8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 14, 2012 5:00 PM by macuser312
The Craetor Level 1 Level 1



I have a Time Capsule and a Buffalo portable hard drive (which is powered by USB only). When I plug the portable hard drive into the USB port on the Time Capsule, I can connect to the portable drive, i.e., I can see my drive's name and free space; however, I cannot see the files and directories on my portable drive. Furthermore, I can connect to the Time Capsule's internal drive fine, and the Time Capsule USB port functions fine when my printer is plugged in. I have read about Time Capsule not being able to recognise external drives if they are powered by USB only, but this does not seem to be the problem as I can see my portable drive's name and free space. Any suggestions on the cause and solution? I am using the latest versions of Lion and Time Capsule firmware.



Time Capsule, Other OS
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10

    The drive needs to be formatted in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or FAT32.  Your drive is likely formatted in either Windows NTFS or exFAT, which will not work on the Time Capsule.


    If you find that the drive is already formatted for Mac or FAT32, it may also be necessary to use a powered USB hub with drive to supply adequate power.

  • The Craetor Level 1 Level 1

    Hello, my drive is formatted correctly. If the portable drive is inadequately powered, Time Capsule may simply not recognise the drive; in this case, I can see the drive's name and free space; when I try to connect to it via the Time Capsule, it recognises no error.


    Thanks for your help.

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10

    My Time Capsule can read the drive name of a WD USB drive that I have, but not read the drive. When I add a powered USB hub, it can read the drive. This might work for you as well.

  • RazRut Level 1 Level 1

    Hey. I got exact same issue.

    My HDD is foramted FAT32 and non-Powered one.

    I can connect and see the drive is available on TC as Connected USB drive with proper Drive name ( so confirm its not part of TC partiion.)


    I can't see anything sitting on USB drive. If I connect USB drive to MAC , I can see the containt and formated FAT32.


    Anything wrong? here/// Come on

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10

    Did you try a powered USB hub with the TC?


    Hopefully, you are not expecting the drive to simply "show up" on the desktop.....as if it were connected directly to your Mac using USB.


    If the drive is formatted correctly and has sufficient power, it is now a shared network drive. You have to access it accordingly.


    Open Macintosh HD and look under the SHARED heading in the Finder for the AirPort Extreme and click on the icon to display a folder representing the hard drive. Double click the folder to mount the drive on the desktop.


    Or, in click the Go menu item in the Finder and then click Network to see the AirPort Extreme icon, etc.

  • RazRut Level 1 Level 1

    hmm. have spend 1 hr with Apple and no output.

    have formatted couple drives with various options FAT32, Apple Supported.. No Luck.


    USB printer works fine.


    USB powered device, non power device. ( not single-- various devices tried)


    as per Apple KBA it should work.. but fortunately its not working.




    Apple Support is finding the resolution.. keep you update.

  • macuser312 Level 1 Level 1

    I have an alternate solution that no one has seemed to offer yet:


    * Do you have multi-user support enabled for TimeCapsule? 


    * Do you have a "Shared" folder on your external hard drives?


    After viewing "zero items" and the correct free drive space over the network on my extrenal drive, I decided to plug the hard drive directly into my mac to make sure my files were still there. 


    That's when I noticed this new folder at the root of the drive (that I didn't create): "Shared".


    I moved all my data into the Shared folder, and then plugged the drive back into TimeCapsule.  Now I can see all my files over the network!


    It's possible that your issue is similar to mine, but my guess is the "Shared folder on an external drive" thing is only an issue for those of us leveraging Time Capsule's multi-user support.




    As a side note, I see this "Shared" folder as a perk.  You can actually keep stuff on the external hard drive that is not accessable over the network when you plug it into the TimeCapsule.  It's convenient in that sense.  But, anyone dependent on absolute paths to their data will now be forced to move everything into "Shared" to access it via the network.

  • macuser312 Level 1 Level 1

    Side note: my drives are Lacie Rugged drives (a 500GB and a 1TB).  Each of them is formatted to have two volumes: a 32 GB NTFS drive, and the remaining is Mac OS extended Journaled.