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Airport Extreme needs daily resetting

22789 Views 59 Replies Latest reply: Oct 19, 2010 9:13 AM by luv2ride RSS
  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,045 points)
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    Sep 16, 2010 6:48 PM (in response to JTerp)
    When your ISP changes your IP address or performs some other maintenance that confuses your modem, usually all that's required is to reset the modem. The Extreme shouldn't require a reset.

    When the modem restarts, it ought to assign a new IP address to the Extreme without having to reset it. As you say it's unusual for an IP address to change but once in a blue moon.

    You could try downgrading to 5.5.1; you could always go back to 5.7. I don't know what's in 5.6 or 5.7 to cause these complaints of random unresponsiveness.
    Powerbooks  iMacs  iPods  Airports  and everything Apple , Mac OS X (10.4.11),  25 years Apple!  "it's" means "it is"  or "it has"  and nothing else  ever
  • JTerp Calculating status...
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    Sep 16, 2010 7:42 PM (in response to John Galt)
    Thanks!

    Until yesterday, this problem happened extremely rarely (3 times a year, maybe). So that's why I thought the recent occurrence was odd. It's also odd that the previous events and the most recent manifested themselves differently. Before, I just couldn't access the Internet. With the recent problem, I lose the bars indicating signal strength and also can't access the Internet. I'm sorry that I forgot to mention that before.

    Re all the resetting: It's Comcast that tells me I have to go through all those steps. I doubt that the upgrade to 5.7 or 5.6 has been the problem for me that it has for others but I may downgrade just in case. I'm also going to unplug just the modem next time to see if that works. Sure would save me a lot of time.

    It's always possible Comcast is doing something on its network. I vaguely recall an announcement about some change to their service related to usage monitoring. They might just now be getting around to me.

    Do you recall when the 5.7 upgrade was released? I know there is a log record of when I downloaded it because I've accidentally found the log record of upgrades before but I can't remember right now where to look.

    Thanks again for your advice!
    iMac Intel 2.8GHz /MacBook Pro 2.53 GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,045 points)
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    Sep 17, 2010 6:11 AM (in response to JTerp)
    If your Airport reception bars go to zero, the Extreme has dropped off the map so you'll definitely have to reset it.

    I hope Comcast isn't thinking of restricting your bandwidth. Usage monitoring is the first step toward usage restriction, and one reason I don't want anything to do with Hughesnet

    The 5.7 update was released in January 2006. It was intended to address "reliability and resolves issues with AirTunes, AirPort compatibility, and issues with some third party Routers." It also mentioned it fixes a particular denial of service attack that would manifest itself in the symptoms you're describing:

    Impact: AirPort network interface becomes unresponsive

    Description: A malicious network attacker that can generate specially crafted packets may be able to cause an AirPort base station's network interface to stop responding normally, resulting in a denial-of-service. This update addresses the issue by discarding the malformed packets.


    Of course I have no idea if this is what's causing the problem though. I have yet to experience a DOS attack that I'm aware of, I don't use any third party routers, and AirTunes has its own set of problems that are probably unrelated to this one. So, I'd try 5.5.1 and see if it results in any improvement. Let it run for at least a week before drawing any conclusions.

    You can see a summary of installed updates by going to System Preferences > Software Update (not the Software Update under the Apple menu). I don't let SU install updates automatically - I like to maintain control over what my computers do
    Powerbooks  iMacs  iPods  Airports  and everything Apple , Mac OS X (10.4.11),  25 years Apple!  "it's" means "it is"  or "it has"  and nothing else  ever
  • Paul Galati Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
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    Sep 17, 2010 6:22 AM (in response to NeilBowD)
    As seen from my earlier posts, I downgraded 4 airport extremes from 5.7 back to 5.5.1 and I have not had a single issue with them since. I will say that these base stations are part of a larger network and none of them are WAN connected directly to the public internet, so the DOS bug fix may not apply in my circumstance.

    These base stations are above the ceiling so getting to them to reset them was a PITA. I installed X-10 appliance modules as kill switches so they could be restarted as needed. Now that they are stable under 5.5.1, I plan to remove the kill switches later this month.
    MacBookPro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • JTerp Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
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    Sep 17, 2010 8:53 PM (in response to John Galt)
    Thanks, John, for all your input. Now I know what the no bars means. And thanks for telling me where to find installed updates. Imagine my surprise to see I installed 5.5.1 on 7/13/10 (it was listed as AirPort Base Station Update 2010-001 5.5.1). There is no indication of my ever having installed 5.7 so I am at a lose as to why AirPort Utility says the installed version is 5.7. Do you know if older updates are ever automatically deleted because I have no installed software listed before 7/13/10. Is there any way I could have "accidentally" deleted the earlier stuff at some point when clearing cache and history?

    That possibility of usage restriction does worry me. I wouldn't be surprised if they are doing this so they can charge more for extended usage.

    Your info re denial of service is also reason for concern, especially if 5.7 is supposed to deal with it. I have noticed some strange behavior with the iMac off and on over the last month or so. I can't remember specifics. Is there any way to find out if malware has been installed in my computer?

    After all this, I am happy to report that there was no need to reset anything today and I did absolutely nothing. That being said, I am glad that downgrading seems to have worked for everyone else.

    Thanks again for all your help!
    iMac Intel 2.8GHz /MacBook Pro 2.53 GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,045 points)
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    Sep 18, 2010 7:51 AM (in response to JTerp)
    JTerp wrote:
    ... Imagine my surprise to see I installed 5.5.1 on 7/13/10 (it was listed as AirPort Base Station Update 2010-001 5.5.1).


    JT, you just encountered the very confusing situation I described in this reply to David Thomas2 above. *Airport Utility* version 5.5.1 is correct for your computer - there's no need to change that. Airport Utility will enable you to select from a variety of firmware versions to upload to your Extreme, one of which is coincidentally numbered 5.5.1. From what you describe, your iMac and/or your MacBook Pro is running Airport Utility 5.5.1 and your Extreme is running firmware 5.7 - not firmware 5.5.1 that appears to have cured these random connection problems. Confusing, no?

    You can use any computer, even Windows, to upload firmware to the Extreme. Software Update has no way to determine what firmware the Extreme is running - for that, you must launch Airport Utility.

    Earlier versions of OS X require an earlier version of Airport Utility, but even they have various firmware revisions to choose from including 5.7, 5.6, 5.5.1 and perhaps even earlier versions.

    Is there any way I could have "accidentally" deleted the earlier stuff at some point when clearing cache and history?

    Clearing caches and history will have no effect; Software Update contains its own log of installed updates. You can erase the log file, but that would require a deliberate action on your part.

    Your info re denial of service is also reason for concern, especially if 5.7 is supposed to deal with it. ... Is there any way to find out if malware has been installed in my computer?


    It is very, very unlikely that your computer is infected with any sort of malware. A virus infecting any version of OS X is unheard of, and if there were ever to be one, it would be the shot heard 'round the world. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. There's nothing preventing anyone from downloading and installing software that's poorly written and capable of wreaking all sorts of havoc, but doing so still requires an administrator's name and password.

    I understand one of Firmware 5.7's missions was to address a specific denial of service attack, but as I recall this mischief was rare. I have no idea what's causing these problems with 5.7, but in my opinion you should use whatever works reliably for you.

    I have noticed some strange behavior with the iMac off and on over the last month or so. I can't remember specifics.


    It takes a kind of sixth sense of computing knowledge to narrow down the list of possibilities for causing strange behavior, but there are a number of general techniques you can use - you ought to look over there at the Snow Leopard forum for help. Whenever something weird happens, make a note of it. I've never failed to determine a causal factor involved that can't be rectified (unlike Windows, which simply does incomprehensible things for which there is no solution).
    Powerbooks  iMacs  iPods  Airports  and everything Apple , Mac OS X (10.4.11),  25 years Apple!  "it's" means "it is"  or "it has"  and nothing else  ever
  • JTerp Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
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    Sep 18, 2010 10:56 AM (in response to John Galt)
    You are right that the difference between the computer and the Airport Utility is confusing. I had read your reply to David Thomas2 but it didn't stick. Your further explanation finally sunk in. Thanks! Guess I won't fool with downgrading the Airport itself as long as things continue to work ok, which they had until those two days.

    It dawned on me today that perhaps the Software Update list reflects only what has been installed since I upgraded to Snow Leopard. This sort of makes sense even though it doesn't seem like a good idea.

    Thanks for the reassurance re malware. One occasionally gets spooked when hearing about all the problems Windows folks have. Nr. 1 reason to be a Macophile!!!

    I will check out the Snow Leopard forum and will definitely write down whenever weird stuff happens.

    Thanks again for your excellent advice and analysis and also sticking with all of us who experienced this problem with Airport Extreme!
    iMac Intel 2.8GHz /MacBook Pro 2.53 GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • metroman68 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 20, 2010 8:14 PM (in response to JTerp)
    ditto, same issue, almost daily now. i guess i will try and reset airport express and see if it will make any difference.
    macbook pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • buxwheat Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 28, 2010 1:48 PM (in response to NeilBowD)
    Count me in as another experiencing similar problems. Sometimes after closing my MBP then reopening it, I will lose my Airport connection. Other times my connection gets slower and slower until non-existent. Always solved by unplugging and replugging the power cable to the AE. Problem has been increasing in frequency lately. Not sure if this has anything to do with adding two iPhones to our household since January. Anyway, I'm ready to try downgrading the firmware. Just checking to see if I can downgrade to AE Firmware 5.5.1 while using Airport Utility 5.5.1, or if I need to downgrade AU as well. By the way, another computer we have (15" PowerBook G4) will lose connection at the same time as my MBP and it running early version of Leopard.
    MacBook Pro 13" iPhone 3GS iOS4, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,045 points)
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    Sep 28, 2010 2:09 PM (in response to buxwheat)
    buxwheat wrote:
    Just checking to see if I can downgrade to AE Firmware 5.5.1 while using Airport Utility 5.5.1, or if I need to downgrade AU as well.

    You do not need to downgrade Airport Utility. You should run the latest version of Airport Utility appropriate to your OS.

    If your Powerbook is running an "early version of Leopard," you should consider upgrading it to 10.5.8: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL865
    Powerbooks  iMacs  iPods  Airports  and everything Apple , Mac OS X (10.4.11),  25 years Apple!  "it's" means "it is"  or "it has"  and nothing else  ever
  • buxwheat Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 28, 2010 5:01 PM (in response to John Galt)
    Thanks. So far, so good. If we don't have to reset again anytime in the next couple of days, I'll call this problem solved. Appreciate your quick response.
    MacBook Pro 13" iPhone 3GS iOS4, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Daniel Epstein Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 16, 2010 7:16 AM (in response to buxwheat)
    Just tried downgrading my Airport to 5.51. Very easy to do with Airport Utility. My connection was dropping about every 48 hours. A long test to find out if this is different. Have to remember to not update the firmware if this is the solution.
    Imac, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Airport Extreme Base StatFirmware Revert to 5.5.1
  • Scott Finchum Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 17, 2010 5:27 AM (in response to NeilBowD)
    I guess I should chime in as well. I've been having the SAME problem for quite a while now. I followed Galt's advice and so far, NO RESETS!!!..5.1.1 is the trick. I have one AE in one house with attached external antenna and another AE in another house 385' away. Both work like they did before I "upgraded" the firmware.

    If you haven't "downgraded" your firmware, do that 1st. It will probably solve MOST of your problems.

    Scott
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Mac mini, another pro, 4 iPhones, etc.
  • luv2ride Calculating status...
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    Oct 19, 2010 9:13 AM (in response to Scott Finchum)
    Really are you guys kidding me. This is the solution? I am shocked. This has been a thorn in my side for a couple weeks and irritating to say the least. We buy Apple products because we know they work. Why hasn't apple addressed this and why are we rolling back firmware? I'm all for it if it works dont get me wrong. I've only had this for a week or so. I'm tempted to take it back and go with something else.

    I just dont know.
    17" Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
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