Odd networking/IP problem with Panther/PowerBook...

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Got home from work Friday and discovered that I couldn't get online. Check all the usual stuff (Network preference pane, cable connections, etc.). My network status was showing up as a yellow dot in the Network preference...says something like "Ethernet active, but using a self-assigned IP address...may not be able to connect to the Internet".

No kidding.

So I called Comcast. Apparently things checked out in that they could SEE me and see where I'd reset the modem. But I wasn't "pulling an IP" or something like that. By now, Apple tech support was closed (6am-6pm PST), so I called Apple Saturday morning. They blamed Comcast, more or less. Big surprise. The most helpful thing Apple could tell me (after having me look EVERYWHERE at this setting and that setting and seeing no good rhyme or reason why I wasn't able to get online) was to take the PowerBook to a friend's house - or two - and try it on their cable modem.

If I could get on, then the problem is obviously the cable modem. Well, I couldn't get on there either. So back home, another call to Apple:

"Reinstall the system". No exactly was I was hoping for, but...

So I did, and it works. Now.

BUT...does anyone know why this happened? Is it a common, known thing? Am I in for a random, worst-possible-timing reinstall of Panther any/every time this happens? Or was this a one-time odd fluke?

Apparently, according to Comcast, Apple AND the various little messages in the Network preference pane, my PowerBook wasn't able to pull an IP number upon startup so it could connect to the Internet.

As a weird by-product of this, I've noticed (EVEN after the fresh reinstall of Panther) that during start-up, that little blue progress bar doesn't go all the way through to the end (with things like "loading Firewall, log-in, network services initialized", etc.).

I'm able to get online again, but I just wonder if something's being left out during the start-up process. Up until Friday, it would go through the blue progress bar all the way.

Anyone know anything about this stuff? In a nutshell, is there anything the two guys from Apple tech support could've told me to do, short of reinstalling Panther (TIME-CONSUMING PAIN IN THE ASS). If I go home tonight and - heaven forbid - it's happened again, what's the deal?

Apparently, this "not assigning itself an IP number" is the issue. Why? Can I kick it or something to make it?

Or was this just a random, fluke thing?


  • Reply 1 of 1
    Normally, closing the lid (putting PB to sleep) waiting a few seconds, then opening it again causes the network re-initialise. But the same should also happen at boot.

    You might get some info back on the command line if you run these commands from the terminal.



    ifconfig en1 down

    ifconfig en1 up

    ifconfig will show you current settings. normally en0 is the built in ethernet and en1 is the airport.

    ifconfig en1 down dissables airport network.

    ifconfig en1 up re-enables airport. This should re-request an ip address via dhcp too.

    The up and down commands must be run by root.
Sign In or Register to comment.