4 Replies Latest reply: Apr 22, 2010 7:27 PM by John Galt
jcom7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I purchased a used Airport extreme 802.11n. to connect to my Mac G4 tower running 10.4.11 with Airport card firmware 9.52 and cable modem. The problem is it will not recognize my computer, or connect to the internet. If I try to click new network it comes up with my computer's name and my ID but will not allow a connection. Airport disk utility is set to discover Airport disks automatically, but nothing shows up.

I have installed a network before on an imac communicating with a similar G4 with airport card from same vendor as the one installed in my machine.

The card shows up in the system profiler.

In my case:

1. Airport software installed ver 1.2

2. The cable modem was powered down for 2 minutes and then connected to the Airport.

3.The green LED light is lit, but if I go to airport utilities it indicates "unable to find any airport device." This is all from the desktop.

I have read all the docs and configs I can find. It has not asked me for a password, as it has not even recognized my machine.

Any help would be appreciated.

G4 Dual 1 GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.11), Airoirt Card, firmware 9.52, Airport Extreme
  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (40,975 points)
    Welcome to the discussions forum jcom7.

    Your Airport card firmware appears to be correct, but you should download and install the latest version of Airport Utility to configure your Extreme. According to Apple, "Earlier versions of AirPort Utility may not offer expected features or may not be able to configure your hardware properly, and should not be used." The correct version of Airport Utility will also alert you if your Extreme's firmware should be updated.

    Try this link: AirPort Utility 5.4.2 for Mac. It will work with Tiger.

    Next: If you purchased a used Extreme, it is likely that it's been configured already. It would be best to reset it to an out-of-the-box condition with a "factory default reset". Read this KB article to determine the right way to do that: Resetting an AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule FAQ.

    After it's properly reset, your Airport base station will appear under your Airport icon as an open network with the name "Base Station xxxxxx" or something resembling it. *This is the best way to ensure a reset has been successful.* Select that network, then you can proceed to configure it by answering the questions in Airport Utility.

    However, it is best to attach the Extreme directly to your computer via Ethernet:

    This method avoids the understandable confusion that results from having to switch wireless networks for the sole purpose of configuring the Express (or Extreme), and subsequently switching networks to the new one created as a result of configuring it.


    Once configured, the Extreme will restart. You can then remove your Ethernet cable and connect to it wirelessly.

    I don't know what you're trying to accomplish with Airport disk utility, but you have to establish communication with the Extreme and configure it before you will be able to recognize any USB devices connected to it.
  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (40,975 points)
    Unless I'm mistaken, your 802.11b Airport card with that firmware is capable of WPA *but not* WPA2 security, so bear this in mind when configuring it.

    I think it's easier to just leave wireless security disabled until you've successfully configured everything.
  • jcom7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you so, so much for your help. I have been trying to get this operational for a week.I downloaded and installed the software update and reset the airport per your instructions and set up a network. It gave me an error message that my apple device (it did not specify which device) did not have a valid IP address. Despite this, I am able to connect to the internet with the ethernet cable from my cable modem plugged into the Airport. So far, I have been able to browse several web sites despite the error message, using two different browsers. I guess this means this part works. My G4 running the Airport software and using the airport card does not show up in the network. Is it supposed to? Only "Jeff's Airport Extreme shows up. On another note, when I went through the configuration dialogs I did not see where I could change the W2 security. It would only allow me to continue if I entered a password under the default security settings. I can send you screen shots via external e-mail of the various config. messages and the error message if you would like.

    I hope to add a wireless printer and laptop eventually to the network. Is there anything I should know?

    Thanks again for your considerate and valuable help.

    jcom7 aka Jeff
  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (40,975 points)
    My G4 running the Airport software and using the airport card does not show up in the network.


    It's difficult to picture what your configuration is... I got the impression the only computer on your network is the G4. If you're trying to access the it from another computer, the G4 will appear on your network only if you allow it. Under the Apple menu > System Preferences, look for the Sharing preference. It will tell you what the G4's network name is.

    This KB article explains file sharing. It's written for OS X 10.5 but the Tiger instructions are similar: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1549

    Your Airport network's wireless security settings can be found using Airport Utility > Airport pane > Wireless > Wireless Security. As I wrote, just don't use WPA2 because to my knowledge it won't work with your 802.11b wireless card.

    Additional wireless computers can join your network, you just have to select your wireless network's name and password when prompted. A network printer is also easy to set up, but shop around for one from a manufacturer known to visibly support OS X. Brother, Canon, and Epson are a few that come to mind. Kodak is a fairly recent entry that seems to be off to a good start. Bear in mind that if you want a printer on your network, *buy a network printer*, not one with just a USB connection. Don't make the mistake of buying a cheap printer when a good one can be had for another $10 - $20.

    When you realize their initial cost equals only a few inkjet cartridges, laser printers are cheapest over time. If you ask around on this forum there are plenty of people who can provide recommendations.