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New Macbook Air - wifi connectivity problems

444819 Views 2,049 Replies Latest reply: Apr 16, 2014 9:41 AM by thiagobona RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • Cloudi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 2, 2013 12:22 PM (in response to Cloudi)

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  • egvoth Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 3, 2013 6:00 PM (in response to vhkim)

    Just received my new MacBook Air two days ago.  I set it up and it promptly dropped the wifi from our home 802.11g router.  I tried to check for updates from Apple, but the network was not stable enough to do that.  A day later after some frustration trying a few suggestions on the forums, I finally got a wired network connection and installed the Apple updates.  That seems to have fixed the problem entirely as wifi now works great.  So the updates available now in early August seem to fix my problem.  Unfortunately, getting updates onto an Air is not so easy without wifi.

  • rpiazza Calculating status...
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    Aug 3, 2013 8:11 PM (in response to egvoth)

    Egvoth, sorry you had to go through that but, if it makes you feel any better, you just saved me a lot of headaches.  Spent most of the afternoon troubleshooting the wireless connection to a brand new macbook air. Actually returned the original one suspecting the airport card was defective only to have the same thing happen again.  Was able to find this forum on my PC and somehow update the software before it blinked out again.  MBA is running fine now.  I would feel somewhat guilty about returning the original MBA but, when I think about the ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SUPPORT I received via phone earlier tonight, I got over it quickly.

     

    Hey Apple, this was my first Mac purchase and the overall experience, particularly with your CustServ, who wanted to charge me $120 to fix it, will likely discourage me from making the same mistake again.

  • wsm0603 Calculating status...
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    Aug 3, 2013 9:43 PM (in response to vhkim)

    What confuses me is why Apple thought they needed to unveil 802ac on the macbook air.  I'd guess 99.9 percent of air owners dont even have an ac router (and probably wont even want one for a few more years). They have virtually no need for the bandwidth ac can give.. almost all airs only have 128gb ssd's, its not like you need the ability to back up huge terabyte hard drives quickly.

     

    this ac wifi issue is killing the air and Apple's reputation, and the fact that it was unnecessary add's salt to the wound.

     

    Im going to sit this iteration out and buy that new cheap nexus 7 and reconsider in a year or so.

  • Cloudi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 4, 2013 2:10 PM (in response to wsm0603)

    All good points wsm0603,

     

    However, I feel you are exagerating the 802ac bit.

     

    802ac is going to penetrate all areas soon, especially areas where several laptops use WiFi.  MBAs bought this summer will work for years (that at least is their and the MAC OS's track record).

     

    So, for me, I'm glad it has 802ac.

     

    What ABSOLUTELY HORRYFIES ME is that it appears that the 802ac adapters used in the new MBA have been sourced from several manufacturers. To me, it looks like this has led, at least in part, to the difficulty Apple is having in fixing this problem. For example, mine works fine - has done out of the box - and I bought mine in June.....

     

    Lastly, I have an 802 ac router in my house (bought it before the MBA because my old one broke).  Whilst I don't download large files onto my MBA, I have found that streaming HD video is to it is both more robust and works further away that is achievable with any of the other gear my IT literate adult children can achieve.

     

    So, being a lovely summer, despite having a stone-built house, for the first time I have been able to enjoy a streaming video on my MBA in the garden with a cool drink - a first! Especially pleasing as a whole HD video is easily watched in this environment with 15% battery with enough juice left to browse the internet that evening before charging later in the evening.

     

    So, I suspect this is why Apple made this choice.

     

    Pitty about their Quality Control.........

     

     

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  • DougsPlace Level 2 Level 2 (230 points)
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    Aug 4, 2013 7:02 PM (in response to Cloudi)

    first time I've seen someone suggest  the a/c adapters are multi-sourced. it  forensically makes sense;  the 'fix' works for some, but not everyone. Some MBAs work perfectly out of the box,  others drop WiFi so badly out of the box they can't  download the fix. It seems reasonable  Apple could track which source(s)  are still banging out the 'bad' MBA adapter(s) right, and which sources have 'good' ones. 

     

    i've been following a awhile now, frustrated that I'm holding off on buying a new MBA until this is fixed.  My 2008 Macbook is showing signs of age, but all its life has had the fan anomaly. Fan goes on for no reason sometimes, revs up like a jet engine,  eventually spins back down.  When it was tested way back when by a Genius, he said everything tested normal. SMC resets, etc, all never fixed the problems. Many new OS upgrades later, fan anomaly never fixed.    It's annoying, it doesn't happen often. 

     

    This is a minor annoyance compared to an MBA upgrade with what seems like a not ready for prime time WiFi glitch.  Either multi sourcing makes sense, or possibly low yields on the ac adapters from more than one source.  Either way, the longer this goes on, the more it seems a hardware issue. 

     

    New Buyers who have machines that work out of the box don't generally come to this forum and tell us that. It's difficult to figure out what the real world failure rate is.

  • eakinm2 Calculating status...
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    Aug 4, 2013 7:20 PM (in response to DougsPlace)

    I think you are right. I have held off a purchace since they came out and am still waiting. We may have to wait until next years model and by then Apple's name will be s... if they don't fix this!

  • Maldoror999 Calculating status...
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    Aug 4, 2013 8:31 PM (in response to vhkim)

    I hesitated a long time to get a MacBook Air since I had very bad experiences with my previous one purchased in 2008 (3-4 hard drive replacements per year - now they don't even produce them with rotating hd anymore - and several other parts failing frequently like soundcard, hinges, power supply...), but I thought after having the model out for several years, a reputable company like Apple would have sorted out the "infancy" problems.

     

    But since I got my new MBA (1.3GHz Intel Core i5, 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3, OS X 10.8.4 (12E3067), I've had constant trouble with wifi. Basically, three quarters of the time, it can't connect to wifi, and in a totally random way, and independently on the distance from the router. Some days it does it, some it doesn't. Other computers in the same household (an Asus, a Dell, an old MBA) have no trouble connecting to our wifi or one of two unsecured wifis in the neighbourhood when the new MBA can't. ATT at Starbucks works one day, not the next. Funnily, the only network it's (so far) always able to connect to is the t-mobile hotsput from a Samsung phone. Needless to say, it's not particularly fast... I also downloaded the software patch, to no avail.

     

    It's really aggravating to buy one of the most expensive computers around and then find it can't do the one most important thing laptops have to do nowadays and which any old 200$ PC can do with no trouble. I continue to be very disappointed with Apple and will certainly not buy from them again. If it wasn't for the awfulness of Windows 8, I probably wouldn't have this time.

  • DougsPlace Level 2 Level 2 (230 points)
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    Aug 4, 2013 9:10 PM (in response to eakinm2)

    I don't think Apple purposely sabotaged a shiny new flagship ac WiFi toy for back to school / holiday season.  As we all know, MBA  upgrades can only be done during  actual 'build;' no 3rd party or self installs. Makes me wonder if ac hardware could even be tweaked  without swapping motherboards.

     

    I've been an Apple customer 30 years and I've never been so frustrated. My 2008 macbook is  slow, sometimes loud, battery doesn't hold > 20 minutes,  "e" key  starting to fail, but  WiFi works.  That's paramount.  I've been waiting since november of LAST YEAR to get a new MBA.  I can wait a bit longer.  Apple are you listening? 

     

    How hard is it  to test  MBA WiFi adapter multi-sourcing / low yield hypothesis?  Even if worst case.... you  don't know which ac adapters went into what  serial #'s, this is  basic debugging.

     

    1) fetch sample of every vendor's ac adapter

    2) test all the different lots separately

    3) compare, track, and contrast the ones that work, with the ones that don't

     

    it is very telling  the software 'fix' seems to work best for people who are not  heavy media streaming.  I don't think I've read a single case, yet, of a heavy streamer who had the WiFi glitch successfully resolved.

  • Russets Calculating status...
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    Aug 5, 2013 1:30 AM (in response to DougsPlace)

    Doug you obviously missed my post of July 26th. Here it is again.

     

    I am saddened by all this, I have been a dedicated mac user since I discovered mac in 1992. My background is in production engineering, I understand about manufacturing and I suspect there is an engineer somewhere who knows exactly what the problem is but isn't saying anything.

     

    The symptoms suggest to me that the problem is in the hardware. We hear that some people are having problems and others are not, there also appears to be differing degrees of seriousness of the problem. This suggests the problem is in quality variations in hardware manufacture rather than in the software. If it were software the problems would be far more uniform across users. Apple needs very large volume and will be sourcing components from many different places, I suggest that one supplier is supplying dodgy wifi units and it is highly likely someone, somewhere is aware of this.

     

    Being a hardware issue would also explain why the "fix" is a software fudge that is not solving the problem. It's like falling off your bike and getting back on every five minutes without fixing the burst tyre.

     

    This is deeply disappointing, I have a 2011 11" Macbook Air, it is a great machine. I bought the small one and am so impressed I want to upgrade to a new faster machine with the longer battery life and I planned to get the largest ram and memory available. If the problem was a software issue I would go ahead but, as I say, I am pretty sure it is in the hardware which will, of course, stay with the machine so I am not going to buy one. For my work I travel to remote areas and I have to have a good wifi connection that will work with all sorts of routers.

     

    I am deeply saddened to see how quickly after Steve Job's death Apple seems to be losing its way in so many different ways. With the capital that Apple has behind it there is no excuse for not fully testing the product before it is supplied to the customer. Saving a bit of money on comprehensive testing is strategically foolish and a sure fire way of very quickly squandering a reputation that took decades of hard work and dedication to build.

  • Cloudi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 5, 2013 3:27 AM (in response to Russets)

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  • BrokeScreen Calculating status...
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    Aug 5, 2013 8:10 PM (in response to DougsPlace)

    HI, this is BrokeScreen from a few days back.  I have an '08 MBP with a broken screen that I need to replace but I'm waiting for the Apple "geniuses" to fix this wifi prob.  My '08 MPB had the same weird/annoying fan problem.  I finally had an IT guy at my company yank it out and replace it with one I bought on-line some place for a trivial amount of money.  Works fine.  (Just in case Apple doesn't straighten this wifi thing out and you decide to keep you existing MBP)

  • BrokeScreen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 5, 2013 8:21 PM (in response to Russets)

    I think you have this problem accurately diagnosed.  I mean the physical hardware one, but also the deeper, more important one of how Apple conducts business.  Avoiding this problem -- as you correctly point out -- is not that difficult to do, but it takes leadership and corporate resolve to take the time / spend the bit of money that it takes to do things right.

     

    In a similar vein, look at Windows 8.0 . . .  with all of MS's money and muscle they couldn't have done some quiet field testing with customers -- both power, mid-level, and neophytes -- to get some reactions?!?!?!  Of course they could. But it takes leadership and corporate resolve to take the time / spend the bit of money that it takes to do things right.

     

    Sad to see these two companies fall into the same traps and make the same mistakes that the likes of GM, Chrysler, etc make.  The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same . . ..

  • HM09 Calculating status...
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    Aug 6, 2013 10:38 AM (in response to vhkim)

    My MBA 11inch was working fine both at home and work until it decided the Draytek router at work is not good enough; was able to connect but no able to aquire an IP; I have the WiFi security on both WPA/WPA2 when I changed it to WPA2 my problem was solved.

     

    I am very worried now to take my MBA with me on my next trip; I can expect all sort of issues when I am in different hotels and different counties... rrgh

     

     

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  • Oii_spb Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 6, 2013 11:55 AM (in response to vhkim)

    Confirm, that Wi-Fi update 1.0 doesn't work for me.

    I use 2nd MBA which I bought after returning the first notebook,  I thought that the second attempt will be lucky, but I was totally wrong. 

     

    The Wi-Fi still works with "pauses", I can live with current bug when I just surf the web, but media streaming or youtube watching is an impossible thing.

     

    Apple MUST FIX THE PROBLEM ASAP, or MBA will be a poison for this company.

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