Technology, Thoughts & Trinkets

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Solved: Apple Time Capsule Not Found in Airport Utility

openingtimecapsuleAlmost all my home computer equipment is composed of Apple products, save for the Windows media center that I’m using to power the TV/display old TV shows/movies/listen to the radio. I’ve been using Windows Vista to power the ‘center until (very!) recently, and for the past two or three weeks have had my Time Capsule and attached AirPort Disk vanish from the network every couple of hours. Given that a lot of my movies and TV shows are on the AirPort Disk, this has been a real problem. Despite the drops, the router-element of the Time Capsule continued to work – I could browse the ‘net, and even run my automated backups using Time Machine, though I couldn’t actually access the data on the Time Capsule!

At first I assumed that the problem was a Windows Vista-related issue. I’d had other issues getting everything set up, and third-parties had mucked around with the media center while I was gallivanting around Ontario a few weeks ago. The only time that the router (and AirPort Disk) become unresponsive was when I used Vista to connect to the AirPort Disk. No issues arose when just browsing the AirPort Disk using a Mac (note: all Macs in the house are running 10.5.7).

I installed Windows 7 (RC), in the hopes that this would get around whatever problems ‘Vista’ was causing. Installing Windows 7 was a breeze, and it was a snap to both find and connect to the Time Capsule and associated Airport Disk. Things were great!

Except that I kept experiencing network drops after rebooting the media center for the first time …

Taking a step back, I decided that it was either Vista/Windows 7 that was at the heart of my issues (and I was still entertaining that possibility), or some other element of my home network was driving me insane. I recalled that I recently updated the firmware on the Time Capsule; I had been using version 7.3.2, but just before I left for Ontario I updated the firmware to version 7.4.1, and then 7.4.2. I hadn’t been experiencing these problems when running 7.3.2.

I returned the Time Capsule to version 7.3.2, and lo and behold, it seems to have resolved the network drops. I mapped the AirPort Disks in Windows 7 by entering the IP of the router, followed by the name of the AirPort disk. The drives are set to automatically reconnect with the supplied credentials whenever the computer is turned on. I’m now able to watch TV shows using my tuner and accessing the AirPort Disk, as well as enjoy my movies, music, and listen to the radio without headaches!

Edit: the other change I did in Windows 7 was much about with the Local Security Policy a bit, following instructions over at DotBlag.com.

11 Comments

  1. Thanks for the information.

    Just returning to 7.3.2 solved my problems without changing the Local Security Policy.

    • Glad I could help – the firmware updates to the TCs seem to regularly cause more problems than they solve! Glad you could avoid changing your local security policy; I know what a pain it can be to work through it in an effort to fix a relatiely elusive problem *grin*

  2. Thanks for this! I did a downgrade to 7.4.1 and that solved this problem (connecting to HD on Vista) in my situation. Downgrade to 7.3.2 wasn’t available anymore from the firmware version list for me.

  3. Good info Chris. Here’s a article on setting up Time Capsule in a Windows environment: http://techsupport.foreverwarm.com/time-capsule-windows

    • Thanks – I love my Time Capsules (two have died on me 🙁 ) – and the more information on how to get them working the better. It’s amazing what a pain in the ass they can be when they *don’t* ‘just work’!

  4. Well this is helpful! You can drive yourself nuts trying to figure out the problem, especially when it works to start and then drops off … question, though: if I don’t have Time Capsule (and just the Airport Extreme) is it possible to install the previous version of Airport software? I am using two lap tops (a Mac to administer the Airport and a VAIO to access Airport Disk). So the Mac seems to connect but the Air Disk seems to drop off the VAIO. Thanks 🙂

  5. I know stupid question, but how do you perform the downgrade and where do you get the proper files? I just got a Time Capsule and am having a problem accessing my shared folders on my PC from my Mac but no problem accessing my shared folders on my Mac from my PC. I can also ping my mac from the pc but not the opposite. Starting to pull my hair out. Apple support couldn’t help either. They’re saying it’s a firewall issue but I have disabled my firewall to test. It worked perfect when running with my old Linksys.
    Thanks!!

  6. @Brian Howes
    Sorry for the delay – you can check out (http://theappleblog.com/2009/05/12/public-safety-advisory-how-to-downgrade-from-time-capsule-7-4-1/) for a step by step process to downgrade the version of the time capsule. You should be able to find the earlier firmware versions by searching through Google.

  7. Hi there
    I have a first generation time machine. It stopped working completely dead, so bought and installed a replacement power supply on eBay. I got a solid amber light but nothing else and machine wouldn’t mount on my iMac. I questioned the Ebay seller if they sent me the right power supply for my model, they said they did but agreed to send me another just in case. I fitted new power supply and got flashing amber light and a green light for a while but back to amber flashing or solid each time I reset. Have tried everything but cannot get time machine to mount. Decided it must be hard drive so removed hard drive and tested using an external power with USB connection to my iMac. The hard drive is working (I can hear it) but it does not show up or mount on my iMac. I’m about to throw it in the trash but thought I would check with you first. Do you have any suggestions please?
    Thanks and kind regards,
    Andrew

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