Base Station Airport Disk vs. Ethernet Hard Drive? Superduper

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
A friend of mine recently bought the Airport Extreme Base Station and put a 500Gig Western Digital MyBook Premium on it. I'm considering getting the same setup but he is having some perfomance issues which concern me.

He uses this to store media files and to make backups using Chronosync of data files. Where he ran into a problem is he's trying to use SuperDuper to do a hard drive backup. It works fine if he uses a firewire Lacie drive connected directly to his computer but when he runs into a problem is when he uses Superduper to back up to this AirDisk. It will find the backup location but often during backup fails at some point. Also, if he uses Finder to copy files over it works fine for small files or just a few files but if he transfers a large amount of data at some point it fails. He hasn't had any network performance problems in the past and is using a C2D MBP. He has even run into problems when he tries to delete files off of this AirDisk.

1. I have a Airport Extreme Base Station and have wanted to get the same drive but now I'm wondering if I'm better off getting a Ethernet drive such as the Western Digital World Edition. I know it costs a little more but would performance be better than using a drive on the Airport Base Station?

2. Is it something my friend could be doing wrong with Superduper that is causing this problem?

3. I like how with his base station anytime he restarts his mac it simply automatically logs onto this Airport Base Station drive. It seems so integrated and easy to use. Would the same be true with using a Ethernet drive? I like the simplicity of it being there and doing a 'auto logon'. I have used networked drives before where you have to go to the network to find the drives but these were shared drives on Windows machines.


  • Reply 1 of 4
    carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member
    1. Don't know about the Western Digital product - but the Airport Extreme, formatted as HFS manages about 3-4 MB/s. A drive attached to a server is about twice as fast.

    2. People with FAT formatted drives seem to be having more reliability problems.

    3. Not quite so easy. You would need to mount the drive, create and alias, and then put the alias in startup items. This works most of the time.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    rickr10rickr10 Posts: 40member
    It seems maybe FAT is the problem for Superduper and use in general. I'm going to reformat it as HFS+ and see what that does.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    I was an early adopter of the new AirPort Extreme base station because I wanted the AirPort Disk functionality. Basically I wanted all of the Macs in the area to be able to access the same data without the need for a dedicated server.

    After some fannying around, I managed to get the AirPort Disk functionality to 'work' ? but it wasn't until later that I discovered that something was corrupting the data on the drive and that the majority of the data on the drive was hosed.

    My advice would be to stay well clear of AirPort Disks. Firewire disks are a lot more reliable, and IME USB drives even more so!
  • Reply 4 of 4
    carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member
    Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

    My advice would be to stay well clear of AirPort Disks. Firewire disks are a lot more reliable, and IME USB drives even more so!

    I'm using a 500Gb drive to hold all my media (for AppleTV). Not had a single problem so far.

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