6 Replies Latest reply: May 2, 2013 9:35 PM by Kenichi Watanabe
W. Hoskins Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



I have inherited an iMac G4 running Mac OS X 10.3.5. It had no Airport Card, I bought one from Amazon that said it was the original equipment for the desktop I have. Airport finds my wireless modem, a Zoom Docsis 3.0 Wireless-N cable modem, but when I try to connect by entering the password, I get a message: "there was an error joining the Airport network."


I have other laptops, both PC and Mac, which are connecting normally. I have reset the password and that did not change anything.   


A virtual case of beer to anybody who can help.



iMac, Mac OS X (10.3.x), Zoom Wireless-N Router
  • 1. Re: Wireless Connection Problem
    Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,030 points)

    The last version of Panther was 10.3.9.  You should update, since it may affect the problem (and I think it gives you a later version of Safari).  If you do not have Internet access from the iMac G4, you can download it on the other Mac and transfer it.  This is the stand-alone updater




    Maybe you can use a USB flash drive to transfer it.


    If possible, based on the locations of the router and iMac G4, I would first try to connect to the Internet using a wired (Ethernet) connection.  If you get that working, it will be a simpler matter of switching the network connection to wireless.  If you can do this using with the current 10.3.5, you can download the updater directly.

  • 2. Re: Wireless Connection Problem
    Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (30,435 points)

    I can't remember where the break point was, but older versions of the mac OS and older wireless cards could not use the higher levels of security encryption that today's equipment can handle. As a test, try dialing down the encryption level on your router to WEP and see if the iMac can connect. That would be a useful diagnostic in this case.


    Later G4 iMacs had USB 2.0 logic boards and can take advantage of modern encryption and routers speeds with a USB wireless adaptor, BUT the adaptor must come with Mac drivers--many do not. Do you know which variantof the G4 iMac you have? Processor speed from "About ths Mac" and the screen size are a good start.

  • 3. Re: Wireless Connection Problem
    W. Hoskins Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Allan, it's a 800 MHZ processor and the screen resolution is 1440 x 900. I connected the cable, and it is connected but am having a hard time updating it. The version of Explorer is really old and Firefox says that the Machine doesn't meet system requirements.

  • 4. Re: Wireless Connection Problem
    W. Hoskins Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Kenichi, I will try downloaloading...somehow.  I am having trouble updating just the browser

  • 5. Re: Wireless Connection Problem
    W. Hoskins Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well I updated the machine, but no change. I also changed the encryption from WEP2 to WEP, nothing there either. Maybe the imac does not support this router?


    Thanks for your help.

  • 6. Re: Wireless Connection Problem
    Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,030 points)

    My router is an AirPort Extreme Base Station, and it has a Radio Mode setting.  I can set it to 802.11n only (which is supposed to be somewhat faster) or 802.11n (802.11b/g compatible), and a few other options.  The old AirPort card is only 802.11b, so if your router (which you said was "N") has such as setting, make sure you pick the one that supports 802.11b.  If the router does not support the old 802.11b, then it will not work with that AirPort card.


    Also, to eliminate the security protocol as a possible cause, you may want to turn OFF security on the router, temporarily while you are trouble-shooting this problem.  Once you get it working with no security, then experiment with security settings to see what works and what does not work.