Leopard 10.5.4 wireless problem... its software help!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Lershac, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. Lershac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA USA
    #1
    Hi all,

    I have a macbook with 10.5.4 (its my wifes' macbook so I gotta get this fixed for sanitys sake).

    It has strange wireless problems (all is fine on a wired connection).

    It will connect fine, never disconnects, but has about 50% packet loss and really strange ping time patterns. It hangs and then a bunch of packets will rush in all at once, with response times separated by one second eg, 2015 ms, 1915 ms 1815 ms etc etc

    I have several macbooks bought all at the same time, and when I take a super duper copy of one of my other books and boot the problem machine from it... it works FINE.

    Checked all wireless settings, I dont know what the difference is between the two software loads, I dont see any suspicious apps or anything (I have heard horror stories about something called coconut wifi).

    Can someone point me in the right direction to find out what software setting or app is causing this problem?

    I have done an archive and install and it didnt help.
     
  2. tashmooclam macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #2
    WEP is a problem in 10.5

    I found a problem with 10.5 and wep encryption. Leopard hates it. I have used the same modem/router for many years with WEP key encryption. Until 10.4 it worked fine for 4 different Macs. My friend upgraded to 10.5 and had trouble. I just got a laptop with 10.5 and it was a big problem. (A work around is open safari and click "network diagnostics" and you'll connect OK). My solution was to change my router to WPA from WEP. This WORKED. The instructions for your particular router will explain how to change this. You are wired to your router and then use a browser e.g. Firefox, and enter the specific address of your router in the field and go from there. I disliked having to do this, but I saved the price of a router. Why does Leopard hate WEP? No one knows.
     
  3. Lershac thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 21, 2008
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    Baton Rouge, LA USA
    #3
    I am on a cable connection with an apple time capsule doing the routing, set up with wpa already. No other computers in the house have any trouble with packet loss or connectivity.

    here is another hint i think... I created a new user, and under that user, as long as THE NEW USER initiates the connection to the wireless router, the connection is fine, 0% packet loss and speedy surfing. If the old user created the connection, there was 0 connectivity, 100% packet loss etc etc

    any more help please?
     
  4. kaiwai macrumors 6502a

    kaiwai

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    Location:
    Christchurch
    #4
    Have you tried didn't locations around the house with it?
     
  5. Lershac thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Yes I have tried all over the house. Currently I am working on it about 6 feet away from the wireless router.

    I am really sure this is software, but I dont know further how to narrow down exactly what it is so I can remedy it.

    IF I set up a new user, that new user on the machine works fine, so the problem is somewhere in the user specific data... I dont know what all that is, anyone anyone? beuller?
     
  6. kaiwai macrumors 6502a

    kaiwai

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    Oct 21, 2007
    Location:
    Christchurch
    #6
    All I can suggest is to back up the user information, delete the user, recreate one, and see if that fixes it. From what it sounds, as you have said, its user account related.
     
  7. Lershac thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 21, 2008
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    Baton Rouge, LA USA
    #7
    Yes, I agree. I would like to figure out exactly whats causing it though, and avoid the wrath of wife1.0 at having to migrate all her crap-ola over.

    That wrath is pretty mean stuff.

    Plus its a learning experience... I am only about a year into OS X, and still learning.
     
  8. Lershac thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    As an aside, I went to the local Apple store and talked to one of the "geniuses" and while he was well intentioned he was less than helpful. Once I told him it was software he just wanted to wipe it and reinstall, new user setup the works... he didnt care I was willing to PAY to find out what the actual problem was.

    I observed the operation of the genius bar for about 2 hours sitting there, and their main function seems to be to swap out defective equipment, there is really very little end-user education or troubleshooting that goes on there.
     
  9. kaiwai macrumors 6502a

    kaiwai

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    Christchurch
    #9
    End user education is a waste of time. Trust me, I worked at an ISP and sold computers; speaking to end users about their computers is like talking to a brick wall - they don't want to listen, in fact, they reveal in the fact that their ignorant, they seem to be proud of the fact that they're ignorant. Its comical to watch it in action.

    Why would he want to go around explaining the in's and out's to customers - whom 9/10 would sit there with a dumb grin on their face going, "I don't know all that technology stuff, I just press buttons!" - you may be knowledgeable to a certain degree, but after a while one can become jaded and cynical, and assume every end user who comes in is a grade A moron who makes my Irish Setter a look like a genius.
     
  10. Lershac thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Thank God for attitudes like that. People with those attitudes towards the customers that pay their salary drive customers away and to people like me who make a living actually serving customers and treating them well while doing it.

    I evaluate, and even ASK my customers "how much they want to know" or do they just want it fixed? Customers that just want it fixed get that, and politely, and customers that want to educate themselves and are willing to pay get exactly that. It takes a careful eye to determine when the eyes of the customer start to glaze over and you have overloaded them with new information.

    But back to the problem and the topic... anyone have a resource which lists what areas are user specific on the mac? the changing user solving the problem tells me thats the area where the problem lies, and chasing that down is my goal.
     
  11. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #11
    Since it doesn't affect the new user but does persist after an archive and install, the problem is probably something in your ~/Prefences folder.

    You can start by testing for corrupted plists in your Preferences folder :
    open terminal and type "cd ~/Library/Preferences"

    then

    "plutil -s *plist"

    that will list any corrupted plist you have, to see all the results leave off the -s

    you can delete any broken ones, they will be regenerated the next time you run the program they belong to.

    afterward reboot and see if it helps.

    You can also delete the whole Caches folder in your ~/Preferences folder, OSX will make a new one when you reboot.

    Most of the folders in your ~/Preferences folder will regenerate, but if you delete them outright you will lose preferences, settings, bookmarks or passwords, so it's best to just drag a folder at a time to the desktop and reboot to test. That way you can delete the new folder and drag the old one back to get your settings back until you find the problem.
     
  12. kaiwai macrumors 6502a

    kaiwai

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    Location:
    Christchurch
    #12
    Well, I don't hold that view - just explaining how one can hold that view. I'm not defending, but at the same time, I don't blame them feeling that way given how 'anti-intellect' people behave these days.

    Well, you could go through and delete settings inside your ~/Library folder, but it would be a hit and miss as to whether you delete the correct one.
     
  13. Lershac thread starter macrumors regular

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    Baton Rouge, LA USA
    #13
    Fixed!!!

    Well chalk one up to laborious trial and error.

    The problem turned out to be Realplayer. By narrowing down the date the problem started, and filtering everything in the library folder based on that date then removing all that I safely could and then adding back one at a time, I narrowed the problem down to Realplayer and once I uninstalled it and removed any files it had touched Voila!

    Is Realplayer a badly behaving application or was this just a fluke? My wife uses it to watch WMV and MOV files for TV shows she downloads. Can anyone recommend a better application?

    In any event all is well once again and I even got a thank you, for all my hard work fixing it without just nuking the whole shebang.

    I think I will drop by the apple store and tell the genius I worked with what the problem was so maybe he can add it to his list of things to look out for.:D:apple::p:apple:;):apple::)
     
  14. ihabime macrumors 6502

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    Jan 12, 2005
    #14
    I haven't used realplayer in 4-5 years, but back then it was definitely an evil, ill behaving, badly made piece of crap.

    I would recommend either quicktime with the perian and wmv codecs or VLC.
     
  15. Lershac thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Thanks

    I myself use quicktime, but left to her own devices she had stumbled upon the realplayer.


    Thanks for the links to the codecs!:rolleyes:
     
  16. Matari macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    #16
    Hi - yes I found realplayer to be a right pain - it seems to want to take over the mac. VLC or Quicktime for me.
     
  17. m1ss1ontomars macrumors 6502

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    Oct 1, 2006
    #17
    Those don't play .rm files that require RealVideo 10 (or some other similarly named codec), so those are not necessarily viable alternatives.
     
  18. Matari macrumors member

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    Oct 30, 2007
    #18
    Yes I do agree it is a pain - I can't use the BBC Radio widget unless I have RealPlayer installed.
     
  19. Lershac thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA USA
    #19
    Well have any of you realplayer users sufferred problems like these?

    I would love to know!
     
  20. rhs3ga macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #20
    I had the same problem

    I had the same problem with Real Player. After downloading and installing the latest version, my macbook would not stay connected to the internet or my network. I suffering with this for three days (having major lack of internet withdrawals) I got in touch with Apple Tech Support, and going through 3 different Tech support people, we finally figure out it was Real Player. I uninstalled it and everything was back to normal...I was able to get my internet fix!!!!;)
     
  21. owlmonkey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    #21
    was it just rebooting?

    I'm noticing the same kind of behavior with 10.5.4, but it's not resolving by removing RealPlayer. It does temporarily fix it by rebooting the MacBook however. This started occurring for me with the 10.5.4 upgrade but I have installed some other software concurrently, just nothing that should affecting the networking stack exactly. To be specific, this is what I see after awhile:

    $ ping owlmonkey.com
    PING owlmonkey.com (66.139.79.174): 56 data bytes
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=0 ttl=49 time=69.369 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=1 ttl=49 time=3993.000 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=2 ttl=49 time=2993.430 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=3 ttl=49 time=2063.117 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=4 ttl=49 time=1067.708 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=5 ttl=49 time=77.607 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=6 ttl=49 time=1773.193 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=7 ttl=49 time=782.558 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=8 ttl=49 time=70.187 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=9 ttl=49 time=1497.056 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=10 ttl=49 time=497.287 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=11 ttl=49 time=2203.830 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=12 ttl=49 time=1208.875 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=13 ttl=49 time=208.851 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=14 ttl=49 time=4158.391 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=15 ttl=49 time=3158.301 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=16 ttl=49 time=2228.117 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=17 ttl=49 time=1233.353 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=18 ttl=49 time=237.688 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=19 ttl=49 time=1940.726 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=20 ttl=49 time=949.203 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=21 ttl=49 time=71.871 ms

    So similar behavior, long pauses then occasionally it catches up. But if I just reboot the computer, it changes to this consistent ping rates:
    $ ping owlmonkey.com
    PING owlmonkey.com (66.139.79.174): 56 data bytes
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=0 ttl=49 time=70.398 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=1 ttl=49 time=70.945 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=2 ttl=49 time=68.875 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=3 ttl=49 time=72.188 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=4 ttl=49 time=70.300 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=5 ttl=49 time=71.344 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=6 ttl=49 time=69.459 ms

    I tried removing RealPlayer as well during these tests and had the same 70ms ping rates with or without it. So I'm assuming it is really rebooting that sped me up.

    This is all with about 90% signal strength, by the way.

    So my conclusion is that there is some bug in the wireless drivers - like a small memory leak - that is fine for awhile but eventually causes the driver to garbage collect or something similar (drivers don't garbage collect maybe but need to do extra things when they run out of buffer space I gather). So there's definitely a bug in there somewhere and its at a low level. Unlikely to be an installed application or service. Could be a hardware problem with my macbook, rebooting may also just reset the hardware. Or it could relate to sleeping and unsleeping the driver. I'll test that next and report back if that reproduces the problem...
     
  22. owlmonkey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    #22
    more info

    hmmm. problem recurred for me a day later. same symptom:

    $ ping owlmonkey.com
    PING owlmonkey.com (66.139.79.174): 56 data bytes
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=0 ttl=49 time=71.329 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=1 ttl=49 time=68.980 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=2 ttl=49 time=69.812 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=3 ttl=49 time=2001.581 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=4 ttl=49 time=1001.462 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=5 ttl=49 time=71.433 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=6 ttl=49 time=69.984 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=7 ttl=49 time=70.712 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=8 ttl=49 time=2000.268 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=9 ttl=49 time=1000.355 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=10 ttl=49 time=69.529 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=11 ttl=49 time=70.594 ms
    64 bytes from 66.139.79.174: icmp_seq=12 ttl=49 time=71.125 ms

    switching to a wired connection to my router would get me back to 70 ms ping times consistently, then switching back to wireless would show the same pattern above, then back to wired and it would be 70 ms consistently. rebooting at first did not workaround the problem, but then after a later reboot it is now consistently giving me 70 ms over wireless. will report again if it recurs and anything else I do to diagnose the problem.
     
  23. m1ss1ontomars macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    #23
    Polygamy is illegal, and we don't discuss illegal topics here.

    I don't mean to be rude, but this is quite obviously a hardware problem. Notice how whatever software you put on it, it's still a problem. One last thing you can try is using Windows or Linux for a while and seeing if such problems occur with those OSes.
     
  24. Lershac thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA USA
    #24
    Well you already WERE rude... and you were WRONG about the root problem. Did you not read the whole thread? Or were you too busy correcting engrish to do that? And you also missed where a CLEAN install of OS X cleared up the problem, it was just the archive and installs that didnt work.

    So, to be rude... UP YOURS ARSEHOLE!
     
  25. m1ss1ontomars macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    #25
    Well, I apologize for making a joke you don't find amusing.

    Anyway, it appears I really didn't read carefully. Is there a reason you can't just copy from any of your SuperDuper clones onto the defective MacBook, thus solving the problem once and for all?

    It could also be that you didn't test long enough. For strange, unexplainable errors, sometimes you need to test for a while before it will show up again, so you may have missed it when you did a clean install or booted up from your SuperDuper clone...

    Although your hint about new users not having the problem leads me to think it might be some login item or other thing that the old user typically does when logging in...

    I know most of these aimless thoughts sound a bit like the lame ol' "Are you sure your computer is plugged in?", but I still haven't ruled anything out as a cause of my MacBooks extremely strange wireless behavior. It connects fine unless it's on battery AND connected to my wireless network at home. It has the same problem as tashmooclam's, actually, but ONLY when on battery. :/
     

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