I just want internet for my business
December 7, 2010 3:58 PM   Subscribe

Why won't my router and laptop play nice anymore? Mac and Cisco/Linksys question inside.

So, a couple days ago, there was some sort of massive outage on Time Warner's end that was causing the connection to go in and out. I'd have to go into the internet connect, find my network again, then relog in each time.

It started doing the same thing again today, disappearing from the available networks, dropping the signal, whatever. I could (and can) connect to the internet through the router with the computer connected (ethernet) directly to it, but my network doesn't seem to be working.

So, after a couple frustrating passes of power cycling, it working for ten minutes, then having to power cycle again, it just stopped letting me connect. Then my network stopped showing up as an available network.

Stupidly thinking I could avoid a power cycle, I hit the red reset button on the back, which cleared the hardware preferences. Not a big deal, I figured, I'd just wander in through the wired computer, connect again, and change the settings back.

Except I think I've done that now, and the laptop still can't connect to my network. I set the password set as WEP, which was no problem before, and have changed it back to the same settings, at least as far as I can see. But the Network Diagnostics keeps telling me that it's the wrong password.

OK, I think, I'll go and disable the password and connect. Then maybe re-enable it once I'm connected. I do that, and it works for a while.

But it keeps dropping out, and keeps rejecting my password. So I go back and disable the password again, and now the wireless keeps wanting a password to join the network even after I've disabled it in the router.

What are my next troubleshooting steps? What should I be looking for? The router works fine when hardwired, it's only the wireless that's giving me trouble.

10.5.8 on the laptop.
posted by klangklangston to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sorry if this is obvious, but have you turned the airport on your laptop off and on again? Doing so forces it to rescan, so it should pick up that your network no longer requires a password.

I used to have similar problems with a Belkin modem/router and my MacBook Pro, and that was my standard solution: turn airport off, turn the modem off, turn the modem on, wait a minute for it to get going, turn airport on. Connect!

The issue seemed to be related to dropout problems I had with my ISP, but I could never work out why the internet dropping out would cause the wireless to flake. I switched ISPs and the problem went away entirely.
posted by Georgina at 6:05 PM on December 7, 2010

It's often difficult to troubleshoot these issues when you're working with crappy home routers. On the Mac, though, a good step to isolate things is to make a new network location (in the dropdown list at the top of the Network preference pane). That will give you a fresh set of settings on the Mac to work with. Does it work when you do that? Can other computers or devices successfully connect to the network?
posted by aaronbeekay at 11:33 PM on December 7, 2010

I hate to threadshit, but can't help but say how thrilled I am* that the title of this thread is a reference to a commercial I was in.

* pretty thrilled
posted by Jonathan Harford at 10:30 AM on December 8, 2010

Response by poster: Aaron: Yeah, the girlfriend's iTouch is having the same troubles, at the same times (it's back, now, mysteriously).

Georgina: I pretty much power cycle everything as the first step in any computer problem (I still remember the old joke about the Microsoft engineer trying to fix a flat: Roll up all the windows, turn off the engine, then restart.)
posted by klangklangston at 10:37 AM on December 8, 2010

Cross-referencing elpea's question from today.
posted by carsonb at 6:47 PM on December 8, 2010

If the iPod touch is having the same problems at the same times, it's almost certainly an issue with your router. Unfortunately, if you've already done a hard reset, the only fix is often to replace the stupid thing. If you have an old one lying around, or another one you can borrow, you can swap it in temporarily to see if the issue goes away.
posted by aaronbeekay at 12:28 AM on December 9, 2010

Response by poster: I'm still not sure exactly what's going on, except that now instead of it being out-out, it's just randomly flaky at times.
posted by klangklangston at 12:15 PM on January 7, 2011

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