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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

iBook + Airport Troubles


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Stephen G

 
Member Since: Mar 03, 2005
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Hi.. I was hoping someone might have some ideas as to how to solve the following trouble:

I have a wireless network setup, an 802.11b/g router (SMC brand).
It had been working fine for 2 weeks, and in fact continues to work fine with my IBM thinkpad (on 802.11b).

However, today my iBook (on 802.11g) has been disconnecting itself constantly. The laptops are literally 2 feet from one another, and the signal strength is at least 50%, so signal weakness or laptop location are not the issue.

The iBook will basically just lose connection to the network (doesn't even notify me... everything just starts timing out and then it shows me as no longer connected in the airport bar on the top right). If I try to reconnect, either it tells me it was unable to connect and do I want to Retry or Cancel.. OR.. it thinks it connects but as soon as I try to use it, it continues to time out, and again quickly shows me as no longer connected. During this time my thinkpad maintains a stable connection. From the iBook, when I am having these problems, I am unable to ping the router.

Any help would be appreciated, thank you. If there is any additional info I can furnish, let me know.
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Perhaps reset the router. Or make sure connection to the Airport Card is secure by removing the keyboard and check it out for yourself.
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it sounds like they are too close together and creating interference with the iBook. try moving them apart and turning on the Interference Robustness option on your airport card.

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I had a similar problem and I solved it by changing the channel the router. I live in a condo and I was getting interference from two of my neighbors.
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Stephen G

 
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Thanks for the comments so far..
I have reset the router and removed/resecured my airport card.
Also, the problem happens even with the other laptop off+closed, so its not interference with the other laptop.

I can try other channels, but monitoring the other networks out there, they are on Channels 6+11, so I was under the impression that the further from other network channels, the better.. so as of right now I have been using channel 1. I will try this though and see what happens.

The thing I just don't understand is why it just stopped working yesterday, out of the blue. No network or computer settings changed. I am contemplating taking it in for service, but I am afraid such an intermittent problem would be hard to diagnose/service.

Also, I am curious.. Does interference robustness do anything if I have a non-Apple router?

Any further ideas would be appreciated.. as sending in my laptop for service during the semester is far from ideal, thanks!
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You might want to try power-cycling the setup. But, after you let the modem cycle through, leave the IBM laptop and any other computer turned off. Let the iBook be the first computer turned back on, and let it grab the first DHCP license. Wait about 2-3 minutes, then power the rest of the computer(s) back on so they can acquire new DHCP.

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rgivans
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Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y
You might want to try power-cycling the setup. But, after you let the modem cycle through, leave the IBM laptop and any other computer turned off. Let the iBook be the first computer turned back on, and let it grab the first DHCP license. Wait about 2-3 minutes, then power the rest of the computer(s) back on so they can acquire new DHCP.
Yeah I would agree. Its gotta be the DHCP acting up. If you dont connect when the iBook is solo then you might need to manually configure the IP address for the ibook. Its pretty easy to do.

Your going to want to check this anyways. When connected, open your wireless network preferences. It will then show you DHCP Automatic (most likely). The numbers will be in the area of 192.168.1 or 0. XXX the last 3 numbers is what you want to change. When I first started using my ibook on my PC network I kept getting IP Conflicts and I just simply had to alter the last number pretty much. YOur main PC might be 192.168.1.100 or 101. Just change your iBook to 109 or something where it wont interfere with the other IP numbers. Let me know if you need any other help or advice. Good luck :bomb:
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Stephen G

 
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Thanks for all the help.

Well after lots of trouble shooting, lots of resets, channel changing, firmware updating, and so on.. I think its either the router or some compatibility issue.

Firstly, I noticed that when I am unable to reconnect to my own network, I can connect to other wireless networks fine.

Secondly, now that I have been using the Thinkpad and iBook side by side I have found that while the Thinkpad disconnects less and stays on when the iBook disconnects, it took can get disconnected.

Lastly, I found this..
Despite positive reviews @ Toms Networking it did not do so well @ amazon or epinions...
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...45546?v=glance
Seems lots of people are disliking this router, including a Mac user with similar complaints.
http://www.epinions.com/pr-SMC2804WB...splay_~reviews

Any personal comments on the SMC router would be appreciated, but if not I wanted to follow up with what has happened and that amazon link.

The iBook is now at the point that it can stay online for 12-24 hours at a time, however it sometimes disconnects in as little as 4 hours. I may be buying a new router shortly...

The sad thing is though, that when it works.. it works great. I like the admin pages for SMC products better than even Linksys, and I really loved the print server on this router.
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This is goin to sound odd, but did you recently install a microwave near the laptops? Like within 30 feet? Or have the microwave cooking something when it happens?

Lol, that's always been my number one wireless problem maker. I turn on the microwave, and poof, no more internet.


The other suggestions were much better. I'd try a different router.
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rs2, good catch about the microwave.

I had a 2.4 GHz cordless phone that knocked out my wireless router's service as well. Every time someone picked it up, my wireless connection went out. I solved it by going with a 900 MHz phone.

I would suggest trying another router. Buy it from a store with a decent return policy, so if it doesn't solve your problem you're not out the money.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Stephen G

 
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Ya, I definetely have experienced the Microwave + Phone issue previously. However, the issue is that very rarely do both computers lose connection. Also, when one computer does lose connection, it can take up to 30minutes to regain it. Typically I end up resetting the router to get it working again. Whenever I have had phone/microwave trouble at home, my network recovers as soon as the interrupting signal dissapears. Not so here.

Plus, even if there are any phones or microwaves interfering (I do not suspect this), they are outside the range of my network..
That is, any phone/microwave causing issue is not in between my router and computers. Also, during any network outage of my own, I am able to access other peoples open wireless networks.

To me these are all symptoms of a bad router.
Unfortunately, I bought this router about 2-3 weeks before I was going to use it (college).. then we did not have cable installed for a week. We then had an internet problem that didn't get diagnosed for about 2 weeks. By the time I even got to the point of noticing it wasn't working.. I had the router for well over a month, plus it had a rebate on it, so I had cut the UPC off the box and mailed that in. Can't really return it now.

The strangest thing to me though is that it did actually work well for about a week or so, solid. Then one day I noticed someone in my apartment had plugged in directly to the router, and the routing table for IPs was juggled around a bit. Since then I have had nothing but trouble. Even after several resets and emtpy the DHCP table, not much luck.

I am looking at a Linksys currently (WRT54GC), as I know they are typically excellent. I am being much more careful about the reviews this time, even though my SMC had glowing reviews on many sites...
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Sorry to hear about it, Stephen. It just goes to show that everyone's own mileage varies.

Good luck with the new router!
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rgivans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen G
Ya, I definetely have experienced the Microwave + Phone issue previously. However, the issue is that very rarely do both computers lose connection. Also, when one computer does lose connection, it can take up to 30minutes to regain it. Typically I end up resetting the router to get it working again. Whenever I have had phone/microwave trouble at home, my network recovers as soon as the interrupting signal dissapears. Not so here.

Plus, even if there are any phones or microwaves interfering (I do not suspect this), they are outside the range of my network..
That is, any phone/microwave causing issue is not in between my router and computers. Also, during any network outage of my own, I am able to access other peoples open wireless networks.

To me these are all symptoms of a bad router.
Unfortunately, I bought this router about 2-3 weeks before I was going to use it (college).. then we did not have cable installed for a week. We then had an internet problem that didn't get diagnosed for about 2 weeks. By the time I even got to the point of noticing it wasn't working.. I had the router for well over a month, plus it had a rebate on it, so I had cut the UPC off the box and mailed that in. Can't really return it now.

The strangest thing to me though is that it did actually work well for about a week or so, solid. Then one day I noticed someone in my apartment had plugged in directly to the router, and the routing table for IPs was juggled around a bit. Since then I have had nothing but trouble. Even after several resets and emtpy the DHCP table, not much luck.

I am looking at a Linksys currently (WRT54GC), as I know they are typically excellent. I am being much more careful about the reviews this time, even though my SMC had glowing reviews on many sites...
Yeah that sucks you have had to go through all this drama. Good luck with the new one. :black:
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Stephen G

 
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Thanks, I ordered it today and its on its way.
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kevbob
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Originally Posted by Stephen G
Any help would be appreciated, thank you. If there is any additional info I can furnish, let me know.

Stephen-

Can you supply the specs for your iBook? Is it one of the new ones? The reason I ask is that for owners of the refreshed iBooks who have upgraded from the stock 512 to 1.5GB of memory are having symptoms similar to what you describe. Basically, Airport is useless. There is a growing thread within Apple's iBook>Networking forum that is hashing this out. It's a pretty apparent pattern with iBook memory upgrades. If this didn't describe your problem and it is just router issues, that's a good thing. Anyway, if this rang a bell, please check out:

http://discussions.info.apple.com/we...1688@.68b7c1b7
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