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Question

Trouble connecting drives to Airport Extreme

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Also not sure what to expect and can't find any real instruction anywhere:

I have the latest version of Airport Extreme. I have connected a brand new Anker USB 3.0 7-Port Hub (powered) to the USB port. I have tried connecting several different external drives, mostly G-drives, to the hub. None of them show up on my mac as available drives. The drives are all USB 2.0 but I believe 3.0 is backwards compatible, yes?

If I open a finder window, the Airport Extreme shows up as an available device on the network, and any connected drives show up as folders within it. However when opening those folders nothing happens. I just get an endless spinning "loading circle" in the bottom right corner of the window. None of the contents of any drive ever appear, it just seems to be stuck in loading the info. This happens with all drives. Also, if I hit the "disconnect" button at the top of the window, nothing happens either. If I go into the Airport Utility it does show all the drives as connected.

Here are my goals. I thought this was going to be simple and straight forward, but maybe someone can walk me through this:

I want to connect several external hard drives as well as a printer to my Airport Extreme so that I can have wireless access to all of them. If possible, I'd also like to be able to boot wirelessly from them since a couple contain an emergency recovery partition. But mainly, I would use them for media files and backups. I'd also like to restrict access to these drives by anyone on my wireless network by requiring a password to access them.

Questions: Are the drives supposed to show up as separate available drives on my mac? Or will they always appear as folders within the Airport Extreme? And how do the security settings work? - I have a password to access my home network and I want to add a password to access the drives through the network.

I'm not sure what steps I've missed or did wrong and any help would be appreciated.

Thank you!

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All Answers

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Answer
Update:

In reply to: Trouble connecting drives to Airport Extreme

UPDATE:

The issue seems to be with how I configure the "Secure Shared Disks" option in the "Disks" menu of Airport Utility.

If I choose "With Accounts" I can gain access to the drives. On my mac I am prompted to enter my user name and password which I set up in Airport Utility. Then the drives appear. However, the other 2 options "With a disk password" and "With device password" cause problems. If I select these the Airport Extreme appears in the finder, but it never loads the drives and the circle in the bottom right of the window just keeps spinning. Also if I click "get info" on the Airport Extreme, under "More Info" is says "Fetching" and also shows a spinning circle and never changes. At the top of the finder window it either says "Connected" with a button to "Disconnect" or "Not Connected" with a button to "Connect As..." Either way, clicking these buttons does absolutely nothing, the wheels just keep spinning.

The "Connect As..." button does work if I am using the "With Accounts" security option, but it really should work with the other two options as well. I'd really like to use one of the other 2 options. The "Accounts" option creates an extra user folder I really don't need. I simply want to password protect access to the connected drives so that friends can use my internet with their own devices but not have access to the connected drives.

I suppose I can use the "With accounts" option for now but I'd really like to know how to make the other options work.

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Answer
You have to tell the Airport Extreme that the drive(s)

In reply to: Trouble connecting drives to Airport Extreme

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