Trouble connecting drives to Airport Extreme

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Schmactor, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. Schmactor, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014

    Schmactor macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2014
    #1
    I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Also not sure what to expect and can't find any real instruction anywhere:

    I have the latest version of Airport Extreme. I have connected a brand new Anker USB 3.0 7-Port Hub (powered) to the USB port. I have tried connecting several different external drives, mostly G-drives, to the hub. None of them show up on my mac as available drives. The drives are all USB 2.0 but I believe 3.0 is backwards compatible, yes?

    If I open a finder window, the Airport Extreme shows up as an available device on the network, and any connected drives show up as folders within it. However when opening those folders nothing happens. I just get an endless spinning "loading circle" in the bottom right corner of the window. None of the contents of any drive ever appear, it just seems to be stuck in loading the info. This happens with all drives. Also, if I hit the "disconnect" button at the top of the window, nothing happens either. If I go into the Airport Utility it does show all the drives as connected.

    (I should also add that everything works exactly the same way if I connect the drives directly to the Airport Extreme and not the hub, including the drives with their own power source)

    Here are my goals. I thought this was going to be simple and straight forward, but maybe someone can walk me through this:

    I want to connect several external hard drives as well as a printer to my Airport Extreme so that I can have wireless access to all of them. If possible, I'd also like to be able to boot wirelessly from them since a couple contain an emergency recovery partition. But mainly, I would use them for media files and backups. I'd also like to restrict access to these drives by anyone on my wireless network by requiring a password to access them.

    Questions: Are the drives supposed to show up as separate available drives on my mac? Or will they always appear as folders within the Airport Extreme? And how do the security settings work? - I have a password to access my home network and I want to add a password to access the drives through the network.

    I'm not sure what steps I've missed or did wrong and any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you!
     
  2. ColdCase, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #2
    What format did you use? Is there still an enable file sharing thing in the airport control panel you need to enable? Did you enable with same password as the AEBS? Did you try restarting the AEBS with drives attached?

    In the finder, they do show up as what looks like folders, similar to what a NAS drive would look like. I haven't done it in awhile, someone with more current knowledge should jump in here. But after you create a disk image in the AEBS drive folder (using disk utility), when you double click on the image, it will mount just as if the drive is locally attached. We used to do this when we wanted a disk encrypted type file space.
     
  3. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #3
    That's the first question to ask! AFAIK, AirPort basestation only recognises disks formatted in HFS. Not sure which partition schemes does it like, but the current OS X default (GPT) works like charm.
     
  4. Schmactor thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2014
    #4
    Thanx for the reply. Here's an update:

    The issue seems to be with how I configure the "Secure Shared Disks" option in the "Disks" menu of Airport Utility.

    If I choose "With Accounts" I can gain access to the drives. On my mac I am prompted to enter my user name and password which I set up in Airport Utility. Then the drives appear. However, the other 2 options "With a disk password" and "With device password" cause problems. If I select these the Airport Extreme appears in the finder, but it never loads the drives and the circle in the bottom right of the window just keeps spinning. Also if I click "get info" on the Airport Extreme, under "More Info" is says "Fetching" and also shows a spinning circle and never changes. At the top of the finder window it either says "Connected" with a button to "Disconnect" or "Not Connected" with a button to "Connect As..." Either way, clicking these buttons does absolutely nothing, the wheels just keep spinning.

    The "Connect As..." button does work if I am using the "With Accounts" security option, but it really should work with the other two options as well. I'd really like to use one of the other 2 options. The "Accounts" option creates an extra user folder I really don't need. I simply want to password protect access to the connected drives so that friends can use my internet with their own devices but not have access to the connected drives.

    I suppose I can use the "With accounts" option for now but I'd really like to know how to make the other options work.
     
  5. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 8, 2014
    #5
    Out of curiosity, does anyone attach drives to the AEBS and get anywhere near decent performance? Anytime I've tried they've lasted minutes before putting them back where they came from. In my case, over Ethernet.

    In the OP's situation sounds like drives attached to a hub attached to the AEBS. Workable as in practical?
     
  6. Schmactor thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2014
    #6
    NEW UPDATE:

    The "With Accounts" option has stopped working too. It worked once and never again. I was thinking maybe it was a power issue, but I am trying with one drive that has it's own power supply. And also, all the drives do appear under "Disks" in the Airport Utility. But when trying to access on my mac i just get that spinning wheel. Frustrating.
     
  7. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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  8. Schmactor thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    ColdCase, I'm ashamed to say that restarting the computer seems to have fixed the issue. (Doh!) I'll post if I run into any new problems.

    Ray2 - I'd also love to hear any performance related info regarding USB connecting to AEBS. It already seems obvious it will be much slower than connecting with firewire directly to the computer. How does one connect drives with ethernet if they only have USB, Firewire, or SATA ports?
     
  9. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #9
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #10
    In a word, performance is terrible. Here's what I got over gigabit ethernet. The same disk clocks at over 100MB/s when directly connected to the Mac. A shared disk on a Mac Mini on the same network also clocks at over 100MB/s.

    [​IMG]

    This test was actually done with an external drive on a Time Capsule. See this thread for more info, another user posted test results with an external drive on an Airport Extreme and it was even slower. :confused:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1747622
     
  11. Schmactor thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    So what are the better options for connecting wirelessly to external drives?
     
  12. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #12
    The internal drive on a Time Machine is about twice as fast - see the thread I linked to above.

    A Mac Mini running file sharing is much faster though. This is gigabit ethernet

    [​IMG]


    But you specifically mentioned "wirelessly". What kind of Mac are you using? Does it have the new 802.11ac wifi? If not, then that will be a bottleneck. Here's what I get with 802.11ac wifi on my 2013 MBA connecting to a shared disk on a Mini

    [​IMG]


    Of course you could also get a NAS. But one nice thing about the mini is that it can also be an iTunes server that makes you library available on all your Macs, iDevices and AppleTVs. :)
     
  13. ColdCase, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #13
    I found that Mavericks appears to have some file share type quirks that perhaps you were not aware of. Once in awhile it just seems to get into a funk. I don't recall these issues with earlier OS versions.

    And as others have mentioned, file sharing with a AEBS or TC is slow. Using a mac mini host provides much better performance.... probably better than equivalently priced NAS boxes. I just finished moving from a TC/AEBS and low end synology SYDS212JK2 NAS to a mini server and there is quite a difference in performance. There still are Maverick type quirks, but not many. The synology and TC are now just storing CCC and TM backups, something they are very good at.
     
  14. Donfor39 macrumors 6502a

    Donfor39

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    #14
    quick test via macbook/aes/500 mb wd usb2 external hdd
     

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