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AirPort location problems with PowerBook

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by chucknorris, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    I am posting on behalf of my poor, beleaguered girlfriend.

    We both arrived at college about two weeks ago, and the first thing we did (naturally!) was have the school's hidden, encrypted wireless network setup on our macs.

    In the intervening time my iBook has worked flawlessly, even getting reception in places it, by all logic, shouldn't. Her PowerBook (15" 1.67 running 10.4.2 with all software updates) on the other hand constantly "loses" the uni's network.

    She's gone back to the tech support offices so many times they finally just wrote down the WEP for her (not supposed to do that). You can enter the information into AirPort, it will work just fine, but eventually will no longer detect the campus network. Usually it happens after putting the computer to sleep and waking it back up.

    I/we have tried everything I/we can think of. I have entered it as a new location separate from "Automatic," made it a preferred network, made it the only preferred network, but nothing seems to work.

    I've reached the point of hopelessness, so I must defer to this wonderful community. Does ANYONE have ANY ideas?
  2. macrumors 68040


    Yeah. This happens to me all the time on my ibook and tibook. Just shut OFF the airport reception and then wait sixty seconds and then turn it back on and it will come back on without having to sign in. Sometimes we just lose the signal, don't know why but it is somewhat better on the iBook because on the pbs there is more metal/interference. Good night.
  3. macrumors 601

    They say the PB reception is much worse than the iBook's due to the metal casing. I guess that could cause it, but mine has never had an issue.
  4. macrumors 65816


    I've heard that too... how strong is your connection when you check your signal strength?
  5. macrumors 6502a


    I'm well aware of the differences in reception, but signal strength is NOT the issue here. I can say that without a doubt.

    I can be within 10 feet of a base station, enter the network name and WEP into AirPort, get online, close the PowerBook, open it back up and the network's gone.

    Something else is going on here.
  6. macrumors 601

    Have you checked the antenna connections on the wireless card? Maybe they are loose, like mine were.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    I can't stress enough that this is NOT a problem with the wireless card getting reception. The AirPort card works just fine, and gets reception comparable to my iBook.

    It only has and has ever had problems with the campus network, which is hidden and WEP protected.

    The PowerBook will just not save the information for the network (name and password) when it's entered.

    This is a software issue, and I'm just wondering if anybody has any software related ideas.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    I appreciate the tip, California!

    I tried it out, but the issue seems to be a little different. The PowerBook only loses the connection when put to sleep, at which point I have to reenter the network name and pain-in-the-a** WEP.
  9. macrumors G4


    Was it on Automatic to start with? My Powerbook generally keeps it without any problem when I leave it like that as a trusted network.

    This might be basic but have you checked System Preferences/Network - choose configure with Airport selected and then Options. Make sure that "Remember any network' is checked and 'Disconnect on Log off' is not.

    Other options are to dump the plist for airport (after turning it off) and getting rid of anything airport related in the Keychain Access.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Thanks for all of the help, Applespider. It was automatic to start with, and is currently.

    I double-checked the system preferences options, and am now thinking I should dump the pref files.

    I don't see anything with "airport" in the file name, but I do see stuff related to internet connect. Should I dump those?
  11. macrumors G4


    How about the System Pref options?

    The plists all start with com.apple.airport - you should be able to spotlight for them and find them.

    I read a fix somewhere that suggested it may be a problem if the system was upgraded from Panther to Tiger when trusted networks became preferred one. It suggested clearing your list of trusted networks but at the moment, I can't recall how to do this. I'm having a hunt through some old folders to see if I can spot it.

    EDIT: Here it is in the Apple Knowledge Base. I'd suggest doing this before trashing pref files. Get rid of the university network as a preferred one and then try to reset it.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    I've got it working!

    Thanks so much once again, Applespider.

    I found the AirPort preference file (it was right there), trashed, and tried entering the network from scratch to no avail.

    After I woke it from sleep, it still couldn't find the campus network, so I looked at the preferred networks in system preferences and noted that the school's network just wasn't "sticking" there.

    I have no idea what was causing it, but I decided to just delete every non-encrypted preferred network on there. I entered the college network again, saved it as preferred, put it to sleep once, twice, three times, rebooted it, and everything is working PERFECTLY.

    I'll have to remember this for future reference, because it certainly had me puzzled.
  13. macrumors G4


    No problem. Glad for your girlfriend's sake that it's working. Make sure you collect your reward... ;)
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Hehe... Whatever do you mean?

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