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View Full Version : Strange - Airport Express - network up but no access to Airport Utilities or Internet


TheMac19
Feb 23, 2005, 08:28 PM
Okay, I've got a wireless setup in my flat to share our internet connection and printer. My Airport Express is doing the duty, and I used my powerbook (newish 15") to set up the airport, etc. In total there are 4 computers in the apartment, my powerbook, an ibook, and two pc's. The Airport Express generally works dandy, but...

Just lately, I have been having strange problems at seemingly random intervals. I recognise the problem by being unable to connect to the internet. Safari doesn't immediately give the error message (as usual if not connected) but it tries to connect for 5 or 6 minutes before finally giving the "cannot find site" message. There is no drop in the airport strength, and both the modem and airport express show green lights. (the laptop is very near the ApE - so it's definitely not a range issue.)

What is strange is that by turning my powerbook's Airport on and off I can connect to the network just fine, but get no internet. If I try to open ichat or mail they both hang up and give me the beach ball for a while (minutes) rather than giving an error right away, as should normally happen with no connection. And if I open the AirPort Admin Utility my ApE doesn't even show up, even if I try to find it manually. Likewise, if I go into the AirPort setup, it says it cannot communicate with the base station, all while having great signal strength in "internet connect"...

If I check with another machine, say the ibook, sometimes it's online no problem, and other times it's in the same boat as my powerbook. If I unplug the ApE and plug it back in again all is well and everything works as it should.

This problem is now happening a few times a day... (which gets quite old real fast) What gives? Surely while I'm connected to the network I should be able to access the base station through the utilities... Any help or ideas would be hugely appreciated! cheers,

question fear
Feb 23, 2005, 09:43 PM
Join the club (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=1289998#post1289998)

sorry dude, sound's like you're having the same issue we are.
Right now mine works, I think it was/is a comcast issue, but i guess we'll have to see....

Maybe a mod can drop this thread in with the other one?

TheMac19
Feb 24, 2005, 04:30 AM
Thanks for the response, but for some reason I think the problem lies on the side of the Airport Express, as the problem usually has the same effect on all four machines on our network: We're connected to the network fine, but our internet browsers take forever trying to load pages they can't find..Plus, unplugging the ApE and plugging it back in solves the problem 100% of the time, however temporary...

One idea, could the Airport Express be overheating??? It is plugged in in a very tight space - with one side flush up against a canvas shelving case and the other only has a few inches of breathing room. It doesn't feel too hot, but it's definitely warm...


(Also, my powerbook works flawlessly online through airport in other wireless networks.)

question fear
Feb 24, 2005, 07:11 AM
ah. my apologies, i read it as just the pbook having the connection issues.

could you/did you try putting a fan on the express, or maybe even just trying it at a different outlet? it might be having location issues that could stop at another part of your house?

caveman_uk
Feb 24, 2005, 07:19 AM
Plus, unplugging the ApE and plugging it back in solves the problem 100% of the time, however temporary...

I had this for the first time a couple of nights ago. Like you, the Express had a green light and everything but just wasn't talking to anything. I turned it off then back on and it worked fine. :confused:

mkubal
Feb 24, 2005, 08:47 AM
Have you tried typing in the DNS servers manually in the Network settings? I was having a problem a while back at home and the office. Sites couldn't be found on the first try, but could on refresh. I put the DNS servers in manually at the office and the problem went away. Then Apple updated the Airport software and that caused the one at home to work just fine without the DNS servers entered.

I know it's a long shot, but I suppose it's worth a try. I'm not sure why you're having problems seeing the Express. Are you sure all of your software is up to date on all of your computers and the base station?

tinydancer
Feb 24, 2005, 09:41 AM
I was having similar problems to what the origional poster mentioned. I called Apple about it several times. Each time, they kept coming back to a possible interference issue caused by some unknown item. As it turns out, I was getting interference from 2.4 ghz telephones that I used in my house. As soon as I removed/uplugged the phones and replace them with phones that operate on a different frequency, my network has been up and running flawlessly. So, do you have any 2.4 ghz items in your flat, or do your neighbors? I was amazed at what a differnce getting rid of my phones made in the reliability of my network. It is something worth considering.

altair
Feb 24, 2005, 10:32 AM
You shouldnt have to get rid of your phones, just change the channel that your ApE operates on. Its in the AP Admin Utility.

Also turn on Signal Robustness.

If its near a microwave...hehe they dont like microwaves. Streaming music to my living room gets sketchy sometimes if the microwave in the OTHER side of the house is turned on.

So in conclusion. I hate networking, its by far the most unintuitive POS ever, trial and error is king, so keep tweaking settings, or asking questions.

tinydancer
Feb 24, 2005, 10:51 AM
You shouldnt have to get rid of your phones, just change the channel that your ApE operates on. Its in the AP Admin Utility.

Also turn on Signal Robustness.

If its near a microwave...hehe they dont like microwaves. Streaming music to my living room gets sketchy sometimes if the microwave in the OTHER side of the house is turned on.

So in conclusion. I hate networking, its by far the most unintuitive POS ever, trial and error is king, so keep tweaking settings, or asking questions.

No.....Sorry. There is no work-around for the the issue, as you have suggested. If a device operates on a 2.4 ghz frequency, such as Apple wirless networking devices and some phones, then you're out of luck if the interfernce is significant enough to cause a problem. (I suppose some 2.4 ghz devices may be worse that others when coupled with Airports) I had lengthy conversations with Apple support about this issue, and it could not be sloved by making adjustments in any type of utility. Changing channels just changes the channel, it does not change the frequency that the network is using. You are simply changing the channel within the same frequency. Furthermore, maxing out interference robustness did not to help my problem. Believe me...I lived through it and tried everyhting multiple times..I had to ditch the phones, and when I did all is well.

TheMac19
Feb 24, 2005, 01:43 PM
I know it's a long shot, but I suppose it's worth a try. I'm not sure why you're having problems seeing the Express. Are you sure all of your software is up to date on all of your computers and the base station?

Yup, all software is up to date on the computers and the base station. I just tried putting the ApE in a new location that isn't quite so claustrophobic, so I'll see how that goes.

On a somewhat related note, I had this same problem before when my housemate was running Limewire (on a pc). Everytime she would connect to Limewire, it would work fine for about 7 or 8 minutes, and then our network would lock up in the same way -- no internet access, but a long delay before a safari error message, and beach balls for mail and ichat... And it'd stay this way until we reset the router/ApE.

After doing numerous tests, we pinpointed the problem quite explicitly to Limewire... The internet would work fine all day and then within 10 minutes of her hopping on limewire, the network would die, never fail. Alas, we outlawed limewire in our flat, but as per my first post, the problem occurs randomly now...