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Says "Ethernet Unplugged" when it is clearly plugged in?

2735 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Mar 14, 2012 10:47 PM by slushmo RSS
slushmo Calculating status...
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Mar 14, 2012 8:57 PM

My ethernet cable works when plugged into the computer, but AirPort Utility claims it isn't even plugged in to my Express when I plug it in.


I have no modem or router; I live in a university campus apartment that has internet included through a jack in the wall.

Airport Express, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,010 points)

    Reset the Express.


    If you have connected the Express to your computer directly with an Ethernet cable known to be good then AirPort Utility must find it. It is possible the checkbox "allow Ethernet clients" is not selected but even then I think AirPort Utility should find it.


    Resetting an AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule FAQ

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,010 points)

    OK, what is reporting "Ethernet unplugged"? System Preferences > Network, or...?


    As far as I know "Ethernet unplugged" results when there is no power detected on the Ethernet port. There are only two things that can cause that - a broken / detached cable or a failed port. It is possible the Express's Ethernet port has failed though that's rare. Look for debris in the port that may be preventing a solid connection.


    Does the Express appear in Airport Utility?

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,010 points)


    OK, it is possible the Ethernet port on the Express is simply NG. To completely rule out that possibility try another computer, even a Windows computer running its version of AirPort Utility, and another cable. The fact your computer connects to your university network means its port is working.


    Surges such as those resulting from nearby lightning storms can kill an AirPort's Ethernet port.


    Edit: I want to make sure we are understanding each other. How are you communicating with the Express? If it's wirelessly and "Ethernet unplugged" is appearing as an error, then turn off your computer's wireless and connect it directly to the Express with an Ethernet cable. If you can communicate with it using AirPort Utility then clearly its Ethernet port is OK.


    Message was edited by: John Galt

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,010 points)

    If AirPort Utility cannot find it while connected directly to a computer, given a port and cable known to be working, and you have tried multiple "hard" resets, I can only conclude the Express's Ethernet port is inop.



    Humor me and read the FAQ above again, to make sure the "hard reset" was effective. I have heard of an otherwise operational Express LAN port failing, but never saw one myself. They either work 100% or they're 100% dead.


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