MacBook won't connect to wireless network. Any ideas?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by drmike, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. drmike macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I bought a new MacBook (2 GHz, Core 2 Duo) this past weekend, and it works great, except for one problem -- I can't get it to connect to my wireless network at home. Airport recognizes the network/router, but when I enter the WEP key to get access, the MacBook always tells me that there's an error connecting to the network. I've spent a lot of time searching this forum and the support forums at Apple.com, and it seems that there are some compatibility issues between some wireless routers and the latest Macs, but I've found no solution. Here's what I've tried so far:

    1. The WEP key on my router is ten digits, grouped in twos (so, e.g., 01 02 AB CD 78 EF). When entering the WEP key on the MacBook, I've tried placing a $ in front of it. I've also tried placing the WEP key in quotes. This is suggested in Apple's online documentation.

    2. That didn't work, so I tried various formats -- $ and quotes, spaces, no spaces, etc., and no luck.

    3. The wireless router I'm using is an Actiontec provided to me by Verizon. My Windows PCs run perfectly fun on it. I called Verizon for help and, well, let me just say this: if you've ever had to call Verizon tech support, you know how, in most cases, your problem only intensifies. Within minutes, even my PCs couldn't connect to the router. So I hung up with them and reconfigured my router so it would work again.

    4. I called AppleCare. According to the rep, if the WEP key doesn't work at all, I need to contact the manufacturer of the router.

    5. Actiontec's online support says that I have to follow Apple's instructions for formatting the WEP HEX key for Airport ... so, back to Apple's online instructions to use the $ or quotes ... except that doesn't work.

    6. I've also tried using the other WEP options in Airport (HEX, ASCII), and no luck there either.

    7. I also checked to see if the problem is the Airport card itself, but I took the MacBook to my university where there's free wi-fi, and I was able to connect easily.

    So now I'm not sure what to do, and I really need to connect my MacBook to my home network wirelessly. Do any of you have suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Can you try WPA security? For a start it's more secure and problems like this will go away. As long as all of your computers are on Windows XP or Mac OS X 10.3/10.4 I'd use WPA instead.
     
  3. drmike thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Eraserhead, I'll give that a try. I'll have to check the router manual to see how to set the thing to WPA and then also check the PCs in the house to make sure they can support WPA. Then, I'll try setting the MacBook to WPA.

    Oddly enough, I had a Rev. A MacBook for a little while, and I remember that it worked fine on my wireless network, once I selected a slightly different WEP setting in the Airport configuration. But with this new Core 2 Duo MacBook, no luck with WEP at all. I wonder if it has something to do with the architecture, the latest OS, or something similar.
     
  4. Vtorch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #4
    Have you tried to reset the router back to the Factory Defaults?

    Perhaps your router was just configured to work on and transmit a wireless signal to only specific machines in your network. Like I said, try to restart the router back to original factory setting and start from there.
     
  5. drmike thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Vtorch, yeah, I went through basic setup with the router and reset it. While doing this, I made sure to check if the router allowed access only to specific computers or if it blocked any. From what I could tell, everything was at its basic setting -- just an SSID number/name and the WEP key. After doing this, I went back to the MacBook and tried again, but no luck.
     
  6. drmike thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Just an update: I tried using WPA, but unfortunately I still couldn't get the MacBook to connect. Whenever I entered the WPA key, Airport would tell me that there was an error connecting to the network. I was able to get my PC to connect through WPA (though, for some reason, the connection was slower). It looks as if my new MacBook is just incompatible with the Actiontec router. So I think I'll go out today and just purchase a new router. I didn't plan to make additional purchases on top of the new MacBook, but then it's worth it to be able to use a Mac and OSX. :)
     
  7. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #7
    -drmike

    Check your "Preferred Networks" list in System Preferences/Network/Airport/Airport Pane

    The router you are attempting to connect to may have it's info foobed in the profile, so I'd erase and attempt again. You should probably reorder your list so that the routwer you most commonly connect to ate at the top of the list.
     
  8. boneca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #8
    I have kinda similar problem as you. I got my MacBook this past Sunday and while I'm using it on wired network it obviously works fine but when I tried to bring it to living room last night and connect to my wireless Linksys 54G router it didn't work. I have 2 other laptops in the house (not Mac) which all connected to that router just fine. I also use 128 WEP Key and Airport just wouldn't accept it.
    I didn't spend much time trying to resolve this but it didn't work. I guess if this has anything to do with what number key you provide to connect (1-4) it can be assigned automatically or can be assigned manually like in my case.
     
  9. drmike thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #9
    patrick0brien, I think I did place my network at the top of the list, but I will also try erasing it and starting again ... though, I will admit that at this point I'm ready to give up on my existing router, especially since it's old. I'm gonna give it one more shot tonight, and then try to hook up the new router (which I bought a short while ago while on my lunch break).

    boneca, one thing I'm beginning to realize after doing a lot of searching online is that, apparently, the new Core 2 Duo Macs have real difficulty accessing certain wireless networks ... I think the problem we're having is common, unfortunately. I can easily access to my university's wireless network, but at home it hasn't been possible. Neither a WEP nor a WPA key worked. As I mentioned in a previous post, I didn't have this problem on the same router with the first Intel MacBook, but for some reason the new MacBooks (and apparently MacBook Pros) have this problem. Kind of a pain. I'm going to try to set up my new router tonight and will report back if/when I get it going.
     
  10. TheCreeper macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    #10
    i had the same exact problem. its annoying. but i finally got it so that when the MB goes to sleep and wakes it automatically connects to my network. to be honest i have no idea what i did. i kept fooling with the network settings. something about using AUTOMATIC rather than perferred network setting. i wanted to get the new base station but since its working now i'm gonna hold off. my network is WEP as well.

    the work around to this when it would not automatically connect was to keep SSID broadcast on so that the MB sees my network. Then I would have to go and manually click on the name of my network to connect.

    now i have SSID broadcast off and it defaults to connect to my network from sleep, etc... but we'll see how long this lasts.
     
  11. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    looking for trash files
    #11
    read all posts, but didn't see... try turning off WEP and connecting? just to see if it will connect. would help with troubleshooting if you are sticking with the old router. also curious if the old router has cable connections, and if you are able to connect via ethernet. just some thoughts. best of luck.
     
  12. drmike thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #12
    I thought about messing around with the SSID settings, and also, as 4JNA suggested, to turn WEP off -- turning it off is also something that the Actiontec support suggested I do. But then in the process of changing many of the router's settings, I was unable even to get my PC to connect. So I ended up just installing the new router I bought yesterday, and ...

    It works great! I can't afford to be without internet access for long, so I didn't have time to research new routers -- I just went to Best Buy and picked up the Netgear RangeMax 802.11g router, model WPN824. Setup was a breeze, and the MacBook connected right away, using WPA security. My PC also connected effortlessly, and it seems as if the Netgear is much faster than the Actiontec.

    So, all's well that ends well, as they say. The salesman at Best Buy swore the Netgear would work with the new MacBook. He was right.

    Thanks for everyone's help. I've only had the Netgear for less than a day, so I don't know if it's reliable in the long run -- but it does seem to work well with the MacBook.
     

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