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minnesotaslim 01-03-2011 10:44 PM

Snow Leopard and Airport FREEZE
OK, fine folks. I have been KILLING myself trying to figure out how to fix this, and for the first time since OS 6 I am stumped (more a matter of Macs running flawlessly for nearly two decades than inherent Mac intelligence on my part).

MACHINE: MacBook 2.4 ghz Intel (4 GB RAM) 250 Gig HD

OS: 10.6.5 (no current pending updates)

PROBLEM: This is a new computer (for me). I used migration tool to move my files off another MacBook 2.2 ghz to this newer, slightly faster one. Everything was going grand. It ran like Speedy Gonzalez for three days, until I decided to reboot it (so as to clear out the finder and give everything a fresh start). When it rebooted, the Airport (and entire right side of the finder) was frozen. Moving the mouse over the greyed out airport icon simply brought the kaleidoscopic wheel of death. The time and date was frozen, too. Moving the mouse back to the desktop turned it back into a cursor, where I could open and close folders, run apps, etc. While I could open System Preferences, attempting to launch Network brought the same spinning wheel.

SOLUTION 1: Rebooted in Safe Mode. Then rebooted. Nothing. NOTE: The Network works fine in Safe Mode! I'm using FireFox right now in Safe Mode to write this message.
SOLUTION 2: Zap the Pram Reboot. Nothing.
SOLUTION 3: Thought it might be FruitMenu and APE. Rebooted in Safe Mode, deleted both. Same problem persisted.
SOLUTION 4: Thought it might be MagicCal. Deleted it. Same problem.
SOLUTION 5: Had an extra account on the computer; deleted it. Same problem.
SOLUTION 6: Rebooted in Safe Mode. Went into Network and deleted everything but my home wifi, thinking there was a conflict. Nothing.
SOLUTION 7: Rebooted in Safe Mode. Turned off Airport. Rebooted. EVERYTHING worked swimmingly. Went to turn Airport back on -- immediate kaleidoscope.
SOLUTION 8: Found release in the arms of sweet, sweet alcohol. Nothing.

Every single time I reboot in Safe Mode, the Network works fine with FireFox (Safari doesn't work but I think that's disabled in Safe Mode anyway). And every time I reboot in regular mode, it freezes the right side of the finder.

I even made a video of it with my digital camera and sent it to a Mac buddy of mine. He could not help.

The fertile minds of the Mac Guruniverse -- please help.

How do I fix this?



chscag 01-04-2011 03:13 AM

Welcome to the Mac Forums.


How do I fix this?
It could be a bad or failing airport card. I've not seem them act like that though, usually it results in no WiFi reception or very weak reception.

When you boot to safe mode, the drivers for the airport card and other hardware are not loaded.

You might want to try a reinstall of Snow Leopard first before deciding on swapping out the airport card. There is a possibility that it's driver or software related.

Fortunately, an airport card for your MacBook is not expensive although it can be a task to replace. Go to iFixit: The free repair manual and look up your model MacBook. Find the replacement instructions for swapping out the airport card. The ifixit folks also sell them.

I can't be 100% sure that's your problem, but it'll get you started.

6string 01-04-2011 03:27 AM

Seeing that the following is what safe mode disables, I am inclined to think that this is software/files/etc. and not hardware related.

Mac OS X: What is Safe Boot, Safe Mode?

I would run OnyX Download OnyX for Mac - OS X maintenance & optimization tool.
-after it has checked the smart status and verified the volume, select the automation tab, checking everything in there, and let it run it's magic and see how it goes after it reboots once it has run all the processes again.

Failing that, I would create a new account, log out of your account and into the new account.

Next up, I would run the extended hardware test, booting from install disc 2 holding D key, and if that comes up clean.....

The good old clean install, by booting off your install disk 1 holding C.
-Go to utilities, disk utility in the menu bar after selecting the language.
-Select your HD.
-Name Macintosh HD.
-Format mac os extended (journaled).
-Quit utilities and continue with installation.

Post back with the results.

minnesotaslim 01-04-2011 09:39 AM

Thanks for the ideas. I will try what has been suggested and post results although it may take a week or so. I believe it is a software problem although I certainly can't rule out a bad airport card...

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