I'm having trouble getting my Macbook to reliably communicate with, well, anything else on my network, and not having a spare router or laptop is not helping the troubleshooting process.
posted by Tomorrowful to computers & internet (11 answers total)
First off, I'm a professional software developer, also with a few years of helpdesk support under my belt. This is not to imply that I know everything - ye gods, far from it - but I mention it to indicate that I'm a bit beyond the "turn it off and on again" category.
Now then: I've got a Macbook (early 2008 model). I've also got an Xbox 360, an AppleTV, and a Medialink wireless router. I used to have a secondhand Time Capsule for my router, and then it died; before that I had a string of Belkin, D-Link, and Netgear routers. I've gone through so many because A) I've until semi-recently had roommates/parents who brought their own, and B) I appear to have particularly good luck with my computers, in that I've never had a hard drive death or other hardware failure, but awful luck in routers, in that they regularly just... stop working after a year or two. The 360 and the ATV are jacked straight into the router via Ethernet, and always have been.
Now, only in this brave new Medialink world have I had a desire to have the Macbook talk to anything else on the network. So I don't know whether to blame this problem on the router, or the laptop. I don't have a second computer I can test with, nor do I have a spare router to swap out (and apparently nobody else I know does, either.)
The problem is: Whenever I try to get anything to communicate with the laptop, it only works about 1/3 of the time. This includes:
* The laptop detecting, and being able to stream audio to via iTunes, the AppleTV
* The AppleTV being able to pick up the laptop's iTunes library as a source
* The Xbox being able to pick up the copy of Connect360 I run on the laptop, as a pre-ATV get-my-videos-into-my-TV solution
* Things on my iPhone being able to sync with Things on the Mac, which is a LAN-based process.
* The Apple Remote app on my iPhone can see the AppleTV just fine, but not the laptop.
Streaming stuff across the LAN sometimes works, but often doesn't, and when it does, the 360/ATV will often lose access after, say, half an hour, and then I'll be unable to get it working again within that troubleshooting session (ie, I may try again a couple of days later, but just messing around for a while, I don't get it back). It doesn't necessarily work right away after a reboot of either the laptop or the Other Gadget.
At no point in this process does the laptop show any errors, problems, etc, and its network access appears uninterrupted; certainly, internet access via the router works fine. In fact, right as I post this, iTunes refuses to see the AppleTV (and vice-versa) even though it was working this afternoon. Until i started trying to throw data around the network, I never had any problems at all with the laptop, ever. It is, of course, out of AppleCare at this point.
The problem's been present on Leopard, Snow Leopard, and now Lion.
I've dug around the MediaLink router's settings for anything that looked useful, but its menus are impressively useless; everything's either a vague checkbox without explanation ("Prevent Network Attack") or not something I've heard of before ("Reverse Direction Grant, "MCS Auto").
The wireless network is setup as a mixed 802.11n/g, though previously it was g-only. There aren't many wifi networks in the area, and I haven't had problems with reception in general in the past. It helps, of course, that the laptop is about ten feet from the router.
Attempting to google this has been unsuccessful, in part because there's no error message, and most people encountering similar problems seem to never be able to connect devices, because of misconfiguration or some other blocker - this intermittency of this is what's driving me nuts and making it hard to research.
So, uh... any ideas?