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Powerbook's Airport messing up.. Help!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by qzak, May 16, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502

    so almost 3 months ago i got my first mac, a 17" powerbook. i got a wireless router (went with a Netgear Super G Wireless Router). the wireless network worked great instantly. i added an Airport Express in the living room about a month ago so i could use AirTunes. all worked great. till now.

    a few days ago i noticed my wireless signal on my powerbook was down to just that first dot and the first line above it. internet was going pretty slow. i tried a few things, restarting the computer, resetting my router and my modem, yet still the low signal. I live on campus and i've always had at least 5 other wireless networks recognized and i could connect to (got lots of neighbors who don't know how to secure their networks!). now my powerbook doesn't show them and doesnt even show mine sometimes! nothing in the setup has changed. i've upgraded to Tiger, but it was working fine since i upgraded till a few days ago.

    my router is sitting right next to my desk, i usually have a completly full signal obviously. i brought my powerbook into the living room to see if it was just too close to the router and the signal dropped completely. i also moved my airport express and now it's not recognized by my powerbook either!

    is my Airport card in my Powerbook just going already?! any ideas would be great. i'm still under the 90 days of phone support so i figured i'd call Apple today after work. but i just thought considering it has a hard time picking up any network now that it's the computer. oh, and my pc right next to my powerbook is hardlined to my router and still has no troubles, and no one else on my house's network is having problems (laptops on wireless network included!)

    sorry i made this so long, thanks for those who read it and offer their opinions!!
  2. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Well the Alu-Books have notoriously bad AirPort reception but that's ridiculous. The cable connecting the actual AirPort card to the rest of the PowerBook might be loose. It may have been knocked or something. I don't have a 17 inch PowerBook, in fact I've never used one, but is there a way you can access the AirPort card to see that it's connected properly?
  3. macrumors 6502

    i'm not sure, being my first mac i've never opened one up and played around with it before. if you guys think it's something like that i'll bring it into the apple store tomorrow and let them open it up and take a look. i'm completely comfortable opening up pcs and working on 'em, but i've never done it with a Mac and don't wanna damage my nice and pretty powerbook lol
  4. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Yeah, I've just been looking at the Apple support site and it looks far more complicated than I thought it would be. I've got an iBook and it's just a matter of taking off the keyboard but since your PowerBook came with AirPort preinstalled, it's a different story. Take it into a store and get them to have a look at it.
  5. macrumors 6502

    yeah, i'll do that tomorrow after classes. thanks for the quick responses, i appreciate the help
  6. macrumors 68030



    Notoriously bad - really?! I am NOT looking forward to setting this up at the weekend on mine. I can see much frustration approaching! How bad is 'notoriously bad'?!?!?!
  7. macrumors 6502

    yeah, it's been nothing but good reception for me for the last few months. but then again i am only a few months in, and look whats happened now. but anyway, before all this started, my router is on the first floor, and i could go all the way up to the third floor of my house and still have all but one bar of reception.
  8. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Well, if you're happy with the reception then that's cool but from what I've read, heaps of the PC laptops as well as Apple's own iBook have better reception. I suppose I should clarify, it's not so much that the aluminium PowerBooks have really bad reception, it's more a case of most of the competitors having better reception. I think there are a few threads on this here and here.
  9. macrumors member

    I've been perfectly happy with the reception on my AlBook, going on a year and 3 months strong.

    With regard to the OP, when your airport indicator is giving a low signal, does your internet still function like it did before these issues began (and thus the only difference is the indicator)? If so, then the "issue" is with a change in Tiger. From MacWorld, I quote an Apple spokesman: "we revised the Airport indicator so it better indicates the performance you should get with your current connection. In this case more bars means faster throughput." The indicator has changed to represent something different from what it used to, which is why it's behaving differently than it used to.
  10. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew


    Good point that. However, most of the users I've heard from (including me) have only noticed an increase in the number of bars since loading on Tiger. Still, you're probably onto something here.
  11. macrumors 6502

    no, the speed is much slower. i can type in an internet address on my powerbook, then grab my pc's keyboard, type in my pw to unlock my computer, open up Firefox, type in the same address, and the page will load up all before the page loads up on my powerbook. yeah, extremely slow. and like i said, other people in the house on the wireless network get the same good speed they always did, and they're one and two floors above me and the router is in my room.
  12. macrumors 68030


    Well, I can't offer any input but I hope you get it sorted qzak. I'll hardwire my PB to get a good reception if needs be, but I'd much rather the Airport card works OK.

    Looking to Saturday with a furrowed brow.... :eek:
  13. macrumors 6502a


    ive had similar problems with my PB. Before I upgraded to Tiger, I would have 2-3 Airport Reception Lines, but I still got full internet speed (3Mb Internet). Ever since I upgraded to Tiger, I get 4 full bars, and the internet works great... but then all of a sudden it will drop down to 1-2 bars, and the internet would basically be non-existant. And if anything WOULD load, it would be slower than dial-up. I tried everything in the book, restarting, power cycling the router, modem and airport card, fiddling with the wireless settings in the router... everything! But then all of a sudden it would just *start* working again, like right now, everything is fine. It happens very randomly. Its starting to get annoying... I hope an update will fix these issues
  14. macrumors member

    I dont know if this still works or not, but on older models when airport range would get reduced it was a problem with the antena, to aleviate this problem remove your battery, and rub the side wall, it should be the wall closest to the left or right edge of the book. this made a huge diffrence in an older Albook so give it a shot, its free and only takes a few seconds, you might be suprised at how helpful this can be.
  15. macrumors 6502

    looks like other people are having the same kind of problems. also, one of my roomates on the 3rd floor just got a powerbook a few weeks ago. she's been gone but just came home yesterday and her powerbook does the same thing with my network. hers was working just fine before too! she also upgraded to Tiger.

    i saw 10.4.1 included better support for wireless networks, hoped it would fix the problem, but no luck. I wonder if this is because of Tiger??

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