I’ve been using a Time Capsule to back up my Mac for some time now, and have been very satisfied. I was wishing that I could run some kind of over-the-air backup for my wife’s laptop, which runs Windows XP, too. So I attached a USB hard drive to the Time Capsule, and tried to mount that on the Windows XP laptop. First I did it the wrong way, and there was much sadness. Then I did it the right way, and life was easy. I couldn’t find a description of how to do it right in a quick Google search, so here’s my story. It’s probably true for an Airport Extreme Base Station too, since that and the Time Capsule are similar.
h3. The Wrong Way
Apple advertises that you can “share disks attached to its wireless routers using the AirPort Disk Utility”:http://www.apple.com/airportextreme/features/harddrivesharing.html, if the clients are either Windows machines or older Macs. So I downloaded the AirPort Disk Utility, ran it, and easily mounted the disks.
Then I restarted, and the drive letters assigned to the disks changed. Obviously, that would be a problem if I tried to run backup software, which would try to copy files to a given drive that might or might not be there.
h3. The Right Way
So away went the AirPort Disk Utility, and instead I:
# Went to the *Start Menu*, and opened *My Computer*
# From the *Tools* menu, selected *Map Network Drive*
# Picked the *Drive Letter* I wanted
# For the *Folder*, typed in *[IP Address of Time Capsule][Drivename]* — so, if your Time Capsule was at 192.168.1.1, and your backup drive was named George, you’d type 192.168.1.1George
# Hit *Finish*. And there was the drive!
So, if you want to consistently connect your computer running Windows XP to a USB drive attached to a Time Capsule (and probably and Airport Extreme Base Station), you need to do it through Windows XP, and not through the AirPort Disk Utility. Simple!