Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Oct 5, 2010 11:21 PM by morbeck
YardTime Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have an external Hard drive plugged into the USB port of my AEBS. When I run the Airport Utility I can see the disk listed and I have set it to allow sharing. This is, however, the only place I can find the hard drive. How am I supposed to access it with my computer?

The only access I have to my AEBS is via the AirPort utility as well. I have pinged the address ( and it does respond. However, I'm unable to find it on my network via the address.

I apologize if I'm missing the obvious here, but I'm not sure what I need to do to access the drive. Also I think I saw a reference somewhere to the disk needing to be formatted in the FAT32 protocol. Is that accurate or is NTFS ok?

Thanks for your help!

HP Pavillion dv7, Windows 7
  • YardTime Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    No replies? No suggestions? Not even a "welcome to the forum?" Come on people, throw me a bone!

  • YardTime Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm very happy with the AirPort Extreme other than not being able to find my hard drive and not being able to get support from Apple. That part is very frustrating.
  • Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So - I am also having a problem with Windows accessing a USB harddrive. I can confirm that it must be either FAT32 or the MAC format HFS+ (I think). Once you do this, you should be able to mount the drive under windows.

    The problem I am having is as soon as I copy a lot of stuff to the drive - it fails.

    Good Luck.

  • Stachal Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I got my Apple Extreme to work with HFS+ does not work with NTFS. Works with Fat32 but you have size limitations on partitions. Only issue I have now is getting windows 7 to work with my Drive.. its works for a min than fails.. i notice after it fails Windows 7 see's the drive as FAT32 which its not.. windering if anyone else is where im at..
  • Stachal Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    on a side note it works perfectly fine with XP =/
  • mmf1pitt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm having the same issue. The external HD is seen on base station "Disk" however unable to access it from my PC laptop running Windows 7. It's formatted to NTSF but FAT32 would cut my storage capacity and wouldn't be worth it. Any solutions from Apple yet? I'm done playing with this darn thing.
  • bdfoster1989 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    There is a size limitation of 32 GB if formatted to FAT32. As far as it actually working even if you have the right format, who knows. I can't get a 16 GB flash drive formatted to FAT32 to work properly. There's got to be some sort of tool out there to be able to format a drive to HFS+.
  • Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    After previously spending several hours trying to resolve the issue myself...An hour on the phone with AppleCare...Another 3o minutes in an Apple store (where I'd toted my laptop, hard drive, and AEBS) with a "genius"...I finally managed to get my 500GB WD external Hard Drive hooked up to my AEBS and visible and accessible to my laptop running Windows 7 (just upgraded from Vista).

    First, the bottom line....AEBS definitely does NOT work with NTFS. I tried every trick I could think of but it was all to no avail. Ultimately I reformatted my hard drive to be FAT32 rather than NTFS by hooking it up directly to my laptop and running a utility called "fat32format" which you can find at this lnk"

    Several people have noted the usual limits imposed by Windows on a FAT32 formatted drive but I was able to successfully format my 500GB drive with the tool above without issue. Once I did that I hooked it up to my AEBS and by the time I got back to my laptop (my router's in another room) I had a pop-up window on my screen notifying me of the newly available drive on my network. Such a beautiful thing!!!

    I hope this post helps some of you folks avoid the degree of frustration I experienced while trying to get my AEBS and external hard drive to play nicely together!
  • Clarki100 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have a similar issue, though with XP. I have tried a number of different disks and have formatted them to FAT32 - the issue is that I can see the drives via Airport Utility, but I can't map them as network drives.
    The router publishes it's IP address as but is not is not reachable via this address. I can ping the router at from all the devices on the network, but can't browse to it or map the disk to it. Any ideas welcome!
  • eliealkobey Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    i'm having the SAME problem... did you ever figure it out?????
  • citrixguy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    When I connected a 500GB WD USB drive, formated NTFS, the airport saw 149GB drive. I configured it for file sharing and set a disk password. I was not able to access the drive.

    I removed it from the airport and plugged it back into my Windows 7 machine and now my widows machine will not see the disk. I have tried rebooting the laptop, rebooting the hard drive and re-adding the device in windows.

    Any thoughts on what happened to the drive that will not let windows recognize it anymore?
  • ajford76 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    You need to have you disk formatted as as Mac Os Journaled which can be done with the Disk Utility, just make sure to backup what you have on the USB drive first. Here is a good tutorial.

    Everything should work fine, and if you are just storing files from Windows you won't have any issues.

    Does anyone know how to set up an automatic Backup from Windows 7 to the USB HDD, manually backing up is about as good as not backing up in my book.
  • WRHull Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I would rather not reformat my drive to FAT32. I can't believe Apple didn't make the Airport Extreme compatible with an NTFS file storage format. Is there an update that involves setting up an external HD over a network while keeping the file format as NTFS? I have a 1TB HD that I have family pictures and video on and would hate to lose the files through a backup.

    Can Apple please come out with an update for the router that involves external HD compatibility on a Windows 7 system as NTFS?
  • Guymoose Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks. That worked!
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