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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > Airport Utility not recognizing my Airport Base Station

Airport Utility not recognizing my Airport Base Station
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Jan 6, 2008, 12:09 AM
 
Hi all,

Background to my issue. I have had a graphite airport base station for at least 7 years. It has been working flawlessly throughout the years so I never felt the need to update it (if it ain't broke...)
However, I am trying to remember if I set a WEP or WPA encryption key. I need to open Airport Utility to see this (I think). Problem is, Airport Utility cannot see my airport base. I keep rescanning and it won't find it (I am in the room next door to it and I do have a connection--I am able to get online). How do I troubleshoot this?

Thank you,
M
Powerbook G4 17" 1.67Ghz 2GB 120GB SD DL. Mmm. Sexy.
     
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Jan 6, 2008, 12:22 AM
 
Try connecting directly to it via ethernet.

The graphite ABS does not support WPA. It's WEP-only.
     
iChelle  (op)
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Jan 6, 2008, 12:44 AM
 
thank you for this info.
( Last edited by iChelle; Jan 6, 2008 at 12:57 AM. )
Powerbook G4 17" 1.67Ghz 2GB 120GB SD DL. Mmm. Sexy.
     
iChelle  (op)
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Jan 19, 2008, 02:47 AM
 
hi. sorry to reopen this thread. how do i configure airport via ethernet?
Powerbook G4 17" 1.67Ghz 2GB 120GB SD DL. Mmm. Sexy.
     
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Jan 22, 2008, 03:56 PM
 
My wife's PowerBook is having a similar issue. However, we have about a 3-4 year old snow AEBS that uses WPA. She tried printing last night but couldn't. I tried using the AirPort Utility, but it won't see our base station. On my iMac (also connected wirelessly), I can see the base station. Even though I can't see the base station on the PowerBook, the internet seems to work fine. I tried reinstalling the printer driver several times to no avail.
     
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Jan 22, 2008, 08:33 PM
 
Unlike everyone else in the consumer wireless networking market, Apple chose to make their base stations ONLY configurable via their AirPort Admin Utility software. In other words, you CANNOT configure it via Ethernet.

In general, you have to be directly wired to an ABS or AEBS to configure it with the Utility (and have the changes stick). If you can't see it at all, reset the base station by unplugging its power for a minute and then plugging it back in. If that doesn't work you can use the reset button to hard reset it (to factory settings) and see if that works. If you still can't see it at all, it "has a problem." Just because the network connection is working does not mean that the base station is working properly-it could stop doing anything at any time if it's not showing up to the Utility.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jan 22, 2008, 10:31 PM
 
Thanks. I've unplugged the AEBS, but haven't done the hard reset yet. Will do. Any idea why the base station would show up on one computer and not the other?
     
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Jan 22, 2008, 10:54 PM
 
Maybe a different version of the utility? Or the one computer has been restarted more recently than the other? A hard reset should make it show up for every computer.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jan 22, 2008, 11:47 PM
 
I did a hard reset of the base station. Still not showing up on the PB and now can't get on the Internet. The Network pane says "AirPort has a self-assigned IP address and may not be able to connect to the Internet."

This has happened before. After doing some research I found that if you boot in Safe Mode and then restart, it has worked for some people, but not this time. Just when I think it's the base station, the PB seems to be the culprit.

Oh, both computers are running 10.5.1 with AirPort Utility 5.2.2.
     
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Jan 23, 2008, 09:48 AM
 
Hmmmm. Do you have another Ethernet cable to try with the device? Particularly between the AirPort base and your modem, which is where it sounds like your disconnect is at the moment. See if you can get back online that way, and then we'll start thinking about what to look at next.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jan 23, 2008, 01:01 PM
 
Again, thanks. I tried hooking up an Ethernet cable from the AEBS to the PB and still got the "self-assigned IP" message. I also trashed the AirPort preferences and restarted to no avail.

I will try to hook up the PB directly to the cable modem via Ethernet after work.

Not sure if this is related, but a lot of the connection problems occurred when the PB's battery was going out. The computer is 4+ years old. At that time, the computer wouldn't remember our network after waking it up. We did get a new battery. My wife is getting fed up, so we'll probably get a new MB or MBA.

However, I'd hate to get a new computer and find out the AEBS is the source of the problems. Is there a way to run a test on it?
     
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Jan 23, 2008, 02:06 PM
 
I don't know how to definitively test an AEBS beyond what I've outlined. Maybe someone will have a good process and post it (hint, hint).

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jan 23, 2008, 03:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Maybe someone will have a good process and post it (hint, hint).
     
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Jan 23, 2008, 11:41 PM
 
Well, I tried hooking up the PB directly to the cable modem, restarted and no go. Even power cycled the modem. When I hooked up the Ethernet cable to the AEBS, I then couldn't get online with my iMac. I power cycled the modem, AEBS and my computer and back online. The PB is still giving that "self-assigned" IP. I may mess around more with the PB later, but my wife needs it right now to do her grades. Thanks for the advice. I'll keep trying. The thing is, it was doing the same thing a few weeks ago and was able to fix it with all of the above things mentioned in this thread, but can't now.
     
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Jan 24, 2008, 08:57 AM
 
It's sounding like the PowerBook is having problems. When you get a chance, you might want to connect directly between the iMac and the PowerBook using an Ethernet cable. Go into Network Preferences and assign both computers compatible addresses (like 192.168.1.1 for the iMac and 192.168.1.2 for the PB) and see if you can communicate between them. It's sounding a lot like the network adapter in the PB is not really working.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jan 24, 2008, 02:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
It's sounding like the PowerBook is having problems. When you get a chance, you might want to connect directly between the iMac and the PowerBook using an Ethernet cable. Go into Network Preferences and assign both computers compatible addresses (like 192.168.1.1 for the iMac and 192.168.1.2 for the PB) and see if you can communicate between them. It's sounding a lot like the network adapter in the PB is not really working.
I will try that. Now if only the MBA was shipping so my wife could see it in person and decide if she wants that or a MB (she really wants to stay with the smaller screen).
     
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Jan 24, 2008, 05:52 PM
 
I love my MBP! The 15.4" screen is bigger than a MB's, but not that much bigger-it doesn't get in my way-and it is a more powerful machine. 'Course my wife loves her iBook and if it ever conks out, she wants a black MB... I can see the conundrum!

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jan 24, 2008, 07:52 PM
 
My sister has a 15" MBP and my wife has used it a few times. She doesn't like the size that much, but she likes the idea of a having the "Pro" model. Quite the conundrum, indeed. Either way, it will mean that I get a new toy to play with.
     
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Aug 26, 2008, 07:04 PM
 
Hi all. I have been searching the internet for an answer to a problem I'm having which is similar to this but unique I guess cause nothing said here is helping me. I hope you can assist.

I have a G5 OSX 10.4. It is hooked to the internet via ethernet. It is also hooked to the Airport Base Station via ethernet. It has Airport Admin Utility in the utilities folder version 4.1.1. I also have an iMac OSX 10.5.4 which uses Airport to get internet from the Airport Base Station a room away. The connection is very good. In the Utilities folder in the iMac there is no Airport Admin Utility only Airport Utility--I assume there is a difference. I would like to get into Airport Admin Utility on the G5 to reconfigure my network so it runs on a different channel but not network is showing up in the window when I open the Airport Admin Utility. I hit rescan--still nothing. I connect the router to the G5 directly and hit rescan--still no network comes up. I try hooking the router to the iMac and in Airport Utility on the iMac I get no network. I have unplugged the router and tried the above steps over to no avail.
Any idea what's going on and why Airport Admin Utility on the G5 and Airport Utility on the iMac are not recognizing my base station?

The reason I am trying to get into Airport Admin Utility is so I can reconfigure my network to run on a different channel which I am hoping will allow the internet to work better when I am running Windows XP via bootcamp on the iMac. (Again the internet connection via airport on the iMac when running OS X is fabulous its just when I try to use the internet in Windows XP it says limited or no connectivity.)

Please help me if you can.
     
Eug
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Aug 26, 2008, 10:19 PM
 
I had a helluva time trying to get 10.5's Airport Utility to recognize the graphite 802.11b base station. It worked once in a while, but usually the base station is completely invisible, even after a power off/on cycle. I finally gave up and threw it in the closet. I'm exclusively using 3rd party wireless routers, configured via Ethernet.

BTW, the utility on Panther also had problems with it, but I could connect to more often than not, and basically always after a power off/on cycle.
     
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Aug 27, 2008, 04:29 AM
 
If you have AirPort Utility and an AirPort base station that doesn't show up you need to connect to the base station through Ethernet first. You can either plug into one of the LAN ports or yank the cable to your broadband modem and use the WAN port - it doesn't matter. Once you're connected through Ethernet you restart AirPort Utility and it should now show the base station. Reconfigure the base station. Reboot it. Now you can remove the Ethernet connection and connect to the base station over wifi. Even if it doesn't show up in your AirPort menu for the first time, it's still there. Just enter the network name and password manually.

This is some kind of nasty bug with AirPort Utility that has been there for as long as I can remember. It seems to be worst with AP Expresses and older AirPort base stations. We have already discussed it countless times on this board. It is a bug. There is a workaround. It is a PITA. And we have no clue as to why Apple hasn't fixed it yet.
     
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Aug 27, 2008, 02:17 PM
 
thanks eug and simon for the help. I really appreciate it
     
Eug
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Aug 27, 2008, 02:17 PM
 
Simon, my graphite base station wouldn't always show up via Ethernet either. However, this was with Leopard. It seemed to show up fine via Ethernet with a previous version of the utility. Perhaps the update to the software broke it even more.

Bottom line is that it's not worth the headache for some people.

Also, if I configure the Airport Express (using that Ethernet workaround) to act as a wireless to Ethernet bridge it does work... for a time. However, give it a few days and it will lose the bridgeness until it's power cycled. Even if it's working fine as a wireless client for iTunes, the bridge functionality may just stop. Finally I gave up on that AE bridge functionality too. My 2wire wireless router that I configured as a bridge never had this problem. I could run it as a bridge for months.
     
   
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