You can imagine where it goes from here…

Macbook Pro wireless woes

I’ve had some intermittent wireless problems with both Macbook Pros, especially with WEP networks. Colleagues with Macbook Pros have had the same problems from time to time. I can see networks in my list but when I try to connect to them I just see the generic “An error has occured” message. Really infuriating when everyone else arounds you connects just fine. There’s usually something along the lines of:

Mar 23 19:30:57 xxxx /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Resources/airport: Error: WirelessAssociate2() = 88001006 for network xxxxx. The operation timed out.

in /var/log/system.log

The Apple discussion boards are full of people having very similar problems, it’s really hard to understand why Apple is not stepping up to the plate and fixing these issues once and for all. After numerous Airport updates over the past 9 months we’re still not there. Perhaps the problem lies with Atheros, the manufacturer of the wireless chipset?

Either way, I think I’ve come up with a reasonably consistent way to overcome this problem. Unfortunately you’ll need Windows (yea, really) installed. Boot to windows and make sure you have the latest Atheros drivers installed (6.02.75 at the time of writing, I had 6.01.75) otherwise you will have the exact same problems in Windows as in OSX. With the latest drivers installed Windows should be able to connect to said wireless network without problem. Reboot back to Mac OSX and reconnect with Airport, which should work now. I suspect the wireless firmware or something is left in an unstable state and the Windows drivers knows how to correctly reset this. It’s worked for me on two occasions now where OSX did not want to connect.

UPDATE (2 May 2007): Apple releases Airport updates again: “This update is recommended for all Intel-based Macintosh computers and includes compatibility updates for certain third-party access points configured to use WPA or WPA2 security.”. Hopefully this fixes some of the above problems. Interestingly enough a battery update, that will update each battery when inserted, is included as well. Time to charge my spare battery!


March 25, 2007 - Posted by | Tech

1 Comment »

  1. Ammunition for a Windows vs Mac advert.

    Comment by Craig Baker | March 26, 2007

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