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The Time Capsule Model A1302 is the second generation of Apple's wireless router and networked storage device released in March 2009. Most information from these repair and disassembly guides also applies to the original Model A1254.

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A1302 (2nd gen) harddisk change guide used on A1409 (4th gen)?

I have a 2TB A1409 Airport Time Capsule. The drive is full and backup didn't work since I got Sierra (middle March 2017). I am wondering if it needs a reset, maybe even a format, and I think it's a good time to upgrade the drive. Both Time Capsule and Mac has the latest updates available (I think it is 7.6.7 for the Time Capsule)

Can I use the 2nd gen (A1302) HDD change guide for my 4th gen (A1409) time machine?

Can I use a 10TB drive as suggested elsewhere (i.e. Seagate ST10000DM0004), or would the power draw, temperature or other issues make this a bad option?

If I don't care about the rubber mat, wouldn't the unit be better cooled off without it? I plug a USB powered fan into the unit anyway, to keep it cool (maybe I should use a standalone USB rather than the built in?)

Thank you for answering.

Update (04/08/2017)

Bonus question: When I remove the internal drive, can I retrieve the backups from it without using a Time Capsule (like a power/USB connection that suits this drive type)?

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One option would be to erase your Time Capsule using AirPort Utility in your Applications > Utilities folder. You'd of course lose your backup history if you did this, but if there are no problems with the device you could simply create a new backup.

The A1302 and A1409 Time Capsules both have very similar designs, so the guides are largely interchangeable. I've swapped hard drives in several model Time Capsules without issue, but I've never attempted it with a drive larger than 3TB. It is possible that larger drives wouldn't be recognized properly, but it wouldn't hurt to try.

The USB port on the Time Capsule is designed for use with a shared printer, but I can't see any reason using it for an external fan would be an issue.

Once you've removed the drive from the Time Capsule, you can still access the data by putting it into an external enclosure, though the backups are stored in password-protected disk image files that you'll need to mount.

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I just found a 4TB harddisk on sale. It's in an external enclosure, but I expect to be able to swap this with the 2TB in my Time Capsule.

Yes I don't want to delete the existing backups - they are continually overwritten and I want to be able to go back and get older files out.

The most important question was - does the guide work for my version of the Time Capsule - and it seems it does. Thank you, Daniel.


I'm pretty confident that a 4TB will work just fine. There are some devices/enclosures that won't recognize hard drives larger than 1.5TB, but your Time Capsule shouldn't have any issues.

I don't believe you'd be able to "clone" your existing backups to the new hard drive, but as I mentioned before you'd still be able to connect it externally and access the data in the event you needed to.


I didn't want to clone the previous backups - on the contrary I would like to lock those in time.

The harddisk I saw on sale was a 2.5" - didn't think it was a 3.5" in the Time Capsule, so now I connected it externally instead.

I am still going to get another 3.5" harddisk for later, but for now I am using the 2.5" on the USB port of the Time Capsule.


Yes, the 1st through 4th generation Time Capsules use 3.5" hard drives (the current models use 2.5" hard drives). If you wanted to, you could still install the 2.5" hard drive into the Time Capsule using double-sided mounting tape, or a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter such as the IcyDock (


Thanks, Daniel, I am happy to keep the 2.5" as external (it is literally been days now, and it's only half way through a backup. Maybe I should connect a cable to the LAN, rather than over WiFi). I will get a 3.5" eventually, for now, just happy that it's backing up.

And by the way, I am planning to keep the rubber mat off - will get a 18 x 18 cm alu cooling plate instead, and glue or screw it onto the bottom.


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