Adding internal drive to new AirPort Extreme

Squizzles

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 7, 2011
14
0
I saw the ifixit report that there was space to add a drive but they didn't see any connectors. Does anyone know if its possible to add a drive to it or what I need to do? I was looking for a tutorial but could find one. Thanks!
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,217
1,585
I saw the ifixit report that there was space to add a drive but they didn't see any connectors. Does anyone know if its possible to add a drive to it or what I need to do? I was looking for a tutorial but could find one. Thanks!
The tc version has a different logic board with connectors. I'd say no not without soldering
 

portishead

macrumors 65816
Apr 4, 2007
1,114
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los angeles
I suppose you MIGHT be able to modify the enclosure to put a HD inside, with a small SATA-USB device, and run the USB cable out to the input. You'd have to at least drill 1 hole for that, and maybe a second for power.

I'm sure that's not your intention, but I suppose it might look cleaner than having a second hard drive sitting next to it.

Does that make sense? I'm basically saying use the external USB port but hide the drive inside the actual airport extreme.
 

meistervu

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2008
1,027
27
At first my thought was, "Why bother? just get the 2TB Time Capsule for $100 more." As portishead pointed out, $100 is the cost of a 2TB drive anyway.

Then I thought that if I want a 4TB drive in there to start with, this mod may make sense as it saves me $100. Still, that is a lot of trouble to go through. Just get the 2TB Time Capsule, replace the drive with a 4TB, and sell the 2TB drive or use it some where.

Any way, the economic is not compelling.
 

portishead

macrumors 65816
Apr 4, 2007
1,114
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los angeles
At first my thought was, "Why bother? just get the 2TB Time Capsule for $100 more." As portishead pointed out, $100 is the cost of a 2TB drive anyway.

Then I thought that if I want a 4TB drive in there to start with, this mod may make sense as it saves me $100. Still, that is a lot of trouble to go through. Just get the 2TB Time Capsule, replace the drive with a 4TB, and sell the 2TB drive or use it some where.

Any way, the economic is not compelling.
I know what you mean, I've thought about that too, the maths just don't add up. It will end up costing you like $320 or so (with taxes) to put a 4TB drive in. You would have an extra 2TB drive though for whatever it's worth. I just had an extra 2TB USB drive laying around that I use, so I can just use the AE and be done with it. I saved $320 as long as my backups are under 2TB. currently only using about 1TB with 3 machines, so I'm good.
 

mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,311
1,487
DFW, TX
Buy the 2TB Time Capsule, buy a 4TB HDD, switch the drive and have an external 2TB drive?

It's an option
 

RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,213
207
Iowa, USA
The 2TB WD MyPassport actually fits into the 3.5" spot, all you need to do is find an USB to Mini-USB 3.0 cable that fits with the Mini-USB connector through the vents at the bottom (or cut the cord and resolder it).

However, it would be $38 less expensive to just buy the 2TB Time Capsule for $299.
And if you're using it for Time Machine, the Time Capsule is actually supported. AirDisk (storage attached via USB on Airport Extreme Base Station) is not, though many people have gotten it to work. Still not sure I'd trust something as important as my backups to that, however.
 

jimthing

macrumors 65816
Apr 6, 2011
1,422
662
London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
And if you're using it for Time Machine, the Time Capsule is actually supported. AirDisk (storage attached via USB on Airport Extreme Base Station) is not, though many people have gotten it to work. Still not sure I'd trust something as important as my backups to that, however.
Why do Apple deliberately gimp the Extreme? Even the newest 2013 model. Seems such a deliberate action to get users to buy Capsules, when many users want to use much much bigger external drives (inc. RAIDs) for their backups, to get much more storage then the Capsule even offers?? (I mean only offering a 3TB as the top model, not even a 4TB unit, is embarrassing to be honest, for the extra £50 on price of the older top model!)

It's not even logical to users, as you can still AirDisk on an Extreme, just as long as it's NOT used for Time Machine usage. FFS, how stupid is that!

This is the kind of thing that pisses me off about Apple more and more these days. When their router costs a lot more than other similarly or better spec'd routers.

(PS. As 802.11ad is likely in next 6-9 months, I'm waiting for that before upgrading. Though much lower range, it'll still offer ac for longer range – as well as all the legacy ones: a/b/g/n too.)
 
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portishead

macrumors 65816
Apr 4, 2007
1,114
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los angeles
I have the new AE, and a USB 2.0 drive hooked up, and Time Machine works fine. Also worked fine on my old AE N router as well. I guess YMMV, but it's worked fine for me for a few years. 0 problems whatsoever with 3 machines being backup up.
 

aajeevlin

macrumors 6502a
Mar 25, 2010
915
346
I have the new AE, and a USB 2.0 drive hooked up, and Time Machine works fine. Also worked fine on my old AE N router as well. I guess YMMV, but it's worked fine for me for a few years. 0 problems whatsoever with 3 machines being backup up.
Have you done any sort of restore with this setup? As in, backing up using an AE + external hard drive (with time machine), then restore it wirelessly?

I have read many articles stating that using an AE + hard drive to do time machine is actually not supported by Apple. But Then again, I don't think anybody is taking that seriously.
 

Richdmoore

macrumors 68000
Jul 24, 2007
1,780
251
Troutdale, OR
And if you're using it for Time Machine, the Time Capsule is actually supported. AirDisk (storage attached via USB on Airport Extreme Base Station) is not, though many people have gotten it to work. Still not sure I'd trust something as important as my backups to that, however.
Actually, the newest AirPort Extreme device does support using it for time machine backups. It is on page 13 of the user manual.

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/airport_extreme_80211ac_setup.pdf

I am glad apple finally made this change.

----------

Why do Apple deliberately gimp the Extreme? Even the newest 2013 model. Seems such a deliberate action to get users to buy Capsules, when many users want to use much much bigger external drives (inc. RAIDs) for their backups, to get much more storage then the Capsule even offers?? (I mean only offering a 3TB as the top model, not even a 4TB unit, is embarrassing to be honest, for the extra £50 on price of the older top model!)

It's not even logical to users, as you can still AirDisk on an Extreme, just as long as it's NOT used for Time Machine usage. FFS, how stupid is that!

This is the kind of thing that pisses me off about Apple more and more these days. When their router costs a lot more than other similarly or better spec'd routers.

(PS. As 802.11ad is likely in next 6-9 months, I'm waiting for that before upgrading. Though much lower range, it'll still offer ac for longer range – as well as all the legacy ones: a/b/g/n too.)
See post above, user manual for new ac AirPort Extreme now has instructions for time machine use.
 

RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,213
207
Iowa, USA
Actually, the newest AirPort Extreme device does support using it for time machine backups. It is on page 13 of the user manual.

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/airport_extreme_80211ac_setup.pdf
Thanks for pointing that out! I had no idea, and the Apple support page I linked to still doesn't reflect this fact (assuming that the new AEBS manual is correct--but they added it to this one, so hopefully it's right; I checked and it wasn't in the 5th gen manual)--even though this page was updated a day after the new Base Station's announcement. Maybe they'll update it soon.
 

opinio

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2013
1,171
4
I saw the ifixit report that there was space to add a drive but they didn't see any connectors. Does anyone know if its possible to add a drive to it or what I need to do? I was looking for a tutorial but could find one. Thanks!
I've done it. See this thread.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1600698

Edit: Sorry my apologies. I thought you meant upgrade a HDD in the TC, not AE. My mistake.

But on your Q. Not there is no way to add a drive to the AE. There is no sata connect point on the logic board. Also the internals of the TC has rubber holding edges for the HDD and the base cover is different. TC has rubber, while AE has metal.

No chance.
 
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zorrobyte

macrumors newbie
Oct 15, 2013
9
1
Why do Apple deliberately gimp the Extreme? Even the newest 2013 model. Seems such a deliberate action to get users to buy Capsules, when many users want to use much much bigger external drives (inc. RAIDs) for their backups, to get much more storage then the Capsule even offers?? (I mean only offering a 3TB as the top model, not even a 4TB unit, is embarrassing to be honest, for the extra £50 on price of the older top model!)

It's not even logical to users, as you can still AirDisk on an Extreme, just as long as it's NOT used for Time Machine usage. FFS, how stupid is that!

This is the kind of thing that pisses me off about Apple more and more these days. When their router costs a lot more than other similarly or better spec'd routers.

(PS. As 802.11ad is likely in next 6-9 months, I'm waiting for that before upgrading. Though much lower range, it'll still offer ac for longer range – as well as all the legacy ones: a/b/g/n too.)
If you are so angry, why not build a FreeNAS system? I have a 6TB NAS sitting next to me with RAIDz4, AFP and Time Machine working perfectly.
 

jimthing

macrumors 65816
Apr 6, 2011
1,422
662
London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
If you are so angry, why not build a FreeNAS system? I have a 6TB NAS sitting next to me with RAIDz4, AFP and Time Machine working perfectly.
I don't have to. I already have two Promise Pegasus R6's each with 24TB (in RAID 5, thus 20TB each) stored in a cupboard (one all my storage, one backup, with another WD 8TB Tbolt for offsite's). The first R6 then connected using 10m Corning optical Thunderbolt cable to a 4-core Mac Mini 2012 as a joint server/media-centre (but NOT the 'server' model Mini).

My main questions are still valid ones:
- Why still gimp the Extreme unnecessarily?
- Why only 3TB drives, given the 4TB's have fallen in price?


Incidentally, I wonder if Apple will add Tbolt 2 to the Mini this year (I doubt it, to be honest, given it's likely saved for their 'extreme machine': Mac Pro!), as then users could buy the new Pegasus R6 mark II that will offer the Tbolt 2's speed doubling (20Gbit bonded duplex connection!)?
...guess we'll find out sometime over the next couple/few weeks. ;-)