MacBook losing WiFi connection every 5 minutes

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by fireshaper, May 1, 2011.

  1. fireshaper macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #1
    I've searched around for this but I haven't found an answer that really fixes my problem and I think it's pretty specific to me. I think I know the answer but I'm not sure how to go about using that answer to fix my problem though.

    I have a Late 2008 model, 13' Unibody Macbook that I've had no problems with except this one thing: when I'm at work on the open WiFi I lose my connection every 5 minutes. I've asked others if they lose their signal like I do and they don't seem to have the problem, and this only happens at work. When I'm at home or on other WiFi connections (at hotels or other people's houses/offices) I have no problems at all staying connected.

    I know the answer probably has something to do with the router but I cannot get to it since I am not in the networking group and don't have access to it. The really weird part is that after a few hours it will sometimes fix itself, and by a few hours I mean 6-8 (I only use my laptop on weekends when I have to work 12-hour shifts). So, from about 6am-12pm, or so, it will continuously drop and reconnect my WiFi every 5 minutes, and then miraculously stop.

    I thought that this could have been because I had IPv6 set to automatic and the router at work just didn't like that but that wasn't it. This has been going on for over a year and at this current time I'm just sick of having to deal with it on the weekends.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. aygie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #2
    Try creating a new location in your network preferences;

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2712

     
  3. fireshaper thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #3
    Okay, just tried that and the same thing happens even with a new location.
     
  4. aygie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #4
    Ok no worries, just to double check, you've done all software updates yes?
     
  5. fireshaper thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #5
    I have performed all system updates that are currently available. This has been going on for over a year though.
     
  6. Hutch1 macrumors 6502a

    Hutch1

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Guelph, ON
    #6
    I had a similar problem a long while back and what was causing it was real player check to see if it's running in the background at startup.
     
  7. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #7
    Now follow this direction:

    1. Open System Preferences->Network pane and select you Airport card and turn the Airport card off!

    2. Navigate to the folder /YourHardDrive/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ and throw out anything with Airport or Network in the name of the preferences file. Then throw them into the Trash Can.

    3. Immediately Reboot. This is important to rebuild those files in that SystemConfiguration folder.

    4. Upon the reboot open System Preferences->Network pane and rejoin your wireless network.

    5. If everything works you can empty the Trash Can.

    Also in the System Preferences->Network pane you can use the drop-down "Location" button and select to create a new Custom Location calling it whatever you like. Then, while still in the Network pane, click on the 'Apply' button to save the new Custom Location. A Custom Location will act exactly like the 'Automatic' Location, so don't worry. IMHO OS X 'Automatic' Location is not very good.

    Good Luck.
     
  8. fireshaper thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #8
    Still no dice, I'm getting the same thing. It only happens here at work, do you think it could be something to do with the connection? I can connect with my phone or iPad just fine and it doesn't lose connection, only the MacBook.

    Edit: Forgot to add, I don't have Real Player installed.
     
  9. fireshaper thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #9
    Back at work again on a weekend (Happy Mothers Day to all you mothers out there!) and once again I'm getting the disconnects. This time, though, it looks like it could be something on my employer's side, not my computer. I connected to Adium at 05:52 and it disconnected me at exactly 05:55. That has to be something with their system, right? Since it didn't give me 5 mins of connection.

    The next 5-minute interval is about to come up again where it should disconnect me and then re-connect again. Annnnnndddd.... disconnected and reconnected at exactly 06:00. I know they just did some reboots of the wireless last week because of some other problems we were having but I suspect I am not the only one suffering and that I need to find someone with a Mac to ask. But is there any reason that a router would disconnect a user every 5 mins (on perfect 5-minute intervals, regardless of how long they have been connected)?

    Thanks for all of your help, though, at least I have an idea of what to try next time something like this happens and I'm unsure of an answer.
     
  10. discounteggroll macrumors 6502

    discounteggroll

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Location:
    Greenwich, CT
    #10
    in network settings under system prefs, is your IP address sticking, or is that getting dropped as well? Are you running a program that may be using multiple nodes to work (google earth opens up something like 6 or 7) and some switches disconnect you if you go over quota.
     
  11. fireshaper thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #11
    I keep the same IP address after each disconnect/reconnect. The only things I have running that would connect to the internet are Adium and Chrome. I'll have to check my activity monitor to make sure that's it though.
     
  12. fireshaper thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #12
    I downloaded a trial of Net Monitor and ran the log for about 50 minutes, quitting programs during the logging and after I had quit everything but VLC and the monitor itself my connection was still disconnecting/reconnecting every 5 minutes.

    If anyone is interested in seeing the report they can view it here: http://thismobilelife.com/test/Traffic Log Report.html
     
  13. discounteggroll macrumors 6502

    discounteggroll

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Location:
    Greenwich, CT
    #13
    are others using macbooks or other apple-specific hardware? I am going to point my finger at something resetting your wifi connectivity as it is every 5:1X minutes and only happens at work. Either a switch, access point, netequalizer, or some rule specific to either your MAC address or other identifier specific to your machine model/type. have you spoken to the network administrator about this?
     
  14. fireshaper thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #14
    I haven't spoken to anyone about this because it will happen some days and not on others, and then it could happen half a day and not for the rest of the time I'm there. It's an open wifi connection for guests and employees to use but they have the UL and DL so low that a lot of people don't get on it. I had to do some work on my laptop one Friday at lunch and it worked fine, then I worked the next Sunday and it was up and down every 5 minutes again. The next time I worked I had no problems and now today I'm losing the connection every 5 minutes again. I brought a tablet with me (Android-based) and as far as I can tell it hasn't lost connection once.
     

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