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Can't get both hard drives to work via USB with Airport Extreme

266 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: May 1, 2013 7:41 PM by Bob Timmons RSS
Raja Hornstein Calculating status...
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Apr 27, 2013 7:02 PM

I have two hard disks attached to a powered USB hub and then the hub attached to the USB port on an Airport Extreme. In general, only one of them shows up in the Finder. I have tried starting one drive first, then the other, starting them both before connecting to the Airport, turning either of them off and on. Once, only once, I got them to both show up, but I can't figure out what I did. That setup was stable through restarts, but I had to do something with one of the drives and after I was done, I was back to only one drive at a time. Large disappointment about Mac ease of use. Any ideas?

OS X Mountain Lion
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,475 points)

    I've had the same issue. It's not the Mac that is at fault. It's the powered hub. 


    Try another brand.


    Dynex at Best Buy has worked well for me....4 drives all hooked up simultaneously in a recent test. Flawless operation using LaCie drives.


    I would avoid any hub with the Belkin name on it.  (Tried 3 different models and none worked).

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,475 points)

    Good luck with the brand that you choose. It might be the answer for you.


    In my case, the "no name" brand has worked perfectly for months while I had constant reliability issues with the "name" brand through 3 different operating systems....Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion.


    Foolishly, I blamed the problems on the Mac operating systems.

  • LaPastenague Level 7 Level 7 (32,660 points)

    Raja Hornstein wrote:


    I saw a post saying precisely the opposite, i.e. only the Belkin one works. I've been using a D-Link and just ordered a Belkin. This makes me think that it's not the hub.

    Bob asked me to poke my nose in.. but he is smarter than me when it comes to USB.


    Brand name hubs, still use a whole variety of USB chips.. depending on who is the cheapest supplier this week.. some work and some don't as the firmware in the Extreme has very little space for drivers. .so only a few major ones are available.. Since it did work though I would not expect it to stop working. Power supplies especially my experience with dlink suggests they are the cheapest known to man.. 5v 2a supply they should be using and about the size of a mobile phone charger are often pathetic.. and that is a kindness.


    Mostly when the hub is plugged into the Mac it works fine. Which adds no end to the confusion. But the OS has a lot more room for drivers of a far greater range of chips.


    I would plug the hub into the mac with both hard disks.. then do a careful check of the format on both.. a verify but make sure both are formatted HFS+ (ie the Mac OS extended journaled) and GUID partition not MBR as for windows or even AFP which is older apple standard.. both disks should be the same.

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,475 points)

    If Best Buy will give you a return privilege, try a Dynex hub.


    It has worked flawlessly for me for many months. By far the best hub that I have used...and I've used many of them. But others will probably say it is junk.


    No one can say if it will work or not for you. Good luck.



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