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10.5.2 and AirPort Network Drops

Since updating to Mac OS X 10.5.2, my computer will randomly and semi-frequently drop its AirPort connection. This has never been a problem before.

I'll usually notice because Safari will complain that it's not connected to the Internet. I look at the signal strength in the menu bar, notice it's gone completely dim, and click it. I reselect my network (WPA) and it works again for a day or an hour or so.

When it first started happening, someone said the recommended steps were to: a) turn AirPort off, b) remove the network from the list of preferred networks in the system preferences, c) turn AirPort back on, d) add the network to the list of preferred networks (applying as necessary throughout the process).

That trick never worked for me. At one point I logged out and logged back in between steps b and c, and that trick seemed to work for a day or two.

Today I waited for a minute after noticing that my network was disconnected, and it did not re-connect itself. However, I believe it must eventually reconnect, as I've never come back to my computer after a lengthy time away to find it disconnected, nor does my email application display more than one or two rounds of failed checks for email (on a 15 minute schedule, two failed rounds of checks could be 15 to 29 minutes apart).

This problem only began appearing for me on Mac OS X 10.5.2. I have a Mac Pro, of course, with the built-in wireless WiFi card. I have an AirPort Extreme (the old white dome style) that is exhibiting no problems (the problem is with the Mac Pro) and which provides full signal strength, as it sits about 10 feet away from the Mac Pro.

This has apparently been a problem for many for quite some time. I'm hoping it's resolved soon.

33 Responses to "10.5.2 and AirPort Network Drops"

  1. I have this too. It's particularly annoying as 10.5.2 fixes another Airport bug. Before 10.5.2, I would random get kernel panics due to Airport (com.Apple.Airport.Atheros) which were *predictable*. All connections would hang (eg. Safari tabs stay on spinning progress indicator), then you could cause the panic by clicking the Airport menu item!

  2. I am running 10.5.2 and have been having no problems. I did read if you are on a 802.11n then you may have problems. I have an older router so not an issue.

  3. I have the same setup, macpro+airport extreem, same problem, apple this is stupid after all the delay 10.5.2 went through

  4. I've been experiencing the same problem with the square airport extreme and my MacBook Pro.

  5. I'm have the same problem with my Macbook Pro and my iMac. After 6 hours on the phone with support over 2 days and buying a new router that was never the problem in the first place... yup I sort of have it fixed but I could just be going through another "ok my internet's working for 1 or 2 hours straight"

    The 3rd level tech finally had me do a complete reboot of my operating system (SAVING NO SETTINGS) after rebooting and updating all my programs, my connections worked... then quit again. After cycling my router and modem things have been good on both computers for 10 hours straight.

    They know about the problem... but don't know what's causing it. Changing the channel on my router did fix my connection problems to it... but I couldn't connect to the internet wirelessly until I did the re-install... good luck and what a waste of 2 days!!!!

  6. Alright, I may have a solution, this seemed to work for me.

    System Preferences:Network:Advanced:TCP/IP

    Change Configure IPv6 to Off.

    I haven't had a drop since.

  7. Hello, THe only fix that worked permanently was to drop the apple extreme from 5 Ghz to 2.4N speed.

  8. Hi all,

    i tried to set IPv6 off but didn't work at all for me.

    OS 10.5.2 sucks as it always drops my Airport internet connection.

    I upgraded it to the latest version but seemed to be not working, what a crop! Is this tested after making it in production, is there a BETA testing for this.

    Am loving MAC but seemed to be not now coz it's very troublesome for me.

    It's a waste of time troubleshooting it due to sporadic connections.

    MAC PEOPLE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

    EXPENSIVE but it doesn't give much satisfaction but FRUSTRATIONS.

  9. bashar said on February 23, 2008:

    Hello, THe only fix that worked permanently was to drop the apple extreme from 5 Ghz to 2.4N speed.

    My AirPort Extreme (the old snow drop kind) doesn't do N. It does 802.11g (and b). I have it set set to g-only mode.

    My Mac Pro does N, of course.

  10. Despite what this report says, I've never had to reboot the base station. I just have to re-select it from the AirPort menu.

  11. i have the same problem with my pro

    the apple apologists over at the official discussion site try and blame everything except 10.5.2

    a. it's your router ( they love to blame d-link a lot )

    b. it's your internet service provider

    c. it's the time of the month

    thing is , my ps3 , wii , 360 and 4 other macs all running 10.4 have no problems at all

    and this mac was ok until 10.5.2

    nuff said

  12. Drop the apple extreem to 2.4 Ghz N speed and it should work. NO luck with 5 Ghz and 10.5.2

  13. Bashar said on February 25, 2008:

    Drop the apple extreem to 2.4 Ghz N speed and it should work. NO luck with 5 Ghz and 10.5.2

    Please read before commenting. I have a dome AirPort Extreme - it doesn't do 802.11n.

  14. I have the same issue very frustrating. The only way I can get around it is to open a terminal and use ping and leave it running all the time:

    ping -i 2 http://www.google.com

    As soon as I stop the ping my wifi will disconnect. I hope they fix this crap soon.

  15. Despite not having any interference on my previous channel (channel 6), after changing the channel to channel 1 four days ago I have not had a drop yet. I previously tried the IPv6 trick and that has not worked either (though it remains turned off). Knock on wood.

    Perhaps someone's network on channel 6 only occasionally interferes with mine. I never see another network in my AirPort menus or any other place. My iPhone never mentions another wireless network. Perhaps it's a hidden (private) network and yet it's still enough to trip up the computer?

    I continue to check for interference using iStumbler (the dashboard widget specifically) and I never see a peep on any of my channels nor do I even see any other networks.

  16. I am suddenly having the very same problem. I've always been so happy with my wireless connection, but within the last week I've been having problems at work and home with my macbook. It keeps dropping the signal, sometimes as often as every ten minutes, sometimes I can get it to work for a longer time. This is so frustrating and it seems like a lot of people are having the same problems. Why haven't they fixed it yet?

  17. I am having the same problem at Denver Airport using the free wifi service here.

  18. Tammy said on March 1, 2008:

    I am suddenly having the very same problem.

    I still have not had a drop since changing my channel, despite the fact that iStumbler never showed any other items on my network and has always shown good signal strength.

  19. There is no doubt in my mind upgrading to 10.5.2 messed up my wireless connection. I never had a single dropout for months and months until the day i upgraded, and now I have 10 a day.

    I dont really understand much of the g / b / n network stuff, and I am using a linksys router. I am using whatever wireless card the mac pro ships with. If anyone's got any step by step tips to make my connection more stable I'd appreciate it.
    Just wanted to bump this in hopes for a solution. The apple support site is awful and aside from a few random threads like this, I couldn't find a single mention of this issue anywhere.

  20. I'm getting drops again now that I've set up my new Time Capsule I've gotten a few drops in the past few hours.

  21. [...] updating to Mac OS X 10.5.2, my AirPort connection started dropping several times per day. I resolved the issue by changing the channel from 6 to 1, despite not having any interference or [...]

  22. Me too - spent 90 minutes on the line with Apple support. They assume it is a problem with Leopard upgrade and suggested archive and install. Doubt this will work since things worked fine under leopard until 10.5.2 - now i get lousy service from all wireless networks and a lot of time "scanning". Hope that Apple comes to their senses soon- channel switch and IPv6 changes haven't helped.

  23. 😐
    It has to be something they changed in the kernel ktext? Guess I should have done a diff before upgrading.

    The problems didn't start right away for me. Then I started getting drops or it just not finding my airport extreme running 802.11g with firmware 5.7.

    Deleted the other wifi networks from the list and it solved the problem (disconnects) for a day or two.

    Then I started getting more drop outs so I re-booted the base station. Seemed to be OK again for a couple of hours then kept getting disconnects and scanning would seemingly randomly pick up the network again.

    Walked round the house looking for Microwave sources and outside the house with a WiSpy. Nothing showing. No microwave cookers with holes in their shielding. 🙄

    Last thing I tried was the keychain thing mentioned above. Hasn't made a bit of difference and now I can't get a connection no matter what I do.

    So I have an Apple MacBookPro talking to a Apple Airport Extreem using Apple drivers, on an Apple OS, and guess what? It sucks.

    🙁

    Come on Apple, it's 2008, we've had ISO/TQM, and Unit Testing for years. Fix your code/firmware.

  24. This bug is painfully annoying. My airport drops every 10-15 minutes. 👿

  25. This has been a problem for me for the last 6 weeks or so. It started as soon as I upgraded to an 'n' wireless card in my mac, and has consistently dropped connections on both a dome AEBS, and a TC (bridged, n-only). When connected to the TC, I *do* get a significant increase in throughput, but it doesn't last very long before it drops.

    Sometimes I can connect back from the wi-fi menu; sometimes I have to reboot altogether to get the network back.

    I don't remember exactly when 10.5.2 released, so I don't know if that is a crucial part of the problem. But it DOES seem that the 'n' network card combined with an intel machine (and?) 10.5.2 does NOT work properly.

    P.S. Just to clarify, the drops occur when I try to download large files (iTunes) or transfer large files to the TC. Or when screen sharing. To me, this implies that something is not working correctly with maxed-out throughput. I only have drops during normal browsing very very rarely...

  26. Mentioned here at O'Reilly.

    Also, people, read this later post of mine for more, updated information.

  27. Guys,

    Please let me know if anyone found any solution for this problem. It's so frustrating to see this connection drop problem.

  28. I have been having the same problem and I made an appointment to have a new airport card installed (for about (185 with labor)
    I checked the apple support disussions again to see if there was anything new on there and one of the members "seattlemacboy) solved his problem by deleting .all but one of his preferred networks listed in the airport pane.
    I tried this and so far my connection hasn't dropped for about 10 hours now. I don't think that the problem has been solved, but for now I am satisfied and won't spend the money on a new airport card which probably won't solve the problem either.
    Also, he suggested make sure you"leave the setting under the Options button the "Automatically add new networks to the preferred networks list" unchecked or the problem will return.
    So far, its working.
    Also, my macpro is running 10.4 and it is happening.

  29. Trying to find a solution to my airport problems brought me here, at least I am not alone! 🙁

    They have got to sort this out, I recently switched to mac from windows, and have had more problems with my mac than I ever did with a windows computer.

    At least I knew what I was doing with a PC!

    My mac is 3 months old, and there has been times where I had enough of these stupid airport problems and have been very close to taking the thing back to the shop.

    Sort it out Apple

  30. just updated to 10.5.3 airport still dropping out every time i load a page, will scan and reload when I click the airpot icon

    the same happens on both networks i use at home and work, I have pcs running with no problems

    this is really annoying !!!!!!!!!!,

    recently changed to mac after much prompting from a few mac users, my macbook is 2 months old i am ready to get rid of it

    APPLE PLEASE SORT THIS OUT

  31. I had the problem and finally had to get a new airport card for my macbook pro.
    I upgraded to Leopard after that and haven't had any more problems.
    Maybe the airport cards are defective.

  32. I had the same problem with a TimeCapsule (1TB) and an iMac (several Macbooks on my network as well).

    iMac and one MB are on Leopard and the other 4 MB are on the latest version (updated) Tiger.

    Everything is secured with WPA 2

    For me - the setup for the TC was in Bridge Mode and since I set it up to distribute a range of IP addresses through DHCP, everything on the network is working perfect.

    Seems speedier as well and not only on the iMac but also on the MB's which cannot do 802.11n.

    Dunno if it helps but, I post it here anyway - maybe you can try.

  33. I do confirm the disabling the IPv6 int the TCP/IP settings for Airport helped me in keeping the connection alive.
    Speed dramatically improved too:
    I'm with a MBP Ccore 2,
    And it connect to an other PowerBook G4 and the Airport Base station on 802.11g, channle 13, multicast set to 11.

    The powerbook had never dropped the connection while the MBP was constantly dropping it.
    Diasbling IPv6 finally letted me copy large files over WiFi nw.
    Just consider that even a 4MB transfer was a real pain for me.


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