Maxwell C. Shay - Photographer

UPDATE: To everyone who has emailed me recently. I am so sorry I have not been able to respond to your comments!

I have not been developing this idea any further and do not intend to develop the idea and further in the foreseeable future, due to a lack of practical application on the iPad.

Thank you all for your support, comments, and critiques!

-Max Shay, webmaster

Hello everyone!

I’ve been an avid iPhone user for some years now, so I know that many of you can relate to how excited I was for the iPad release. Simply put, I purchased the iPad banking on the potential of the jaibreaking community. Multitasking, of course, being one of the most exciting possibilities! However, I was always excited for Apple’s camera connection kit. Having a USB port for the iPad opens up a world of possibilities for end-users and developers alike.

Yesterday, I received my Camera Connection kit in the Mail. Initially, I intended to use the kit to power my iPhone running MyWi as a 3g router for my iPad. Unfortunately, I discovered that the iPad Connection Kit did not deliver enough power to charge my iPhone while broadcasting a WiFi network. Optimistically, I resolved to find a way to use the Apple Camera Kit for other purposes.

After reading this post on TUAW:

I figured that it would not be that difficult to mount an external drive on the iPad. And ever further, to use apps to take advantage of an external drive!

UPDATE: If you’d like a smoother setup, you can also use Apple’s SD card reader. For this you won’t have to worry about all the cables!

For starters, you will need to do the following:

1. Have an external hard drive formatted to either HFS or FAT32. I recommend using disk utility (, to format. NOTE: To format a hard drive, all data will be erased!

2. Install the Spirit Jailbreak from here:

3. In Cydia, please install iFile ($4.00 for full version, but there is also a free trial), and OpenSSH (free)

4. As well, install the “Nano” terminal text editor. You can find it by searching in Cydia (UPDATE: you may need to add the “” source, in Cydia).

5. For this example, I have installed the $0.99 GoodReader app for iPad (

So, now that you have all that done, you can begin the process of mounting your hard drive. However, there is one MAJOR caveat: YOU WILL NEED TO FIND A WAY TO POWER YOUR HARD DRIVE. If you have an external ATA drive (I.E. One that has a USB port AND an external power supply), you won’t need to worry about this. However, if you have a SATA External drive (one that runs solely on a USB cord) you will need a split USB cord, like the following: ( Chances are, you can find a cheaper cable on, or I bet most of you have one of these lying around.

NOTE: You may want to look into an accessory that allows you to let you power this drive without the need of another USB port. Such as the the wall charger that comes with the iPad.

So, now for the fun part!:

1. Open “Settings” on your iPad to find your IP address (make sure you’re on the same network as your iPad).

2. Open Terminal, on your Mac (/Applications/Utilities/ NOTE: Once Mobile Terminal has been updated to work with the iPad, you will not need to SSH from your Mac.

3. At the prompt, SSH into your iPad with the IP address you found in the “Settings” app (make sure OpenSSH is installed!), with the following:

ssh root@[iPad IP address]

For you first time users, the password for your root account will be “alpine”. NOTE: Please change your password ASAP. To do this, once you’ve logged in VIA Terminal, type the following into the command prompt:

passwd root

You will then be prompted for a new password. Please do the same for your “mobile” user as well, by doing the following:

passwd mobile

4. Now, type the following, in Terminal:

mkdir /Volumes
mkdir /Volumes/EXT
ln -s /Volumes/EXT /var/mobile/EXT
nano /var/stash/Applications.xxxxxx/ (“xxxxxx” is a series of numbers after “Applications”. If you type “/var/stash/Applications” and hit the “Tab” key, it will fill in the rest for you.

5. The nano text editor will now open. Please add the following lines below the first “<dict>”, in the document (this makes iFile look much better on the iPad):


6. Then hit “Ctrl+x”. Followed by “Y”, and then “Enter”. This will save the changes that you made.

7. Now, reboot your iPad. You will notice that your SSH connection will have closed, in Terminal. Re-open terminal, when the iPad reboots, and follow steps 1-3 (without reseting the passwords again).

8. Open iFile, and go into the settings. I recommend having the settings set as shown below. The most important is enabling “Application Names”. Hit “Done”. Close out of iFile by hitting the Home button. Restart iFile.

9. In iFile, navigate to “/Volumes/”. Then, select the “Edit” button, in the top right.

10. Check the circle next to the “EXT” folder you created in “Step 4″.

11. Click the “Box with an arrow”, in the bottom right. In the dialogue box that opens, select “Copy/Link”.

12. In iFile, Navigate to “var/mobile/Applications/”. You should now see the names of applications above the actual folder names. Navigate to the “GoodReader” folder, then the “Documents” folder.

13. Click the “Edit” button again. And then click the “Box with an arrow”, in the bottom right. Click the “Create Link” button. You should now see the “EXT” folder. Hit “Done” in the upper right.

14. Now, connect your iPad Camera Connection Kit.

15. Take your hard drive (in this case, a Wester Digital formatted for FAT32) and plug the secondary port into a power supply (in this case, my Macbook Pro). Then, plug the main USB port into the iPad. You may see a message similar to “Insufficient power to mount this drive” error message on the iPad. Now, In my example, this looks a little clumsy. But with an external power supply, it should be much more convenient. NOTE: You MUST plug in the external power supply first, or else the iPad will not mount the drive.

16. Now, lets go back to terminal. Type:

ls /dev

What you’re looking for here is the file “disk1s1″. If that does not show up, try steps 15-16 again. If you see “disk1s1″, proceed to step 17.

17. For a FAT32 formatted drive, type the following, into terminal:

mount -t msdos /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/EXT

It will take a few seconds, and then return you to the command prompt. For an HFS drive, type the following:

mount -t HFS /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/EXT

18. You are now good to go! You can now access the files in either iFile, or GoodReader. As an example of how to manipulate the files, watch the video below:

19. To unmount the drive, type the following, in Terminal:

umount /dev/disk1s1

20. That’s all there is to it!

I hope you enjoyed this guide, and I hope it wasn’t too hard to follow :)

-Max Shay