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Lion WiFi Connection Problem

668104 Views 2,669 Replies Latest reply: Apr 20, 2014 7:29 AM by AleDeC RSS
  • James Wilde Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 7, 2013 2:07 PM (in response to James Wilde)

    A little further information on my researches.  I created a Lion installation on my USB stick and booted from it.  Neither during setup nor afterwards would it connect to the network.  So I'm back to Snow Leopard for this message.  And Snow Leopard is still working fine.

     

    It's the same TP-Link router, it's the same Mac Mini, it's the same USB stick.  The account details are the same.  The only difference is the operating system.

     

    To my way of thinking that means that something has changed between Snow Leopard and the version of Lion which I used for this test, and it changed a fair way into the life of Lion, as I was using Lion without problems until the upgrade that ruined everything.

     

    As far as I'm concerned that's QED.  I think I've done my bit.  Maybe someone else can experiment with replacing the wifi code in a Lion or Mountain Lion install with the code from Snow Leopard, and see if you can make a working operating system.  I'll definitely be in the market for a copy if anyone succeeds.

     

    In case anyone wonders why my copy of Lion is not an original from before the problem arose, I did not learn until quite late that one could save the installer downloaded from the App Store.  The original copy I installed from disappeared, as it does when it has been used.  It was much later that I discovered how to save a copy, and I downloaded the second copy clearly after the problem was incorporated in the system, and made my DVD from that.

  • gphonei Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 7, 2013 3:43 PM (in response to James Wilde)

    James Wilde wrote:

     

    A little further information on my researches.  I created a Lion installation on my USB stick and booted from it.  Neither during setup nor afterwards would it connect to the network.  So I'm back to Snow Leopard for this message.  And Snow Leopard is still working fine.

     

    It's the same TP-Link router, it's the same Mac Mini, it's the same USB stick.  The account details are the same.  The only difference is the operating system.

     

    To my way of thinking that means that something has changed between Snow Leopard and the version of Lion which I used for this test, and it changed a fair way into the life of Lion, as I was using Lion without problems until the upgrade that ruined everything.

     

    As far as I'm concerned that's QED.  I think I've done my bit.  Maybe someone else can experiment with replacing the wifi code in a Lion or Mountain Lion install with the code from Snow Leopard, and see if you can make a working operating system.  I'll definitely be in the market for a copy if anyone succeeds.

     

    In case anyone wonders why my copy of Lion is not an original from before the problem arose, I did not learn until quite late that one could save the installer downloaded from the App Store.  The original copy I installed from disappeared, as it does when it has been used.  It was much later that I discovered how to save a copy, and I downloaded the second copy clearly after the problem was incorporated in the system, and made my DVD from that.

    You have certainly proved that the two are incompatible with each other.  The question is, which one is technically broken.  The sleep proxy functionality is described at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3774, and you might see what it has to say, to see if there is something about what you are experiencing which might reveal if this is related.

     

    You said that it never "connected" on Lion.  Did the airport bars icon on the menu bar at the top right, show grey bars, or black bars.  What happened that caused you to know it was not connected?  Just the grey bars, or were you trying to connect to a web page and Safari was just reporting a problem connecting?

  • James Wilde Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 7, 2013 9:22 PM (in response to gphonei)

    You have certainly proved that the two are incompatible with each other.  The question is, which one is technically broken.  The sleep proxy functionality is described athttp://support.apple.com/kb/ht3774, and you might see what it has to say, to see if there is something about what you are experiencing which might reveal if this is related.

     

    You said that it never "connected" on Lion.  Did the airport bars icon on the menu bar at the top right, show grey bars, or black bars.  What happened that caused you to know it was not connected?  Just the grey bars, or were you trying to connect to a web page and Safari was just reporting a problem connecting?

    Two mistakes in the first two sentences.

     

    I have certainly proved that the two are NOW incompatible with each other.  They weren't in the early days of Lion, not until that update.  Well, if I'm being picky, it was another router I was using then, I think the Netgear.  I bought the TP-Link a good bit after the problem started in the hope that there was something wrong with the Netgear and I needed a new router.

     

    And the other mistake: the question is not which one is technically broken.  I really don't give a ****.  The question is why I can NO LONGER use my kit, which worked a dream before.  There was nothing wrong with Apple's wifi system until they 'fixed' it.  But, hey, there's another advantage in going back to Snow Leopard:  I now have the two little arrows in the scroll bar.  Goodness knows, they didn't take up much real estate on my screen, but they're invaluable in a long document.  But Apple 'fixed' that, too, and despite another thread in here, not quite as long as this one, I see no sign of their return.  Maybe they have and I haven't heard about it.

     

    As to how I know it wouldn't connect, if I remember correctly the bars were grey, but every time I input my WPA2 key, the window shook its head almost immediately and said something about the connection having taken too long to establish.  Windows and Linux give it a good 15 seconds before they give up.

  • James Wilde Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2013 9:26 PM (in response to James Wilde)

    Whilst I'm in here, does anyone have a copy of Lion taken from its early days, that is, a good bit before October, 2011?  If so, would they be so kind as to make an iso of it and put it on Dropbox or somewhere, and give me access.  I'd love to try that one again.

     

    The thing is Lion is a sort of half-way house to Mountain Lion, and there were a number of dinky little GUI improvements in Lion as opposed to Snow Leopard.

     

    Thanks in advance.

  • gphonei Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 9, 2013 6:04 AM (in response to James Wilde)

    James Wilde wrote:

     

    You have certainly proved that the two are incompatible with each other.  The question is, which one is technically broken.  The sleep proxy functionality is described athttp://support.apple.com/kb/ht3774, and you might see what it has to say, to see if there is something about what you are experiencing which might reveal if this is related.

     

    You said that it never "connected" on Lion.  Did the airport bars icon on the menu bar at the top right, show grey bars, or black bars.  What happened that caused you to know it was not connected?  Just the grey bars, or were you trying to connect to a web page and Safari was just reporting a problem connecting?

    Two mistakes in the first two sentences.

     

    I have certainly proved that the two are NOW incompatible with each other.  They weren't in the early days of Lion, not until that update.  Well, if I'm being picky, it was another router I was using then, I think the Netgear.  I bought the TP-Link a good bit after the problem started in the hope that there was something wrong with the Netgear and I needed a new router.

     

    And the other mistake: the question is not which one is technically broken.  I really don't give a ****.  The question is why I can NO LONGER use my kit, which worked a dream before.  There was nothing wrong with Apple's wifi system until they 'fixed' it.  But, hey, there's another advantage in going back to Snow Leopard:  I now have the two little arrows in the scroll bar.  Goodness knows, they didn't take up much real estate on my screen, but they're invaluable in a long document.  But Apple 'fixed' that, too, and despite another thread in here, not quite as long as this one, I see no sign of their return.  Maybe they have and I haven't heard about it.

     

    As to how I know it wouldn't connect, if I remember correctly the bars were grey, but every time I input my WPA2 key, the window shook its head almost immediately and said something about the connection having taken too long to establish.  Windows and Linux give it a good 15 seconds before they give up.

    As a consumer as well, I can appreciate that your stuff is not working, and the manufactures of the stuff have held you hostage in the sense that its not working. 

     

    I am not trying to dismiss your frustration nor your right to have stuff you paid for, working as it should.  What I'm trying to do, is get you to focus on where the problem is at, so that you are pointing your finger and spending your time and money on solutions rather than "work arounds" or "hopeful fixes". 

     

    There are many people here, who have experienced WiFi issues.  There have been a wide range of causes. Some people think that the problem is "one problem", while there are so many considerations, that there are many things to consider.

     

    You said the airport login window "shook" to tell you "no", immediately and you typed the correct password.  That implies another behavior mentioned here.  It seems that your router has an incorrect implementation of WPA vs WPA2 in the router, and it has not correctly identified which mode it is in, and your MAC is using the wrong password "encoding".   Try setting up WPA and WPA2 separately on  your router to see if that fixes the problem.

  • gphonei Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 9, 2013 6:06 AM (in response to gphonei)

    gphonei wrote:

     

    You said the airport login window "shook" to tell you "no", immediately and you typed the correct password.  That implies another behavior mentioned here.  It seems that your router has an incorrect implementation of WPA vs WPA2 in the router, and it has not correctly identified which mode it is in, and your MAC is using the wrong password "encoding".   Try setting up WPA and WPA2 separately on  your router to see if that fixes the problem.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4199 has all the details on what Apple believes needs to be checked and/or validated in your router configuration steps.  Notice that the first is "update the firmware to the latest".

  • clivefromess Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 9, 2013 9:10 AM (in response to gphonei)

    A reply not  to your major gripe, but " I now have the two little arrows in the scroll bar".   You may already be aware but a solid sliding scroll bar is available on Mountain Lion through System Preferences - General - Scroll Bars.   But if you are back to Lion this is superfluous.

  • James Wilde Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 10, 2013 1:19 PM (in response to gphonei)

    Thanks for your continued interest, Gphonei.  I'd written you off as an Apple employee trying hard to justify the unjustifiable.

     

    I'll give your suggestion on WPA/WPA2 a shot tomorrow and get back.

  • James Wilde Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 10, 2013 1:22 PM (in response to clivefromess)

    Thanks, Clive.  It's not the solid sliding scroll bar I want back.  It's the two little arrows, one for up and one for down that I miss.  They are invaluable for small moves in a long document.  I havve now tried the suggestion from somewhere else that I use the up and down arrows on the keyboard.  It seems to work in some cases, not in others, but I may be able to live with it, that is without my two arrows.

     

    I just don't understand why they had to take them away in the first place.  I mean, the code didn't need adjusting.  They were just there when you needed the

  • gphonei Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 11, 2013 9:20 AM (in response to James Wilde)

    James Wilde wrote:

     

    Thanks, Clive.  It's not the solid sliding scroll bar I want back.  It's the two little arrows, one for up and one for down that I miss.  They are invaluable for small moves in a long document.  I havve now tried the suggestion from somewhere else that I use the up and down arrows on the keyboard.  It seems to work in some cases, not in others, but I may be able to live with it, that is without my two arrows.

     

    I just don't understand why they had to take them away in the first place.  I mean, the code didn't need adjusting.  They were just there when you needed the

    I think the most likely answer is that people with laptops are just using the two-finger drag to scroll.  People with iMacs and Mac Minis can get an external touch pad to use as well.  I, personally, use my three button mouse with the scroll wheel to scroll more than the arrows or litteral scroll bar.  But, practically, you are right, that sometimes, being able to click the up or down arrow to scroll a small amount is helpful!

  • James Wilde Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 13, 2013 3:39 PM (in response to gphonei)

    OK Gphonei, I have now started up my TP-Link again and gone into the setup procedure.  I checked, and there is no way to explicitly turn off WPA.  I am offered three alternatives:  Automatic, which lets the router decide, WPA, and WPA2, and in each of the last two I can configure the alternative chosen.  I have to assume that by configuring WPA2, which I did before testing the Apple router, and did again now, I am disabling WPA, but I can't be sure.  But the point is all my machines are using WPA2 to connect, so I cannot imagine that the router is going to try to connect back to just the Mac Mini using WPA.  If it does, I'd say it's the Mac Mini which is sending an unclear request.

     

    But once again, I am forced to ask the question, if all my other machines, an Asus, a HP, several iPhones and at least one iPad, running at least three different operating systems are in phase with the router and can connect, how can I say that they are all, including the router, incorrectly configured, and the only one correctly configured is the Mac Mini?  That's like seeing 99 soldiers marching left-right-left and one marching right-left-right, and saying that he's the only one marching properly.

     

    And I can't get away from the fact that, until October 2011, my Mac Mini marched left-right-left with all the other 99.  Nor that, if I take my Mac Mini back to the state it was in a couple of years before October 2011 by installing Snow Leopard, it starts marching left-right-left again.

     

    Whatever the fault is, it lies in the Mac, in fact in the operating system, in both Lion and Mountain Lion.  For all I know, it might also lie in an updated Snow Leopard by now, but I've turned off updates.

     

    Let's face it, I'm never going to get my Mac Mini with ML to work properly with anything other than an Apple router, and I have to decide whether to spend what it takes to buy one, keep my Mac Mini on Snow Leopard, or scrap the Mac Mini and go over to my linux box.

     

    Another thing that worries me is your comment on the lack of arrows in the scroll bar (I have discovered btw that the up and down arrow keys do work quite satisfactorily in most circumstances).  You said:

     

    People with iMacs and Mac Minis can get an external touch pad to use as well.  I, personally, use my three button mouse with the scroll wheel to scroll more than the arrows or litteral scroll bar.

    What you are saying here is that, if I spend more money on Apple kit, I can buy a workaround to replace something with which there was no problem, but which Apple took away.  It's the same problem as I'm having with wifi:  if I spend money on more Apple kit, I can get my Mac Mini to connect again.  Just phrasing the problem in that light annoys me so much that it prompts me to eliminate the first choice I mentioned above, and leaves me with reverting to Snow Leopard or migrating to linux.

     

    It's a pity. 

     

    BTW, anybody got a pre-2011 copy of Lion they can upload to, say, Dropbox and give me access to?  As I said before, I'd still like to test early Lion.

  • gphonei Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 13, 2013 6:58 PM (in response to James Wilde)

    James Wilde wrote:

     

    OK Gphonei, I have now started up my TP-Link again and gone into the setup procedure.  I checked, and there is no way to explicitly turn off WPA.  I am offered three alternatives:  Automatic, which lets the router decide, WPA, and WPA2, and in each of the last two I can configure the alternative chosen.  I have to assume that by configuring WPA2, which I did before testing the Apple router, and did again now, I am disabling WPA, but I can't be sure.

    The router gets to dictate the "security mode" that it is using.  It does this by sending a "packet" of data to all devices which indicates what security mode it demands, so that the authentication "packet" from each device, can be formatted and contain the correct details for the "security mode."

     

    What I'd like for you to try, is to set the router's security mode to each variation of WPA (TKIP, AES) and WPA2 (AES and any other available), in turn, and see if the Mac Mini is able to connect reliably with any of them. 

     

    This web page illustrates how WiFi security has some things which seem confusing or unsettled in the standards: https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/thread/11101.  So, it is not improbable that any particular WiFi router vendor might have something not quite in line with a particular device vendor.

     

    These kind of compability issues are at the heart of many problems!

     

    The conversation in the link above, says that if you are using WPA, that TKIP is the encryption mode that should be used.  If you use WPA2, AES should be used.  If your router supports WPA2/TKIP, and you use that mode, you might be creating a problem with that configuration.

    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • James Wilde Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 14, 2013 12:37 AM (in response to gphonei)

    I'll give this testing a try, but don't hold your breath.

     

    The conversation in the link above, says that if you are using WPA, that TKIP is the encryption mode that should be used.  If you use WPA2, AES should be used.  If your router supports WPA2/TKIP, and you use that mode, you might be creating a problem with that configuration.

    WPA allows both TKIP and AES on all the routers I have tried, but as far as I remember only the TP-Link shows both encryption methods with WPA2.  However, I have always chosen AES with WPA2 since it is the accepted choice and, indeed seems to be the required choice for WPA2.

  • James Wilde Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 15, 2013 12:24 PM (in response to gphonei)

    Well, I've done a little of the testing you suggested, Gphonei.  I have now configured WPA but only with AES since, when I choose TKIP, I get the warning not to use TKIP in conjunction with 802.11n since TKIP is not supported in the specification for 802.11n.

     

    I get the same problem with WPA as I have with WPA2.  I have decided to do one more test, to turn off encryption completely and see what happens, and this I have just configured - not that I will consider this as a long-term solution, just to complete the testing procedure and perhaps identify exactly where the system breaks down.  It shouldn't take long to establish whether the problem also appears with no encryption.

     

    Later:  I still have contact with no encryption.  It was a little slow to start with after my return to the system, but is now working normally without intervention, that is without my having to take action such as turning wifi off and on again.

     

    This indicates to me that the problem lies in Apple's WPA/WPA2 encryption implementation.  I'll restart WPA2 and see what happens.  Good initial response, but I forecast that the connection will be broken within an hour or so.

     

    I wonder if a realistic approach to all our problems in here might be to somehow separate either the whole wifi module or at least (based on these tests) the encryption portion and replace it with the equivalent module(s) from an earlier instance of OS  X, that is to say overwrite the Lion and ML implementations with earlier ones, Snow Leopard or Leopard?  Is this actually feasible?

  • James Wilde Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 15, 2013 9:54 PM (in response to gphonei)

    BTW, Gphonei, if you want me to test other factors let me know soon.  I'm going to be backing up and installing Snow Leopard on my machine in the next day or so, although I can, of course, always install a ML instance on a USB stick and test from that.

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