After months of simply letting my hard drive woes with the Airport Extreme stew in the back of my mind and dealing with the consequences, I finally got off my duff and tried each of the suggestions people so graciously left in the comments of the post where I described said woes. I’m happy to say that I’ve managed to get it working again – and so I’ve updated the post to reflect that.
Since there seems to be a lot of people having this same issue and not a lot being said about solving the issue, I thought I’d write a quick post to document the process of fixing this problem.
I’ve owned an Airport Extreme for awhile and, just this weekend, out of the blue my Airdisk (a 500GB USB Hard Drive) won’t mount to the Airport Extreme anymore. If I connect the USB hard drive to my computer directly, it mounts just fine, all of the files are there, and there is seemingly no issue with the drive or the cable.
Things I’ve tried so far
- Restarting the Airport Extreme – I did this by unplugging it with the hard drive on, off, plugged in, unplugged, etc. I’ve rebooted it several times.
- Restarting the hard drive – as with the Airport Extreme, I tried multiple combinations in order to get the AE to recognize the disk.
- Update the firmware – as coincidence would have it a new version of the Airport Extreme firmware became available this weekend and so I’ve now updated to that version of both the firmware and the Airport Utility software.
- Trying to directly access the drive through /volumes/TempleArchives/ etc.
- Using the Airport Utility > Manual Setup > Disks pane. The drive does not show up there at all.
Looking at the activity LEDs for the drive it seems as though the Airport Extreme never really sees the drive being connected at all. Â My last assumption, so far, is that the USB port on my Airport Extreme may have died. My next attempt at seeing if that is true is to connect a printer or some other USB device through that same port to see if that is the cause.
To be updated…
Update June 12, 2009: – Finally, an update! I was so frustrated by this problem that I actually didn’t work on it for months. I hooked up my USB hard drive directly into my laptop and dealt with it.
I’m happy to say that as of today I’ve gotten the USB hard drive mounted to my Airport Extreme again!
I ended up trying most, if not all, of the suggestions in the comments (thanks so much to everyone that wrote out a detailed suggestion for me try, you’re too kind). However it was Scott’s suggestion to connect the USB hard drive to a USB hub prior to plugging the drive into the AExtreme that ended up doing the trick. My Airport Extreme is currently running on firmware 7.3.2, instead of 7.4, and is connected to a USB hub and then to the drive. For now, that is working and I’m sticking with it until I dare update the firmware again to see if the “hub idea” continues to work with the updated version of the firmware.
Again, thanks to all for your suggestions. I hope anyone that finds this (which is about 100 people per day currently) can go through the suggestions and find one that works for them.
I have been to my fair share of conferences that give away flash drives to attendees. Sometimes they come in a bag of schwag with a bunch of other worthless things. Print magazines full of ads, stickers, and pins among them.
This isn’t to say that no shwag bags aren’t full of useful things. Just that typically the offerings aren’t all that exciting and you just end up tossing the lot of it.
At Podcamp Hawai’i, however, it was different. Instead of giving away a worthless flash drive to every attendee, Kingston (or whomever was the primary sponsor for this particular little gadget) gave away useful flash drivesÂ to a few attendees. And by a few I mean at least 25. How is this flash drive any different from the others? It has 2GB of space and isn’t tethered to a 3ft. long lanyard that you’ll just end up throwing out anyway.
You see, at most events that I’veÂ receivedÂ a free flash drive, the capacity ranged from 64Mb to 125Mb. Sure, you could easily throw a few documents onto one of these sticks and hand it off to a friend – but in today’s new media world, we’re dealing with much larger file sizes. I mean, I have Keynote presentations larger than 125Mb.
Kingston’s 2GB USB flash drive is just about the right size for almost anything you want to transfer to someone using one of these tools. I used it at least 3 times during Podcamp Hawai’i.
My friend Matt, a fan of all things Apple and future switcher, owns a laptop. Actually it is a tablet-PC and has all of the latest hardware and software including a 64bit processor and gobs of RAM. Though my blood runs thick with Mac-cells, I know a good piece of hardware when I see it, and Matt’s laptop is top-of-the-line. There is only one problem; it came pre-installed with Windows Vista.
I’ve only got limited experience with Vista but from that limited experience I have drawn the opinion that if I were forced to use the Operating System full time I’d likely jump off of a bridge. This isn’t to say that I’m not willing to admit that in many ways Vista is vastly superior to its predecessors (like, say, in the security department) but I don’t even like the way that it does these few things better. You know what? We’ll get into this at a whole different time, b’okay?
So Matt has a great laptop that runs Vista. Fast forward to ‘the other day’ and Matt picked himself up a brand-new shiny iPhone. If you know Matt, and some of you reading this do, you’ll know that at this point Matt’s blood is practically boiling with excitement. He probably can’t shut his mouth for even a second and his hair has gone straight. This kid wanted an iPhone pretty badly.
Matt calls me: “Dude, I got an iPhone! Now what do I need to do? Just go home and plug it in right?” My reply: “Yeah. Everything should work man you just bought an Apple product. Go home. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes and you should be all good.”
I think by now you realize where this is going. Matt installed the latest version of iTunes, plugged in his iPhone and received the following message: “iPhone not recognized in this version of iTunes.” This message is a bit of a misnomer but I’ll skip right to the part where I explain what is going on here.
During the iTunes installation Vista blocked the iPhone’s USB driver from being installed.
It is pretty much as simple as that. I don’t care if there are good or bad reasons for why this happens. And I don’t care whose fault it is because I’m blaming both Apple and Microsoft for not displaying an error message about how to fix the issue. But I think this sucks.
Oh, you know what sucks worse: If you are running Windows Vista 64bit you can not use iPhone. You will get this same error message mention above only you won’t be able to solve the issue like we did. It is merely a footnote on Apple’s Web site under minimum system requirements for iPhone. I am not sure if this is Apple dragging its feet on a 64bit driver for Windows or if this is something on Microsoft’s end.
So here is how you fix it in the 32bit version of Windows Vista; You need to turn off UAC, User Access Control, before you begin the iTunes installation. So if you’ve already installed iTunes, uninstall it using the same installer that you used to install iTunes, then turn off UAC by opening your Control Panel and searching for User Access Control in the top right hand search box. Install iTunes again, and voila!
I’m happy that there is a solution, and I’m not that bitter, it just took way too long to find the answer to this problem and I would love to see Apple or Microsoft handle this issue a little better. Having a better error message would go a long way I think.
Combine this UAC headache and the fact that we couldn’t activate iPhone for him until the next day and you see why we were frustrated.
My next story will be about Epson’s printers. Have you had any crappy tech experiences lately? Pingback this post if you have.