How do I access my Airport Extreme linked HDD from my PC?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by pahoyhoy, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. pahoyhoy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    #1
    Hi all, i'm hoping someone can help because i'm pulling my hair out here. I'm a PC user and have one laptop right now but am expecting to get more. I've just bought an airport extreme so that I can have a networked printer and a shared hard drive.

    The printer is working fine, and my HDD (Seagate FreeAgent) is showing up in Airport Utility/Disks but I can't see it anywhere in Windows Explorer, or in Airport Base Station Agent.

    I'm not sure what to enter the Workgroup and WINS Server fields on Airport Utility so perhaps this is part of the problem? I've never set up a workgroup because i've only got the one PC here so far.

    Otherwise i'm at a loss as to what to do. If I can't use the external HDD then the airport extreme is useless to me!

    Can anyone help?


    PS I'm running XP on an HP laptop
     
  2. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #2
    Go to the Network Connections in your Control Panel and select "Set up a homne or small office network" from the sidebar. Follow the instructions and enter a workgroup name (default MSHOME). Then in AirPort Utility, enter Manual Setup > Disks > File Sharing and set the workgroup name to MSHOME (I believe this is correct, but I'm not at my Mac so this is all from memory). I never had to set up the WINS Server on my XP machine, but you may have to for your setup. Also, if you have additional third party firewalls installed on your XP machine, be sure to include your router's IP address on the list of trusted networks/zones (default 10.0.1.1, does not apply to Windows Firewall).
     
  3. pahoyhoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    #3
    Thanks Skorpien

    I've followed your instructions but no joy. I still can't find my HDD anywhere despite setting up the workgroup, adding it to the airport utility setting and configuring my firewall as you suggest. Any other ideas at all?

    Cheers
     
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #4
    The only other suggestions I have are to make sure the version of AirPort Utility for Windows is the latest version on your XP machine by downloading it directly from Apple. This installs the latest version of AirPort Base Station Agent and might fix your problem. Otherwise I'd check to see the file sharing options in AirPort Utility and make sure that guest access is enabled. I can check to see my settings when I get home and post back if you'd like, but unfortunately I'm running out of ideas.
     
  5. pahoyhoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    #5
    I've solved this problem now, and it turned out I was looking in the wrong place for the problem. My HDD was formatted as NTFS which the airport can't use, so I had to re-format it in FATS32 and now it works perfectly. It's a great bit of kit, although I think the installation instructions could be a bit more informative.

    Thanks again to Skorpien for your help.
     
  6. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #6
    Oh geez, well if that was the problem, you should format the hard drive HFS+. With FAT32, you have a 4GB file size limit, but there is no such limit with HFS+. The AEBS will allow Windows based PCs to access the hard drive. That's assuming you have a Mac to format the hard drive. If not, you can continue using it as a FAT32 drive. Probably better as you won't be able to connect it to your PC if it's HFS+ without third party software if you need to pull files off directly. Just be aware of the limit if you are copying larger files to the drive. Glad you got it figured out. And sorry I didn't get around to posting my settings. I've been rather busy this past week.
     
  7. pahoyhoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    #7
    No problem, you've been really helpful. I did think about formatting it as HFS+ but i don't have a mac (yet!). So i'll work with it as it is. It seems to be working well so far though.
     

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