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Avoid a bug that makes AirPort-connected drives unusable Other Hardware
We are hearing reports of a bug in the Airport software version 7.4.2 -- access to hard disks attached to the AirPort via USB become unusable after a few hours. You can't even access them through the Finder until the AirPort reboots. It's discussed in this thread on the Apple Forums, but there's been no official comment from Apple.

The solution is to revert to software version 7.4.1. To revert, run the AirPort Utility, click on the Summary tab (once you're in Manual Setup mode), and then click on the word Version -- this brings up a list of previous software versions, making it easy to move back one version.

[robg adds: I was having this problem myself, which was really bad as my Time Machine backups are on the attached disk. Every few hours, I'd have to reboot the AirPort to get Time Machine working again. Downgrading to 7.4.1 has solved the problem (going on two weeks now without a single failure). Note you can also reach the firmware options screen by selecting Base Station -> Upload Firmware.]
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Avoid a bug that makes AirPort-connected drives unusable | 14 comments | Create New Account
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Avoid a bug that makes AirPort-connected drives unusable
Authored by: rjbailey on Sep 21, '09 08:57:54AM

I don't have this problem. Actually I did, but that was before I started using a better USB hard disk. I tried a bunch of stuff including downgrading the AEBS firmware but what worked for me was to get a decent enclosure for my USB disk. I used to have some crappy Fantom drive, but I got a couple of NewerTech miniStack enclosures and they work perfectly. I haven't had a single problem since I started using them for TimeMachine backups on my AEBS.



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Avoid a bug that makes AirPort-connected drives unusable
Authored by: anthlover on Sep 22, '09 03:26:00AM

I do not have this problem with with Either a Dual Band now or prior with Regular Gig N.

I think part of the Issue is sleeping Drive/Cases

What Issue I did have has been with every version of Firmware and I can work around. This is from interrupting TM backups too many times closing my Macbook lid in the middle. For this you have to reboot and manually mount Airport Disk in the Finder including displaying viewing the contents of the drive as soon as you see the sparse bundle all is well.



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Avoid a bug that makes AirPort-connected drives unusable
Authored by: solitario on Sep 21, '09 10:21:09AM

With the 7.4.2 firmware I could only use a disk password, but with 7.4.1 I can use accounts again.



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Avoid a bug that makes AirPort-connected drives unusable
Authored by: estutes on Sep 21, '09 10:43:00AM

I had problems with the 7.4.2 firmware, and the only way I could get it to work was to down grade to the 7.4.1 version. The problem was the N net would make the airTunes drop out to the point it was unusable. I went on vacation, and the ATT gateway firmware was updated while I was gone. Sometime apparently the Airport upgraded itself, and I have had no problems with airTunes since. So if you have problems it may not be AAPL's fault, but the only way to fix it is to downgrade to 7.4.1 Note the Airport is connected to the ATT gateway via ethernet not wifi.



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Avoid a bug that makes AirPort-connected drives unusable
Authored by: Stormchild on Sep 21, '09 11:52:55AM

Never had any issues with this whatsoever. Guess it only affects certain configurations or use patterns.



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Avoid a bug that makes AirPort-connected drives unusable
Authored by: Toadling on Sep 21, '09 01:34:06PM

I haven't had any issues with this either. It is apparently only affecting some configurations.



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Avoid a bug that makes AirPort-connected drives unusable
Authored by: postglock on Sep 21, '09 03:17:39PM

In my case, not only could I not connect AirDisks, but I couldn't open up the configuration in AirPort Utility. In additon, AirPort Utility would show an orange error light, while the physical AirPort Extreme had a green light. I managed to hard reset the Extreme (unplug power, hold reset button down, then plug power back in), but this appeared to be only a temporary fix, and the problem would re-emerge after I re-entered my settings.

The only permutation that I came across that would work was to set the connection to 802.11n 2.4 GHz (it was 802.11n 5 GHz previously). Since then, it works as expected. I haven't tried reverting the firmware. Another post somewhere recommended selecting 802.11n 5 GHz, then option-click the channel to change it to 36. I haven't tried this either yet.



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Avoid a bug that makes AirPort-connected drives unusable
Authored by: deh2k on Sep 21, '09 05:51:50PM

I have been using an AEBS (dual band) with Time Machine for a couple of months now without any problems. I use it with three Macs which are a mixture of 10.5 and 10.6, 802.11g/802.11n 2.4GHz/802.11n 5Ghz. One thing I was wondering is if these problems are caused by AEBS firmware that was upgraded to 7.4.2. I have been using that version from the start.



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Avoid a bug that makes AirPort-connected drives unusable
Authored by: wmgclemson on Sep 21, '09 08:20:06PM

Question for ROBG, I missed the hint on using Airport attached drives with Time Machine. I should have known better than to take the Apple support site literally. Any suggestions?



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Avoid a bug that makes AirPort-connected drives unusable
Authored by: palahala on Sep 22, '09 03:24:24AM

I'm curious about that too. Google reveals quite a few websites that claim that the AirPort Extreme has supported Time Machine since March 2008 (firmware 7.3.1). But Apple still says Mac OS X 10.5: Time Machine doesn't back up to AirPort Extreme AirPort Disks (last modified: July 15, 2009).

Maybe things changed when Time Capsule was released?



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Avoid a bug that makes AirPort-connected drives unusable
Authored by: D-Man on Sep 22, '09 04:40:42AM

Looking over the comments on Mac OS X hints as well as the linked support article, I am curious to know if anyone encountering this issue has run fsck_hfs -r or any other disk software. While I do not run a Time Machine backup on my Airport Extreme, I have found both connected hard drives have file system issues. fsck_hfs -r has fixed every issue except for one. Both drives, after having run fsck_hfs multiple times continue to report:

Volume Header needs minor repair (2, 0) 


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Avoid a bug that makes AirPort-connected drives unusable
Authored by: davidkstyler on Sep 22, '09 11:03:10AM

My problem with Airport Extreme is with the USB printer connection. I usually turn the printer off when it is not in use.
When I turn the printer back on the AE does not see the printer until I restart the AE . Is there a fix for this?



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Apple says that Time Machine doesn't work with Airport Extreme USB disks
Authored by: josi on Sep 23, '09 08:09:18AM
Apple says that Time Machine doesn't work with Airport Extreme USB disks: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2038

Am I missing something?

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Apple says that Time Machine doesn't work with Airport Extreme USB disks
Authored by: MarkSieber on Sep 27, '09 09:12:05AM

This was the party line from about the time of Time Capsule's release, but I've had no problems using Time Machine (though some correspondents did.) I'm running a plain AEBS with attached Maxtor 160G and Iomega 500G drives--but I am using Airport Utility v. 7.3.2; both 7.4.1 and 7.4.2 break the 802.11n connection, which I prefer for the higher connection speed.

I have used Time Machine on both drives (when the 160G started filling up I moved to the larger drive.) I backup weekly, and turn the backup drive off when not backing up as it tends to spin up when not needed.

I run the Maxtor all the time for ongoing iTunes and Quicken backups (not TM.)

I am running 10.6.1, but previously ran various versions of 10.5--and Time Machine worked just fine with the USB drives plugged into the AEBS.



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