Apple Airport software – what a joke

Ok so we need a WEP hex key for my mom’s airport. I fire up my Intel laptop, no dice, Airport UTILITY won’t open an older Extreme, only Airport ADMIN UTILITY.

Can I download this app? No, An hour searching on, nothing. I find 4.0.2 for 10.3.3, but that won’t install.

I try 4.0.2 for windows under vmware, nope, can’t see the basestation.

My mom’s new imac doesn’t have it either.

What a freaking joke. Whomever at Apple decided that two utilities, similarly named, and then abandoning the old one, was a good idea:

You should be fired.

This is not Apple quality. This is crap.

Step it up Apple and resolve this asap.


  1. har har. actually got to do this friggen dance last week when we attempted to reset an old dual ethernet airport snow. Do the reset, that dances ok, but no, no airport in the shinny new 10.5 based airport admin utilit. Much reading and internet explorations to find out it’s incompatible, oh and you can’t find a workable version… Fortunetly I had a 500 mhz powerbook about with 10.4.11 on it, and the NEEDED old release of the software so I could manage that airport snow.

  2. M.R. Consulting Services came to the rescue…. (Shameless plug!)

    Ok, here is what you do. (And what I did to save Steve Riggins!)

    1. Download the Airport 4.2 Installer, located here:

    It will download a DMG file titled “AirportSW42.dmg” to your computer.

    1. Locate where you downloaded the file, possibly your Downloads folder in your Users folder, or maybe your desktop.

    2. The installer may auto run, if it does, quit it.

    3. If the image auto mounted, open up on your desktop the icon that says “Airport 4.2 Update”. If the image did not auto mount on your desktop, locate the “AirportSW42.dmg” file and double click it. If the installer runs, quit it.

    4. Open the disk image on your desktop, the one that says “Airport 4.2 Update”.

    You should see an icon that looks like a cardboard box with a yellow transparent cube in it. The file will be named “AirPortSW.pkg”

    1. RIGHT-Click (Or, if you have a one button mouse, or are on a laptop, hold your CONTROL key down, then click once only) on the “AirPortSW.pkg” file.

    2. A menu will come up, choose “Show Package Contents”.

    3. A window will open with one folder called Contents. Double click the “Contents” folder to open it up.

    4. You should then see a file called “Archive.pax.gz” in the folder you just opened. Double click on “Archive.pax.gz”

    5. That will in turn, uncompress the gunzip file (the .gz file) and give you a folder called “Archive” on your computer. The location of where this file uncompresses is uncertain. I’ve had it open in different folders on all computers. Rest assured, that generally “where ever” it uncompresses to, a window will open up showing you that “Archive” folder. If you can’t find it, press Command-F and do a search for Archive. See if you can find it that way. Or call me. šŸ™‚ (Shameless plug again!)

    Inside of this new “Archive” folder, you should have four folders, titled “Applications”, “Library”, “private” and “System”.

    1. Open the “Applications” folder.

    2. Open the “Utilities” folder.

    3. Now, you will see the “Airport Admin Utility”. Drag this to your Applications folder on your computer. You can find that usually on the left hand side of any open window. Or, put it on your desktop, then drag it to:

    Hard Drive / Applications / Utilities

    And there you go. Now, the reason I’ve posted the above instructions is that so all of you as good faithful Mac users can let Apple know how unproductive this is, to have to go through these steps to obtain an older piece of software. We all love Apple but even they make some blunders at times, so it’s our job to call them on it.

    As a Mac consultant of many many years, I naturally would never let any of my clients go through the above process.

    So, if you simply just want to get the software you are looking for, then look no further. Simply go to my website, and click on the Software link at the top.

    Mac, made easy!


    Matt Riggins President M.R. Consulting Services

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