[Wednesday, March 19th]
UPDATE: If you're having problems seeing your AirDisk in Time Machine, do the following: In the Finder, create a new window (Command-N), then select your volume under the "Shared" listing. If it doesn't appear in the Shared listing, select "All..." then look for it in the list. Select the disk, then choose "Connect As" from the navigation pane. Enter the appropriate password. Connecting without a password may cause the disk to not appear in Time Machine.
Last week we erroneously reported Apple quietly reinstated the ability to use Time Machine for AirPort-connected USB disks ("AirDisks"), with AirPort Update 2008-001. That update allowed AirPort-connected disks to show up as volumes in Time Machine for some, the actual backup functionality did not work.
It now seems that Apple has added this functionality with AirPort Extreme Firmware 7.3.1, which can be applied via AirPort Utility after Time Machine and AirPort Updates 1.0 is applied.
So, apply AirPort Update 2008-001, install Time Machine and AirPort Updates 1.0, then launch AirPort Utility (in /Applications/Utilities). You should be automatically prompted to update to firmware 7.3.1. If not, choose "Manual Setup" then choose "Upload Firmware" from the Base Station menu.
In-house, we're backing up to an AirPort Extreme-connected disk i Time Machine as we write this article.
Early, pre-release builds of Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) included the ability to use Time Machine with USB disks connected to AirPort Extreme Base stations. That feature was mysteriously removed in the final release, making way for the Time Capsule, which offers similar functionality. At the time, we conjectured that Leopard was released with known AirPort disk connection reliability issues.Resources