Previous 1 2 3 Next 88 Replies Latest reply: Feb 11, 2009 4:11 PM by kerplunkuk
thaeez Level 1 (0 points)
Hi all,

I just got two new aluminum MacBooks that need to be set up for friends of mine. I have an Airport Extreme wireless router at my house (WPA2 / FirmWare 7.3.2 / in '802.11n (802.11b/g compatible)' mode / using MAC address access control / interface robustness 'on'). This setup works well and has been working well for years (I have a 17" MacBook Pro, an older MacBook, a wireless printer, a Wii, etc. and they can all connect fine all the time), but these two new machines have been nothing but trouble.

They will periodically successfully connect to my network (when connected, Network Utility reports a 130Mbit/s connection speed) and everything seems to work fine for a while, but eventually the network (both WAN and LAN) slows to a crawl and stops working altogether (I've been testing this by transferring large files from both my local NAS and the web). The WiFi signal strength indicator in the menu bar remains full when this happens (I am about 7 feet from my router), yet all pings fail once the connection drops. To fix this, I turn AirPort off and on again via. the menu, then try to reconnect when my network finally appears in the list (it doesn't appear every time). This is followed up with several 'connection timeout' errors when I try to re-connect to my network, and eventually, after many attempts, I 'sometimes' gets things connected again (only to have the connection drop again shortly thereafter).

This is weak. Most of the suggestions I've found involve changing settings on the router to try and fix this. But, really, I shouldn't have to change my router to allow these new machines to connect (and because I am setting these up for computer illiterate friends, I can't expect them to know how to modify every router they encounter just so that their new MacBook will connect). Also, because I have two of these machines, and out-of-the-box (before I installed anything), they are both exhibiting the same behavior, I am finding it hard to believe that this is a 'one-off' hardware fault that a quick trip back to the Apple store would fix. I did run software update on the new MacBook's and they are completely (as of today) up to date and I did add the Airport MAC addresses to the access control list on my router. Oh yeah, all of my neighbours routers are on channel 6 (there are 5 signals that I can pick up) and my router is on channel 2.

Any ideas? Anyone else with this problem? Is there anything that I could be missing here? Sigh...


Aluminum 13" MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • Mohannad Hashem Level 1 (75 points)
    I'm having the exact same issues. I think many people are and no matter what I try nothing is fixing it. I can't figure out if it's a hardware issue or not. It could be a bad batch of wireless cards or simply something that needs to be fixed by a software update. Either way this is absolutely frustrating and Apple really needs to do something about it.
  • thaeez Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for confirming that I'm not alone.

    Have you called Apple, or tried exchanging the MacBook for another? I'm planning on calling them later today to see what the telephone tech 'officially' says about all of this, but if anyone has any advice in the mean time, I'd love to hear it.

    Also, is it only the Airport Extreme Router that is causing problems or are people having problems with other routers as well (I assume that some routers must be working fine)? Does anyone have a working Airport Extreme and a new aluminum MacBook? If so, what settings are you using?

    Thanks in advance,

  • RM8:28 Level 1 (5 points)
    I have the exact same problem with my new unibody macbook 2.4. I had to return the first one because many problems with the software and get a replacement. This one also has the same problem of dropping network. Sometimes it sees the network and the window requiring password pops up. When I try to join it comes back and says wrong password. I have two other macs and they work just fine. how do we move this up the chain?

  • Mohannad Hashem Level 1 (75 points)
    Seems from what you're telling me that the problem exists in more hardware. I'm guessing this is a software issue. So basically all we can do is wait for Apple to come out with some sort of update that fixes this issue. Just to have some sort of consensus maybe it would be beneficial to post what software is installed on the machine as well and the network specs. Maybe we can find something in common.

    My Setup
    Aperture, Pixelmator, Coda, VectorDesigner, VMWare, iWork, Developer Tools, and Logic are all extras. Everything else is what came with the system.

    Airport Extreme Base Station - 1Gbit
    USB Hub - Printer and External HD for Time Machine Backups (this might be a suspect)
  • Alistair Windsor Level 1 (25 points)
    I too have very spotty wireless connectivity though my girlfriends Dell and my old PowerBook Ti get perfect connectivity everywhere in the house and even in the backyard. My new MacBook is dropping the connection, though still reporting 4 bars signal strength, even when 5 feet from the router. No clue as to the cause but it is very annoying. The Airport Menu Item basically shows Airport: Scanning continuously.
  • thaeez Level 1 (0 points)
    My Setup:
    'Out-of-the-box' 13" Aluminum MacBook (i.e. no software modifications at all, other than a run of Apple 'software updates')

    AirPort Extreme (Fast Ethernet) FW 7.3.2 (No USB peripherals attached)

  • RM8:28 Level 1 (5 points)
    I am working with my imac as my brand new macbook can't connect although with 4 bars.

    I called the Apple support, I think everyone here should also (800 275 2273), but they couldn't tell me anything.

    Airport Express w/ usb printer, handbreak, parallel, MS office 2008, data rescue II, eyeTV, flip4mac, google earth, isquint, skype, istumbler, mpeg streamclip, taco html edit, toast basic, vuze, i guess that's about it.
  • HyQuality Level 1 (0 points)
    I am also having this issue. I thought my wireless router was dying, but apparently based on this thread it's my Macbook.

    I just got the new aluminum macbook 2.4ghz and whenever I download any large files, the connection completely drops to zero after 30 seconds or so. I can't access the internet at all at that point, even though my airport still shows a full signal. It's definitly NOT my cable modem. The only way for me to regain connectivity is to leave the wireless network and then re-join it.

    It's been very inconsistent as well -- sometimes it works great and sometimes I have to rejoin the network every 20-30 seconds. What a pain!
  • gnarst Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey all,

    I have simular problems. If I configure my AirPort Extreme Base Station (US model, running firmware 7.3.2) and set the radio to 802.11n/5 Ghz it sometimes sees the SSID but when I try to connect with my Alu MacBook (late 2008) it reports "Connection Timeout". My old MacBook (late 2006) has no problem connecting to the 802.11n/5 Ghz network.

    I have AirPort Extreme Update 2008-004 installed.

    The logs say:

    30-10-08 19:47:40 kernel AirPort: Link Down on en1
    30-10-08 19:47:40 kernel AirPort: Link Down on en1
    30-10-08 19:47:42 kernel MAC AUTH succeeded
    30-10-08 19:47:42 kernel AirPort: Link Up on en1
    30-10-08 19:47:45 kernel en1: 802.11d country code set to 'US'.
    30-10-08 19:47:45 kernel en1: Supported channels 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 36 40 44 48 52 56 60 64 100 104 108 112 116 120 124 128 132 136 140 149 153 157 161 165 40 48 56 64 104 112 120 128 136 153 161 36 44 52 60
    30-10-08 19:47:45 kernel AirPort: Roam (DeAuth/DisAssoc)
    30-10-08 19:47:45 kernel AirPort: Roam (DeAuth/DisAssoc)
    30-10-08 19:47:45 kernel AirPort: Roam (DeAuth/DisAssoc)
    30-10-08 19:47:48 kernel AirPort: Link Down on en1
    30-10-08 19:47:48 SystemUIServer102 Error: airportd MIG failed = -6 ((null)) (port = 68611)
    30-10-08 19:47:48 airportd163 Error: Apple80211Associate() failed -6
    30-10-08 19:47:48 airportd163 Error: processcommanddict() failed
    30-10-08 19:47:48 SystemUIServer102 Error joining HLM2WLAN2: Connection timeout (-6 timeout connecting)
    30-10-08 19:47:48 SystemUIServer102 Error joining HLM2WLAN2: Connection timeout (-6 timeout connecting)

    When I lower de frequency to 2.4 Ghz the connection is more stable but drops sometimes.

    I guess we have to wait until the next patch from Apple.

    Best regards,

  • thaeez Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi all,

    I was on the phone today for 90 mins+ with Apple (spread over a couple calls). I pointed them to this thread to get caught up with the details of my problem, and was passed along to a few different techs along the way.

    Eventually, they had me reset my Airport Extreme with a paperclip to see if it worked in it's default state. It did become easier to connect to without a password (choosing my network in the Airport menu seemed to work reliably and connect without timeouts), but the performance was far less than ideal (after about an hour of playing around, the computer didn't ever completely lose connection to the point where I had to turn off Airport, but speeds were very slow - at times, pings to the router would take up to a minute to get a reply back).

    They had me send in a copy of my 'system.log' (full of 'unusual' Airport errors by the way), had me run a Apple program that was e-mailed to me called 'Capture' (I sent the results of this as well), and said my info would be passed along to 'the engineers' and I should expect a reply in 3 to 5 business days (I said this would be OK, because I still have 7 days to return the MacBooks no questions asked).

    I'll let you all know how it goes, but I do encourage people with this problem to call.

  • Alistair Windsor Level 1 (25 points)
    I am posting this from my MacBook attached to my wireless router via an ethernet cable. My MacBook has trouble connecting even when I am 3 feet away.

    I will call Apple's support line and register that I have a problem.
  • Mohannad Hashem Level 1 (75 points)
    Seems like a lot of people are having issues with the new MacBook and Networking in general. So now two questions remain?

    1. Lately even when I connect my computer directly into my cable modem, I still get terrible speeds, so is this issue only a wireless issue or a software issue?

    2. Does anyone have Bootcamp with Windows installed? How is networking when running things using Windows? I have a feeling that it would be MUCH faster if it's mainly a software/driver issue. If it's a hardware issue it will run slowly regardless of which OS you are booted into. Obviously running Windows in a virtual machine will not show this, it needs to be natively running to diagnose. I think I might install it tonight and see how things go.
  • Mohannad Hashem Level 1 (75 points)
    Well it looks like it might possibly be a hardware problem. I installed Windows on my machine, loaded the computer. Over Ethernet I was getting incredible speeds again. Over WiFi however, I noticed that the signal would start off at 130Mbps connection and then drop down to 1Mbps speed for the wireless network connection. So this is a major problem. I hope Apple does something very quickly about this, possibly a firmware update might fix it.
  • bcassid Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm also having this problem with a MacBook and MacBook Pro connected to an Airport Extreme Base Station. It's been working fine for months and then stopped working. Can only use one computer at at time. There's nothing else on the network. It may have been a software update that caused the problem, but I'm not sure which one. We are not using any security on the network, so that's not the problem. I've tried all of the suggested fixes, but nothing works. Many sleepless nights trying to get this fixed, so any help would be greatly appreciated!
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