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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jan 16, 2013
    MacBook Air USB Issues?
    Hello there

    Short version: My first-gen MacBook Air seems to have hardware USB issues and I'm wondering whether there's anything I can do to debug/fix this.

    Ok then, here's the long version: Ever since I got my MacBook Air I've been highly unimpressed by its performance and only rarely ever used it. A few weeks ago I decided it was once again time to do some regular software maintenance but came to realize that I wasn't able to get a stable network connection with the built-in wifi. When I tried using the USB ethernet adapter I had similar issues there, i.e. frequent disconnects and very poor performance when it actually worked.

    Since those issues made it impossible for me to update OSX I decided to blame it on the OS (which was the obvious choice at the time) and install Debian instead. Now, on a positive note for the first time since I got the laptop it actually performs the way it would expect it from a Core2 Duo with an SSD. Unfortunately that didn't solve my networking issues though: the wifi and the USB ethernet adapter still disconnect frequently and the throughput is still very poor.

    I therefore decided to try some USB wifi adapters. The first one I tried (based on a realtek chipset) worked even worse, the second one (using an Atheros chip) works flawlessly.

    Now, that made me think. Since the internal wifi is also connected via USB, could there be some kind of problem with my USB chip? The thing is, seeing how the Atheros chip works just fine and I was able to install my operating system from the USB SuperDrive it's obviously not completely broken, but what other explanation could there be for these symptoms? If it is a USB problem, is there anything I can do about it? For now the laptop works perfectly fine with the Atheros dongle but if possible I'd rather use the built-in wifi.

    Any ideas would be highly appreciated.

  2. #2

    mrplow's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 01, 2007
    27" iMac i7 (2011) 10.11, Mac Mini i5 (2014), iPhone6s, Apple Watch, iPad Air 2, New AppleTV (4?)
    From everything you've written I'd more suspect it's your router.

    Do you have an alternative you could borrow/try?
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

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