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Installing AirPort Utility 5 on a Mountain Lion Mac

Although Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network focuses on AirPort Utility 6, some readers may want to run AirPort Utility 5 in order to access options not available in AirPort Utility 6, such as options for configuring an older base station.

It is possible to download AirPort Utility 5.6 for Mac OS X Lion to a Macintosh running 10.8 Mountain Lion and to download AirPort Utility 5.6.1 for Leopard/Snow Leopard to a Mountain Lion Mac. I know this for sure, because I just did it. However, if you double-click on one of these downloaded package icons and run the installer, you’ll get a message about how “the version of Mac OS X on this volume is not supported.” Great… now what?

To solve this maddening problem, you must extract the utility from the installer package. Chris Breen has written a short Macworld article about this problem and suggests using Pacifist to do the extraction. Several commenters to the article suggest free solutions. And, Frank Tisellano has created a donationware AirPort Utility Extractor that can do the job.

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