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  • mfwells Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Gnatcnoel,

     

    Welcome to the club. I will assume since you have a new MBP that you are running Lion? If so, it would appear as confirmation that my upgrading to Lion won't fix the problem - something I had been contemplating and hoping for a solution. Well no need to upgrade now, looks like Lion doesn't fix it.

     

    What is causing this is Apple's inability, unwillingness, incompetence or neglect with respect to addressing something that is clearly a serious software issue.

     

    Based on what I, and other posters have been able to piece together, it seems to occur when you are in a low or medium signal strength area and have surrounding WiFi networks operating in the vicinity. I am not 100% sure of this, but I strongly suspect it is the case. I (we) also suspect this is a problem that didn't exist prior to Snow Leopard upgrades, which leads one to believe it is either a firmware or software problem, not a hardware design flaw.

     

    But since Apple has been uncommunicative on this issue, and it has been dragging on, literally, for many many months (over a year now?), only recourse for us older mbp users is to suck it up, sit next to the WiFi router or use a hardwire connection.

     

    SINCE you have a new MBP, do yourself a favor. Go to your Apple store, or call Apple, and raise hole HE**. If enough NEW MBP buyers do this, perhaps someone will finally get the message. When dealing with Apple, don't let them give you the ol' two-step. Tell them you've spent time researching the problem on the support forums, and there's a very long thread (this one), with many, many users (old and new MBP) complaining about the same thing. DEMAND that they address your problem. You'll be doing all of us a HUGE favor if you get them off their duffs.

     

    FINALLY, if you do get a solution  that works (as in a software upgrade, or some errant file that needs to get deleted), please PLEASE come back here and let everyone know. You will receive great psychic rewards and a lot of atta-boys.

     

    Good Luck, may the force be with you.

  • zadigre Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    There are some reports that the latest lion 10.7.2 beta build available to some developers might fix some or all wifi issues...

    I really hope this is true!

  • lupunus Level 3 Level 3 (995 points)

    Eventually some will find usefull information to fix there wifi-issues in the following threads

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/15663653#15663653

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/16225177#16225177

  • mfwells Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)


    lupunus wrote:

     

    Eventually some will find usefull information to fix there wifi-issues in the following threads

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/15663653#15663653

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/16225177#16225177

    EVENTUALLY is the operative word written above. Read (slogged!) through both these threads, which (encouragingly for a long term fix) seems to be actively participated in by Apple and some other serious wireless networking types. Need to be a propeller head to get the gist of what's there and actually implement a fix/workaround or whatever. Probably waaaaaay to technical for most average users and hence of no use. I understand maybe 50% of it and really not helping me much either. Would would obviously be most useful would be for Apple to just fix it, or someone to write up a summary of things to implement that are known to work here, or somewhere, and post a link.

     

    I need to point out that I am using Snow Leopard, and an older MBP, however the problems/symptoms are identical to those reported in the referenced threads. So if I was a gambling man I would bet it's the same issue.(s) Another thing worth repeating here, yet again, is that this problem did not appear PRIOR to my upgrading to Snow Leopard. So, at least sometime in the not so distant past, MBP wireless working just fine (as was my experience) and went south sometime around SL install or some SL update thereafter. So somebody, somewhere at Apple, knew how to make it work at one time or another.

     

    Having said that, I finally got desperate and implemented something very brute force, and probably only a band aid on a bleeding artery, but it seems to work for the moment so I can actually get something done short of stringing a bunch of cat5 wire around the house.

     

    I ran over to Fry's and got an Amped AP-300 wireless access point, killed the weak-a** wireless link out of my ATT/uVerse router and fired the access point puppy up. As long as my signal is blasting the heck out of everyone else in the neighborhood, my MBP seems to keep connected. I set the beacon/timeout to 50 ms as suggested by some, put the Amped network first on my connection list.

     

    Which brings up another thing worth mentioning. Problems seem to occur mostly (always?) when other network SSIDs are in the vicinity, AND if my network signal level is lower due to my location in the house. At some times of day when others are not broadcasting, my wireless connection seems to work just fine, or mostly fine. I'm not knowledgeable enough to understand what may be causing this, just observing something that seems a bit curious and correlates more or less to my difficulties. Also noticed similar correlation when using public WiFi while traveling. At times when I was only user, I could stay connected. Get other users around and poof, things went south in a hurry.

     

    This is no real solution for sure. Does me no good in public WiFi situations, such as I encountered in recent travels where the MBP was absolutely useless. I can't carry a WAP around with me everywhere, and who's going to let me jump on the wired connection anyway.

     

    Would appreciate someone posting if/when a solution that works for most or all of us becomes available.

  • susan187 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I just took my three month old MBP to the Apple Store because of the wifi issue.  It only happened after I picked it up from having the logic board replaced.  I brought it home yesterday afternoon, booted it up, only to have it drop the wireless signal after 4 minutes.  It was also freezing up around 80% of the time I had it up and running.  Right now, I'm just angry that they can't get my 'new' computer to work.  I'm ready to demand a replacement.  However, if they do fix it, I'll let everyone know.

  • lupunus Level 3 Level 3 (995 points)

    mfwells wrote:


    I need to point out that I am using Snow Leopard, and an older MBP, however the problems/symptoms are identical to those reported in the referenced threads.

    I use, aside of the working horse 2011 MBP, a older MacBook (early 2008) and had the same network trouble after a new Airport Extreme took over the wireless access point role at the time I got the MBPro.

    The drop outs occur (in most cases) regardless of the used operating system (had Windows and Linux users too with the same) even as the actual discussions circle always around Lion.

    If you take a look in the past along the threads here, you may notice, that the same discussions howl up every time a major OS X upgrade is rolled out.

     

    mfwells wrote:

     

    As long as my signal is blasting the heck out of everyone else in the neighborhood, my MBP seems to keep connected.

    That's a reason to think about two things:

     

    1. Interferences from other wireless in neighborhood or other 2.4GHz radio equipment; e.g. Bluetooth, wireless mouse/keyboard a.s.o. Even a leaking microwave may put you connection to the dump.
    2. Location of the router. It should not be placed directly on a wall, in a corner, on the floor, behind a furniture or on a place, where major obstacles (e.g. metal frames, high voltage lines) are in the way of the radio beam.

     

    • If using 802.11g or 802.11n on 2.4GHz Band you may change the wifi channel to one that is at least 5 channels away from the strongest neighbor nets. if possible you should prefer Channel 1, 6 or 11 if US based.
    • If your router, equipement and living situation allows that, you may leave the 2.4Ghz Band completely and set all systems to use 5GHz 802.11n only.

     

    mfwells wrote:

     

    Which brings up another thing worth mentioning. Problems seem to occur mostly (always?) when other network SSIDs are in the vicinity, AND if my network signal level is lower due to my location in the house. At some times of day when others are not broadcasting, my wireless connection seems to work just fine, or mostly fine.

    This indicates at firsthand again a problem with interferences. Channel or band change will do a lot if thats the main reason.

     

    Does me no good in public WiFi situations, such as I encountered in recent travels where the MBP was absolutely useless.

    This may eventually also point to a problem with the antennas of the MBPro. It's not clear to me what you mean with "a older" MBP but all "Extreme" capable systems have at least 2 antennas.

    To have a test on the antennas, you may (if possible) temporarely switch your wireless to 5GHz 802.11n only and fix the MBP to use the 5GHz only, or visit the nearest Apple Store.

    You should then have at least a "connection speed" of 300 Mbit/s displayed. (150 Mbit/s per antenna)

     

    Cheers - Lupunus

  • mfwells Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I use, aside of the working horse 2011 MBP, a older MacBook (early 2008) and had the same network trouble after a new Airport Extreme took over the wireless access point role at the time I got the MBPro.

    The drop outs occur (in most cases) regardless of the used operating system (had Windows and Linux users too with the same) even as the actual discussions circle always around Lion.

    If you take a look in the past along the threads here, you may notice, that the same discussions howl up every time a major OS X upgrade is rolled out.

     

    My MBP is Model A1151. Not sure what year I got it, at least 3 years ago I suspect, making it around '08 or so. It was like-new off the Apple demo store site.

     

    Side by side with a WinDoze (Dell) laptop, the Dell has absolutely NO problems with wireless, same location, same time, same router and WiFi channel, etc....etc.... Also, other WiFi devices no problem. So if it was something environmental, not specific to MBP, I wouldn't be doing the Forum Howl. Despite the oscillations about WiFi connectivity as new releases roll out, the problem as been ongoing for quite some time with MBP and nobody, as yet, has come up with any workable solution regardless of OS release since SL early.

     

    That's a reason to think about two things:

     

    1. Interferences from other wireless in neighborhood or other 2.4GHz radio equipment; e.g. Bluetooth, wireless mouse/keyboard a.s.o. Even a leaking microwave may put you connection to the dump.
    2. Location of the router. It should not be placed directly on a wall, in a corner, on the floor, behind a furniture or on a place, where major obstacles (e.g. metal frames, high voltage lines) are in the way of the radio beam.

     

     

    Which is why I bought the WAP and put it within 10 feet of where I am normally using the laptop downstairs. The WAP is 2.4g only, no 5g choice. If I could switch to 5g, maybe that would help. However, I don't know if or how to do that on the MBP even if the WAP supported it. BTW, I swapped the WiFi card out of the laptop about 4 months ago in attempt to fix this problem. Put in a new b,g,n capable card (original MBP only had b,g card). Did NOT make the problem better or worse, just stayed the same.

     

    So now I am sitting within 5 ft. of the WAP, and I notice my connection speed is only 2 MBPS and the RSSI says -80. There is absolutely nothing between me and the WAP except air. No microwave on, no iPone nearby, no other WiFi devices within useful range. So what exactly am I to make of that? Oh, and the "bars" on the MBP status bar are "all on". ***? How is -80 and 2 MBS warrant "all bars"? This is precisely the sort of thing that leads one to the conclusion that the software is just plain stuck on stupid.

     

    So yes, I agree that the problem MAY be related to interference some of the time, but not always (for instance at this precise moment I am writing this). But, nobody can just explain the behavior away as "interference", when other devices (non-MBP) work just fine in same location, at same time- that fact, as the lawyers say, speaks for itself.

  • lupunus Level 3 Level 3 (995 points)

    mfwells wrote:


    Side by side with a WinDoze (Dell) laptop, the Dell has absolutely NO problems with wireless, same location, same time, same router and WiFi channel, etc....etc.... Also, other WiFi devices no problem. So if it was something environmental, not specific to MBP, I wouldn't be doing the Forum Howl.

    O.K.

     

    mfwells wrote:


    So now I am sitting within 5 ft. of the WAP, and I notice my connection speed is only 2 MBPS and the RSSI says -80. There is absolutely nothing between me and the WAP except air. ....... How is -80 and 2 MBS warrant "all bars"?

    2Mbit/s tx rate and RSSI -80 (as you wrote) is indeed strange.

     

    RSSI (recived signal strengh) counts from 0 to -100.

    Generally the lower this indicator is (closer to -100) the better is the signal strengh.

    For that, -80 leads to "full bars"

     

    More interest to pay for:

    • PHY Value
    • the reported transmit rate
    • the MCS-Index (Modulation and Coding Scheme) value

     

    Whats your values there completely?

    (You get the values by holding down option key (alt) while clicking on WiFi symbol.)

     

     

    Lupunus

  • mfwells Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Just for info, since my last post I did software update to load and install the latest patches for SL. Some minor changes in the WiFi behavior. For instance, now the "bars" continue to scan for a while even when it is clear the WiFi connection has been established. This is new/different and basically now worthless information. Eventually the "bars" settle on some value, but a while after (many seconds) after the link is up and I'm loading pages. STRANGE.

     

    One other thing I determined - according to the Apple upgrade site, my MBP can't run Lion; apparently it wants Core 2 Duo, while my lowly MBP is only a "Core Duo"...oh well, my MBP is now officially an orphan. SO, unless there's some fix coming along for SL, or a later update on Lion allows this MBP to run it, I'm going to be screwed.

     

    2Mbit/s tx rate and RSSI -80 (as you wrote) is indeed strange.

     

    RSSI (recived signal strengh) counts from 0 to -100.

    Generally the lower this indicator is (closer to -100) the better is the signal strengh.

    For that, -80 leads to "full bars"

     

    More interest to pay for:

    • PHY Value
    • the reported transmit rate
    • the MCS-Index (Modulation and Coding Scheme) value

     

    Whats your values there completely?

    (You get the values by holding down option key (alt) while clicking on WiFi symbol.)

     

     

     

    My understaiding of RSSI (Receive Signal Strength) is the reading is in dB of power. Therefore -60 is BETTER than -80, lower number means higher power. As in -60 db below a watt is MORE power than -80 db below a watt. So the -80 would be consistent with the bad data rate. I would expect full bars at -60, but not at -80 which is probably pushing the limits of the sensitivity of the receiver and antenna setup on the MBP.

     

    Something else interesting. Since the upgrade noted above, the MCS value no longer appears in the drop-down...used to until about 2 hours ago....other values seem to all be there as before. So clearly this update changed some things with the WiFi drivers...for the better??? Who the heck knows???

     

    I'll see if I can wander into the cone of crummy Wifi and send you the stats you asked for.

  • mfwells Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    OOPS, my bad on prior post. Apparently the MCS Index value does show up, but NOT every time I pull down the wireless info pull-down using the option key. I can't remember if it always showed up before this latest SL upgrade or not. Anyway, now it shows up intermittently, whatever that means.

  • mfwells Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    A little more info. I took a snapshot when the wireless network seemed to be working OK:

     

    PHY: 802.11n

    Channel: 6

    RSSI: -74

    Transmit Rate: 26

    MCS Index: 9

     

    All bars on in the status.

     

    I am working upstairs right now, using my laptop. This is the network I have set up on the WAP which is downstairs. I also have the upstairs WiFi network turned on from the router which  is in the same room (it is a completely different SSID, different channel and 802.11g). SO, you'd think if this was due to some interference issue, this might do it, because the nearby router is blasting at -45 RSSI.

  • mfwells Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    OK, so this is interesting. Just after taking the above readings, I switched to the upstairs network, which is a few feet away. Got awesome power and 54 mb on the transmit rate. Just like I would expect. So then I switched back to the network on the WAP, downstairs, and it's as if the readings just moments before in the prior post I made can't be achieved. Instead, I am now getting:

     

    PHY: 802.11n

    Channel: 6

    RSSI: -74

    Transmit Rate: 1

    MCS Index: (It doesn't display)

     

    ONE bar on on the power status.

     

    Same network, same everything. Just switching from the WAP 11n network, to the upstairs 11g network, and back to the WAP 11n network just hosed everything up.

     

    Sure looks to me like somehow the software and/or drivers are losing their minds with the network changeover. BUT, I've been doing this off and on this afternoon, other times without any hiccup. NOW THIS TIME it decides to go stupid. 'splain that Lucy.

  • mfwells Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    And so I switch back to 11g, then to 11n again. This time I get the readings same as above BUT I am getting ALL bars in the status. ***? Is this WiFi software screwed up or what? How can one believe anything the indicators are telling you?

  • lupunus Level 3 Level 3 (995 points)

    mfwells wrote:

     

    My understaiding of RSSI (Receive Signal Strength) is the reading is in dB of power. Therefore -60 is BETTER than -80, lower number means higher power.

    Nope.

    In an 802.11 system RSSI is the relative received signal strength in a wireless environment, in arbitrary units. RSSI measurements are unitless and in the range 0 to 255. 802.11 standard does not define any relationship between RSSI value and power level in mW or dBm. The maximum value is vendor dependent and Apple use the 0 to -100 scheme.

     

    mfwells wrote:

     

    Something else interesting. Since the upgrade noted above, the MCS value no longer appears in the drop-down.

    Oups .. the MCS have to appear there in SL up to 10.6.8.

     

    Eventually perform a permissions repair from the disk utility (it's always a good idea after updates)

    Don't bother about upcoming warnings e.g. from Java files. Just ignore them. It's ok.

     

    The "bars" are useles. There are only optical indicators that something happens.

     

    PHY, RSSI TX-Rate and MCS are the counting values if seen in relation.

     

    mfwells wrote:


    One other thing I determined - according to the Apple upgrade site, my MBP can't run Lion; apparently it wants Core 2 Duo, while my lowly MBP is only a "Core Duo"...oh well, my MBP is now officially an orphan.

    The system must have at least Core2Duo. For that, you have to remain on SL without any chance for Lion.

     

    (MCS) ... now it shows up intermittently, whatever that means.

    Oups again ... sounds not good.

     

    The MCS (Modulation and Coding Scheme) tells the data rate in Mbit/s between the access point (router) and the wifi chip itself. There are values from 0 - 31 which correlates to a specific data rate in conjunction with the used frequency band, coding rate, spatial stream and modulation type.

    In this case, higher means better.

     

    I'm afraid, you may eventually ease into the thought that the wifi chipset or the antenna connection to the chip is faulty.

     

    Lupunus

  • olmeister Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've got the same problem with my new macbook pro, I bought it on saturday although its an "Early 2011" Macbook Pro 15".

     

    Pretty pathetic apple, this problem has been going on all year and there still isnt a fix for it?

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