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Computers

Dead Time Capsules congregate at an online cemetery

Related to a developing story regarding the life expectancy of Apple's router/network hard drive, Time Capsule, a website has appeared to help those mourn their loss.

Related to a developing story regarding the life expectancy of Apple's router/network hard drive, Time Capsule, a website has appeared to help those mourn their loss. The folks at The Apple Time Capsule Memorial Registry have created a tracking form to draw attention to the fact that Time Capsules seem to be failing, without much deviation, around the 18-month mark. Registrants, so far, include 116 Apple customers from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Hong Kong, Germany, Denmark, and many other countries all over the world.

The average lifespan of these Time Capsules is currently 17 months and 18 days, corroborating with several forum reports and blog sites that target the Time Capsule's death around 18 months.

What's going on with Apple's Time Capsule? Screenshot by Joe Aimonetti

The general consensus in the forums is that the power units in the Time Capsules seem to be failing. Apple has not, to this point, officially recognized this issue, though users with the problem can experience some relief if they have AppleCare on one of their Macs at home. AppleCare covers peripheral devices made by Apple, such as the Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme Base Station, AirPort Express, Apple Keyboards, and the Mighty Mouse.

For users that do not have AppleCare, the situation gets more frustrating. Your option is to pay for a service replacement on the device--in which case Apple will take your old Time Capsule, including its hard drive and all the data (which they will destroy). Your other option is to keep your old Time Capsule and attempt to fix the hardware yourself. It appears that the capacitors are the main culprit of the failures--a part which many electronics repair shops should be able to fix.

Several sites have cropped up which offer instructions for repairing your Time Capsule. Of course, use caution when attempting any of these solutions as they are not official repair techniques.

We will certainly keep an eye on this story and let you know if/when Apple makes an official comment regarding the Time Capsule failures. Experiencing issues, have questions, want to let us know about an issue we should report on? Email Us!