Airport extreme with external HDD

rayjay86

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 15, 2011
279
17
Hey all,

I've read a few posts where part of my question was asked but didn't feel like it really was answered.

I just moved into a new place with some mates and have an airport extreme that is currently connected to a Seagate GoFlex 500gb HDD with all my movies and tv shows on it.

I've noticed that when it's plugged into my computer and I'm not using it eventually it will sort of turn off (although still show up in Finder) and then when I turn open a file on it it seems to "rev up".

Will keeping it plugged into my airport maintain this feature or will it constantly be in a state where it is "on" and how will that effect the drive over time? I want to eventually add two more HDDs with a USB hub as Apple mentions on their website so that we can use Time Machine also but if there will be excessive wear on the drive and the potential for corrupted disks I'm hesitant.

Cheers
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
Hey all,

I've read a few posts where part of my question was asked but didn't feel like it really was answered.

I just moved into a new place with some mates and have an airport extreme that is currently connected to a Seagate GoFlex 500gb HDD with all my movies and tv shows on it.

I've noticed that when it's plugged into my computer and I'm not using it eventually it will sort of turn off (although still show up in Finder) and then when I turn open a file on it it seems to "rev up".

Will keeping it plugged into my airport maintain this feature or will it constantly be in a state where it is "on" and how will that effect the drive over time? I want to eventually add two more HDDs with a USB hub as Apple mentions on their website so that we can use Time Machine also but if there will be excessive wear on the drive and the potential for corrupted disks I'm hesitant.

Cheers
The disk I have connected to my Airport Express revs down when not in use. But it's a normal 2,5" drive in a rubber enclosure, so maybe if your drive has some kind of automatic sleep mode it won't work. At least it won't be accessed and spinning all of the time :)

And Time Machine is possible with Airport Express+USB drive. Carbon Copy Cloner is better though, I would recommend using that instead.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,786
9,443
California
I want to eventually add two more HDDs with a USB hub as Apple mentions on their website so that we can use Time Machine also but if there will be excessive wear on the drive and the potential for corrupted disks I'm hesitant.

Cheers
Using Airport Extreme with a USB drive for Time Machine is not supported by Apple. Might work might not. Users report varying levels of success with this. You may not want to trust your data to an unsupported solution.

See this KB note from Apple. Also below screenshot from Mountain Lion help.



In anticipation of hafr's response, I'll just link to the last thread on this.
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,334
248
Drives can have settings for standby and spinning up and down that are within the drive itself, independent of the system they're attached to. For example drives in one of my DVRs had been set to wait to spin up for a fixed amount of time.

Go over to hddguru.com and look around; you'll see some Linux and DOS software to tweak those parameters. But changing these can have unpredicable results.

In general, if you want reliability you'd go with a drive system designed to work with NAS, preferably industrial-grade. But that's expensive; probably not worth it to preserve a bunch of Harold and Kumar movies. A TC or other media storage device would be a more economical way to go; there are designed to work 24/7. Good ventilation, etc. Or, if the data isn't that critical, just run a bunch of HDs in enclosures off a USB hub. You don't have to use TM, you could use other backup software. Or just use them to store copied media.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
Drives can have settings for standby and spinning up and down that are within the drive itself, independent of the system they're attached to. For example drives in one of my DVRs had been set to wait to spin up for a fixed amount of time.

Go over to hddguru.com and look around; you'll see some Linux and DOS software to tweak those parameters. But changing these can have unpredicable results.

In general, if you want reliability you'd go with a drive system designed to work with NAS, preferably industrial-grade. But that's expensive; probably not worth it to preserve a bunch of Harold and Kumar movies. A TC or other media storage device would be a more economical way to go; there are designed to work 24/7. Good ventilation, etc. Or, if the data isn't that critical, just run a bunch of HDs in enclosures off a USB hub. You don't have to use TM, you could use other backup software. Or just use them to store copied media.
I'm sorry, but I just have to make sure no one thinks that you're saying the Time Capsule has good ventilation ;)
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
Are you saying that the time capsule has good ventilation?
Yes, with its large fans and excessive openings for air intake the ventilation is awesome! :)

(In case someone wonders, that was meant to be sarcastic.)