Saturday morning, I checked my email before heading to a rehearsal. When I returned home, around 11:00, I discovered that my network was down. I looked over at my Time Capsule to see that the light was off. The Time Capsule is Apple’s back-up device that works with Time Machine. It contains a hard drive (Mine is 1 TB.) and also acts as a wireless router. I have three Macs that back up to it hourly.
I tried unplugging the power cord and plugging it back in. I tried pressing the reset button. It would not power on. So, I used my iPhone to do a quick search, and I found some reports of first generation Time Capsules dying after about 18 months. I purchased mine in April of 2008, so that puts mine at about 19. Apparently the power supply, which is inside of the unit, can’t handle the heat produced by the device and goes bad. Of course, the warranty is only a year.
After I got my Verizon router configured to provide the network, I found these threads on the Apple discussion forums. It seems a lot of people have been having this issue, starting back in August. I ended up calling Apple Care, even though I don’t currently have an Apple Care policy on my machines. Once I explained that I was experiencing the same power supply issue that a lot of others have had, the representative took down by serial number and put me old hold while he looked it up. When he returned, he told me that Apple will be sending me a replacement unit free of charge.
This is a rather serious issue. People are using Time Capsules as their primary means of backup. They should be more dependable than this. That said, I only use it for backup, so I haven’t lost data. Some people simply use it as network attached storage.
It has taken Apple a few months to finally decide to do the right thing and replace units that are obviously suffering from a design flaw. Many customers who were victim to the issue early on have already hacked there units to install external power supplies, or to remove the drives so they could retrieve their data. They won’t be eligible for new units. Many people already replaced their Time Capsules.
Apple has decided to do the right thing, and I applaud them for that. Once again, they have won my loyalty and proven that they are a good and trustworthy company. I must question, however, if I would feel the same way had my unit gone belly up back in August.