11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 12, 2012 7:22 PM by Tesserax
Carol1148 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I keep getting a "disconnected....looking for PPPoE host" crawl next to my wireless icon, followed by "connected via PPPoE host".  While this crawl is occuring I cannot do anything....web pages will not fill in, etc.  Is this an Airport Express issue?


Airport Express, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,465 points)

    Although this certainly be an AirPort Express issue, I would recommend that you do the following first to see if the issue returns. If it does, we can go over additional troubleshooting steps to help narrow down which of your networking components may be the real culprit.

    • Power-down the modem, AirPort base station, and computer(s). Leave them all powered-off for at least 10-15 minutes.
    • Power-up the modem; wait at least 10-15 minutes to allow it adequate time to initialize.
    • Power-up the AirPort base station; wait at least 5-10 minutes. Note: The AirPort's status light may continue to flash amber after it has intialized. That is because, there may be some additional configuration items necessary, like setting up wireless security, before the overall setup is completed to get a green status.
    • Power-up your computer(s).

    Network clients, connected to the base station, should now be able to access the Internet through the ISP's modem and maintain a stable connection. Please post back your results especially if this doesn't solve the PPPoE issue you are experiencing.

  • Carol1148 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks!  But unfortunately I tried this and it didn't resolve my problem.  Maybe I should give more details.  I have DSL through an ATT Motorola modem.  This is connected to my Airport EXPRESS.  I tried calling ATT, but they are saying there is nothing wrong with my modem, that the problem is with my router (the Airport Express?).  It seems to be an issue between the modem and the router.....suddenly they are no longer "speaking to each other".

     

    I did notice that when I get that "disconnected...looking for PPPoE host" message, the light on the Express is orange/yellow.  Once it gets connected again it goes back to green.

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,465 points)

    The error message you are seeing indeed indicates that the Express is having difficulties communicating with the AT&T-provided modem. Is this issue something that has started to occur recently or have you always experienced this with the Express?

  • Carol1148 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This just started a few days ago.  I spent the day yesterday on the phone with ATT and they say the modem is fine, that the problem must be with my wireless router.  It does seem to happen only at certain websites, or trying to get a map or something.  I could not access the latest software downloads for my computer (in case it had soemthing to do with that) so I ended up going to the library and using their wifi to download the latest security update.  I thought perhaps there would be an update for the Express that I needed.

     

    This is driving me crazy because I cannot do anything important (like purchase airline tickets that are at a good price right now) because I'm afraid it will drop the connection in the middle of the purchase process.

     

    I do appreciate you trying to help me with this.

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,465 points)

    Ok, I would suggest that we verify that the Express may be the issue by removing it from the equation and just have your Mac directly connected to the AT&T DSL modem. While the Mac is directly connected you can certainly do any critical Internet stuff, like getting those plane tickets. (Note: Since you are using DSL and it requires PPPoE for authentication, you will have to enter the appropriate PPPoE credential information in System Preferences > Network on the Mac so that it sends these instead of the Express.)

     

    Once you've taken care of business, please review the following Apple Support article for details on troubleshooting DSL connections that require PPPoE authentication.

  • Carol1148 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    (Note: Since you are using DSL and it requires PPPoE for authentication, you will have to enter the appropriate PPPoE credential information in System Preferences > Network on the Mac so that it sends these instead of the Express.)

     

    Uh oh, you lost me here.  I know about bypassing the Airport Express and hooking up the DSL modem directly to my computer (which is what I had before I went wireless),  but I don't know what you mean by "the appropriate PPPoE credential information".  I did connect this way this morning and it worked fine, but then I am tied to the room where the modem is.  And then I can't use my iPad, which relies on the wireless connection.

     

    I went and read that article for troubleshooting the DSL connection that requires PPPoE authentication, but that got me even more confused!  As I understood it, I would need to be connected via the DSL modem to do that troubleshooting, right?

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,465 points)

    Sorry to add any confusion. My goal is to help you determine if the AirPort Express Base Station (AX), indeed, is the culprit.

     

    I suggest that you start by looking at the Internet Connection tab within the AirPort Utility to identify your current PPPoE settings. (ref: AirPort Utility (v5.x) > Select the AX > Manual Setup > Internet > Internet Connection)

     

    It should look something like the following. (Note: I don't use PPPoE and this screen shot is from the Windows version of the utility, but yours should look similar.)

     

    Capture.PNG

     

    I highlighted what would be your PPPoE User Credentials. Currently your AX should be configured to provide these in order for you to gain Internet access from your ISP. If you connect your Mac directly to the modem, your Mac will now need to provide these same credentials. The idea is to copy these done so that they are handy, and then, temporarily reconfigure your Mac to provide these. You would configure these setting within System Preferences > Network > Wi-Fi or AirPort

  • Carol1148 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Checked all that out and it all matches up but I'm still getting disconnected from time to time.  I was able to download the latest software for the Airport, but that didn't solve my problem.

     

    Perhaps my Airport Express is just dying on me?

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,465 points)

    I just want to be sure I understood your last reply. Are you saying that you still get disconnects when you have your Mac directly connected to the modem? If so, that would indicate the modem as the potential problem.

     

    On the other hand, if you are saying that you do NOT get the disconnects with the Mac directly connected, then it is possible that the AX (as you have suspected) is the culprit.

  • Carol1148 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry....no, it does not disconnect when connected directly to the modem.

     

    New question...would it help to reset the Express to factory specs and start all over again setting it up? 

     

    If this is a possible solution, what info should I write down before I do it?  Do I need to know my IP address (the one that is all numbers) or anything like that?

     

    I remember being a bit confused when I set it up at first but at that time I could phone Apple and they walked me through it.  That doesn't seem to be an option now because I have had the Express over a year.

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,465 points)

    New question...would it help to reset the Express to factory specs and start all over again setting it up?

    Yes, this would be a good strategy. I would suggest performing a "factory default" reset which will return the AX back to its "out-of-the-box" configuration ... which is a wireless router that will broadcast an unsecured wireless network, with a network name of something like: Apple Network NNNNNN

     

    If this is a possible solution, what info should I write down before I do it?  Do I need to know my IP address (the one that is all numbers) or anything like that?

    As a minimum, you will want the information on PPPoE. One method is to take screenshots of a few of the AirPort Utility windows. I would recommend the Internet Connection and Wireless tabs. Although you can do screenshots via the keyboard key combinations, one utility that I would recommend is Captur. This utility creates an icon in the menubar and makes it really easy to take screenshots.