iBook won't connect wirelessly

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by tuqqer, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. tuqqer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #1
    I've never been so baffled by a Mac behavior. Wondering if someone can help.

    Just purchased two weeks ago a "new" refurb iBook from Apple's site, a 14" 1.3Ghz with a gig of new RAM.

    The problem: I can't get it to connect wirelessly with our well-established wireless broadband home office. Some helpful details:


    *** This iBook connects just fine when plugged into an Ethernet cable.

    *** This iBook has connected wirelessly, but only for about a minute or two at a time, and then I get the following error message:

    [​IMG]

    *** We have Comcast cable at our home office, and use a Linksys wireless G WRT54G.

    *** We have 2 other iBooks and 1 PowerBook, all connect wirelessly just fine. They're each using DHCP, but I can also assign a fixed IP address, and they work fine with those as well. (I also have a G5 2G, but that's Ethernetted in). All of my Macs have in excess of 1 gig of original RAM, and are all running the most current software updates and 10.4.3.

    *** I've used Macs extensively since 1991, and know a fair bit about them.

    *** This iBook has had Onyx run a few times on it (in attempts to fix the problem). I've repaired permissions over a dozen times. I've also trashed the following .plist files:

    com.apple.internetconfig.plist
    com.apple.internetconfigpriv.plist
    com.apple.internetconnect.plist
    com.apple.internetpref.plist
    com.apple.recentitems.plist

    *** In this iBook's Network settings, I've tried using DHCP, and the numbers come up identical (with a diff IP address of course) to the other Macs that are connecting wirelessly just fine.

    *** The airport card strength (in the right side menu) shows full bars all throughout our home office and house. It's fully lit up.

    *** Running Network diagnostics often says "It looks like you are connected to the Internet" but I'm not.

    *** I've tried shutting down all the other Macs, to see if they're somehow part of the problem.

    *** I've tried setting the IP address manually (over 30 times, with a variety of IP numbers).

    *** I opened the keyboard and removed and reseated the Airport Extreme card. Same with the RAM: removed and reseated it. I've restarted the Mac, the router, the modem, honest-to-god even my entire house electrical circuits 'till the cows come home.

    *** When I take the iBook to other locations (local cyber cafes, even the Denver Apple store) it lights up like a Christmas tree, and I'm able to wirelessly get on in a heartbeat.

    *** When friends stop by (on both Mac and Windows laptops, THEIR computers hook up wirelessly immediately.

    As I said, I've never been so baffled. I think: if it was hardware, it wouldn't work at the other locations. If it was the router, or its settings, the other 4 Macs wouldn't connect.

    Any ideas?

    I will never be so grateful for a fix!!
     
  2. tuqqer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #2
    Fixed!

    You won't believe this.

    It was a bad wireless card.

    Using brilliant deductive reasoning I finally thought, "this is either a badly seated Airport card, or just a downright bad card."

    After unplugging/replugging the card in numerous times (disconnecting/connecting the little plug each time), just to be sure it was in fact seated well (which I'd done once before last week), I finally opened up my other Mac laptop (which uses the same identical card) and put it into this new iBook.

    Damn. Lightening fast. I"M UP.

    Just to check, I then plugged in this supposedly broken Airport card into my PowerBook, and sure enough: no signal. The card really is bad.

    Why did the iBook work great while in the Apple Store in Cherry Creek? This is what initially had me think that it could not be a hardware problem. Then I realized: perhaps a Mac can get barely pick up a wireless signal even without the Airport card. Either that, or the card kinda/sorta/sometimes would work. And, I'll bet the signal strength in the Apple store was super strong, and got through even a semi-busted airport card.

    That's the first time a problem has actually been the darn hardware in all my 14 years of Mac'ing. I will never again discount physical matter as the potential source of the glitch.

    Criminy. I think I spend about 30-40 solid hours trying to figure this one out.

    Yaaaaahoooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
     
  3. York-Diuck macrumors member

    York-Diuck

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    toronto
    #3
    well at least you figured it out...I would've gone nuts troubleshooting that issue
     

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