How do you see any driver problems?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by JEB0007, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. JEB0007 macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2011
    Hello you MAC Techy Guys. I have never had a MAC although I am trying to sort out a friends MAC. I have only been using PC's for many many years ( Green screen IBM's to Intel i7 ) so you can imagine how different it is for me. So apologies if this has been asked a hundred time but I have searched and searched but never found a reasonable answer ( lots of silly ones )

    In the Windows system there is Device manager where if a device has a problem you can inspect the driver and try and update it etc and see what the results are.

    In the MAC world it does not seem to exist in the same way. I did ask this question in another MAC forum but was told.. "MAC doesn't need it" and "If the device don't work buy a different type" ... which is not really the type of technical answer that I hope you may be able to explain

    Example.. in Leopard 10.5 ( I think ) I connected a USB wireless device ( Ralink ) when the MAC system was running.. There is no screen indication of any drivers being detected which it what I expected.. I looked into the system profiler and can see the USB WiFi device and it various specs. I can load the MAC Ralink software from the install disk and then look for the Application which is listed.. If I try and launch it, it says the device does not exist !!!

    How do you try and see if the drivers are loaded. In Windows there is the Yellow exclamatin mark but on the MAC nothing.

    I guess there is a very simple explanation to this but for a new MAC user a nightmare

    I do realise this sounds like a very novice question and I hope I wont feel to embarrassed when you tell me how these sort of problems are solved on a MAC OS

    Thanks in advance

  2. McGiord, Jan 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    What does this Ralink is supposed to do? If it is a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi device you have to go into System Preferences and through them you can see what is going on with it. Or maybe the software you installed put an icon there to manage the device.
    Also there you can set up to show a menu for managing these devices.
  3. JEB0007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2011
    Hello McGiord,,,many thanks for helping me trying to understand this new system ....Ralink is a USB Wireless device and works fine on my Windows system. I have loaded the MAC drivers from the CD...If I look in System Preferences and then Networks only the RJ45 network card is shown. There is no Wireless ICON's or anything that relates to Wireless. In System Profiler it does list it as USB 802.11 WLAN

    In the Applications it is listed and Ralink Wireless Utility and when I launch says there is no device. So the part I am looking for is,,,How do I see the actual driver information as to whether it is loaded or there is a problem. Is it really that different and difficult? Thanks in advance John
  4. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    What Mac model is this one? It doesn't have a built in Wi-Fi?

    Anyway instead of using the CD software try installing the latest version from the manufacturer's website. I believe is this one:

    After doing that, check for any Network connection open the Network preference in the System Preference, and there you can check what network devices are available.

    For further help in this forum you can upload some screen shots.
    For doing screen shots in the Mac press command+shift+3 for a full screen, and command+shift+4 for selection of the screen you ant to save. The images will appear on the desktop.
  5. JEB0007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2011
    Hello my Technical friend.. Must admit I have tried that before I asked these questions...and it says that no device is installed. I guess that there is no way to see what is wrong with the driver or how to solve it..
    So I assume that even if is shows the device in the System Profiler it does not mean that the driver is installed so how on earth do you know what's going on

  6. DryEyez macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
    I am also a pc user, but regularly read these forums, just to expand my knowledge a little on os x. As this year I am looking to keep my PC Desktop (10x more powerful than any imac plus upgradeable) however, I am looking for a macbook pro. John's problem is something I was curious about as well, regarding these work arounds, go to the manufacturers site, I think we can all assume from John's first post that he is a seasoned computer user and this is pretty basic and unhelpful stuff. So far no one has actually answered what John was asking.
  7. JEB0007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2011
    Hello DryEyez.. Thank for your comments and conclusions about this subject. It does seem a bit strange that maybe I am the only one in the world who need to know how the find and sort out a driver that is not loaded properly in a MAC OS. In Windows it is straight forward and I feel sure somewhere buried in the MAC system there is an equivalent Device manager. Whilst the other comments are helpful and I have tried may possible solutions but not yet sorted the problem. I think if it was just an application that was loaded and it did not function for some reason then it may be a bit more obvious... But the add-on's there is no clue as to what it happening or NOT happening when what you expect to work doesn't.. In my example I can see the USB wireless device listed in the System Profiler " What does that mean".. If it is listed you may think that its drivers are loaded but it seems that is not the case. You can see the driver file in System/Library/ extensions ...........kext, but it also means nothing..I am hoping some kind sole can guide me to the right place to see the Device and the condition of the driver. Regards John
  8. Nameci macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2010
    The Philippines...
    You can fireup system profiler and see if the extensions are loaded. Device drivers in OSX are named as kext or kernel extensions. Most of the time kernel extensions are loaded but the actual hardware may not work due to some hardware failures. You can also fire up console and see system or kernel log if the driver is loaded on boot.

    Hope this helps.
  9. JEB0007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2011
    Hello Nameci many thanks for assisting in this question which I very much appreciate,,,In the System Profiler the USB wireless device is listed as :-

    USB High-Speed Bus:

    Host Controller Location: Expansion Slot
    Host Controller Driver: AppleUSBEHCI
    PCI Device ID: 0x3104
    PCI Revision ID: 0x0086
    PCI Vendor ID: 0x1106
    Bus Number: 0x90

    802.11 n WLAN:

    Version: 1.01
    Bus Power (mA): 500
    Speed: Up to 480 Mb/sec
    Manufacturer: Ralink
    Product ID: 0x3070
    Serial Number: 1.0
    Vendor ID: 0x148f

    I don't see anything saying about "extensions are loaded" but the driver for the Ralink USB .kext is listed in the system/library/extended, etc

    I do not see any kernal log in Console so not sure what that means. Much appreciate the guidance.. Thanks John
  10. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Did you try the latest Ralink 10.6 drivers (if you have a 10.6.x OS X)? They might be newer than the drivers that are on that included disk.
  11. dmz, Jan 18, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011

    dmz macrumors regular


    Jan 29, 2007
    Try this?

    Open System Preferences, and go to the Network Pane. On the left side, you see a list of network devices. Your RAlink should be listed there, but it isn't. The installer likely installed the right "driver", but did not finish the job - so you'll have to. Unlock the pane, if it isn't unlocked (lower left corner lock icon). Then click the "+" under the left-hand list. A dialog slides out asking to "Select the interface and enter a name for the new service" . From the menu directly below these words, you should be able to select your RAlink - if all else is well. Then you can set up the device using the controls on the right hand side of the Network Pane. Hope this works for you.

    The lack of a "device manager" is not a downside, and "driver" issues are not common on Macs, as the hardware is much more abstracted in OS X than it is in Windows, and rarely causes an issue. As you get to know the Mac a little better, you'll see why this is an advantage. Get the O'Reilly book on OS X if you really want to learn - trying to learn the Mac by equating it with Windows is okay for beginners, but beyond Userland, Mac OS X is entirely different from Windows, and analogies do not apply, e.g., Windows Printing is in no way like CUPS, networking is also entirely different, etc. etc.

    Good luck and Welcome to Mac!:)


    ps: never use the disks that come in the box, always check the manufacturer's website first to see which version you should be using with your version of the OS, i/.e 10.5, 10.6, etc.
  12. JEB0007 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2011
    Driver somehow solved

    Hello Guys. I very much appreciate you guidance with the differences of the two OS. I did try the latest drivers from Ralink for the WEB site but still no joy there. I also explored the Network pane but Ralink was not listed and in the Select Interface also nothing listed. So then explored the WEB for an hour or to and then found some comments that there is a BUG in 10.5.2 relating to USB devices.. ( Ohhh wonderful ) and someone have developed a modified Driver that overcomes this problem. The actual driver was for an RT2700 but somewhere in the text it did mention RT2870 so I thought nothing ventured nothing gained but the WEB link for the download was dead so after another hour or so I did find it and downloaded it. I run the installer and suddenly the USB WiFI device lights started to blink off and on. I thought I had solved it but when opening the Ralink App it still said the device was not connected,, So trying to think logically, if the device seems to be active then it did see this new driver but clearly was not perfectly happy. Getting a bit fed up by now I decide the reinstall the original driver and then call it a day. As soon a I installed it the device appeared in the network Pane and the App opened to allow WEB keys, etc,, A few tickles of the keyboard and it connected to Router... So not bad for a few days work and lots of guidance from you Tecky guys but I am not yet Sold on MAC OS yet :) Maybe I will continue to use Win & 64 it on my I7 6 core, for a while and just give support to my friend who has the MAC,,,Thanks again Guys Regards John

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