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HELP - Airport Extreme NOT visible in Airport Utility even after Factory reset

1180 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 14, 2013 5:11 AM by Stephen Schulte1 RSS
Stephen Schulte1 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 10, 2013 6:29 AM

What a mess!


Five days ago I set-up my first Airport Extreme.  But I realized I had set-up the WiFi so as to "Create a new wireless Network" - but I actually want to "Extend my existing wireless network of my ISP".  So I tried to change that in Airport Utility and it failed.  SO I then tried to get it to reconfigure - nothing.  I hit "Forget" and my Apple Extreme disappeared.


OK so then I performed this factory hard reset (following) but in the past hour Airport Utility does not show the Airport Extreme Base Station.  I have done the reset several times; have shut-down my Mac and restarted it.  Nothing-- the Airport Extreme light just stays a steady amber and Airport Utility continues to search for a base station with the spinning gear…  Says no configured Airport Extremes can be found-- (well I did a reset so mine is not going to be configured, is it?  It's going to be in fresh out-of-the box condition, right?)


REALLY LOST HERE-- Airport Extreme worked great with ethernet and usb etc. - I just wanted to change the WiFi configuration and now I have nothing…

Factory default reset (using reset button)

If the AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule isn't accessible from AirPort Utility, the Factory Default reset can be accomplished by using the reset button.

  1. Unplug the AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule from power.
  2. Press and hold the reset button with a pen or pencil, then plug the AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule back in while continuing to hold the button until you see the light (LED) flash rapidly. This should happen after a few seconds.
  3. Release the button. This will factory default reset the AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule.

Thanks for any help-- I'm back to just direct internet connection via my ISP's modem / WiFi-- and I need to get that range extended - at a loss here…


Best regards,



Steve Schulte

Thursday 10 January 2013

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion, Also a Mac SE running 6.0.4 - not upgrading that!
  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,055 points)

    Hi Stephen,


    An Extreme with a steady amber LED i.e. it never starts flashing, is not normal. This indicates it never completed its startup sequence. It will not communicate with AirPort Utility until it does.


    There is no cure other than to attempt the factory default reset again.


    If it is new, exchange it.

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,055 points)

    OK I see it's responding again.


    First, an Extreme cannot "wirelessly extend" a wireless network created by anything other than a genuine Apple AirPort base station. The only way to make it work with a non-Apple router is to connect it to the router using an Ethernet cable. In that case, you will need to configure your Extreme to connect using "Ethernet" and not your existing wireless network, and you must have it "Create a wireless network" with the exact same name and security settings as your existing network. In addition, set its "Connection Sharing" to "Off (Bridge Mode)". Make sure its wireless channel is set to "automatic" or one that is not the same as your existing wireless network's channel.


    These are easier to explain if you are using an earlier version of AirPort Utility and not AirPort Utility 6.1 which it sounds like you are using, but the corresponding settings ought to be found somewhere. The latest version of AirPort Utility is designed to detect and create the proper settings for you, but it does not always succeed.


    Next, whenever you disconnect whatever is connected to your ISP's modem/router, make it a habit to power down their equipment first. Generally speaking you cannot disconnect your Mac from it and subsequently connect your Extreme without a power cycle. Most modems will refuse to communicate with anything other than what was connected to it when it powered up, so make sure that is your Extreme.


    Finally, frequent "hard resets" are often necessary when trying to configure and reconfigure an Extreme, usually due to some setting that was inadvertently misconfigured. It is generally easier to start with an Extreme that has been reset in this manner.


    It is not necessary to perform a "factory default reset" which requires three hands - just leave it plugged in and press and hold the reset button continuously for as long as it takes to make the LED flash rapidly - five seconds or so. The only difference between this so-called "hard reset" and a "factory default reset" is that the "hard reset" does not erase previously stored profiles. That is seldom necessary.

    MacBooks  iMacs  iPads  AirPorts, OS X Mountain Lion,  28 years Apple!
  • edex67 Level 4 Level 4 (3,235 points)

    Yes, you use exactly the same name, password and security settings. The channel is already on 'automatic'.

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,055 points)

    So I need to take my ISP's  "SteveBelWiFi" and use that EXACT name--- OK but how do I set the Airport Extreme "channel" to automatic?


    Yes. Exact. Copy and paste if necessary.


    If you are using AirPort Utility 6.x, click the Extreme, click Edit, then Wireless, and make it look like this


    Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 10.59.07 AM.png


    Next click Wireless Options and confirm it looks like this


    Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 10.59.46 AM.png


    Click Save, then Update, and allow the Extreme to reset.

    MacBooks  iMacs  iPads  AirPorts, OS X Mountain Lion,  28 years Apple!
  • edex67 Level 4 Level 4 (3,235 points)
    1. Yes.
    2. Yes you can, the MBP has WiFi. No problems should be caused, it's plug and play.
    3. For the By the way question: USB2 I believe.


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