SMB Share keeps dropping

dawindmg08

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 25, 2008
115
17
Los Angeles
With the death of the Time Capsules I've been looking for alternate centralized backup solutions. I had a USB3 RAID enclosure laying around so I bought some new WD drives for it and then tried to find a way to get it onto my local network. I found this cheap little guy on Amazon (SSK Wireless Hard Drive adapter) and I thought, "huzzah! This is a perfect solution!"

Eh, not so much.

The SSK adapter allows for WLAN or LAN sharing of hard drives -- but only for PC-formatted drives and only over SMB. So I had to get around the HFS+ and AFP requirements for Time Machine. I formatted it as ExFAT and then created 4 sparsebundles, once for each Mac in my house (Mini, iMac, 2 laptops). Then I mounted the RAID directly to the Mini as a test and used Terminal to designate it's sparse bundle as a backup location. That worked, and I did the first backup over USB. Then I unplugged it and attached the wireless adapter, with a plan to mount the sparse bundle over SMB and then add it to the Startup Items list and keep it connected.

I can't get the damned thing to stay mounted.

The adapter settings are sparse (I can access via their app or my iPhone) but I've turned on SAMBA and given it a static IP. When I use the Go>Connect to Server menu it will connect, but then takes a long time to show the contents of the RAID (it's 8TB though it's not even close to full). The file directory pops up briefly and then it dismounts. If I go through the Finder and the Network pane I can see the adapter ("AirCloud") and sometimes I can connect that way, though it eventually disconnects as well. It never shows up in the Finder sidebar on it's own. I can ping it and there is no packet loss, it just won't stay mounted.

I've read about other users having issues with SMB shares disappearing in Mojave (or even earlier OSs) especially with large disks so I think that may be the issue. I tried the instructions here to disable SMB caching but that hasn't helped. In all likelihood it's the adapter, since it's cheap and probably made for less robust uses (like sharing a small USB drive to an iPhone). The company is Chinese and their web site sucks, so I'm not holding my breath to get any decent technical support.

Is there some other networking trick I should try, or am I just tilting at windmills here? Even if I get the adapter to work I'm not sure the sparsebundles will stay mounted all day in order to facilitate regular Time Machine backups. I could reformat to HFS+ and just plug it into one of the Macs and call it day, but I'd really like to get it on the LAN on it's own so that it's a standalone option like the Time Capsule. If there's another USB>LAN adapter out there that works I'm all ears!
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2015
982
263
on the land line mr. smith.
Hey.

Any reason you don't just use a Mac friendly NAS...like a Synology? Something that supports AFP, SMB, lets you tune and easily settings, and supports Time Machine? You already have the drives, so s bare NAS could solve your issues, and be much easier to configure, maintain, and trust. No?
 

dawindmg08

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 25, 2008
115
17
Los Angeles
UPDATE: I wound up trashing the device and reformatting the whole RAID to HFS+, and adding it as an additional disk under my current Time Capsule. The TC hasn't been working right (and is too small now) but bridging the USB port to the network still works, so I've been able to mount the RAID as a Time Machine disk on all my Macs.

Wasn't worth the hassle with the SMB mounting issue.