What would cause my MBP to suddenly lose ALL wifi networks?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ss957916, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. ss957916 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #1
    This is a problem I've been having for months on and off. Apple won't help (because, of course, it doesn't happen when it's in front of an Apple Genius).

    But perhaps MR can help. Simple question: what could be causing my MBP to lose connection to my wifi and then not be able to find ANY wifi networks in my area (of which there are usually about a dozen)?

    I've attached two images - on the right is what happens when it loses connection and then simply won't find anything.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    Can you give us further information please?

    What MBP, what Mac OS X version and what router do you use?
    Are you up to date with your system software?

    How often does it happen, and how long does it take to work again, steps taken by you included?
     
  3. ss957916 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #3
    Current 15" MBP (2.66GHz, 4GB RAM) running 10.6.2. Current Airport Extreme (bought it cos I thought the issue might have been my Express). All software/firmware up-to-date.

    Don't know when it happens. I'll be browsing and suddenly a page won't load and I'll notice the Wifi symbol is greyed out. Click on it and it'll be doing that "Searching for networks" and finding nothing.

    Sometimes it reconnects on its own, sometimes the list of networks appears and I can click on my network to make it connect, sometimes I need to restart, and sometimes nothing seems to work.

    I haven't had this problem since xmas and now it has suddenly started again (I've even been keeping an "Airport Problems Diary" in the hope of working it out).
     
  4. paskyhome macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #4
    I have the same problem...

    I have a current model 17" MBP and all software updates are done. Machine is always up-to-date. I have a Billion 7404VGP ADSL2+ Router in my room at work and a Netcomm (Brand new) wireless router at home. In both locations, if the wifi is on for an extended time, it will eventually drop out.

    I keep hoping that the next update from Apple will be the one that fixes it, but so far no sign of a fix. In the meantime, I have discovered that if I simply turn the wifi off on the machine, wait a couple of seconds and then turn it back on again, it will reconnect no problem.

    Clearly this is a problem that must be present across the board with the new MBPs, but it seems that Apple, for whatever reason, may not be aware of it. That is a worry, but if they cannot seem to reproduce the problem in front of a genius, I am not all that surprised, as it appears to require being in use for several hours with traffic over the wifi before it will fail.
     
  5. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #5
    Something is messing up the signal. I have a cordless phone that every time it is picked up, I lose all connections. Also Microwaves can do this. It seems like you live in a very high density location, so it could be your neighbors phone or something like that causing interference. But because it is killing everything, it is has to be spread spectrum, so most likely a cordless phone; but again, microwaves can do it as well.
     
  6. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    That happened before my wireless adapter died one day. It's only like $80 if you're out of warranty.
     
  7. ss957916 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #7
    I have another weird update - my MBP will only sometimes connect to my "Extreme" (b/g network) and, when it does, simply won't load any pages. My iPhone, however, connects immediately and loads web pages fine.
     
  8. ss957916 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #8
    Further developments:

    When MBP can't connect my iPhone 3GS connects and works fine.

    If MBP does connect, a lot of the time it say there's no internet connection (sure enough, Safari pages don't load). I went into Network Prefs and it says it has a 'self-assigned IP address'.

    What's all this about? Is it my Extreme or my MBP?
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Cool Runnings macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    Sweden
    #9
    Have you tried to change to 2.4Ghz from 5Ghz? Change channels?
    Check with iStumbler for interference and good channels.
     
  10. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #10
    Have you tried turning Airport off, then on again? Resetting the router perhaps?

    I used to have a similar problem with my MacBook Pro. The connection to my network would simply drop out for no reason. The Mac would display a self-assigned IP address (169.x.x.x). Other connected devices (my PS3, an iMac, a netbook) did not experience dropouts, only the MBP. When I turn Airport off and on again, it will often come back. Sometimes it takes two or three or four cracks at it before it works. In extreme cases, when this isn't working, I go downstairs and reboot the router, and it works again.

    I never did figure out exactly why this happened. And it hasn't happened in a few months. That does seem to roughly coincide with when my neighbor moved out, so maybe it had to do with wireless interference from other networks in the neighborhood.
     
  11. ss957916 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #11
    Ok, great - thanks for the tip. Although, I haven't a clue about what I'm looking at!

    Seems to me that a signal of 54% when my Extreme is just six feet away can't be right...?
     

    Attached Files:

  12. ss957916 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #12
    Exactly my problem and you were doing exactly the same as me. I'm really frustrated though as this is why I went with Apple - if there was a problem it would be due to Apple and therefore Apple would sort it.

    I'm annoyed that I'm just left to deal with this issue by using internet forums instead of the apparently award-winning customer service.
     
  13. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #13
    I think that 23% noise is a major issue, that's huge. Noise causes packet corruption, packet corruption means packet loss, packet loss means data loss, means something is AFU.
     
  14. ss957916 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #14
    AFU?

    Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to sort it out?
     
  15. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #15
    What type of environment are you living in? Seems like a lot of network connections in your area. First I would try changing the channel, move to something non-standard. Find out if things are generating noise, cell phones, portable phones, microwaves, etc. If they are in your house, turn them off. If you're in a tight area and don't have control over other people's equipment, you don't have a lot of choice. Keep trying different channels.

    Or, maybe the Extreme is dead / dying?
     
  16. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #16
    Well, as I said, my problem seems to have gone away, and it may or may not be coincident with one of my neighbors moving out. Who knows what it could have been. Maybe my signal used to drop whenever my neighbor used his crappy old microwave. Who knows?

    Your problem does sound like mine, and it does seem like it's related to network interference.

    Things to try:

    - try relocating your router or your Mac. Wireless signals have strong and weak points, maybe you're sitting in a bad spot. If you can, try moving the computer to a different room altogether and see if anything changes.

    - try a different router? Maybe a different brand or model will behave differently under your specific noise conditions. You said you had an Express before you had the Extreme, did it happen with both of those? Perhaps try a non-Apple branded router to see if it makes a difference.
     

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