MBA - no wifi after battery runs out

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Bartman01, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2008
    When the battery runs completely down on the MacBook Air (1st gen), the system clock resets due to no system board battery. Not a huge deal except for a catch-22:

    With the clock reset, the wi-fi doesnt' work.
    Since the wi-fi doesn't work, it can't automatically update the time to date and time that makes the card happy.

    Once you manually update the date/time to current, wi-fi starts to work again.

    Anyone know if this is a chip set or OS issue? If it is an OS issue, does Snow Leopard address it?
  2. macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2008
    I would guess it's a chipset issue; and to a certain extent, a user issue. The system (unless disabled) warns you when it's low, and tries to go into hibernation when it's very low, so you don't lose data.

    Is this something that happens to you regularly, that you're looking for a software-fix, rather than a usage-pattern fix?
  3. macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2010
    I think you must have something else going on.

    I had drained my 1st gen many times, all the way to shutdown. The clock always kept proper time, and wi-fi always worked, after being plugged in.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2009
    Rockville (Despite REM's plea.)
  5. macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Yes, it's definitely the motherboard battery if the SMC and PRAM don't fix it. Someone else posted about this four or five months ago.
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2008
    There is no motherboard battery on the AIR, when the main battery runs all the way down there is no alternate power supply. I reset the machine a while back and it seemed to help for a while.

    FYI - this happens when the machine is left unplugged with the lid closed in sleep mode, so no 'warning' occurs before the battery runs all the way down.

    The easy fix is to just not leave it like this, but I have no control over that (not the primary user).
  7. macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2008
    Why does the WiFi need the Time ?

    I've left my MacBook Air sitting around for months ... battery completely flat... start i up it tells me the Time is wrong ... but I don't have to do anything in a few mins it has sorted its self out ?t
  8. macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    For what's worth, my old iBook G4 had exactly the same issue, though to clarify there is a difference between running the notebook until it shuts down, and leaving it in sleep mode for a period of time. In the first case there is enough juice in the system to keep the clock running for at least a while. But if you truly run the battery down then the system totally drains the battery(s).

    My iBook would need to be told what time/date it was when it was totally drained, by my wife's Air seems to have never drained itself to the point of not being able to connect to the WiFi.... and she has let it drain down in sleep mode... so I don't know what the difference is. In each case it was Tiger, then Leopard (for the iBook) or just Leopard for the Air. No experience with Snow Leopard.
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2008
    What version of the Air do you have? Ours is a first generation one, and it appears that the driver or hardware for wi-fi doesn't work with the date reset to beginning of time. It shouldn't matter, but it does.
  10. macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2008
    Had gen 1 did the same thing since 8 months now gen 2... never had a problem, takes a few mins when "restored from deep sleep" but never had this issue, even with any other of my intel Macs (iMac,Mackbook G1,G2, UniBody)

    I dont use the laptops for weeks at a time (use my Imac when in home office, only take "books" when traveling), only charge them the night before then sync them up in the morning over breakfast....

    once when moving job, my iMac was in a shipping container for 8 months ... still no issue :)

    only asked as I never experienced this , and just wondering why the "WiFi" requires time, could it be to do with the "Lease Time" on the IP Address ?

    If it was an OS issue it would not be restricted to only GEN 1:confused:

    and then why cant it be solved with manual time adjustment... i mean thats why it can ALSO update the time ?
  11. macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    Of course it can't have wifi if the battery is dead, you tard ass! How stupid can you be? I mean, this is insane!! The computer won't even turn on if the battery is dead, retard! Of course it can't get on wifi. For god's sake, you mofo.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2010
    Menlo Park, CA
    Don't let the battery run dead. Not that big of a deal.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2008
    I've had this happen when my gf lets it run dead on sleep and doesnt shut down

    its annoying but only takes a minute to fix.
  14. macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Very true. But there's something wrong if it's doing this. I run my MBA's battery down and I don't have problems.

    I am surprised it doesn't have a logicboard battery. Something I didn't know. It seems odd that it wouldn't have one and really makes no sense. So whenever it's worked on, and the main battery is disconnected, the time needs reset and all? I guess Apple did this because it no longer has removable batteries in Mac notebooks? Still seems odd.

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