I got a nice Airport Extreme router, with gigabit ethernet, 802.11n-draft wi-fi, and a shiny USB port. Since I also keep most of my stuff on my external USB drive, I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to hook up my movies and music to the router, so I could watch movies and listen to my music wherever I went, and regardless of the computer I was on. I set up the Airport, plugged in the disk, and walked back to my laptop.
Having heard the volumes are supposed to just pop up on your desk or into your Finder sidebar, I was a little confused when nothing happened. I hit CMD+K to connect to my router’s IP address and mount the filesystems. After entering my base station password at the authentication prompt, I was presented with my disk’s partitions. It worked great, I bittorrented in some files while transferring my music collection to the drive over wi-fi, and listening to some music I already had on there. The speed was phenomenal, and I was astonished by the load the router handled without dropping packets. There wasn’t a hitch, and I went to bed happily.
The next day, I tried to mount my volumes again to listen to some music. It went as far as the list of volumes and that was about it, as trying to use any of the disk’s volumes presented me with errors. Time for a reset, I figured, and I reset my Airport, walked back to my desk, and fiddled with the options. I found that with guest access on, I could actually mount the volumes, but they would just be empty, and failed to load. Without guess access, all it presented me with was errors. I reset, applied different settings, and tried it again. Not a chance. After enough resetting and setting-changes, the router popped up in my sidebar. While it’s fantastic to stare at what seems like a floating white brick, I’d prefer my files. It’s now about two and a half days of fiddling later, I’ve just given up on the Airport Disk feature.
I’ve found more people with this problem, although must seem to be using a FAT-32 formatted disk, or an Airport without the latest firmware update. Since I have a 500GB HFS+ formatted disk hooked up to an up-to-date Airport Extreme, I guess I’m just out of luck – no wireless external disk for me.
If you have a solution, ideas, or have experienced similar issues – your input is welcome as always!