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I just decided to upgrade to a USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure. I regularly use my Airport Extreme to share the hard drive using an older enclosure. I know that the Airport Extreme won't have USB 3.0, but I expected it to be backwards compatible. Am I wrong, or is something else amiss?

I'm using this Thermaltake Max 5G, and it mounts when I attach it to a MacBook Pro running Lion.

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My first guess was a power issue, but that enclosure seems to be externally powered, so we can likely cross that off the list. How is the drive formatted? This Apple KB article notes that you can only use FAT or HFS+ formatted drives? NTFS and exFAT won't work. –  robmathers Jul 10 '12 at 1:21
    
@CanuckSkier It is externally powered. It is an HFS(+?) formatted drive -- and, as I noted, the very same hard drive will boot in an older thermaltake enclosure. Thanks for the note. –  pc1oad1etter Jul 10 '12 at 3:13
    
I asked a separate question related to the same setup, here: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/55975/… –  pc1oad1etter Jul 10 '12 at 3:13
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3 Answers

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Per Thermaltake support:

The Airport Extreme Base Station cannot provide the proper driver support for the docking unit. The docking station was designed to be directly connected to a computer's USB port.

Not a very satisfactory answer, but I guess it is the answer. I expected it to simply function as USB 2.0 speeds, rather than not working at all.

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I have an Airport extreme about 2 years old and have just bought a 4TB seagate USB 3.0 .. works perfectly.

Have you tried formatting it by plugging it direct to the Mac first?

J.

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Interesting. I did not/have not reformatted the hard drive -- but it absolutely works when plugged in directly to the Mac. My Airport Extreme is about the same age. –  pc1oad1etter Feb 18 '13 at 16:46
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Maybe the reason your MacBook can see it but not airport extreme may be because of the type of partition scheme - just read that you need to set it to GUID rather than DOS-style Master Boot Record - see here: http://lowendmac.com/2009/things-to-know-when-connecting-usb-hard-drive-to-airport-extreme/

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