Wireless network problems

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by toontra, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. toontra macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I have a basic home network using a Linksys WRT54G router. My G5 Powermac is connected by ethernet, and I had an iBook wirelessly connected. All was OK and both comps could see each other.

    I've now replaced the iBook with a Macbook. I entered the new MacBook's MAC address into the Linksys setup page. The MacBook connected to the net OK and shows the Powermac in the finder Network, but for some reason the Powermac doesn't see the MacBook.

    I've done a bit of fiddling but can't think why things would change by simply replacing one laptop with another. Anyone any ideas?
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #2
    Is Personal File Sharing enabled on the MacBook in the Sharing System Preferences? Is AppleTalk enabled on the AirPort connection? :)
     
  3. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Hey! Well done MJ - not sure which one worked (or whether it was both) but I'm back up and running now.

    BTW, I'd imported all the stuff from my iBook when I moved over. Almost all settings had stuck, but not these, obviously. I'd set up the network so long ago that I'd forgotten about the need to enable the Sharing & Appletalk.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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  5. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Spoke too soon. The icons re-appeared in the Finder but I didn't actually try connecting!

    Now that I've tried, I get an error message saying the alias can't find the original. I've tried typing in the addresses in Finder>Go>Connect to Server without success - neither machine can see the other. I've tried every combination of AppleTalk on and off, repaired permissions & restarts. Both machines are on 10.4.8 and connect fine to the web (one by ethernet & the other wireless).
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #6
    Okay, so the MacBook can connect to the Power Mac, or can only see it? If it can, then make sure the Network and Sharing settings of the Power Mac are identical to those of the MacBook. :)
     
  7. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Neither can connect to the other. I've checked the IP address, Subnet Mask and router address on both machines and they show the right settings (I think) - IP address only differs in the last digit, Subnet Mask is the same, as is the router ID.

    I've tried re-booting the router and everything else I can think of.
     
  8. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    More info: the other comp. name and icon appears in the finder window in the Network list on both computers, but when I try to connect the finder freezes for about 2 minutes. Eventually the dialogue box (asking if you want to connect as a guest or registered user) appears, but if either method is tried the connection attempt fails. (This dialog box also appears if I force relaunch the finder within the 2-minute freeze!).

    I've now repaired both systems with every repair utility I own (DiskWarrior, TTP, etc)
     
  9. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Update: I can wake the G5 across the network using the WakeOnMac utility. I've also tried a network browsing utility called Bonjour Browser - when I run it on the MacBook the wierdest thing happens - the G5 appears in the Apple File Sharing list and in the Workgroup Manager list, but if I click on them it vanishes off the list (and doesn't re-appear if I refresh)!

    This really has got me beat. I've tried everything - removing every preference file and disabling every app. or process I think could be related.

    As I say, the setuo is the same as was working before - one Powermac (ethernet) and one laptop (wireless - was iBook and now Macbook).
     
  10. Kelmon macrumors 6502a

    Kelmon

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    #10
    What happens if you run Personal Web Sharing on one of the computers and attempt to connect to the that computer using your web browser on the other to the URL shown in the Sharing panel? Can you view the web page?
     
  11. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Hi Kelmon, thanks for the reply. I tried doing this both ways - both times the AFP Connection Status window stalls for about 1 minute, then gives the error message: "The server may not exist or it is not operational at this time. Check the server name or IP address and try again."
     
  12. Kelmon macrumors 6502a

    Kelmon

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    #12
    Sorry, but just to check, did you try Personal Web Sharing or Personal File Sharing? My recommendation is to try the Personal Web Sharing so that one computer runs a web server that you can try to connect to using your web browser (e.g. Safari). This won't help you much when it comes to sharing files between the two computers but it might help the diagnosis of the problem.

    Apologies if you did try this but I've never seen an AFP error when attempting to connect to a web site in the past.
     
  13. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Hi Kelmon, you're right = I did misread! Anyway, I've tried your suggestion of turning of Personal Web Sharing but I can't connect from the other machine's browser (tried a few!). Just hangs and then gives an error.
     
  14. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Another update: I've been told that AppleTalk doesn't work over my Linksys router, so I've turned it off on both comps (to try and pinpoint the problem) with the following changes:

    The Macbook no longer appears in the G5's Finder Network list. The G5 still appears in the MacBook's Network list, but when I try and connect now, rather than the finder freezing as before, I now get a speedy error message that the server can't be found.
     
  15. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I'm still getting nowhere with this. Looking in my network settings on the MacBook (which is the thing that has changed in my setup) it shows the Airport active (as it should) but also shows Ethernet Adaptor (en2) and Ethernet Adaptor (en3) as also being active.

    Anyone know what these are and why/if they need to be active when I'm connected by Airport?

    This really is doing my head in - three weeks and no solution.
     
  16. Kelmon macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    It's fine for other network adaptors to be active at the same time as the one that you are using but you want to avoid having more than one actually connected at the same time (with the exception of Bluetooth).

    What you could try next to try and diagnose the root cause of the problem is try and connect the two computers directly to each other using an ethernet cable. If you open the Network preferences and then edit the Ethernet adaptor setting as Manual for each computer then you can add the following information:

    1. On the first computer specify an IP Address of 192.168.0.1, a Router of 192.168.0.2 and a Subnet Mask of 255.255.255.0

    2. On the second computer specify an IP Address of 192.168.0.2, a Router of 192.168.0.1 and a Subnet Mask of 255.255.255.0

    Save these settings on both computers and, theoretically, they should be able to talk directly to each other. If this works as expected then you should be able to connect to the other computer via the Finder Network browser or using the Connect To Server option. If your two computers still won't speak to each other then you've got real problems that I am stumped to help you with.
     
  17. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Hi Kelmon. Thanks for the continuing help! Can I connect the MacBook to the G5 via the router (which has 3 ethernet connectors), or do I need to go directly into the G5? Cheers.
     
  18. Kelmon macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    For the purposes of this exercise you will attach each computer directly to the other. In this instance, as you may recognise from the instructions provided, each computer will act as the router for the other and this is simply done to remove your dedicated router from the equation and, theoretically, should allow us to see if the problem is the router or one/both of the Macs.
     
  19. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Hi Kelmon, did as you suggested and the comps see each other perfectly (as they used to before with the iBook).

    BTW, a couple of other things maybe worth mentioning. The ethrnet adaptors (en2 and en3) in the MacBook Network Status page were put there by Parallels Desktop (which I installed just after getting the MacBook).

    Also, I spent 2 hours on the phone to Applecare yesterday - finally got a guy in France who knew more than me & after many tests he suggested a re-install of the OS on the Macbook (don't they aways!). So I cloned my system to an external drive and did a fresh install, but STILL couldn't connect to the G5, or vice verca!

    Hopefully this narrows it down a bit. Many thanks for the help!
     
  20. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Sorted!

    Hi Kelmon & everyone else who's helped. Thanks to your advice and a further session with Apple tech. support I've sorted it. He suggested updating the Linksys router's firmware. I'd thought of this before but thought these programs needed to be run from a Windows machine (as I've had to do in the past for external DVD writers, etc.). But he thought I'd be able to update just by pointing my browser to the downloaded file on the desktop.

    Which I did and, wow, everything working as it should. I finally feel I can enjoy my new MacBook. Once again, thanks everyone, especially Kelmon for being so methodical (are you in tech support?). I'm off to transfer some files. :D
     
  21. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Or not!

    Hah, after a restart of the MacBook I'm back to square 1! Exactly the same as before - neither comp can see the other. So frustrating after having it working for a glorious couple of hours.

    I've tried rebooting the router, and re-instaling the firmware upgrade, but no use. I'm thinking this is something to do with the router conflicting with the 'n'-capable card in the MacBook.
     
  22. Kelmon macrumors 6502a

    Kelmon

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    #22
    Yes, I'm thinking that its the router as well. If both computers can speak to each other when connected directly then it seems reasonable to infer from this that it is the router that is the problem. However, this doesn't check that the wireless component of the equation is the problem since if you don't have wireless on the G5 (and, hey, why should you?) then you can't perform the same exercise using an ad-hoc wireless network directly between the two computers. Still, even without this information you've got to figure that the router may well be the source of the issue.

    No, I don't work in tech support but troubleshooting issues (computer related or otherwise) does seem to be a big part of my work these days.

    With regards to a replacement router, have you considered the new Airport Extreme? I've placed my order for one in an effort to overhaul my home wireless network, get the full benefit from my Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro and to get access to some Network Attached Storage (ordered an Iomega MiniMaxi 320GB hard drive and USB hub while they're reduced on the online Apple Store).
     
  23. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Well, stranger & stranger. Out of desperation I tried a 3rd-party hack for the router described here. This all worked fine & I now have control over more parameters, including signal strength, a larger MAC list, etc (none of which I particularly need!).

    Anyway, I reset the settings for my LAN in the router & tried sharing - no luck. The I restarted the G5 and, lo, everything working. I'm not sure whether this will be another temporary fix - i haven't dared shut down either comp. since!

    I'd looked at the Airport Extreme & have mixed feelings. It doesn't really do anything I particularly need, and in the UK the transfer rate will be capped at 2.5 times faster (because of Gov. regs, apparently). Also, I wouldn't need the USB disk-sharing facility as I'm doing that already - my G5 has 1 terabyte of storage attached!

    If I can keep struggling along for the time being, I think I'll try and wait till the Airport Express (with iTunes sharing) is updated to the 'n' protocol. iTunes over the airport is something I would like! I realise my wireless speed would be capped at 'g' speeds because of the Linksys, but I may be able to replace the Linksys at that stage.

    EDIT: The connection has just dropped again. Neither comp. had been shut down or put to sleep - both were running normally & suddenly the communication stopped - go figure!

    Also, a new bit of weirdness. In the finder window Network list, apart from the usual Library and Server aliases, every minute two new folders flash up for about a second - they are labeled My Network and Workgroup. This happens regularly every minute. I haven't seen these before. The normal appearence if my other comp is being seen is the network globe icon (with alias arrow) and the name of the comp. I've tried clicking on a folder as it flashes up but nothing happens.
     
  24. Kelmon macrumors 6502a

    Kelmon

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    #24
    This is probably nothing but what you've said here has made me wonder about whether your domain settings might be a factor here. This isn't something that I've generally needed to muck around with but I did once have an issue with a laptop from work that I had difficulty connecting to at home if it was on a different domain to the Mac. The upshot of this is that the problem was solved by setting both systems to the same domain name and you can try doing this as well since it sounds like there might be two domain names in play here. In order to check this and, if necessary, change the domain open up /Applications/Utilities/Directory Access on both computers. Authenticate yourself by clicking the padlock, select SMB/CIFS option and then the Configure button. This will display a sheet showing you the current Domain for your computer (mine, for example, shows "Workgroup") and will allow you to change it to something else that you specify. See if both computers are using the same domain and, if not, set them to the same (I don't think it makes much difference which name you choose).

    This is a shot in the dark and may well make absolutely no difference but might be worth a try.

    My bet still is that the router is playing silly buggers but I am by no stretch a networking expert. Attempting an Archive & Install to reinstall OS X on both computers might be an idea but I can't think of much else beyond sacrificing a chicken in some sort of voodoo ceremony...
     
  25. toontra thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Nah, they're both listed as Workgroup. I tried another name but no change. As you say, the router is looking like being the problem, especially as both times I upgraded the firmware it has worked for a few miraculous hours. It's the intermittent nature of the fault that's the real mystery. Why would networking work for a while then suddenly stop?

    The new firmware on the Linksys gives me much greater control over changing parameters, monitoring, logging, etc. Does anyone know of diagnostics which I could carry out on the router itself to try and pin this down?

    BTW, rather than voodoo I've been trying the other tech remedy of shouting and banging the wall quite hard.
     

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