Fix for Wireless Connection Problems on MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs

Warning: This is a semi-technical posting for Mac-heads with network connection problems. If you aren’t experiencing this particular problem, you probably won’t find this post too interesting. On the other hand, if you have this problem, you may well regard this information as a God-send.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/imbarney22, Image #704547

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/imbarney22

I thought I was losing my mind. About a week ago, my wireless network connection started flaking out. I would be connected for about two minutes. Then the connection would suddenly drop out. All the while the signal strength would appear to fluctuate wildly.

The most disconcerting thing was that all the other computers in my house were working fine. So, that pretty much ruled out a problem with the modem or the router (an Airport Base Station). Nevertheless, I tried changing a few settings on the router and managed to completely trash the system. Argh!

I finally got it to work for a few minutes and posted a request for help in Apple’s Internet, Networking the MacBook Pro Support Forum. I promptly headed for the gym to chill out.

After an hour’s hard run, I came back to the forum and found that a guy named Brody had posted a reply. He directed me to a FAQ he had put together specifically for MacBook Pro connection problems. Though it’s a little old, I recommend reading it. I had already tried most of his suggestions, but #12 completely healed my system. It has been working ever since.

Here’s what I did:

  1. I clicked on the Apple Menu () on the upper left-hand corner of the screen. I selected System Preferences. I then clicked on the Network icon.
  2. In the dialog box, I clicked on the Advanced tab in the lower right-hand corner. I then clicked on my network entry and drug it to the top, so that it was the first entry in the list. (It may take a couple of tries to “grab” it.) It looked like this:

    System Preferences | Network | Advanced

  3. I then clicked on Apply Now and shut down my computer.
  4. Next I re-started my computer and zapped the PRAM. This sounds more dangerous than it really is. You simply hold down the Command (⌘), Option, P, and R keys simultaneously immediately after re-starting the system. You must do this before the gray screen appears. Don’t let go of the keys until you hear the startup sound for the second time.

That’s all there is to it. Evidently, something got corrupted in my PRAM. Clearing it fixed the problem. Kind of like a reboot.

Don’t worry if you don’t understand what PRAM is. I still don’t. All I know is that my system is fixed, and I am happily surfing away.

Question: Did this fix work for you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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