12 Jan The Airport Disk Debacle.
Category: Apple, Personal

airdisk.pngI 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!

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7 Responses

  1. 1

    I was having similar problems and changing the drive to a GUID partition scheme cleared them up – may help you.

  2. 2

    The same, exactly, happened to me.
    Airport rocks, Airport disk sucks…

  3. 3

    I’ve encountered the same with a LaCiE 500GB HFS+ drive. I appreciate the effort on Apple’s part but something more reliable would definitely be nice. My MBP is the only Mac in the house and I agree that being able to use that network disk from anywhere in the house instead of using all of my local disk for music would be great. Has anyone had any more reliable experience with using a Mac Mini as a file server? Let’s hope that Apple addresses this during their next firmware update.

  4. The same happens to me all the time. I’ve completely given up on the feature now. It worked fine Pre-leopard, and even when I hadn’t yet upgraded my firmware to the latest release, but lately it just won’t work at all.

    I really hope they fix this.

  5. 5

    I have an original 802.11n Airport Extreme (the one prior to gigabit ethernet) with a 500gb hard drive connected via USB.

    I formatted the HD with Disk Utility and then set it up via the Airport Utility. The password is kept in my keychain and, thus far (knock wood), Leopard finds it just fine. It pops up in my sidebar and if I click on it, it mounts on my desktop.

    (The only problem I have is that when the HD is connected to the Airport, it’s “on” (with fan) constantly, even when ejected from Finder. I have to unplug it from Airport to get it to actually sleep).

  6. 6

    Had a lot of trouble with Airport Disk myself. After a lot of restarting, resetting, and searching far and wide, I found these fix(es). Though I can’t quite remember where I found them , the following items have kept me happy.

    1. Enable Guest Access, read only
    2. Most important=remember to eject the mounted volume before putting your Mac to sleep or shutting down.

    Number 2 was definitely the culprit, since I have not had any issue now that I remember to unmount. Hope it helps?!

  7. 7
    Ryan G 

    I had the exact same issues when I bought my airport. THe solution I found (somewhere in apple forums) worked great and everything now works as expected.

    1. Turn of IPV6 in the network settings of your computer
    2. Turn off IPV6 within the airport settings

    I think thats wabout it. I may have enabled guest access as well. Now everything works as expected.