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MacBook wireless suffering after recent Mac OS X updates

post #1 of 57
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Owners of Apple's 13-inch notebooks are reporting that their Wi-Fi access is much less reliable after installing Mac OS X Leopard or more recent updates to Mac OS X Tiger, especially when the systems switch to battery power.

System users in Apple's discussion forums (one, two), as well as those speaking directly with AppleInsider, say the problem first surfaced after the appearance of the Mac OS X 10.4.10 update this summer and so far is known to affect most models, though reports are currently scarce from buyers of Apple's fall 2007 units.

The exact behavior of affected systems can vary slightly, but appears to largely be connected to the computer's power supply. While the connection remains largely stable when plugged into an AC adapter, switching to battery power renders the wireless link intermittent and in many cases drops network access entirely when idle.

"Whenever I unplug my AC adapter, my wireless Internet goes a little crazy and starts continually disconnecting and reconnecting moments later," says one owner.

Users often can't detect nearby networks after restarting the card through software, but can almost always regain a dependable connection after reattaching the power plug. A handful of owners report having to restart the computer to restore the Wi-Fi connection, however.

To date, the intermittent connection issue has not been publicly acknowledged by Apple and affects systems regardless of subsequent Mac OS X updates. Both the recent 10.4.11 update and all current versions of Leopard continue to exhibit the symptoms of the problem, although some note the situation improving for their systems after the most recent upgrades to both Leopard and Tiger.

For those still affected, successful workarounds have included reverting to Mac OS X 10.4.9 when possible, and setting up commands in Terminal that send out data to keep the connection active. But since the issue does not occur when running Windows XP or Vista in Boot Camp, several users say Apple has no reason to leave the apparent flaw unresolved.

"Wi-Fi works OK under other OS X releases and also with Windows Vista running on the MacBook hardware," says one report. "Apple's engineers need to quit playing with their iPhones, roll up their sleeves and look for bugs."
post #2 of 57
Very interesting! I bought a MacBook in late September with Tiger 10.4.10 on it. Right from the day, wireless has been troublesome! I do not run Windows on this, but also have a Thinkpad running Vista. When placed side-by-side, the Thinkpad will maintain strong signal averaging 75-85% whereas the MacBook will connect and reconnect often, particularly when on battery power or when resuming! Upgrading to 10.4.11 does not seem to fix the issue - I can detect no increase (or decrease) in stability of the wireless connection.

I hope Apple rolls out a patch for this issue soon...







Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Owners of Apple's 13-inch notebooks are reporting that their Wi-Fi access is much less reliable after installing Mac OS X Leopard or more recent updates to Mac OS X Tiger, especially when the systems switch to battery power.

System users in Apple's discussion forums (one, two), as well as those speaking directly with AppleInsider, say the problem first surfaced after the appearance of the Mac OS X 10.4.10 update this summer and so far is known to affect most models, though reports are currently scarce from buyers of Apple's fall 2007 units.

The exact behavior of affected systems can vary slightly, but appears to largely be connected to the computer's power supply. While the connection remains largely stable when plugged into an AC adapter, switching to battery power renders the wireless link intermittent and in many cases drops network access entirely when idle.

"Whenever I unplug my AC adapter, my wireless Internet goes a little crazy and starts continually disconnecting and reconnecting moments later," says one owner.

Users often can't detect nearby networks after restarting the card through software, but can almost always regain a dependable connection after reattaching the power plug. A handful of owners report having to restart the computer to restore the Wi-Fi connection, however.

To date, the intermittent connection issue has not been publicly acknowledged by Apple and affects systems regardless of subsequent Mac OS X updates. Both the recent 10.4.11 update and all current versions of Leopard continue to exhibit the symptoms of the problem, although some note the situation improving for their systems after the most recent upgrades to both Leopard and Tiger.

For those still affected, successful workarounds have included reverting to Mac OS X 10.4.9 when possible, and setting up commands in Terminal that send out data to keep the connection active. But since the issue does not occur when running Windows XP or Vista in Boot Camp, several users say Apple has no reason to leave the apparent flaw unresolved.

"Wi-Fi works OK under other OS X releases and also with Windows Vista running on the MacBook hardware," says one report. "Apple's engineers need to quit playing with their iPhones, roll up their sleeves and look for bugs."
post #3 of 57
Mine has been like this for a while, it sucks!
post #4 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjharary View Post

Mine has been like this for a while, it sucks!


Mine was like this for a long time as well, after upgrading to Leopard and updating to 10.5.1 the issue is almost non existent. Only a minor glitch when waking from sleep 1 out of 10 times I would say.

Steve
post #5 of 57
I have had the same issue with my 15 inch MacBook Pro (Purchased in Aug) running Leopard and all the current patches. When I accidentally disconnect the power supply and reconnect it I loose the connection to my Linksys wireless router (WRT300N). If I disable airport, then re-enable it, the connection comes back most of the time. Once I had to do a reboot to get it back. Additionally I noticed that the signal strength meter only shows 50% when power has been removed and restored. Normally the meter shows 100% as I am usually 15 feet away from the router.
Thx,
BarryTheSprout
2 - Mac Mini ?Ghz 2GB Core Duo

1 - MacBook Pro 15" 2.4GHz 2GB Core 2 Duo
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Thx,
BarryTheSprout
2 - Mac Mini ?Ghz 2GB Core Duo

1 - MacBook Pro 15" 2.4GHz 2GB Core 2 Duo
2 - iMac 24" ?Ghz 2GB Core 2 Duo
1 - iPod 60 GB 5th Gen
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post #6 of 57
Well I'm glad I'm not going crazy, I've been having wireless issues with my 1st generation black MacBook since upgrading to Leopard. Applying the 10.5.1 update did nothing for me and it doesn't matter whether I'm on battery or connected to the power adapter. The Macbook acts like it's having DNS issues, you'll go to Google and Google is fine, but then go to Yahoo! and the pages won't load fully and I can't get to my Yahoo! e-mail account. If I shut off the Airport connection and turn it back on everything is fine for about 5 minutes, then it starts acting up again. Sometimes it takes a reboot to fix the problem. I've been using it connected via a network cable since I upgraded it to Leopard and that seems to be the only way it works reliably. My Ubuntu notebook and Vista Media Center PC all work fine (at least until Vista decides to crash, which is often). I'm about two seconds from wiping the Macbook and going back to Tiger, but the aggravation in backing up all my stuff and re-installing all my applications once again has kept me from doing it so far. Here's hoping Apple comes out with a fix soon.
post #7 of 57
I bought a MacBook one week after they were announced in June 2006. I have not experienced the problem at all, and after installation of Leopard have seen increased throughput and reliability. I currently have 10.5.1 installed. Perhaps it only involves the 802.11n MacBook models?
post #8 of 57
I had many problems with my MacBook Pro when running 10.4.10 to the point I was ready to purchase a new router. But I have to admit the lost connection issue disappeared once I upgraded to 10.4.11.

--Dave
Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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post #9 of 57
Airport strength has dropped a bar or maybe two.
Batter time has gone from 3+ hours to less than 2 on a full charge.
Reset everything - PMU NVRAM PRAM, let it completely die twice...
No improvement.
post #10 of 57
From what I've read, the problem is that some sort of power saving feature of the AirPort card does not play nicely with certain routers. This is why you'll have a large handfull of people with the problem (using the unfriendly routers) and some who do not have problems at all.

I never experienced this problem with my 13in Macbook or MacBook Pro on my Linksys WCG200 router, however, when I switched over to a 2Wire router, both laptops began experiencing this problem immediately; great connection while plugged-in, spotty connection and frequent disconnect when on battery.

I think there is actually a technical article posted by Apple covering this issue and their solution was to buy an AirPort Base Station, seesh. If I'm able to find the URL to the article before someone else does I'll post it here.
post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by portablecow View Post

I think there is actually a technical article posted by Apple covering this issue and their solution was to buy an AirPort Base Station, seesh. If I'm able to find the URL to the article before someone else does I'll post it here.

Interesting if true. I have a September 07 MacBook and an Airport Extreme and I have no problems.

Haven't had any problems under 10.4.10, 10.5 or 10.5.1
"Too much of a good thing is great." Mae West
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"Too much of a good thing is great." Mae West
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post #12 of 57
I have an old macbook 2Ghz(802.11g) and have been using 10.4.8 up to 10.4.10 and now leopard and wireless has always been and is very stable. I have an Airport Extreme basestation(100Mb) as router.
post #13 of 57
I have had issues with wireless and Leopard (10.5.1) among other things. Wireless says its connected, but I cannot browse and .Mail cannot connect. Upon repairing permissions and restart, everything is fine. My issue is not related to power I do not think.

Not pleased with Leopard's speed or stability right now.
post #14 of 57
I have a MacBook Pro which has always had a few problems, but it became more frequent after upgrading to 10.5 and 10.5.1. In fact, I lose my WiFi several times a day. I've found that the only way to restore it is to turn off Airport and then turn it back on.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #15 of 57
I am having the same issues. I just bought a 2.16Ghz Macbook about 1 week ago.

Running 10.5.1.
I am plugged into AC power
Airport Extreme Router (Gigabit) version 7.2.1
I am connected to an external monitor via mini-dvi to vga
Tried both WPA and no wireless security
Laptop lid is closed
Power settings are set to not sleep, do not turn off monitor, and do not turn off HDD

At night I've left my NZB downloader running and each morning I wake up and I've lost connection. I can regain it be either rebooting or turning the airport card off and then on again.

I have also had issues during the day where I will also lose connectivity.

Hopefully Apple addresses the issue soon...
post #16 of 57
Null.
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
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Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
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post #17 of 57
I have the macbook pro 17 incher, and as soon as I installed the new kitty, my connection became weaker than it used to be... but that could also be because I swtiched from an AirPort Extreme to the Express the same time. But even when I sit right next to the router, the most I get is 80% conectivity, and sometimes, the internet goes VERY slowly... My airport express also cuts out for minutes at a time...
post #18 of 57
"Apple's engineers need to quit playing with their iPhones, roll up their sleeves and look for bugs."
Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
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Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
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post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

"Apple's engineers need to quit playing with their iPhones, roll up their sleeves and look for bugs."

Reseting your Airport Extreme. I took it too Apple Store and after Trouble Shooting they said resetting will do the trick. It has been running Awesome for over 2 weeks.
post #20 of 57
My wireless networking sometimes quit responding and I have to turn Airport off from the menu and back on to get networking working. I don't have to do it on my PC. It's a pain but the user interface is pretty. I have a TRENDnet wireless router and have WPA turned on.
post #21 of 57
I personally haven't had any problems with my macbook Pro, but my roommate who is using a 13" Macbook was having this exact problem and we are using an Airport Extreme router. Our third roommate hasn't said anything about having a problem and he's using a (i think) Dell laptop running windows...
My roommate with the macbook was having problems with 4.10 and the only thing that ended up fixing the problem was to downgrade to 4.9, and now he's working fine on the internet. also he was experiencing the problem connecting to the wireless even when connected to power.

So don't really know what it means but it seems like it was 4.10 since downgrading to 4.9 fixed it not to mention no other computer had a problem connecting to the router.
post #22 of 57
That was the same problem I was having. Resetting it (small hole in the back of the Airport Extreme) has fixed the problem. I had that problem before Leopard.
post #23 of 57
On an MBP 2.4 with 10.4.11 I've replaced /System/Library/Extensions/IO80211Family.kext with the earlier version (1.6) from the 10.4.10 update manually, since then I have no drop-out problems.
post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghosh9691 View Post

Very interesting! I bought a MacBook in late September with Tiger 10.4.10 on it. Right from the day, wireless has been troublesome! I do not run Windows on this, but also have a Thinkpad running Vista. When placed side-by-side, the Thinkpad will maintain strong signal averaging 75-85% whereas the MacBook will connect and reconnect often, particularly when on battery power or when resuming! Upgrading to 10.4.11 does not seem to fix the issue - I can detect no increase (or decrease) in stability of the wireless connection.

I hope Apple rolls out a patch for this issue soon...

I have had this problem on my NEW 24" iMac "Extreme" since I got it. There is an entire discussion of this problem going on in the Apple discussion forums.

I hoped 10.5.1 would fix it but no...
post #25 of 57
Since moving my MacBook to Leopard I've run into wireless issues. Basically on resuming from sleep OS X cannot find my router. It'll find the other 4 or 5 wifi networks in the area but I have to shut off / turn on the wireless card for it to see my network again.
post #26 of 57
I have a Nov 07 MacBook came with Leopard, and have issues with wireless as well. Also tried 10.5.1 and same problems. I don't really have the option to downgrade to 10.4.9...

It seems to be OK when it wakes up from sleep after a few minutes, but when I go to bed and wake up the next day, the wireless will not connect automatically. I have to stop AirPort and restart it to make it work sometimes and have to reboot other times because it won't get an IP address. Even tho it says it's connected and full signal strength. Just won't get an IP from the router.

I tried all the suggestions on most of the sites offering info on fixing wireless problems.

Also after a day or so without rebooting the machine the connection seems to die after a 10 minutes or so requiring me turn the AirPort off and on again.

I have my room mates windows machine right next to it and it works fine without any connection loss. So I think that rules out the router and the near by networks and interference.

I called Apple Support, and got routed to 3 different people. The last guy insisted even tho the windows machine works it has to be a problem with the router, because as he claims they adhere to standards and they are setting the standards. He also says this because sometimes restarting the router would also fix the issue, but I assume that is because it forces it to rebroadcast itself.

I even went bought a new router just to test another brand. Same problems. First one was a DLink, second a Linksys. I would have tried an Airport router but I don't have a apple store nearby, and I couldn't return it if I had the same problems anyways.

After me insisting it's not the router, the Apple guy had me delete a few folders, and even sigh archive and reinstall OSX, and he said my next course of action is to erase and reinstall OSX cleanly, I just got the thing a week or so earlier, 2 reinstalls seem unnecessary. I haven't called him back yet. It seems a waste of my time when there is problems they need to fix in a patch.

Hope they address this.

P.S. My power cord was plugged in during all of this.
post #27 of 57
I have to agree that updating my System Software does do something to weaken the signal. It seems it's on the MacBook Pro 2.33 C2D side. I've already tried rebooting the router and that did not change anything.

I had to do an Archive and Install the recover my MacBook Pro. When I did, the DVD install using the base software (probably around 10.4.6 or so on my seven month old computer), I got a very strong signal that didn't waver at all. Internet Connect consistently showed all the bars at 100%. After running the Combo Updater to bring the System up to 10.4.11 the signal showed at less than half in Internet Connect.

It's not enough to cause me any serious connection problems, but as strong as the signal from the AEBSn should be, I shouldn't be getting such a weak signal at my MacBook Pro. It doesn't stay consistently weak, but it sort of fluctuates between 40% and 100% at any time of the day or night. Even in the middle of the night when neighbors would not be using any cellphones or microwave ovens. I usually leave the channel on automatic, but I've tried other channels with no apparent signal strength difference. I really think there is some code in the System Software that messes up the MacBook Pro's Airport wireless hardware.

Eventually I'll be moving to Leopard. I have it, but I'm not ready to install it yet on my MacBook Pro until Unsanity updates some of their utilities. After reading this thread, I may hold off a little longer until wireless issues are resolved to some degree.

I'm testing Leopard on my FW800 G4 1.42 dualie but that's connected by ethernet, so I haven't used wireless yet.

Would anyone know if the firmware updater on the Gigabit AEBSn is different from the pre-Gigabit model.

\
post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by donebylee View Post

Interesting if true. I have a September 07 MacBook and an Airport Extreme and I have no problems.

Haven't had any problems under 10.4.10, 10.5 or 10.5.1

I have always had an AEBS and I still had the issue.
post #29 of 57
Yes , my laptop was fine till upgrade. Can at least plug in power cord to get airport .. .. another upgrade needed here too. Thought maybe airport was screwed up.. here it's the software. At least Kasper is on the ball.. Thanks for the info. At least someone knows what's going on ,.
post #30 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryTheSprout View Post

I have had the same issue with my 15 inch MacBook Pro (Purchased in Aug) running Leopard and all the current patches. When I accidentally disconnect the power supply and reconnect it I loose the connection to my Linksys wireless router (WRT300N).

My MBP also has wireless problems since the Leopard update (I didn't notice anything in 10.4.10 though). NOt only does it disconnect, if I do internet speed tests my internet speed is about 1/3 of the wired connection. I rarely do file transfers internally so I'm not sure how much slower they are (but I know printing stopped working).

I know it's a problem on at least 2 wireless access points (both Belkins), and I don't think I had a problem connecting to an Airport Extreme at my parents. I have run a temporary utp cable to my laptop.
post #31 of 57
i first started getting the problem with my old router so i replaced for airport extreme and still get the problem happens if d/loading large file and the computer is left alone for long periods of time. or if the laptops been on and idle then i go to do something 2 mins later will drop need to turn of router then search for the router again then it will pick it up. i havent noticed bat power link... my macbook is the black core 2 duo 2 gig ram one and i run leopard i was even thinking of getting rid of the mac because of this problem but im sure apple will do something about it if as many people as this are having the problem or im sure they will lose customers if they dont


i thought i was the only one so glad in a twisted way that im not
Ok i admit it i'm a Fanboy, and my opinions are alway's biast towards my love for apple
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Ok i admit it i'm a Fanboy, and my opinions are alway's biast towards my love for apple
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post #32 of 57
With 10.5.0, all my laptops had an issue if you were connected to a wifi network. The wifi menu bar icon wouldn't list any other networks that were available. I'd have to go through the Assist Me wizard before I could see any other available network listed and join them.

10.5.1 fixed that. I hope I don't have to suffer through yet another wifi bug.
post #33 of 57
I've been having this problem since I bought my macbook new about a year ago. At that time I had a Linksys wireless B router, now I have a Buffalo wireless g router running DD-WRT v23sp1. It's just something I've learned to deal with...
post #34 of 57
I've definitely been having this problem since the switch to leopard on my MBP, not to mention suddenly every time we use the microwave I get knocked off (never happend before leopard).
post #35 of 57
No problems with mine. Connecting to my old Airport Extreme without any issues at all.
post #36 of 57
its a nov 07 macbook 2.2ghz. the wireless is an airport extreme. ive had no drop outs of problems at all with speed or reliability. i have found that my brother mfc 210c has been unreliable on the airport usb port though. i dont know if thats a problem with the router or elsewhere in the system
post #37 of 57
This is the exact problem I had with my 13" Macbook for over a year, using Tiger, UNTIL we changed our wireless router from a Linksys 54G to an Apple Airport Extreme Base Station. The problem was somewhat intermittant, but most of the time I had to use a PING every 8 seconds to CNET to keep my connection up and running during long pauses. Once we switched to the Apple router, no more problem. Now I am running Leopard: still no problem.
post #38 of 57
hi all,
I bought my MacBook 13.3 in early july and up until I upgraded to 10.4.11, then started the same nightmare has many here experienced.

Well, I was persuaded the problem came from the router I was connecting to ( Linksys ) but I found it odd that it occured only after a few month of no problem use. Also my friend, using a windows computer did not experience that kind of troubles.

So I ordered an airport base station from Apple (just after I ordered it I read this article). So I thought to myself "damn !... it won't help..."

But guess WHAT ?

NO MORE PROBLEM !!!

So that leads me to suspect Apple of doing some kind of trick to "force" us to buy an Airport Base Station.

This might just be a "conspiracy theory" but I am very happy that both I solved this issue and also that I purchased my Airport Base Station ( I wanted it for a long time already)


I hope this tip will help you all

post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clement View Post


So that leads me to suspect Apple of doing some kind of trick to "force" us to buy an Airport Base Station.

This might just be a "conspiracy theory" but I am very happy that both I solved this issue and also that I purchased my Airport Base Station ( I wanted it for a long time already)


I hope this tip will help you all


Hehe... I wish. I have an airport extreme (gigabit) and my wireless connection to my Nov 2007 Macbook is inconsistent at best
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjm7496 View Post

Hehe... I wish. I have an airport extreme (gigabit) and my wireless connection to my Nov 2007 Macbook is inconsistent at best

Same here. Even called Apple, and they couldn't narrow it down (not interference, etc.). I've found the 5 ghz range drops less times... but I have one PC in the house, and you can't find a 5 ghz dual band adapter for love or money (though there is a PCcard slot version, which coupled with a PCcard PCI slot adapter could work... but boy that seems a long way to go). Worse, the airport extreme seems to "know" the worst possible time to lose connection, I swear. Conference chat with India the other day, what happens? Bugs out. I had to connect my cable modem straight into my MBP to get around it. I think my airport extreme has rudimentary intelligence... and for some reason it's laughing at me.
"I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused."
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"I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused."
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