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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 20, 2013
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    Access external hard drive via Time Capsule
    Hi! I am a brand new MacBook Pro owner, converted from years of Windows PCs! Yippee!

    I've had my MacBook Pro for almost two weeks and am loving it so far. I've just hooked up my Time Capsule to my existing AT&T Uverse wireless router, and all seems to be working so far. Whew.

    My Apple representative (at Best Buy store) advised I would be able to put my Windows laptop's hard drive into an enclosure, attach to Time Capsule, and transfer files for quickest transfer (I have two 500GB drives to transfer), rather than doing it via the wireless network. So I'm ready to access those Windows files now.

    The hard drive is now in the enclosure, and was attached via USB to the Time Capsule before powering on. However, I do not see the external hard drive listed in my Finder.

    Please let me know what you think. Thanks in advance for any assistance and I'm glad to be on this forum! :-)

  2. #2

    mrplow's Avatar
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    Are you able to see and use the Time Capsule disc OK?

    You need to open up Airport Utility and ensure that external disk sharing is switched on.
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jun 20, 2013
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    Yes, the Time Capsule is viewable and working. There is nothing within AirPort Utility about external disk sharing. Please advise further.

  4. #4

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Here are a few things to check starting with the easiest first. For the following test make sure the Finder is set to show external drives Finder>Preferences>General.

    1. Now that the drive is in an enclosure does the Finder "see" it if you connect the drive directly to the computer? If not double check the drive connections in the enclosure, USB cable from enclosure to computer, and power cable for the enclosure.

    2. Once you can "see" the drive with it directly connected to the Mac eject the disk and connect it to the Time Capsule. When you double click the Time Capsule in the Finder, a window should open which has at least two folders One will be the Time Capsule and there should be one with the name of the hard drive you attached. Double click that folder to open the drive.

    3. If you do not see the folder I described Launch Airport Utility. This video should help. The setup applies to the Time Capsule and Airport Base Station. The specific information on disk sharing starts about 10:20 into the video.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  5. #5


    Member Since
    May 25, 2012
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    129
    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    Here are a few things to check starting with the easiest first. For the following test make sure the Finder is set to show external drives Finder>Preferences>General.

    1. Now that the drive is in an enclosure does the Finder "see" it if you connect the drive directly to the computer? If not double check the drive connections in the enclosure, USB cable from enclosure to computer, and power cable for the enclosure.

    2. Once you can "see" the drive with it directly connected to the Mac eject the disk and connect it to the Time Capsule. When you double click the Time Capsule in the Finder, a window should open which has at least two folders One will be the Time Capsule and there should be one with the name of the hard drive you attached. Double click that folder to open the drive.

    3. If you do not see the folder I described Launch Airport Utility. This video should help. The setup applies to the Time Capsule and Airport Base Station. The specific information on disk sharing starts about 10:20 into the video.
    Ive tried everything it seems, and I still cant get the disk to show up.

    I got two options I can click on Airport Utility

    (1) enable file sharing, which is clicked
    (2) share disks over WAN, which I tried but got no results

    Please advise.

  6. #6

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Try the following and see if it helps:

    1. From the Finder choose Preferences and go to the General tab. Make sure that External disks is checked.
    2. Disconnect the drive from the Time Capsule and connect it to a USB port on the computer. The drive should appear on the desktop.
    3. Drag files from the drive to another drive temporarily.
    4. Format the external disk as Mac OS Extended Journaled
    5. Copy files back to the drive and reattach to the Time Capsule.

    Now when you click on the Time Capsule you should see a folder representing the attached drive. If you don't let us know.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  7. #7


    Member Since
    May 25, 2012
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    129
    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    Try the following and see if it helps:

    1. From the Finder choose Preferences and go to the General tab. Make sure that External disks is checked.
    2. Disconnect the drive from the Time Capsule and connect it to a USB port on the computer. The drive should appear on the desktop.
    3. Drag files from the drive to another drive temporarily.
    4. Format the external disk as Mac OS Extended Journaled
    5. Copy files back to the drive and reattach to the Time Capsule.

    Now when you click on the Time Capsule you should see a folder representing the attached drive. If you don't let us know.
    It worked.

    The problem is that I had formated the ext HD in Mac OS extended journaled ENCRYPTED.

    If it's encrypted it wont show up in finder. I had to reformat in regular ext journaled.

  8. #8

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2009
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    Thanks for posting that answer. I don't think I would have thought of that. I've never used an encrypted drive on the Mac. Encrypted a few files once and promptly forgot the password. That was it for me and encryption.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  9. #9


    Member Since
    May 25, 2012
    Posts
    129
    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    Thanks for posting that answer. I don't think I would have thought of that. I've never used an encrypted drive on the Mac. Encrypted a few files once and promptly forgot the password. That was it for me and encryption.

    Ya, I didnt think it was the actual problem either til I went to my local Mac store. I was suspicious it might be the issue, but I really didnt want to have to move all of my ext HD's data onto another computer, so I could then reformat, and then figure out if it was or wasnt the problem.


    The bigger picture Im learning over time is this.... Mac products are REALLY good at doing what they are meant to do. Which is work with other Mac products and do their intended function.

    But they are NOT good at doing simple versatile things that we'd expect them to do.

    For example, the Time Capsule is a wireless router with a hard drive built in. Would be sweet if the hard drive in it could work as a ext HD and run time machine. Ive read we shouldnt do it. That HD is intended for Time Machine.

    Want to plug a WiFi USB stick into the USB port on a Air Port Express to make a WiFi hot spot? Would be cool if we could right? Dont bother, wont work.

    Want to plug a external HD into your Airport Express so multiple computers can access the data thru the WiFi network? Dont bother, wont work. For that, the Airport Extreme is needed.

    Dont get me wrong, I love both of those products for what they do and I love the fact that Apple offers options in hardware for a persons specific needs.

    But a recurring scenario Im seeing, and just something Ive come to expect, is there are many instances where Apple users just wish they had a bit more freedom with their products to do some creative usage of them or with other 3rd party products. Ive just grown to understand & accept that Apple stuff is really only made to speak to other Apple stuff and only really meant to be used for the simple things they were made for.

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