Airport Express Base Station + WD External HD

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mytoki, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. mytoki macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2010
    hi there,

    so i just got the Airport Express Base Station so i can connect my WD external HD (i don't like to plug it directly into my laptop...) i also moved my iphoto library file to the external HD. why is iPhoto so slow to start up and do pretty much anything? i thought in this way i could save my internal SSD from clutter, but accessing the iphoto library from the external is driving me mad with its slowness. any suggestions?

  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    unfortunately there is nothing you can do. wireless latency + USB etc makes it very hard to be efficient. sorry :(
  3. mlblacy macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2006
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    I would avoid using a hard drive hanging off your base station as a hard drive.
    I have read about some drives failing when used in that manner. Also as it was pointed out your photo library is going to run dog slow off the wifi, and that will only get worse as your library grows. I'll see if I can find where I read about the drives off the base station...
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I'm sure this is just a typo, but the Express does not support external HDDs. Only the Extreme and Time Capsule do. (Sorry, just wanted to clarify for those that might not know and read this thread.)

    In addition to what others have posted, a major bottleneck when it comes to an AirPort Base Station/USB HDD combo is the USB controller Apple implements in its base stations. If you want a networked drive with decent speeds, your best bet is to purchase a NAS with gigabit Ethernet and connect that to your base station. Then set up a dual band network with one of the bands being wireless n only (to which you connect your computer). It still won't be as fast as a direct connection to the HDD, but it should improve the speeds you're getting.
  5. MacForScience macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2010

    Unless you are actually trying to share your drive with other computers I would connect the hard drive to your laptop directly (In terms of speed of connection this is your best bet, unless you are talking a pro-grade network storage system). Or if you really hate the idea do as others have suggested and get a real NAS drive.

  6. mytoki thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2010
    yea i'm trying to share the drive between my MBP and PC. i guess i'll just have to live with the slow speeds. but i was wondering if you guys know how i can map the drive to my PC. when i try mapping the hard drive it asks for a user id. i mean i set up a password for it, but what is the user id?

    forgot to mention, my hard drive is partitioned - one as macjournaled and one as NFTS
  7. mytoki thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2010
    found the answer to my own question. AEBS doesn't recognize NTFS to share it. must be in HFS+ or FAT16/32
  8. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Good call. Just an FYI, if you're worried about Windows compatibility with HFS+, don't. AEBS uses SMB to allow Windows computers to read/write to HFS+ drives connected to it. They'll be seen (incorrectly) as FAT32 volumes when mapped to Windows, but you'll have full read/write access, no 4GB limit, and shared between Mac/Windows without issue.

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