Released alongside the AirPort Extreme base station, this hard drive equipped variant offers 802.11ac speed on a time capsule NAS.

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Can the TC Drive be upgraded to 5 TB?

So it has been established that a 4 TB drive works perfectly in a Time Capsule.

5 TB drives are slowly appearing and how will such one work not least with the current firmware? In earlier generations of the Time Capsule there were issues with certain drives (mostly large capacities) as they weren't compatible with the current firmware at that time. Would they be any problems with the current TC firmware accepting a 5 TB drive?

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Size matters here! So far these larger HD's need a bit more head room. Your AirPort space is limited to a 26.1mm height drive.

As for these new drives so far we have been teased with there intro. In the case of the Seagate drive offering you can't buy it as a bare drive only as part of an external drive via LaCie.

Remember these are NAS drives not desktop class drives (read - slower RPM on many & slower read/write).

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I just put a 6 TB WD Green drive in an A1470 Time Capsule. Wow, was this tricky though - much harder than any of the iMac drive replacements that I have done.

First, I broke two of the small cable connectors while disassembling - luckily it was just for the reset switch and the LED indicator light and these do not appear essential to the working of the time capsule.

Second, initially I couldn't get the captive screws attaching the insides to the top of the case to release. A T8 driver rather than the T10 recommended in this guide eventually worked for me - on my TC these appeared to have T8 heads on them.

Third, the WD Green drive would not sit properly at first. If you look at the Barracuda which comes out, on the circuit board side there are notches in the corner of the drive assembly so that the drive is not full height at the corners. The WD Green drive does not have these notches at the corner and thus would not fit in the rubber mounts at either end of the drive cavity. I had to trim the mounts at the far end of the cavity and the rubber cap at the near end of the cavity using an exacto knife and a pair of scissors to make the drive fit.

Fourth, getting everything back together was extremely tricky especially reconnecting some of the tiny connectors to the motherboard (those that I hadn't busted at least.)

FYI, this was a 3 TB Time Capsule and the drive that came out was a Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 which is a 7200 RPM 64 MB cache drive. The WD Green drive I replaced it with is "intellipower" and ~5400 somewhat RPM so I'm hoping it will not generate any more heat than the Barracuda. The Green drive is a desktop drive not a NAS drive such as the WD Red - I would not recommend using a NAS drive in the Time Capsule as most of them have TLER (Time Limted Error Recovery) enabled for use in RAIDs and this is a single drive configuration.

Keeping my fingers crossed... In hindsight this is NOT something I would recommend doing as the risk of bricking the Time Capsule during dissassembly seems high.

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I have upgraded my 2Tb Seagate TC to a 4Tb Green WD.

Works well, and not that tricky.

Hardpart was twofold:

1 Getting the thing apart is not that easy.......get yourself some non scratching plastic spludgers that are STRONG. I broke off the end of one of mine getting the bottom off.

2 The foam in the bottom of the TC is designed to take SEAGATE drives. The metal folding is slightly different in the SEAGATE. To get the WD to fit snugly I had to take a sharp knife (I used a scalpel) and slice off the bits of foam that are sticking in the way of the bottom of the WD drive. Once I did that it fitted in the case as a factory fit.

I am actually thinking of buying a 6Tb drive and upgrade it again.

Cheers to all.

PS the price from Apple of the 3Tb drive is crazy. Get yourself a refurbed 2Tb and upgrade it to 4 or 6 Tb.

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Seagate now has 6TB NAS optimized drives with the 26.1mm "height" spec you list. Power is 8W which might be quite a bit more than the 3TB standard. 7200RPM. My time machine drive just filled up (but it is deleting backups from last May, no huge deal. Still this would be a nice upgrade? Anybody want to take this one on?

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So far the He 5/6 TB drives are only available to OEM's. You'll need to wait a bit more. Also a NAS rated drive is a slower drive. Their best used in a RAID'ed config which is not workable in the TC unit. Your better off getting a standalone 4 or 5 drive NAS unit.


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