Wifi dropouts - is it Lion or my new iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by laserbeam273, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. laserbeam273 macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2010
    I've bought a new iMac, and it shipped with Lion. It seems to drop out quite frequently, perhaps more often than my early 2008 MBP (which now has lion also). Is there any way I can figure out if it's a Lion bug or if it's an iMac issue? My home network is fine, so it's not that.

    To be more specific on the drop outs: while I'm browsing, or even when I'm not browsing, the internet cuts out. Wifi still reads it as full signal, but pages just hang. Often if I run a "ping" with Network Utilities it fixes it, but to sure-fire way to fix it is just turn wifi off and on again - that fixes it very quickly.
  2. laserbeam273, Oct 31, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011

    laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2010
    I checked and it starts with 10. Every else's computers in the house, including my MBP, are working fine with no drop outs, so don't see the need for going through the hassle of a modem reset.

    Also, my MBP had 169 at the beginning of it's IP address and it worked fine.

    EDIT: There was a post there before, in case anyone's confused.
  3. PeterHolbrook macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2009
    Most definitely, I think there IS a way. Take me for instance. I get occasional wifi dropouts in my first-generation 17-inch MacBook Pro with Snow Leopard. Obviously, Lion has nothing to do with it.
  4. nikobe macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2011
    I think it may be a hardware issue, rather than Lion.

    I recently bought a MBP 15, the early 2011 version and it dropped the wifi connection in a certain location in my bedroom - just where the desk is! It still showed full signal bars. I thought this was odd as my windows laptops are fine there, but figured it was just a negative "feature" of having the aluminium body. I had read several threads in forums about this.

    Anyway, I returned this MBP within the 14 day window because the late 2011 update came out. To my relief, the new machine has no wifi issues anywhere in my house.

    Both computers were running Lion 10.7.2.
  5. berlyjen macrumors newbie


    Oct 13, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    After having the same issue I was told by the genius bar to update the software on my (4 year old) router. They told me there were a lot of security updates to wifi in Lion.
    Although instead of doing that I purchased an AirPort Express and it has been working great with no drop offs plus now have printing and speakers in another room and it updates itself.
  6. bigpoppamac31 macrumors 68000

    Aug 16, 2007
    Well my MBP (early 2011) is like two months old now. I can't imagine I'd get a replacement. But I'm thinking of going to the Apple Store nonetheless. This is ridiculous. I didn't pay almost $2,000 for a half working computer.
  7. scott523 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2006
    Saint Charles, MO
    I'm having Wi-Fi issues too. Except this involves my 5 year old white Macbook and my AEBS. I just recently installed Lion when the iPhone 4S came out and now my Wi-Fi has been acting strange. It would either refuse to connect to any of my networks I have (5GHz or 2.4GHz) when waking from sleep or randomly drop connection in the middle of browsing on Safari. Then I would simply be able to reconnect from the Wi-Fi menubar drop down.
  8. laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2010
    Sounds like it's at least time for me to start liaising with Apple.. I was hoping to hear that everyone was having this problem, and that it'd be fixed in two weeks when an update comes out...

    Also I should probably try use my iMac and MBP at the same time from the same place, and confirm if the MBP is performing better than the iMac. Thanks for the replies though. I'll post when I make some progress.
  9. BarkingGhost macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2011
    Atlanta+35 miles
    Last Friday I purchased an 27" i7Mac for the wife. Setup her user account, did all available system updates while connected via Ethernet (wired), and then went about migrating her email, iTune, etc.

    I noticed an issue that if I Eject the USB thumb drive, physically remove it and then plug it back, it would not be detected unless I rebooted (or cold booted). I also know the menu bar (Finder bar?) would not automatically come up on a Cold boot (would always on a reboot).

    Finally, I decided to sever the Ethernet cable in favor of using wireless since the iMac's permanent location in the house would benefit the most from the wireless approach. It was then I noticed that on Cold boots the wireless indicator would report ... 'Wi-Fi: No hardware installed'.

    If I shut down and [cold] booted again the problems would still be there, but if I Rebooted these problems would go away, and I'd have wireless connectivity.

    I tried to reinstall Lion via Internet and this didn't resolve the issue, nor did it remove any personal account/app information. I attached an external hard drive, formatted Extended, installed the Recovery HD partition, and booted into it and reinstalled Lion on the internal HDD and that didn't resolve the issue (nor remove personal information).

    I cannot seem to remove the original Mac OS X partition on the internal HDD. So, returning this iMac comes with a concern of personal information and data getting out of my hands. I used Google and it seems this wireless problem is affecting many people.

    $2200 and cannot use the included 802.11 wireless unless I Boot and then Reboot every single time. BS!
  10. Oldnerd macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2011
    Maybe a fixer...

    I sat on the phone with Apple Support on Monday for 3 hours and had them eventually tell me the problem with my MBA 13 1.8 was the fault of the channels on the router/modem having an issue with the computer some how... *Shrugs*

    Then I did some research on the problem and found all you guys having the same issues.... so I did some trial and error with other apps and found a possible fixer upper... that doesn't go all the way to fixing the issue, but might make things easier.

    What I did was two things, 1) open up a second desktop with the networking diagnostic app running all the time, so I could run it quickly and stay connected / not off grid for long. 2) I keep and leave Skype running in the background, which seems to help by having the heartbeat running in the background. Whilst this hasn't seemed to fix the problem completely.... it has reduced the instances of dropping the internet (not the WIFI connection, which never happened previously).

    So to fix things quickly if I do drop off the radar is I switch to my second desktop and reconnect quickly....

    Like I say, not a complete fix, but certainly something to keep me sane in the short term. ;)
  11. seafury.racer macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2012
    fixed mine

    i have a 27" imac running snow leopard, connected thru a standard wireless router to the internet. started having major problems with airport reliability lately. went to the store, and spent substantial time on the phone with apple. FINALLY, a savvy apple tech told me to pull ALL the usb and other device plugs out of the back. my g drive backup was killing the airport. still don't know why it happens, but if i leave all the usb out of the back, my airport is 100%
    might not work with macbooks, but hopefully someone can benefit.
  12. Coltaine, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012

    Coltaine macrumors regular


    Jan 7, 2012
    Hi folks,

    my two cents on the WiFi dropout problem:

    I am running OS X Lion in the most current version on an iMac 2011 (mid 2011, shipped in September). When I connect to my FritzBox WLAN, I experience major WiFi dropouts every once in a while. It ranges from no dropouts for a week to permanent dropouts every 30 seconds or so on other days.
    It's been that way before and after every update that has been released so far for Lion.

    At first, I was also suspecting some hardware issues.
    Then I got the Time Capsule, which is obviously also able to serve as a WLAN Access Point, I connected it to my FritzBox, which serves as the router, and connect my iMac to the Time Capsule WLAN and lo and behold, no more dropouts have occurred ever since and it's been more than three months.

    So obviously there seems to be an issue with the FritzBox WLAN. Every once in a while I try to switch back to it, but instantly the same dropouts occur. Once I switch back to Time Capsule WLAN, I am fine again.

    So I never solved the problem, Apple couldn't help either, but I am fine with my Time Capsule WLAN.
    Odd, but seems to be some kind of compatibility issue with non-Apple hardware.
    Neither iPad nor iPhone have ever had problems with neither the FritzBox nor the Time Capsule WLAN.
    Seems like it's either Lion and / or iMac related.
    At least in my case.

  13. fisherking macrumors 603


    Jul 16, 2010
    ny somewhere
    my experience is this:
    i am on a late-2011 macbookpro, running 10.7.2.
    my GF has a late-2008 mb, also running 10.7.2.

    using an airport express, we were running wireless N 5ghz.
    only my mac would keep getting dropouts (especially after waking from sleep).
    i would also get crashes (where my mbp would not sleep, but remain on; black screen, no access. took TWO reboots to get back to the desktop).

    switched to 2.4ghz (g/b/a compat) and have, so far, had NONE of the above problems. and truthfully, speed feels no different (so i don't feel like i am sacrificing speed for stability)...
  14. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Everybody I discovered something about Upgraded Lion installs (as well as other new Macs already with lion installed) the in System Preferences>Network, Location and the 'Automatic' Location.

    You best bet (if you are having wireless connection problems) is to open System Preferences->Network and in the Location drop-down select "Edit Locations ...". Then use the + button to create a new Location calling it whatever you want. Then after that new Location is made rejoin your wireless network and then while still in the Network pane click on the 'Apply' button to save this new Location. This should fix the wireless Airport weirdness drops.
  15. Farthen macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2009
    This thread from the Apple support forums contains a lot of information about the dropout problem: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3042800
    No real solutions there except from configuring the wifi router in a way that the problem doesn't occur though.

    I had the problem too before reconfiguring the wifi router to circumvent the problem.
  16. FurryToes macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2011
    It's definitely Lion

    It's definitely Lion for me.

    I have a mid-2010 iMac.
    I had Snow Leopard for 10 months, not a single WIFI dropout.
    Installed Lion (10.7.2/3) started getting WIFI dropouts at the rate of about 1-2 per hour. Have to turn WIFI on & off again, or "Assist Me" in Network settings to get connected again.

    I also have a WindowsXP, AppleTV & iPhone, all in the same room - all about 3-4 metres from the WIFI antenna. Nothing else, ever, has a single WIFI dropout.
    Except Lion, every 1-2 hours.

    I reverted back to Snow Leopard after 1 month of dropouts in Lion. This was 2 weeks ago, not a single WIFI dropout since.

    I tried a few hacks, resetting the router, adding a new network location - nothing worked.

    Snow Leopard good, Lion bad.

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