An osx answer for slow mybook live connections: smb not afp

This topic has been covered in a few older posts, but for those new MBL buyers, I hoipe this might save some searching. 

When you first connect your MBL, your Mac defaults to an afp (Apple File Protocol) connection, and you’ll be miserable. There should be something in the set-up to offer default connection options. While the MBL can handle afp, my experience is that it will be painfully slow, as it wasn’t optimized for that kind of connection. 

My first clue was that the MBL performed significant;y better when I left it in a hung state (solid LED)  from a failed firmware update. The speeds improved significantly, an all was well connected via afp. Unfortunately, I finally succeeded in updating the firmware, the device reset and it creeped to a crawl. 

After many trial and error attempts, I stumbled on the “Search My Files” button at the bottom of the Network screen in the UI (I think that’s where it is. It’s at work and I’m not in front of it now). That set up an smb connection using the network IP address, as things started moving again. The UI remained painfully slow, but actual connections improved dramatically.

Here’s how I did it.  Feel free to improve upon the method.

  1. I established a static IP address under the MBL’s Network UI tab. 192.168.1.xx. If you know the range of your network addresses, aim high, as those are likely not, nor would be taken…and write it down.

  2. Under the MBL’s User tab, create as many users, with passwords, as you’ll need. This may be slow because the UI is slow, but you won’t have to do it very often.

  3. Write down all users with passwords. Your mind isn’t reliable (trust me).

  4. On your Mac (our latest system is 10.6.xx, but run all the way back to a 10.3.xx and this works), use the “Go” menu to “Connect to Server.”

  5. Type smb://192.168.1.xx, or whatever the network address of the device is.

  6. Enter the user and password. Click the “Save in keychain” box and continue.

  7. This should establish a connection. If you don’t want to do this time and again…

  8. Open System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items (you may need to click the lock at the bottom and enter your administrator password)

  9. Drag the MBL “Public” icon that appeared on the desktop into the pane that reads “These items will open automatically when you log in.”

  10. Close out.

This is now working on all of our work machines, some with gigabit NIC cards, others with 10/100 cards and through switches that range from 10/100/1000 to 10/100. You shouldn’t have to invest in new equipment to get acceptable speeds. Gigabit switches are great, but old machines can fly on this device relative to their underlying ability.

I hope this is helpful.


Thanks for sharing…

This should help new users…

This remains a good solution, but in this instance, the MBL is not up to the task. After updating, the LED continues to flash on green and there are periodic, though difficult to predict, connection drops. Too frustrated and too tired of making work arounds to deal with it, so I transferred all data to a vacant hard drive on a G5 tower and am done with the MBL. Nothing should be this hard out of the box. I’m no newb to difficult set-ups, but this thing can’t be trusted in its present state.

I like the remote connectivity and when it’s online, it’s great, but that’s too infrequent and inconsistent with this setup. If the built-in OS is that delicate that network connectivity and hardware needs to be adjusted, look for another solution.

For your information: I am using a My Book Live with AFP protocol for 3 Macs and I don’t experience any speed issues. For me there is no speed difference between SMB and AFP access.

It could be the mixed nature of our network. We have about 15 macs of various vintages and operating systems, as well as and a blend of switches 10/100 and 10/100/1000. 

I guess that’s the caution based on my experience and those of other users on mixed networks. As a personal back-up, I’m sure it works fine, but its finnicky nature isn’t good as a more widely-used shared drive.

Agreed. Personally I see it as a device for home use. Not suitable for business use.