I have Time Capsule installed on my home network. My HP Pavilion has a direct cable connection into the back of the Time Capsule (no wireless network board since the machine is very old). My mac book pro connects to the Time capsule using wireless. I wanted to set up a local network drive to share photos and music files with my family.
I purchased a Western Digital Elements 2 TB hard drive to use as my local network hard drive. The hard drive comes preformatted for windows. My pre reading indicated I would need to format the hard drive for apple in HFS+ format to work with all machines via Time Capsule. The Time capsule provides AFP protocols to apple based machines and SMB protocols to windows based machines to interface with the hard drive. This was based on the apple site reference page about USB storage device supported formats and protocols USB storage device supported formats and protocols.
The instructions that came with the hard drive pointed Macintosh users to support.wdc.com and to look up knowledge based question id#287. Doing a knowledge based search on the id brought up this link:
How to partition and format a WD drive on Windows(7,Vista,XP) and Mac OSX.
I then selected my OS which was MAC OSX 10.5 or 10.6. This brought up a step by step instruction on how to format the external hard drive in the MAC OS EXtended (Journaled) format. The only deviation from the directions was in step 4 where I selected GUID Partition table partition scheme rather than the Apple Partition Map choice. These directions were also presented at this site Things You Must Know When Connecting a USB Hard Drive to Airport Extreme.
After reformatting the hard drive, I plugged it into my Time Capsule. I then used my Airport Utility which I have installed on my windows machine to configure the Time Capsule per the instructions on How to Add An External Hard Drive To Time Capsule. The fact that I had the Airport Utility installed on my windows machine may be why I had no trouble seeing the hard drive on my windows HP machine.
Ironically, on my apple mac pro laptop the network drive was visible but when I clicked on the drive I got the following error message:
“The operation cannot be completed because the original item for “drive” (the name of my drive) cannot be found”
I did some googling but thought I would try an old Windows trick and just rebooted my laptop. That did the trick and the laptop recognized the hard drive on the Time Capsule and allowed me to view the test photos I had placed there. I think the reboot forced the time capsule settings to be refreshed on the laptop which is rather windowy behavior.