Questions about Airport Extreme base station + Airport disk

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Eric1285, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. Eric1285 macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2007
    Hi everyone, happy holidays!

    I just picked up an Airport Extreme Base Station yesterday to use in my apartment when I get back to school. I have a few questions about it, because I've been doing more research and it seems as if there are quite a few problems with it.

    I want to hook up an external hard drive to it to use the airport disk function. From what I hear, the Airport Extreme is quite picky with what drives it works well with. It seems as if it only plays nicely with drives that only have USB 2.0. This is a problem for me, because I have a My Book premium with both USB 2.0 and Firewire. Has anyone else used this combo? Can you comment on read/write speeds?

    My plan was to store a bunch of 1080p video files on the external drive, and access it wirelessly when I hook my MBP up to my TV. Has anyone been able to stream 1080p video from the airport disk? The total distance between the base station and my MBP will be about 6-8 feet. I doubt there will be problems with the wireless bandwidth, but I question the read speeds of the airport disk.

    My roommate will also be wanting to access this disk. I read that I can have it formatted in HFS+ (although I should turn of journaling to increase read/write speeds) and a Windows PC will still be able to read (write?) from it. Any ideas?

    Thanks for your help! Happy New Year!
  2. InfiniteLoop macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2005
    Get ready for a big disappointment. AEBS has several problems with Air Disk and no one has been able to get the gigabit version to work with any drive (note: the limitation is more to do with the File System then the actual H/W).

    Take a look here for some more info:

    There are several other threads like this, some of which are locked by Apple.

    I have spent hours on this, and reached a conclusion like most others, AEBS does not have a usable NAS capability. If Apple releases a new firmware that fixes all the problems, may be, but right now BS in AEBS stands for plain old BS.

  3. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006
    Dont bother.

    Apples BS Extreme is the biggest POS I have come cross in my 12 years of using apples products. It is not just that the product is faulty (be it the drivers or the hardware itself) but the Apples responses are over the top..

    I have personally called to applecare now about 4 different times. First one was mainly because the unit didnt manage to WDS to my airport express and a bit because of the airdisk doesnt work.
    Next three calls were about the airdisk.

    Total time on telephone : 5 1/2 hours.
    Problem solved : No.
    Apple care denying that they have been reported of similar problems:Yes.
    Applecare ignorin my references to apples own site,wich is full of similar problems: Yes.

    So far they have suggested that :

    A) I am incompetent and have set up the system un-properly.
    B) I am harassing them.
    C) I have faulty unit.
    D) I am the first user to ever experience this kind of problem.
    F) I have interference by other radio traffic.
    G) My all 3 different tested drives are uncompatible / faulty.
    H) My all 4 different Macs are faulty and/or would need OS restore.

    Nice. I like.

    After new year I will start a campaing in wich demand a new unit,return it when it is faulty and call apple care couple of times a day.

    Viva :apple:!
  4. Eric1285 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2007
    Hmm, I see. I figured that since the return policy is 14 days, I might as well try to get it to work. Who knows, I might be really lucky. I've heard that you can get it to work by manually connecting to the air disk (using the connect to server thingy). I'm not going to waste a lot of time on this though, since it seems as if SO many people are having trouble with it. If I can't figure it out in an hour or two, it's going back to the Apple store. If they even think about trying to charge me that 10% restock fee, I'm going to raise hell.

    Has anyone tried sending an email to sjobs about this? I know that usually has pretty good results.
  5. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006
    Manual connection doesnt work.
    It refuses the password after some of the connected computers have gone to sleep,after that it is borked. It either refuses the password or says that airdisk isnt aviable.Only reset of the airport helps.
    If you would get it to work,please post how you did it. Here are few hunderd people around who would like to know...:D
    Personally havent emailed,but I could imagine there has been sent some angry notes to that address.People are starting to get very pissed about the issue. It is few months old now, and it is such a basic feature that just shouldnt be broken.

    And you shouldnt need to raise hell. The AEBS advertizes on a feature that doesnt work,so that shouldn be any kind of issue. If neccessary you can reproduce that easily in the store.

    Good luck!
  6. InfiniteLoop macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2005
    I think at the root of one of the problems with Airdisk is that it cannot handle uncleanly unmounted volumes (not sure if this is what happens with machines going to sleep). It chokes and says the disk needs repair. I cannot understand how Apple shipped Airdisk without being able to handle this. It is a USB drive, the user is bound to unplug accidentally or whatever, airdisk needs to be able run fscheck and mount it instead of throwing up its hands and saying needs repair. So when the disk is in that state, you have to take it to another machine that understands the type of fs and runs fscheck on it (i.e. any Mac). After that you may be able to mount it via Airdisk.

    Oh, the other thing to check is the contents of your /Volumes folder. After each failed attempt of Airdisk mounting a drive it leaves a mount point in there and keep creating new one with a decimal digit at the end. So just clean those up so that does not cause further problems itself.

    And yeah, if you figure out how to make Airdisk work you better apply for a job at Apple. I am sure SJ would pay you handsomely for it.

  7. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006
    The issue can be resolved by uploading either 7.1 or 7.1.1 firmware. It's not pretty but that's the resolution most people have had success with and I'm amongst their number.

    Here's a lengthy thread on the apple support forums that goes into the trials and tribulations of this promising but as of this moment fubar'ed piece of hardware:
  8. InfiniteLoop macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2005
    If you have the none-gigabit version you can downgrade the firmware to fix it (at a cost of problems with other things). If you have the gigabit version you are out of luck.
  9. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006
    Ok - I'll stop spouting off about that panacea then - sorry to even tantalize you gigabit guys :(

    7.1.1 loves to drop my printer connection after a nap and lord only knows how un-secure it might be. However - I am able to access my itunes library and storage at will so I'll deal w/it. Good luck to you guys that don't have this option.

    It's pretty disgusting that Apple is happy to charge a premium for this pos hardware and not stand behind it - especially if it's only a software fix... Perhaps a sign that they're spreading their developers a bit thin these days.
  10. Eric1285 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2007
    Ugh, hearing all these horror stories makes me not even want to try and get it to work. Add to that the fact that it doesn't seem to work with Xbox Live either (which my roommate would be very, very upset about). I'll give it a whirl when I get back to school on Wednesday, but at this point it looks like I'll probably be taking it back to the store and sticking with my trusty Linksys G router.
  11. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    The only way I been able to get Airport disk to work "reliably" (and I use that term loosely), is to make sure you unmount the disk successfully before you put your computer to sleep.

    The problem is, the drive doesn't always un-mount successfully. This is definitely a firmware issue. I have the non-gigabit version, and as others have said, earlier versions had the Airport disk working perfectly - but other things (like printing), were messed up.

    With the latest firmware, the printing works well, but now the Airdisk gets whacked when your computer sleeps...

    One can only hope that we get a firmware fix soon, but we have been waiting for months already...

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