Ok -- I've given up on a TimeMachine backup to a HD via USB with AIX -- nonetheless, when I plug in either of two USB drives, correctly formatted, etc., they seems to "spin up" fine, but I still see neither in Go > Connect to Server > Browse.
Further, in Airport Utility, under Disks, neither USB drive shows up ...
Are you sure that there is not enough power from the AIX for this purpose -- usually, Apple is well considered in its functionality ...?
Everything that you are describing indicates that the drives are not receiving sufficient power from the USB port on the AirPort Extreme.
I have three hard drives here....LaCie, WD, and another LaCie. Each one of them works fine when connected directly to a Mac.
But none of the same drives will work when they are connected to the USB port on an AirPort Extreme.....unless...I use a powered USB hub.
If I use a powered USB hub, I can connect all three drives to the USB port on the AirPort Exteme simultaneously and they all work fine.
I cannot guarantee that a powered USB hub will provide you with service that you want.....but your chances will improve tremendously if you use a powered USB hub.
In trying another approach I connected via ethernet an aging MBP 15" to the AIX and set up file sharing, etc. as a server. I also have a FW drive sonnected to the 15".
I can Go > Connect to Server > Browse to see the 15" and the FW drive on the network, mount them and add/delete files to it.
Nonethelss -- I still can't get TM or AirPort Untility to see the 15" or FW drive -- what am I missing?
TM over network to FW shared drive is an interesting work around.
There are some tricks to this kind of setup.
Make sure BTW the drive is partitioned GUID .. if it was a windows drive at some point it may still have MBR.. and that will not work... in some cases.
It is better to connect AFP than SMB.. but I presume you are doing that although you don't state it.
I would try using ethernet to do the setup as well.. not just wireless.
Wireless should be in the same vlan as the ethernet.. but I have run into troubles recently where things weren't what they appeared.
Yea, yea -- its Mac only network, etc., using AFP.
I am setting up with ethernet from the Mini; ie. Mini > AIX (to router via ethrnet) < MPB 15" & FW Drive -- all hardwire connections ...
Wirelessly only from MBP 13" to AIX < AIX (to router via ethrnet) < MPB 15" & FW Drive.
No go in each case ... fwiw, etc.