The airPort Extreme (2007) and Time Machine

Hi all

I read the info "how to ask a good question" and apparently you need details. I'll try and be concise but informative with my problem. It has been a long journey to get to where I am, but hopefully, with a little help from this amazing community, I can get to my destination.


To produce a backup solution Time Machine for the family spending as little money as possible and using the BRIC and broc, I already have.

Equipment available

I have a House with some ethernet cables for most rooms that through switches to allow a variety of, most entertainment devices to communicate. It is:

1 x NAS/Media (ReadyNAS Duo v2) server,

2 x TV (Samsung),

2 x TEU (Beyonwiz),

2 x Apple TV (a 2 nd generation the other is the latest version)

2 x DVD players,

1 x iMac.

2 x 8-port switches,

1 x 16 switch ports,

1 x AirPort Extreme (2007).

1 x Airport Express (age unknown but older than the extreme)

1 x Fritz! Box 7490 Modem/Router

Courses in place

All the associated TV stuff are connected in 2 rooms through ethernet via switch 2 x 8 ports switch 16 central port and then to the Fritz! modem/router box.

There are also all the usual WiFi going on with mobile phones, iPads and laptops.

Remarkably, it seems just to work!

However, I want to add some backup data on our computers. I tried to do by using the ReadyNAS as it is supposed to support Time Machine, but I can't it to appear as a backup destination. So, I thought, as I have AirPort Extreme, I add it to the network and attach a USB HDD for Time Machine since it is supposed to be easy. However, I've been home for hours and cannot make the HARD disk appear in system preferences/Time Machine.

I plugged the Airport Extreme in one of the switches 8 port said to create a wireless network with the same details as the Fritz! The box according to another article of the support (Airport Extreme wired AND expand network - need of entry). Airport utility shows me Wi-wired connections and seems to work.

I look at the AirPort Extreme disks tab and can see the attached USB drive here. However, it does not appear as a choice of drives available for backup in Time Machine preferences. I tried 2 different discs with the same result.

The Question (finally)

How can I get Time Machine preferences to show the USB disk attached to AirPort Extreme as a valid choice for backups? If anyone can give me a little help in the right direction, I would be very grateful.

Thank you for reading this,


Unfortunately, the key here is that the version of AirPort Extreme you have does not officially support Time Machine backups on a drive to the USB port of the device.

The only version of the AirPort Extreme, which will officially support Time Machine backups on a drive in the USB port on the airport is the 802.11ac current version that looks like a "tower". Older versions of 'flat and square' of the AirPort Extreme don't support Time machine with a USB drive attached.

To check, please see "Time Machine in charge of USB drives" in this Apple support document... AirPort base stations: discs on USB - Support Apple

Support for time Machine to USB drives

OS X Time Machine supports compatible USB drives encrypted, related to the time Capsule (802.11n and 802.11ac) AirPort and AirPort Extreme (802.11ac).

Given that the average life of most wireless routers lasts about 5 years, and your AirPort Extreme seems to be about 9, your AirPort Extreme did very well for you... much better than the average. It might be time to start thinking about a replacement who will be responsible for backups Time Machine... either a time Capsule (i.e. an AirPort Extreme with a built-in hard drive) or another AirPort Extreme.

Tags: Wireless

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