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Airport express disconnects

3777 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 12, 2012 7:22 PM by Tesserax RSS
Carol1148 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 10, 2012 1:36 PM

I keep getting a "disconnected....looking for PPPoE host" crawl next to my wireless icon, followed by "connected via PPPoE host".  While this crawl is occuring I cannot do anything....web pages will not fill in, etc.  Is this an Airport Express issue?

Airport Express, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (47,585 points)
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    Feb 10, 2012 4:46 PM (in response to Carol1148)

    Although this certainly be an AirPort Express issue, I would recommend that you do the following first to see if the issue returns. If it does, we can go over additional troubleshooting steps to help narrow down which of your networking components may be the real culprit.

    • Power-down the modem, AirPort base station, and computer(s). Leave them all powered-off for at least 10-15 minutes.
    • Power-up the modem; wait at least 10-15 minutes to allow it adequate time to initialize.
    • Power-up the AirPort base station; wait at least 5-10 minutes. Note: The AirPort's status light may continue to flash amber after it has intialized. That is because, there may be some additional configuration items necessary, like setting up wireless security, before the overall setup is completed to get a green status.
    • Power-up your computer(s).

    Network clients, connected to the base station, should now be able to access the Internet through the ISP's modem and maintain a stable connection. Please post back your results especially if this doesn't solve the PPPoE issue you are experiencing.

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (47,585 points)
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    Feb 11, 2012 12:24 PM (in response to Carol1148)

    The error message you are seeing indeed indicates that the Express is having difficulties communicating with the AT&T-provided modem. Is this issue something that has started to occur recently or have you always experienced this with the Express?

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (47,585 points)
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    Feb 11, 2012 2:08 PM (in response to Carol1148)

    Ok, I would suggest that we verify that the Express may be the issue by removing it from the equation and just have your Mac directly connected to the AT&T DSL modem. While the Mac is directly connected you can certainly do any critical Internet stuff, like getting those plane tickets. (Note: Since you are using DSL and it requires PPPoE for authentication, you will have to enter the appropriate PPPoE credential information in System Preferences > Network on the Mac so that it sends these instead of the Express.)


    Once you've taken care of business, please review the following Apple Support article for details on troubleshooting DSL connections that require PPPoE authentication.

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (47,585 points)
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    Feb 12, 2012 11:39 AM (in response to Carol1148)

    Sorry to add any confusion. My goal is to help you determine if the AirPort Express Base Station (AX), indeed, is the culprit.


    I suggest that you start by looking at the Internet Connection tab within the AirPort Utility to identify your current PPPoE settings. (ref: AirPort Utility (v5.x) > Select the AX > Manual Setup > Internet > Internet Connection)


    It should look something like the following. (Note: I don't use PPPoE and this screen shot is from the Windows version of the utility, but yours should look similar.)




    I highlighted what would be your PPPoE User Credentials. Currently your AX should be configured to provide these in order for you to gain Internet access from your ISP. If you connect your Mac directly to the modem, your Mac will now need to provide these same credentials. The idea is to copy these done so that they are handy, and then, temporarily reconfigure your Mac to provide these. You would configure these setting within System Preferences > Network > Wi-Fi or AirPort

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (47,585 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2012 3:00 PM (in response to Carol1148)

    I just want to be sure I understood your last reply. Are you saying that you still get disconnects when you have your Mac directly connected to the modem? If so, that would indicate the modem as the potential problem.


    On the other hand, if you are saying that you do NOT get the disconnects with the Mac directly connected, then it is possible that the AX (as you have suspected) is the culprit.

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (47,585 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2012 7:22 PM (in response to Carol1148)

    New question...would it help to reset the Express to factory specs and start all over again setting it up?

    Yes, this would be a good strategy. I would suggest performing a "factory default" reset which will return the AX back to its "out-of-the-box" configuration ... which is a wireless router that will broadcast an unsecured wireless network, with a network name of something like: Apple Network NNNNNN


    If this is a possible solution, what info should I write down before I do it?  Do I need to know my IP address (the one that is all numbers) or anything like that?

    As a minimum, you will want the information on PPPoE. One method is to take screenshots of a few of the AirPort Utility windows. I would recommend the Internet Connection and Wireless tabs. Although you can do screenshots via the keyboard key combinations, one utility that I would recommend is Captur. This utility creates an icon in the menubar and makes it really easy to take screenshots.


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