Ethernet and Wireless pretty much broken

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by athraen, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. athraen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    #1
    So I've been having a lot of problems connecting to the internet on my MacBook. I have the base model, OSX 10.4.10. I got in in July 2006, so just over a year old.

    So, the first problem I had was last year, I had no problems connecting through the ethernet cable in my dorm room, but it wouldn't work in other people's rooms. Everything else was fine though. Wireless was perfect.

    This summer, I went home and I used the wireless in my room with no problems for the first few weeks. Then all of a sudden it stopped working in there. I had to be sitting 10 feet from the router for it to work at all. It only had 3/4 bars of signal strength at that distance.
    I tried connecting with the ethernet cable, and the computer didn't recognize it. I called up my ISP and they walked me through a bunch of stuff that didn't fix it. They said that there seems to be a problem between Mac and 2wire routers. Weird because it worked perfectly before.

    Now, I'm back at school and it's still not working. I took it to the Mac store, and it had trouble with one of their wireless networks, but the other was perfectly fine. It still didn't recognize the ethernet cable at the store.
    I got my computer to connect wired once to the school network, but it dropped it pretty quickly. I took it to resnet (the school's network/computer thing), they adjusted some settings. Wireless, still not working. Ethernet worked there, but not in my apartment.

    So, I'm really starting to think it's a hardware problem, but I don't know. Every one I talk to says the ethernet and wireless shouldn't both be affected if it is. I really need to fix this since I need internet for my schoolwork.

    I'd consider opening it up if maybe something's loose or needs to be replaced. I've never opened up a Mac though, so I'm a bit nervous to totally screw it up.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Obviously, with my lack of internet, I may not be able to respond right away, but I'll be checking back as often as I can.
     
  2. HW-Hack macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    #2
    I agree that its rather strange that both your wired and wireless are acting up - strange things do happen ---- somewhere in your original CDs / DVDs that came with the laptop should be the Apple HW tests ----- boot the CDROM by holding down the c key during boot ------------ don't bother running the quick tests chose the extensive tests and see what that yields ;)
     
  3. athraen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    #3
    I ran the extended hardware test last night (my manual said to press D during start up.. does C take me to different tests?). It took less than 3 minutes according to the timer on the tests (I left while it was running), and it found not problems at all. I called Apple Support today to ask if the diagnostic tests might miss problems and after asking the guy 10-15 times, he finally told me what I already assumed (Yes).

    Some one I talked to suggested that I create a new user account to see if the internet worked there. It connected to wireless, no problem, but then dropped it a minute later and wouldn't reconnect. It had full signal, but then dropped to 3/4 bars even though it didn't move at all (It was connecting at full signal, then dropping within a minute all summer).

    So then I tried to reformat. I did the Erase and Reinstall option. I tried connecting to a known working ethernet cable and jack, and it wouldn't connect. The Network Diagnostic thing still doesn't detect the cable/internet connection after the reformat.

    I'll try running the diagnostic tests again tonight... see if it finds anything new.

    So, how difficult/dangerous would it be to just open up the case to make sure nothing is loose? What about replacing the airport/ethernet parts? I heard it's welded onto the motherboard.
    I took apart 2 identical cell phones this summer trying to recombine the parts to make a working phone, but it didn't work since one of the ribbons got torn slightly and the one from the other phone was broken completely.

    Any other suggestions of things I can try?
     
  4. Mumford macrumors regular

    Mumford

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Location:
    Altadena, CA
    #4
    Sounds like you've tried just about everything already. Only thing I can recommend is resetting your SMC. There are instructions here.
     
  5. athraen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    #5
    I ran the hardware tests 4 more times last night and (surprise surprise) it found nothing wrong.

    I'll try the SMC reset, although at this point I'm pretty much convinced it will have to be opened up to fix it.

    So, how easy would it be for me to completely ruin the computer if I just open the case and look inside (and adjust any obviously loose parts)?

    The last time I swapped out a part on a computer was with my mom 5-7 years ago (I was 12-14), and it was a CD-ROM drive with instructions. But I am a very curious person and I would love to replace/repair the stuff inside if possible.
    I've been looking at guides on ifixit.com. How good are those? What parts would I need to replace to fix my internet?
     
  6. Mumford macrumors regular

    Mumford

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Location:
    Altadena, CA
    #6
    I fried a VAIO laptop motherboard once dropping a tiny screw on to it. The laptop was not on, it was not plugged in, the battery was out. The screw simply caused a capacitor to discharge. It was very unlucky, and very easy.

    Go for the SMC reset option, you might be surprised.
     
  7. athraen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    #7
    How do I know if I successfully reset the SMC? I attempted it already, but I didn't see anything confirming that it was reset. I'll try again. I'm getting a Phillips #00 tomorrow so I can open it up. I've definitely heard something loose inside the case, but I think its a small piece of plastic that broke off from the front edge where my wrists rub. Is there anything else I might need to open it up?
     
  8. Mumford macrumors regular

    Mumford

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Location:
    Altadena, CA
    #8
    Follow the instructions at ifixit for taking the comp apart.
     

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