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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > Leopard will no longer remember wireless networks?

Leopard will no longer remember wireless networks?
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Mar 12, 2008, 11:02 AM
 
Hello there, I upgraded my Macbook to Leopard in October, and have never had a problem with it. I love it. However, this past week, I changed my wireless networks encryption from WPA2 to WPA and shortened my password (from 35 characters to 15-20ish) to accommodate some other systems on the network. Now, when I turn on Airport, it sees my network, but won't connect, telling me that my preferred network isn't available (although it is in the list of networks that Airport sees). I entered in the new password and checked remember, but no dice. I then went into 'Keychain Access' and deleted all references to the Airport Networks, and I STILL can't get Leopard to remember the network. It's odd because it used to work just fine when the network was WPA2 and had a 35 character password (my son's setup didn't play nicely with this, which is why I changed it). Any insight would be greatly appreciated, as it is SUPER annoying having to select a network and enter a password every time I turn on Airport or wake from sleep...
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Mar 12, 2008, 11:22 AM
 
I don't even know if this applies in Leopard, but in previous versions of the OS the Airport login isn't reliably saved unless it's put in as the default network in the Network System Preferences pane.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Mar 12, 2008, 12:39 PM
 
I have a similar problem and can't find a fix either.
     
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Mar 12, 2008, 03:14 PM
 
Yeah, I just saw your thread tripletaker. I guess it's a real problem. I would be very annoyed if this were happening to me, but I don't have a Mac laptop running Leopard yet. Does it occur in all versions of Leopard?

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Mar 12, 2008, 06:40 PM
 
This is an "intermittent" problem: it does not anywhere near affect EVERY Mac laptop running Leopard. My MBP works fine on both the network at school and my network at home. Never a blip.

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Mar 12, 2008, 06:54 PM
 
Likewise Leopard on my Powerbook works well. Intermittent problems are a bitch to troubleshoot.
     
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Mar 12, 2008, 07:20 PM
 
What makes it even more annoying is that it worked just fine before. No problems. On top of that, Airport SEES my network. It is in the list of available networks. If I select my network, the password dialog comes up, and the password is already entered. The darn thing just won't connect to it automatically.
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Mar 12, 2008, 07:29 PM
 
Does it happen in all user accounts?
     
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Mar 12, 2008, 10:59 PM
 
When in doubt reset your PRAM.
     
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Mar 12, 2008, 11:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by lgtmvt View Post
When in doubt reset your PRAM.
That's so OS 9ish.

The OS X voodoo method is Repair Permissions.
Which actually *CAN* repair some weird behavior.

I had Kernel Panics once every time I shut down my iMac. Well, until I ran repair permissions, that is.

-t
     
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Mar 13, 2008, 08:12 AM
 
The PRAM (or whatever it's called on Intel Macs) shouldn't have anything to do with whether or not your AirPort card saves preferred network status. Permissions being screwy could, but it's a stretch. Your AirPort LOCATION, on the other hand, could have a LOT of affect on this.

Have any of you tried deleting your current location, or if you're using Automatic, establishing a new location? This tends to do a couple of things-it sets up a new Keychain entry, which could fix things if there's something screwy about what's in your current entry, and if it doesn't work it shows that-which is important in tracking down where the problem is.

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Mar 13, 2008, 09:52 AM
 
PRAM is still called PRAM on Intel Macs.

The things that changed its name is the PMU. What used to be the PMU is now known as the SMC (although the SMC does somewhat more [mainly temps/cooling] than the PMU did). And actually this doesn't have anything to do with the Intel transition either. The SMC was introduced with the G5.

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Mar 13, 2008, 10:47 AM
 
So many acronyms, so little time. Thanks for setting me straight.

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Mar 13, 2008, 11:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
So many acronyms, so little time. Thanks for setting me straight.
Ain't that the truth.

Acronyms, which were supposed to save us time, now cost us extra time because you have to Google new ones all the time.

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Mar 18, 2008, 09:35 AM
 
If you haven't already, please... please... please... call Apple and let them know you are having this problem. I have a similar problem, but it is slightly different. I'm still waiting to hear back from Apple and will let everyone know what they tell me, if anything.

BTW, what Airport devices do you have in your home? (Firmware versions?)

What happens if you turn Bluetooth off?
     
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Mar 20, 2008, 08:53 AM
 
yep, happened to me the other day too! out of the blue..I didn't change a thing, no software updates, nothing...it just quit auto connecting after sleep or restarting. It's driving me bananas! grrrr....
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Mar 20, 2008, 09:02 AM
 
So the latest firmware updates did not fix this...
     
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Mar 21, 2008, 08:44 AM
 
I found a solution that works for me....after the firmware updates, and time machine/airport updates all failed to work, I tried swtching my security on the router from wpa to wpa2 and viola, my mbp now recognizes and connects to the router automatically upon waking or restart. YAY! Hope this helps someone out there.
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Mar 21, 2008, 08:53 AM
 
Ratspittle, it looks like your change of security schemes re-did the entry for that network. There is a history of fixing this problem by completely deleting the "preferred" network (or networks) that the computer won't automatically connect to and then allowing them to be recreated. Perhaps you've found a shortcut. I'd be interested to see what happened if you changed back to WPA.

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Mar 21, 2008, 09:20 AM
 
Actually, I did delete the preferred network, and all the com.apple.preferences related to internet,with all combinations of restarting to boot (ha!) and that didn't even help. If I get some time later I will switch back to wpa and report back to you (I was wondering the same thing btw). Before it was almost like the mac wouldn't remember the network....I mean, it saw my network, but gave me the error "there was an error joining the network"chadsnetwork"". I could only join through network diagnostics, where I was prompted to enter a password, and then told that my network settings had changed and then that my connection was fine. The entry was even saved to my keychain, but for some reason it wouldn't/couldn't access that setting on waking/restart...
( Last edited by Ratspittle; Mar 21, 2008 at 09:30 AM. )
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Mar 21, 2008, 09:24 AM
 
in response to my earlier post, ghporter, after switching back to wpa, it still connects after waking from sleep. We'll see if it sticks.
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Mar 21, 2008, 10:58 AM
 
There's way more than I have been able to find (easily, anyway) involved in the prefs for a preferred network. Maybe the glitch in yours was in one of those "not well known" plists. Either way, I'll bet your fix will indeed stick.

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Mar 21, 2008, 12:53 PM
 
I'm subscribing to this thread and will post in this thread only from here on out so that I don't have to keep bouncing between two different threads on the same issue. (For those who are interested, the other thread can be found here: http://forums.macnn.com/92/networkin...cally-joining/)

Ratspittle's solution did not work for me.

I deleted these pref files:

- com.apple.airport.airportutility.plist
- com.apple.internetconfig.plist
- com.apple.internetconfigpriv.plist
- com.apple.NetworkUtility.plist
- com.apple.WebFoundation.plist

Those seemed to be all of the com.apple plists related to internet.

My TC was already setup for WPA2, so I first had to change that to no security in order to change it back to WPA2.

Regardless, these steps had no effect. Ratspittle: Did I miss something here?

On hold with Apple at the moment. They were supposed to follow up with me this week, but they have not (not that I'm surprised). I'll let everyone know what they say about this.

Edit: Just to clarify, I followed all these steps AFTER upgrading the firmware. Also, my problem seems to be slightly different than Ratspittle's, as I never get an error message when it should automatically be joining the network. It simply won't attempt to connect, period.
( Last edited by tridentinecanon; Mar 21, 2008 at 01:31 PM. )
     
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Mar 21, 2008, 02:50 PM
 
trident,
Sometimes I would get an error msg, sometimes nothing. I was already set up for wpa...and it had been working flawlessly for 2 years. It just started this week (after no updating btw) I still have no idea what caused it, but everything seems to be okay again. I was hoping this would work for someone else too...but I gues not ;-( BTW I am running a netgear router I have my SSID set to broadcast, and I have MAC filtering turned on. I hope you get it worked out, I know how annoying it can be. Also, is the only way you can connect is to use network diagnostics? In my case, I couldn't join the network from the menubar airport dropdown, or through preferences. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Mar 21, 2008, 03:14 PM
 
Rat (may I call you Rat?)--

All my base stations are Apple. Currently, I've turned all off but my 1TB TC. Thanks for letting me know that you're on a Netgear.

All--

This is going to be a hefty post...

Just got off the phone with Apple. (It only took 2 hours). They ARE working on this, but they are really confused right now. We did get somewhere though...

First off, my problem may be unique. At first it may seem as thoguh it is not, but Apple said this is the first they've ever heard of all their troubleshooting steps, which include everything discussed in this forum and then some, not working.

We narrowed down the problem to what may potentially be either:

1) a corrupt System keychain, or

2) another defect that is preventing my Wireless Network from showing up or being created in the System keychain when I add it as a preferred network, which is apparently supposed to happen (according to Apple, but I can't confirm this on my end since it won't do it on any of my computers).

What is strange is that, again, this problem began occurring on both Apple laptops in my house at exactly the same time. For this reason, I don't think the System Keychain is corrupt (although who knows what happened when we updated to 10.5.2), but rather there is a problem in the way the TC (or any base station for that matter) is communicating with OSX about the security settings being used.

One very odd thing that happened when we were troubleshooting was that when testing the WEP security, we changed the security type to WEP and then added the network to my preferred networks. What was strange is that, after the security had been changed to WEP, the type of security listed by my network under preferred networks was "WPA Personal." This also surprised the Apple tech. Then I recalled that, at least since this problem began out of the blue, it always reads WPA Personal regardless of the type of security setup. The only time it doesn't read this is when no security is setup.

Nevertheless, in an attempt to repair what may be a corrupted System keychain, we tried to trash my System Keychain and recreate a new one, but the Apple tech couldn't figure out why we couldn't create a new one via the Terminal. He thinks that "they" may have changed the commands to do this with a recent update. He will be getting back to me "by Monday."

In the meantime, we discovered that changing the network name, the password, the type of security (WPA2, WPA/WPA2, WEP), and the channel makes no difference. I had intermittently tried all of these things as trouble-shooting steps, but we did reaffirm that they in fact don't work.
( Last edited by tridentinecanon; Mar 21, 2008 at 03:44 PM. )
     
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Mar 21, 2008, 04:57 PM
 
Easy fix worked for me:

Spotlight keychain access and open Keychain Access

Your network should be in both the login and system keychains

Enter both entries and, under the Access Control tab, give all applications access to the password
     
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Mar 21, 2008, 06:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by citric View Post
Easy fix worked for me:

Spotlight keychain access and open Keychain Access

Your network should be in both the login and system keychains

Enter both entries and, under the Access Control tab, give all applications access to the password
Again, I can't get it to show up in the System keychain.
     
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Mar 21, 2008, 07:43 PM
 
tridentinecanon

When you updated to 10.5.2 did you do it in two separate downloads or did you download the .pkg and install the same one on both machines? If you do the latter you could have the same corruption of the update on both machines. I had a similar problem on 3 machines and took forever to figure out(with the same lack of help from Apple). I reinstalled the system and it solved the problem on one. A software update came out the next day and fixed the other two before I had time to reinstall. Since then I take the extra time to let each machine down load it own updates.

I know it is a reach, but strange problems need reach.
     
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Mar 21, 2008, 10:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by lgtmvt View Post
tridentinecanon

When you updated to 10.5.2 did you do it in two separate downloads or did you download the .pkg and install the same one on both machines? If you do the latter you could have the same corruption of the update on both machines. I had a similar problem on 3 machines and took forever to figure out(with the same lack of help from Apple). I reinstalled the system and it solved the problem on one. A software update came out the next day and fixed the other two before I had time to reinstall. Since then I take the extra time to let each machine down load it own updates.

I know it is a reach, but strange problems need reach.
Separate downloads via Software Update.
     
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Apr 3, 2008, 06:17 PM
 
I'm just keeping anyone and everyone posted that Apple has gotten back to me a couple of times. I will be speaking to them tomorrow.

They want me to take the following 3rd-party software off of my computer:

1Password
Airfoil
AirMoose

Also, the last suggestion from citric in the other thread does not work for me because I cannot get the network to show up in my System keychain.

I WILL get to the bottom of this.
     
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Apr 3, 2008, 07:17 PM
 
Well, I got to the bottom of it... by doing a clean install. I would rather spend half an hour doing a clean install (then a couple of hours over time redoing my apps and settings) then spend many hours troubleshooting something. I have NO patience, and it just feels nice to have a squeaky clean OS, along with rooting out programs I no longer (or ever did) use.
Once 'support' starts telling me to remove software that I want/need, it's just not worth it (assuming that the OS worked at one point, and for some reason, now doesn't). Granted, if it didn't work after a clean install and installing my apps, then either the OS or the apps need to be fixed. But, since it used to work, then something happened (no new software installations), obviously, it wasn't a '3rd party software' issue.
I'm stubborn, what can I say...?
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Apr 3, 2008, 09:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by vwgtiturbo View Post
Well, I got to the bottom of it... by doing a clean install.
I just did a clean install on my wife's Powerbook G4. Problem persists.

The problem occurs, by the way, whether my network is created by my TC or AE.
     
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Apr 5, 2008, 01:00 AM
 
Problem resolved!

(Not without a heap of trouble, though.)

As noted above, the first clean install on my wife's PB did not fix the problem.

What is weird is that the second one did.

I notified Apple of the following changes, which I noticed AFTER the problem was fixed:

a) In Leopard, when going in Advanced under the Network pref pane, I deselected "Remember any network this computer has joined". After doing this, I was prompted to enter my admin password. I was never asked to enter my admin password under these circumstances when the problem was occurring.

2) My network appears in my System keychain, which of course it was not doing before. I think this is the crux of the problem. Since I had troubleshooted the keychain as much as possible, the problem must exist in the way the Network pref pane/anything else tried to create this item in my System keychain. Again, it was always created, without error, in the login keychain.

The Apple rep said he'd be forwarding this on "to the proper channels."

If Apple never fixes this, and I hope they do, I really hope this doesn't happen again. It took me an entire day just to get my computer back to "normal" after the clean install. (Was it worth it for that frustrating little problem?) But, now I'm rockin'!
     
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Apr 29, 2008, 11:12 AM
 
I have been searching high and low for a fix to this and none have worked…until now!

I spotted a fix to this problem that strangely centered on the specific location of the “System Preferences.app”, if other than the standard location of the root of the “Applications” folder. I had in fact moved mine and would NEVER have thought it related to this bug. Hmmm!

If you have moved the System Preferences application (not alias, actual app) to any other location for any reason, your newly joined preferred network will NOT be properly remembered and will NEVER be properly rejoined. Apparently one of the multi-step system procedures involved in properly saving a preferred network assumes the location of System Preferences to be the standard location. Period.

FIX:
1) Move “System Preferences.app” back to “Applications\”.
2) Delete all instances of “Preferred Networks” in “Network Preferences”.
3) Delete all “Airport network password” instances in “Keychain Access”.
4) Restart your Mac.
5) Add/Join applicable preferred network using the Airport pulldown menu or in Network Preferences (as if for the first time). Use “Advanced” in “Network Preferences” to confirm the existence of your preferred network and the correct settings. Use “Keychain Access” to confirm the existence of the applicable “Airport network password” instance and the correct settings.
6) Restart your Mac. The OS should now find your preferred network and join it on its own. Good Luck!

NOTE: Simply moving back System Preferences will NOT suffice. Deleting and re-adding/joining the preferred network is a must after the app has been moved.
     
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Apr 29, 2008, 01:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by JSweeny View Post
I have been searching high and low for a fix to this and none have worked…until now!


Congratulations! I can't remember whether that would have applied to me, but I can't imagine why I, or anyone, would have moved their System Preferences app. Perhaps some people's System Preferences apps got corrupted after an update or by a third-party hack-up-my-system app. (I do seem to remember that at some point around the time this problem first occurred with me that, after a restart, for some odd reason, all my System Preferences had been "restored" to what seemed to be the default.)

Nevertheless, by now, at least on these forums, it should go without saying that everyone should keep their Apple apps in the default location to where they were installed. Moving them (no matter what they may be: System Preferences, iLife, Aperture, etc.) almost invariably causes problems.

That being said, I'd like to take this opportunity to, once again, say SHAME SHAME SHAME on Apple for "forcing" users to retain Apple apps and/or to store Apple apps in the places to which Apple prefers them installed by default. What gives?

(By the way, I just moved my System Preferences app to the desktop and verified that this does in fact reproduce the problem. Strangely enough, however, I can still open the System Preferences app from the Apple menu and, as far as I can tell, it does not affect any other facet of system functionality. Strange. Minus 10 points for Apple on this one. )
     
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Apr 29, 2008, 01:14 PM
 
Also.. a note to the mods... Perhaps a sticky at the top of this (or another) forum reminding people to verify that all their Apple apps are in their default locations would be helpful?
     
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Apr 29, 2008, 01:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by tridentinecanon View Post
Also.. a note to the mods... Perhaps a sticky at the top of this (or another) forum reminding people to verify that all their Apple apps are in their default locations would be helpful?
That's a good idea, but it applies to so many areas... Where would that reminder be best located?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Apr 29, 2008, 02:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
That's a good idea, but it applies to so many areas... Where would that reminder be best located?
Good question, huh. I suppose since it applies to Apple applications, the Applications forums seems to be a good place to start, doesn't it? If not there, the OS X forum since it affects OS X system functionality, at times.
     
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Nov 2, 2008, 10:28 PM
 
I registered just so I could reply to this (seemingly dead, but shouldn't be) thread. For quite a while now, my computer's ability to automatically rejoin preferred networks has been busted. It annoyed me, but not enough that I went to some of the lengths that other people went to to fix it . . . until today. I tried deleting the keychain entries, preferred networks, and rebooting, and nothing seemed to work.

That is until I came upon the System Preferences.app post. I hate that Apple has these bugs built into their system that cause things to break when applications are moved around. I have my applications neatly arranged into categorical folders and, on occasion, it causes me no end of problems. This is a perfect example, especially since the difficulty is not traceable to the cause in any obvious manner.

I had high hopes the recent Airport updates would have fixed my problem but, when they didn't, I went looking for a solution and this was it. Thanks for having this around, and consider this a bump for anyone like me who is tired of their Wireless Woes.
     
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May 21, 2009, 01:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by JSweeny View Post
I have been searching high and low for a fix to this and none have worked…until now!

I spotted a fix to this problem that strangely centered on the specific location of the “System Preferences.app”, if other than the standard location of the root of the “Applications” folder. I had in fact moved mine and would NEVER have thought it related to this bug. Hmmm!

FIX:
1) Move “System Preferences.app” back to “Applications\”.
2) Delete all instances of “Preferred Networks” in “Network Preferences”.
3) Delete all “Airport network password” instances in “Keychain Access”.
4) Restart your Mac.
5) Add/Join applicable preferred network using the Airport pulldown menu or in Network Preferences (as if for the first time). Use “Advanced” in “Network Preferences” to confirm the existence of your preferred network and the correct settings. Use “Keychain Access” to confirm the existence of the applicable “Airport network password” instance and the correct settings.
6) Restart your Mac. The OS should now find your preferred network and join it on its own. Good Luck!

NOTE: Simply moving back System Preferences will NOT suffice. Deleting and re-adding/joining the preferred network is a must after the app has been moved.
Dude ... thanks for posting the fix!! I signed up on this website only to log in and thank you!!

I have been pulling my hair wondering why Leopard is so stupid to 'forget' my password even with the 'remember my password' enabled ... I had organized my applications folder into suitable subfolders, so obviously preferences when into the utils folder. That unrelated action caused this failure .. weird. I think a monkey could program better instead of hardcoding locations into an application as important as the preferences app. And this is the latest leopard ... 10.5.7 !!! Ridiculous !!!

FYI, a good way to organize and quickly launch apps is to put your applications folder / alias on the dock -> left click -> view as list ... this is the quickest way to reach and launch apps !
     
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May 21, 2009, 03:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by SidOnline View Post
FYI, a good way to organize and quickly launch apps is to put your applications folder / alias on the dock -> left click -> view as list ... this is the quickest way to reach and launch apps !
Actually, Spotlight is a lot quicker. And your hands can stay on the KB too.
     
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May 21, 2009, 08:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by tridentinecanon View Post
Good question, huh. I suppose since it applies to Apple applications, the Applications forums seems to be a good place to start, doesn't it? If not there, the OS X forum since it affects OS X system functionality, at times.
I have not heard of problems of this magnitude impacting other apps, so I'd be more tempted to put a reminder here. Except that most of the time people post questions first and we have to direct them to read the stickies... We'll work on it.

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May 22, 2009, 10:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by rosciol View Post
... That is until I came upon the System Preferences.app post. I hate that Apple has these bugs built into their system that cause things to break when applications are moved around. I have my applications neatly arranged into categorical folders and, on occasion, it causes me no end of problems. This is a perfect example, especially since the difficulty is not traceable to the cause in any obvious manner.
Actually, there have been Apple OS updates and Security Updates in the past that either failed or caused problems and it had been traced to moving Apple applications out of the Applications or Utilities folders where Apple places them. So I think, rightly or wrongly, that this is a practice that one is advised to avoid.
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May 23, 2009, 08:07 AM
 
There doesn't seem to be any functional reason to move your apps around, so when problems crop up because you did that, I can't see calling the problem a "bug" and faulting Apple for it. Sure, they don't explicitly say "don't move app stuff from its default location," but they also don't tell you not to mess with the System folder...

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May 25, 2009, 03:47 PM
 
There are myriad warnings in Apple's knowledge base warning against moving programs out of the default location in the Applications Folder, such as

Mac OS X 10.5 Help: Installing applications made for Mac OS X
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