necessary. Even though my Iomega ix4-200d is now running the latest available firmware (the 2.1.38.xxx revision), her MacBook Pro—running Mac OS X 10.6.7 with all latest updates—would not work with the Iomega until I manually created the sparse disk image and populated it with the com.apple.TimeMachine.MachineID.plist file. Once I followed those steps, the laptop immediately started backing up.

So, it would seem that even with the latest available firmware on the ix4-200d, it’s still necessary to follow the steps I outlined in my previous article in order to make Time Machine work.

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