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New Macbook Air - wifi connectivity problems

447929 Views 2,058 Replies Latest reply: Apr 20, 2014 8:24 AM by hunberry RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • Cloudi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2013 2:00 PM (in response to fifrelin)

    Hi Fifrelin! Good idea to look up the details of the wifi in your working MBA.

     

    Like yours, my MBA is also working everywhere out of the box and, agai like yours, it too was bought over the internet as a special build that came from China.

     

    You can review my WiFi report below, but in summary, you have exactly the same software and setup as I have.

     

    Perhaps this will help Apple.

     

    Here's my Report (the missing info is that it's on Chanel 11):-

     

    Software Versions:

      CoreWLAN:          3.4 (340.18)

      CoreWLANKit:          2.0.2 (202.11)

      Menu Extra:          8.1 (810.11)

      configd plug-in:          8.5 (850.252)

      System Information:          8.3 (830.5)

      IO80211 Family:          5.3 (530.5)

      Diagnostics:          2.1 (210.25)

      AirPort Utility:          6.3 (630.34)

      Interfaces:

    en0:

      Card Type:          AirPort Extreme  (0x14E4, 0x117)

      Firmware Version:          Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (6.30.223.74.22)

      MAC Address:          84:38:35:4b:c8:6e

      Locale:          ETSI

      Country Code:          X3

      Supported PHY Modes:          802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

      Supported Channels:          1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 100, 104, 108, 112, 116, 120, 124, 128, 132, 136, 140, 149, 153, 157, 161

      Wake On Wireless:          Supported

      AirDrop:          Supported

      Status:          Connected

      Current Network Information:

    AGDEN_B_5G:

      PHY Mode:          802.11ac

      BSSID:          c8:d7:19:37:9c:f3

      Channel:          36

      Country Code:          X3

      Network Type:          Infrastructure

      Security:          WPA2 Personal

      Signal / Noise:          -51 dBm / -61 dBm

      Transmit Rate:          585

      MCS Index:          7

     

    I S    T H I S    H E L P F U L   APPLE ?   ?   ?   ?

  • zqx321 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2013 2:36 PM (in response to PlotinusVeritas)

    PlotinusVeritas wrote:

     

    For those with disconnect problems, try this:

     

    hold down OPTION button while clicking on taskbar WIFI icon, at bottom it will say OPEN WIRELESS DIAGNOSTICS

     

    Ignore the popup "wireless diagnotics" screen that appears, but look at toolbar at top, it will say     Wireless DIagnostics  FILE   EDIT   WINDOW     HELP

     

    Goto  WINDOW,   then bottom-most selection click on UTILITY

     

    Youll get the wonderful Utility real-time monitor for WIFI, you can see under WI-Fi Scan what network youre only after you click on the "SCAN NOW" button bottom right.

     

    If you have a dual base station, either 2.4ghz or 5ghz will be highlighted.

     

    then you can click over onto the PERFORMANCE tab for realtime check of SNR (signal to noise ratio) at top in red

     

    bottom in green is RSSI (relative signal strength indicator) and blue for NOISE

     

    you can, in this UTILITY window, do frame capture, and logs of your drops etc.

     

     

    Most importantly, you can check many diff. wifi networks, and your own 5Ghz or 2.4ghz.....   To switch to 2.4Ghz, I had to go outside and close myself in the car, since 5Ghz is the weakest for connecting thru metal and brick etc, so it auto switches to 2.4Ghz

     

     

    Thank you so much for posting this!

     

    I read about Network Utilities on OSX Daily and several other websites, but their instructions for bringing up Network Utilities (Command-N at first menu in Wireless Diagnostics, etc,) are incorrect for the latest version of Mountain Lion. All I could find was the link to Network Utility in the File menu, which is a totally different (though useful) program.

     

    I believe, however, that Wireless Diagnostics won't show the Utilities link in the Window menu until it finishes its initial scan of the network environment.

  • zqx321 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2013 4:39 PM (in response to vhkim)

    My new MBA 13" has the somewhat rare Wi-Fi "crash" problem, more accurately described as a "freeze" or "hang". Owners who are experiencing this problem may want to read this rather lengthy post.

     

    Whenever I connect to Wi-Fi, it freezes dead within a few seconds to a few minutes. The display works, but the cursor is frozen in place and the keyboard is unreponsive. One time it happened when I was scrolling through launch icons in the Dock, and they remained raised and magnified when the computer froze. That's a pretty good indication that the CPU is dead or in a loop. But the best proof of a hang is that if I close the cover, the white apple light on the cover stays lit.

     

    The only remedy is to hold down the power key to turn off the machine, then hold it down again to reboot, and I have to turn off Wi-Fi immediately or it'll hang again.

     

    I tested the MBA with at least four different wireless routers: my Time Capsule (previous gen, not the new one), my Comtrend DSL modem, an old Cisco wireless router, and tethered to my iPhone 5. The MBA hung shortly after connecting to each one. It would appear that my problem is unrelated to the type of router or protocols in use.

     

    In all other respects, my MBA 13" works flawlessly, and I love it.

     

    The machine is an i7, 8GB, 512GB custom build from China received on 6/26/2013. When I got the machine, I used a hardwired gigabit Ethernet connection to migrate all my stuff from a mid-2010 MBPro using Migration Assistant. That worked exceedingly well. Then, for the first three or four days I had the machine, I used a hardwired Ethernet connection. I didn't turn on Wi-Fi until a couple of days ago, and that's when I discovered the problem.

     

    I should mention that the problem was preceded by an odd glitch: When I first turned on Wi-Fi, the icon began to pulse, looking for network connections, and when I pulled down the menu I saw my home Wi-Fi network name. At that moment, I realized the Ethernet cable was still plugged in, and I knew it was higher in the Service Order. So I turned off Wi-Fi and pulled the Ethernet cable. Then I turned on Wi-fi again, but this time it couldn't find any networks. I have a DSL modem with Wi-Fi, and tried turning it on, too. The MBA still couldn't see any networks

     

    After much frustration, I started Googling for solutions, and found one that suggested removing some files in the Library/Preferences folder. After a reboot, that worked and my MBA could see all the nearby networks. But when I connected, the hang problem reared its ugly head. I'm now convinced that the inability to detect networks was a random glitch that's unrelated to the bigger problem of hanging.

     

    I called AppleCare, and I have to say that though I was on the phone for close to three hours, Apple's customer service was incredibly good compared with other vendors. My problem was escalated two levels to an expert in the Networking group within a few minutes. The networking expert quickly talked me through two tests. The first was to delete System/Library/Preferences/System Configuration and reboot. He said the system rebuilds that folder if it's missing, and by deleting it we could test whether there were any corrupt files. Unfortunately, that didn't solve the problem. The second test was to boot into the Recovery Partition, connect to Wi-Fi, and try Safari. The MBA hung there, too. That eliminated a corrupt OS image, bad configuration files or some mishap that might be related to migrating from my old MacBook Pro. In other words, it pretty-much proved that it's a hardware problem.

     

    Now, I believe it's quite possible that the Wi-Fi connection issues being reported here *might* have something to do with my problem, in that a disconnect from the Wi-Fi problem may be triggering the hang, But the hang itself appears to be hardware related.

     

    The first solution offered by the networking expert was to send me a pre-paid shipping label and have me send the MBA back to Apple so they could investigate the problem. It was very clear from the conversation that Apple is very concerned about problems like this. It's a brand-new model and they want to nip any manufacturing or QA problems in the bud. Thus, they very much wanted to get their hands on my machine. I believe this is why MBAs are being "captured" at Apple Stores.

     

    But I pushed back on that solution. They couldn't give me a definite answer on when I would get the machine back or a replacement. It sounded like it would take them 7-10 days to diagnose the problem, and I didn't want to be without a machine for what looked like three weeks: ship, diagnose, ship. I explained to the network expert that it would be a major inconvenience for me to be without a machine for that long (seeing as how I had already loaded up the old MacBook Pro with my wife's stuff and had given it to her.)

     

    After a lengthy time on hold, the network expert came back and told me that they could offer me a better alternative: declare my machine "DOA" and replace it. They would send me a prepaid shipping label, and would order another identical MBA for me. I have 14 days to return the old MBA, and they have a hold on my card in the meantime. Since this arrangement will result in little or no downtime, I accepted. To compensate for my inconvenience, a couple of nice perks were offered to me by the network expert and later by the customer service people who ordered the replacement. These were not necessary, but I was pleased by the gesture.

     

    Now, it was pretty clear from context that there was a reason I was originally offered the "Diagnose" route versus the "DOA" routes. My distinct impression is that these are two completely different functions at Apple, and that likely my MBA will be thrown in a pile of dead machines and will never make it into the hands of the people who could determine the cause of the problem and perhaps prevent it from being repeated.

     

    What really impressed me about this is that Apple chose to satisfy a customer rather than advance its own more immediate interests. This is unfortunate for the greater good of MBA owners, but it's very good for me personally (unless I get another lemon.)

     

    Now, all that said, after digging into the return policies, I see that since I'm still in the 14-day window, I could have simply returned the machine for a refund and bought another. The only advantage to the DOA is that I don't have to pay in advance for the replacement or wait for a refund.

     

    My guess is that the hardware problem only affects a small number of machines, and that my chances of getting an MBA that doesn't hang are pretty good. But having read all of this thread, I think my chances of getting an MBA that can connect to all sorts of networks without problems are decidedly lower. Hopefully, this will be fixed by a software upgrade. If it turns out to be hardware, and a recall is issued, well then I'll just have to live with that. And I will -- I love this new MBA and am committed to the model.

     

    Meanwhile, I ordered a couple of inexpensive USB Wi-Fi dongles from Amazon just in case. They're very small, and I don't think it'll be much of an inconvenience if I have to use them until all my MBA's Wi-Fi problems are solved.

     

    My point is, it's not just a matter of being within the 14-day or 30-day window, or whatever it is. The machine has a one-year warranty, so if the Wi-Fi problem turns out to be caused by hardware, eventually it will get fixed one way or another. I would bet that the turnaround time will be pretty quick, and they'll probably do swaps at an authorized Apple Store.

     

    FInally, while I have failth that Apple is aware that there are multiple problems with Wi-Fi on the new MBAs, and that they're doing everything they can to solve them, the situation confirms that Apple needs to improve its QA process. Too many products have some out with glitches, like the iPhone 4 antenna and the Maps disaster. I realize that there are zillions of potential Wi-Fi scenarios, which greatly complicates testing, but I think it's a solvable problem. As a shareholder, I would like the company to improve its QA process. OTOH, I also realize that delays in getting products to market tend to kill the stock price (and earnings), too. It's a very delicate balancing act.


  • orchetect Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2013 4:40 PM (in response to zqx321)

    @ zqx321

     

    I had the same problem with my 1st 2013 store-bought MBA (top model i7 8gb 512gb) which had WiFi issues for 2 days but no crashes - then on the 3rd day it started freezing shortly after rebooting and logging back in, in the same way you describe.  Machine was replaced by the Apple Store and my 2nd MBA still has the WiFi issues but no major kernel panics.  Only one crash so far (incidentally during one of the WiFi dropouts) but seemed like a one-off (I hope).  Have been testing all day.

  • arielchari Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2013 5:19 PM (in response to vhkim)

    I am from Argentina. I just receive my new Air 13''. Upgraded to 1.7 i7. i bought it in US, a friend of mine brought it to me. It is really dificult for us to achive this kind of computers.  They are the best but too expensive and we dont have retail stores here.  I am having the same problems everybody is describing.  I can not go to a store and get it repleaced it or refounded...  And i think it is unveliebable that i am having this kind of issues in a 2kU$S machine.....

    Will Apple solve it? where can i downlowd the fix????

    I will really appreciate all the help you can give me to solve this problem.

    Thanks.

  • Randal Guymer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2013 7:04 PM (in response to vhkim)

    I guess we should feel lucky, as our family purchased two of these new MacBook Air 11's. We've had no connectivity problems with either Air to this point going on 2 weeks....

  • Elbobo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2013 7:18 PM (in response to Randal Guymer)

    I, too, and having problems with my wifi.  For me, turning off and on the wireless card allows me to reconnect.  I'm excited for a software fix!

  • gmc74 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2013 8:14 PM (in response to Randal Guymer)

    It isn't just about the Air, it is about the network you are connecting to.  Depending on the router hardware/settings, you may or may not have an issue.  Take that air to someone's house running a 802.11g network with WPA using tkip, and you will probably experience issues.  No guarantees, but I am sure there aren't some good and some bad, they all got the same software image.

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (13,695 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2013 8:23 PM (in response to gmc74)

    Im getting strong indications that this wifi fix will be burried inside a 10.8.5   OS Update

     

    and that 10.8.5 is being fast forwarded for release.

     

    10.8.4 is already known to cause some minor buggy issues, its logical for Apple to forward an OS update in which therefore there isnt ANY "wifi fix update", rather an OS update with the wifi issue fix burried inside.

     

     

  • AegontheConqueror Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2013 8:28 PM (in response to vhkim)

    I also recently purchased a MBA '13 with the same wifi issue.  It would stay connected at full bar but there is no internet connectivity and it doesnt tell you that there's no internet connectivity.  I've returned the original and got a replacement from Apple but it does the same exact thing.  The problem is intermittent anywhere between 1 min to 5 mins before I lose the internet.  I'm using a Linksys WRT54GL in Wireless B+G mode.  I looked up several forum threads online and found the only thing that worked is setting the security setting to WPA2 Personal and AES only.  This allows the MBA to stay connected for a longer period of time, I've only had it drop out on me once in 36 hours since the change.  I also changed the MTU size to 1453 because supposedly that's the best setting for Linksys routers, I dont think that helped the issue but I haven't taken it out since it's not harming anything.  I definitely think this is a software issue and only applies to users that use non-Apple routers at the 2.4Ghz range.  I hope Apple comes out with a new software patch soon.

  • skd1973 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Same here. I purchased custom macbaook air with 1.7GHZ i7 and 8gb RAM configuration last week. It has wifi connection drop issue which is very annoying. It drops every few hour or sometime even within 10 minutes of internet use. It comes back if you disable wifi and enable it again. I observe this problem in office, home and airport. I called apple support. They sent me one app to capture logs from my macbook air. I captured the log and sent it to them. Hopefully it will help them discover the issue. If I donot get resolution in couple of days I will return this macbook air. Although it is a nice cute machine but connection drop problem is annoying,

  • themechanic152 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 1:05 AM (in response to vhkim)

    EVERYBODY, GIVE APPLE A BREAK.

     

    As all of you can read on this thread is that Apple is working with select of us to test a fix that they have developed. We are working directly with Apple engineering so Apple is very much aware of this. Since we are testing a software fix and not new machines I am positive that we are dealing with a software/firmware issue.

     

    The issues predomently happen of WEP/TKIP and b/g routers. Try changing to WPA2p/AES and 5Ghz. It should help you till Apple fixes this for good. Also, upgrade your router firmware to latest version.

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (13,695 points)

    I agree with you and  myself said many times its only been a few days, and to give apple a few more days.

     

    However your statement about “changing to WPA2 and 5ghz” has no application or meaning to public wifi, most of which is not 5Ghz, much less is anyone of the ability to change anything on a public network.

     

    The entire premise of the AIR, is leaching off public wifi, university, etc etc.

     

    Like saying --“my car runs fine in the garage (my router) , but when I pull it out onto the public roads, then its utter chaos”

     

    People these days have little patience,  which isnt a good thing, and I like you, agree “thank goodness it’s a software fix”, and soon to be fixed.

     

    MOST PEOPLE however bought this AIR, thinking like all prior Airs, that public ussage is ok, whereas the new Air has, well, an agoraphibia complex with junk / public wifi.

     

    You cant be at any public wifi and say….”hey, id like to change your router protocols to suit my Macbook Air”.

     

    That the Air “works ok at home, or can be made to” is one thing, but that an AIR, designed nearly 100% with public ussage and public wifi in mind , isnt working for its utter design / portability/ intent, is the epicenter of outcries.

     

    My desktops are homebody lapdogs, the AIR is meant to by design, latch onto any and all public wifi, of which it cannot currently do.

  • themechanic152 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 2:22 AM (in response to vhkim)

    I completely agree! Public Wi-Fi ***** but nevertheless apple has to make it work.

  • ck2875 Level 2 Level 2 (300 points)

    Haha, yeah... ditto. My main issue is that I can't stay connected to the university wifi. I've tried talking to their IT people, but I'm never in a million years going to get them to change their settings.

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