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New Macbook Air - wifi connectivity problems

445424 Views 2,049 Replies Latest reply: Apr 16, 2014 9:41 AM by thiagobona RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • eppes Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 6, 2013 12:11 PM (in response to Oii_spb)

    If, as already pointed out, it's a hw issue, it's unlikely they will be able to fix it easily. I also suspect there are a lot of people out there with a "working" MBA, purely because they only use it with 1/2 networks and have no issues.

  • Mikael_B Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2013 12:33 PM (in response to Oii_spb)

    Why should you live with it, the MBA is broken, get it replaced with a working one!

    Its not a bug, its a broken, expensive computer lacking one, if not the, key functionality!

    Apple is running out of time on this one.

  • dogschool Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2013 12:42 PM (in response to Mikael_B)

    Been struggling with my 2nd new 13" MBA...many calls to support..no solution in sight. Had my provider up my speed no no avail. This thing just drops wi-fi whenever...usually in the middle of work. Tech support has been trying. I think its just a hardware issue and there is no "soft" fix yet. I`m losing my patience.

  • BevvyB Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2013 2:22 PM (in response to vhkim)

    OK. Here's my story, briefly.

     

    Macbook Air arrived. On first boot seemed to take way too long considering how fast I'd heard boot times could be.

     

    After half an hour the wifi started playing up. Over the next two days it did all manner of annoying drop outs, flicking the WIFI symbol off and those pain in the butt 'network timeout' kinds of things. Unreliable.

     

    Searched the forums. Downloaded the Wifi 1.0 update. Just as bad.

     

    So I got really fed up with this slow booting time too (32 seconds till even the frikkin apple symbol appeared), so searched the forums for that. Someone said that he zapped his PRAM and got his boot times back to normal.

     

    I did the old PRAM thing and suddenly my Macbook Air was booting in 12 seconds, as it should be.

     

    Not only that, SINCE I zapped the PRAM the wifi has been PERFECT.

     

    However by this point I'd already ordered a replacement, and I am going to change it as I still don't really trust a machine that takes almost 55 seconds to boot out of the box, even if I did manage to fix it.

     

    So there you have it. If your machine is slow to boot AND your wifi is useless, try zapping the PRAM. It might fix everything.

  • eakinm2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 6, 2013 2:30 PM (in response to BevvyB)

    What is zapping PRAM? please.

    Thanks

  • BevvyB Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 6, 2013 2:33 PM (in response to eakinm2)

    Resetting NVRAM / PRAM

    1. Shut down your Mac.
    2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command (⌘), Option (alt), P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
    3. Turn on the computer.
    4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
    5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
    6. Release the keys.
  • DougsPlace Level 2 Level 2 (230 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2013 3:06 PM (in response to BevvyB)

    If PRAM reset is a fix that seems so obvious - cant be that easy.

  • brainyark Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2013 3:07 PM (in response to vhkim)

    Alas, I tried resetting both the SMC and the PRAM and seem to still experience the issue. Only one data point so far, but if it's reduced, I'll report back.

  • BevvyB Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2013 4:52 PM (in response to brainyark)

    No one was as surprised as me when the WIFI issues stopped after resetting PRAM. But like I said, it seemed to be connected to some overall issue my Air had straight out of the box, with really slow boot times etc

  • DesrosiersPhoto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2013 4:59 PM (in response to vhkim)

    I have a 13" Macbook Air and am using Airport Extreme at home. I installed the update and have tested it at home and on the road. So far, everthing is working great. One happy camper.

  • computerconfuser Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2013 8:41 PM (in response to vhkim)

    Ive been troubleshooting this problem since I took ownership of a custom made MBA just 3 days ago.  In a nutshell, for me, the problem is directly related to whether bluetooth is on. 

     

    When bluetooth is on and peripherals are attached, WiFi is hindered. 

     

    With Bluetooth off, I am able to connect to the internet just fine.  My router is a n750 dual band.  ios + android devices, windows computers, etc all have connected fine at some point or another.  I am 99.99 percent sure this has nothing to do with my network here at home.

     

    Genius bar ran hardware diagnostics and nothing showed.  I cleared the pram, and did the wifi update. 

     

    Can anyone tell me how to get into the branch of this discussion?  I tried clicking in to it but I am unauthorized by the admin..and I dont know how to get in contact with admin.

     


  • dogschool Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I shut off bluetooth....reset the praam....still drops and lags on wi-fi. My old Macbook pro still plugs along on the same modem...getting weary of this.

  • computerconfuser Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2013 9:20 PM (in response to dogschool)

    The lady at the genius bar mentioned that the bluetooth antenna shares a housing with that for the WiFi--something along those lines.  Seems to be insinuating toward the root of the problem to which she is well aware, and likely not allowed to divulge.  Off-putting to say the least.  Finding this thread made me reconsider exchanging this notebook for another equivalent.  But now, after experiencing Apple's rather hands off way of resolving this known issue, I second guess buying any other Mac.

  • eppes Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I would be really surprised if they didn't know where their mistake is. And of course they will never admit a mistake :-)

     

    Personally i was waiting for this MBA, but I am also waiting for the new thunderbolt display, so I guess it's worth waiting till later this year to see what happens with the new rMBP.

     

    When they release it we will know if it's MBA hw to blame or something else (and in the meantime they will lose loads of customers).

  • lissbell Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2013 11:32 AM (in response to eppes)

    I've been waiting for Apple to properly fix the wifi issue for the last month before buying and have reached the same tentative conclusion Russets has about hardware, though I'm not convinced the problem is wireless card QA as Cloudi very reasonably suggested. If it were that simple, it would be in Apple's best interest to swap out the bad Airport cards for good. They are easy to access and not absurdly pricey. To leave a wifi problem like this one poorly masked and half-fixed (or worse), when many of these machines will be used in public places where their failings will be obvious and their owners potentially vocal about it, is foolish unless a fix is prohibitively expensive or non-existent.

     

    I think the problem is related to the Haswell's agressive minimization of power usage. The specs might work just well enough on the best of the best Haswell boards and avoid too-low power dips for the Airport cards on them, but might dip below the tolerance of the Airport cards to continue functioning properly in demanding situations (like signal-crowded environments or with routers using older protocols that could create more work for the card) on a whole lot of other boards. Swapping out so-so Haswell boards for very robust Haswell boards would be a logistical and economic hassle for Apple because the problem is widespread and because determining exactly which Haswell boards are good enough to support smooth functioning would require time-consuming, tedious work.

     

    I'm guessing, obviously, and hope that I'm wrong. I harbor no ill will toward Apple and will in fact be buying a Macbook (NOT this one) later today.  I base my conclusion on having followed this thread and a similar one about screen blackouts: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5118135?start=195&tstart=0

     

    There are troubling similarities between the issues. Obviously with the wi-fi connection drops, the probblem typically remained even after the Air was exchanged. In the thread on annoying screen blackouts, the blackouts typically persisted even in exchanged units. (People experiencing the unexpected screen blackouts are often using power-saving settings that cause the screen to change states more frequently than is typical. Most people won't encounter this.)  That screen blackouts can be invoked in some MBAs by simply moving the machine also suggests a hardware issue. Some of the process feedback data that accompanies the screen blackouts suggests a flat battery, but in these instances the battery still had plenty of charge.

     

    I do think that everyone experiencing the wifi (and screen blackout) problem is owed a fully functional MBA in the future when Apple can reasonably make it so. And may I be quite wrong about the underlying cause.

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