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Saturday, February 17, 2007

My MacBook Pro Airport Connection Problem And Solution

Out of the middle of nowhere today my MacBook Pro wouldn't reconnect to my WiFi connection. This happened after I awoke the computer from sleep. It took a restart to get it working again. A few hours later the same thing happened when I woke the computer up again, but this time it wasn't fixed after a restart. I connected to my Linksys wrt54g wireless router with a manual IP address and snooped around. I ended up clearing the DHCP clients table and then trying to reconnect with DHCP. The router assigned my computer a new IP address in the clients table, but the computer itself didn't get the address. This seemed kinda strange.

After a bit of reading on the internet it seems that there are quite a few people who's Mac's won't reconnect their WiFi after sleeping. I attempted some of the most common fixes.
  • Turning AirPort on and off
  • Reconnecting to the access point
  • Deleting the following files
None of this worked. So I gave up for an hour or so. When I returned, as randomly as it stopped connecting to the internet it started working again. Maybe it was a delayed reaction from one of the above fixes. However, this was only a temporary fix.

Whenever I would put the computer to sleep it would loose its connection with the access point. However, unlike before, I could reconnect by turning AirPort off and then back on again. This is less than optimal though. It was really a pain in the butt to do all the time. Especially since I have the computer set to go to sleep after 5 minutes of inactivity.

I set out to eliminate this problem. I must have created a new 'Location' in the Network System Preferences when I first got my computer before I knew what I was doing. So I deleted that. Then I clicked the options button and set 'Keep looking for recent networks' when a preferred network is not found. Next, I removed all the 'Preferred Networks'. Followed by opening the Keychain Access application and removing all keys related to those preferred networks.

After all these changes my MBP now reconnects upon waking up from sleep again. It took me a few hours to figure out what was going on and find a fix for it. I can't say for sure exactly what the ended up being the solution since I was trying multiple things. I do know however, that one of the things listed above took care of the problem. At least now if it happens again I'll be able to hopefully fix the problem quickly!

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At February 19, 2007 at 3:37 PM , Blogger Dana said...

Again, another post I'm glad to stumble upon. I have a Linksys WRT54GS running Sveasoft's firmware. I had been using a 17" Powerbook G4 successfully forever with it. Out of nowhere, I started experiencing the problems you describe. I was thinking that perhaps it was the result of an update to Tiger.

Then I got the MBP and I have the same issue!! It seems to be connected to the channel that the router is currently on. Whenever the problem occurred, the router's wireless status page would show it was on channel 1. It was set to automatically select a channel. I set it to channel 11 and the problem disappeared for a few weeks.

Then, it reoccurred. So, I've now got it set on channel 12.

I'm also going to implement the steps that you've described. Hopefully this will lick the problem entirely.

At February 19, 2007 at 4:52 PM , Blogger Nick Young said...

After writing the post I remembered that I also made one other change. Under the Airport button there is an option that says...

"By default, join:"

"Preferred networks" was selected, but I changed it to "Automatic". Give that a shot. Every time I awake my computer I cross my fingers and how the issue doesn't come back :)


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