Airport Disk Utility hijinks

The new Airport Extreme has USB disk sharing and I’ve been testing my new RAID 1 system using the Airport Disk Utility. It allows attached disks to be shared by many other Macs on the same network. So far it’s been good and I wanted to try it out on my other Macs.

First, I found out if you lose your Installer CD you’ll need to do some work to get the Airport Disk. The only Apple download that has it requires that you have the Airport 5.0 Utility installed on your Mac to run the update, and it’s found only on the install CD, no download for you! Second if you do have the CD, you still might need some help making a backup of it!

There are some similar help topics out there, I know, but I want to focus on just the Aiport Disk Utility, something you might want on all your Macs.

  • Download AirPortBaseStationUpdate2007001 from Apple, mount it.
  • Right Click and Show Package Contents on AirPortBaseStationUpdate2007001.mpkg
  • Drill down to AirPortDisk.pkg and do the same
  • Copy Archive.pax.gz to your Desktop and open it, a new folder will be created named Archive.
  • Copy the folders within Archive to their counterpart folders, you will need admin privledges for the System folder items
  • /Applications/Utilities/AirPort Disk
    /System/Library/Contextual Menu Items/AirPort Disk Menu.plugin
    /System/Library/CoreServices/AirPort Disk

    The key was copying, the Agent and the Utility, the Contextual plugin didn’t seem to affect anything. Also, your other Macs don’t need to use Airport either, I have a Cube with Ethernet only and its able to see and mount the remote drive just fine, Folder Actions even work. Cool.

    Bonus Backup Tip:
    So after doing all that I found my CD! Yay! Time to do a backup, I’ll just copy out the Installer I say. So I click on the Installer Alias do an ⌘R to Reveal and I see just a flash and the same thing, no hidden folder, no don’t tell me… I take a look in Terminal. There it is! Airport.mpkg, right there in the root of the CD. I cp the package to my ~/Desktop and still nothing, oh god. I smell cruft. So I break out Beige Box Cleaner along with Xfile and sure enough, kIsInvisible, the HFS flag, is set on the package. Ironic that my Airport network name is Invisible. This flag is easily cleared with BBC or also with the Developer tools and this Terminal command /Developer/Tools/SetFile -a v Aiport.mpkg

    Anyhoo. This brings up some the point of why Apple is not releasing this capability to other Macs (has that stopped them before, i.e. Front Row)? Is it like the Aiport Extreme Updater situations, where they charged $2.99 for bookkeeping reasons? Or is it because they still trying to limit the amount of pre-N Airport code that is floating out there until another release comes out? Or still yet, are they are hoping to put a lot more functionality in conjunction with Leopard’s Back to My Mac, feature that must work with the unexplained Bonjour services in the Aiport Extreme to globally advertise you Mac’s hard drive. I think yes with all of these things. In the meantime happy package hacking.

    Oh yes, also, maybe they are working on some super awesome iPhone integration, yeah, that’s it. You just have to wait until the planets align and an unannounced feature is added to your iPhone. You know, like the ones people have found but aren’t live yet…