I moved my modem, Airport Extreme Base Station and six hard drives connected with a USB hub to a couple of new shelves fitted on the underside of the bottom treads of our upper staircase. It seemed to be a nice, central place in our three storey house, out of harm's way so we can avoid having heaps of wires in a bedroom as previously, where there was always the danger of hard drives getting knocked or their wires caught. I also like the idea of sleeping not quite so near a wi-fi source and having a bedroom as a bedroom, not a technology haven!
Since attaching everything and replacing the USB hub with another powered one (the first one stopped working once I'd got everything together), I found that my Airport Utility was not recognisng the Base Station even when the green light was on and the internet working. The network already has security settings from when it was upstairs, so that's not a problem; but the inability to access the hard drives is!.
After a heck of a lot of fiddling I went to the extreme solution of re-installing the system (OS Lion) onto my ageing MacBook Pro (late 2006). When I came back to my computer everything was working fine and I was able to connect up all my hard drives.
Then, on the stroke of midnight, my glass slipper turned into a Wellington boot. I suddenly realised my lovely new connection had gone and that my drives and internet had vanished. It was gone from my iPhone as well and the amber light had replaced the green one on the Base Station.
I did a paperclip reset on my base station which had no effect, but I eventually got the green light back by unplugging and leaving it for a few minutes. Going back to my computer, it could again see the Base Station. Hooray!
But I cheered too soon. I clicked on Manual (using Airport Utility 5.6 which I find more useful than the new one, although I do have both). Nothing happened for ages and then I got the dreaded message that there was an error reading the configuration file -6753 - YET AGAIN!.
It took ages to download the system from my recovery partition (why it tells me I'm going to need 128 hours to download something that will fit onto a smallish flashdrive I'll never know, but in the end it took considerably less than that). I really don't want to be re-installing my system every night so I can use my Airport disks again each day. Is there a quicker way of doing it - by maybe throwing away some corrupted preference file or other? I treated all my equipment like Dresden China bar one vertical Seagate drive that kept falling over every time I plugged something in near it - but that seems to be working OK anyway. Nothing else got hurt and I have made space between all the different units so overheating isn't a problem (in case anyone's wondering, yes, I will fit a smoke alarm on the underside of the stairs above just in case!).
There are several threads relating to this problem on these forums. However none seem to be any more current than 2010 so I'd be grateful for any advice that makes sense on a current system. Thanks!