Jamie Starke bio photo

Jamie Starke

I develop for my career, but I also develop for fun, and whenever I think it can solve a problem I'm having. This has lead me to create side projects, such as Rental Map and BusTimes, among others.

Email Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn Github Stackoverflow More


The Problem

I recently I’ve been having some problems with my MacBook Pro. At first, I would seem to get disconnected from the internet randomly. After a few weeks, I finally figured out what the pattern was to the problem.

One morning sat down on the couch, opened my MacBook, and as was becoming normal, I was unable to connect to the internet. The AirPort icon on the menu bar was fully black (meaning that the signal was good).

So I went into the browser and tried to to the router address. To my surprise, I could fully connect to router. I mean fully. I could log in. I could change the settings. I could ping different websites. It all worked flawlessly. But as soon as I went back to my browser and attempted to connect to a website, any browser, it would complain that I wasn’t connected to the internet.

I would turn off the Wi-Fi a few times, and eventually it would connect fully. So then an idea came to me: Maybe it was related to the fact that I just woke it from sleep. I thought back. Every time I could remember, I had just opened the computer, and it would have difficulty connecting.

So I tried it. I made sure I could access different websites. All signs were a go. Then I closed the lid, and waited for the status light to start flashing. After it did, I would wait a few seconds, and then open the lid. I logged in, opened Chrome, and tried gmail. Gmail is currently unavailable it would tell me. So I opened Safari, and tried again. Same story. After going to the AirPort icon turning it off and on a few times, it came back. I decided to try it again. Sure enough same story. So I tried it a few more times.

After having successfully reproduced this exact approach 6 times, I decided it was time to call Apple. I talked to a rep one day, who walked me through a few steps, that failed to get any results, and before we could go through everything, I had to leave for a meeting. I called back a few days later, and got a Wonderful rep. named Ryan. After 17 minutes on the phone, my problem was solved. I was ecstatic.

The Solution

So the solution to the problem was actually pretty simple. I post it here, so that it might help others (or me if the problem recurs sometime). Remember to back up before hand, as it is possible that you might lose something.

I would also recommend storing your Wi-Fi password on your computer (especially if your password is as complex as mine is).

Here’s what worked for me:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. From the Menu at the top, choose ‘Go’ -> ‘Computer’.
  3. Open your hard drive (probably called ‘Macintosh HD’).
  4. Open the ‘Library’ folder.
  5. Open the ‘Preferences’ folder.
  6. Locate the ‘SystemConfiguration’ folder (likely at the bottom).
  7. Drag this folder to your desktop (as far as I can tell, this is to back it up incase something goes wrong)
  8. Once the copy is complete, drag the original to the trash.
  9. In Finder, open Applications (If you don’t have it on the sideback, use ‘Go’ -> ‘Applications’).
  10. Open the ‘Utilities’ folder.
  11. Open ‘Keychain Access’.
  12. Select ‘login’ from the list of Keychains.
  13. In the list to the right, locate an object with the name of your wireless network (if one exists).
  14. If you found your wireless network in step 13, select it and press ‘delete’ on your keyboard.
  15. Select ‘System’ from the list of Keychains.
  16. Repeat steps 13 and 14 above.
  17. Restart your MacBook.
  18. Once your computer has restarted, connect to your wireless network.

With any luck your computer will now no longer have issues with your wireless network. This worked perfectly with my D-Link DIR-655 router, on which I could reproduce the wireless network issues flawlessly. Since I performed the steps above, my wireless connection has worked flawlessly.

Update: If this has worked successfully for you, you can go ahead and delete the SystemConfiguration folder that you copied to your desktop. It was designed as a backup, and is no longer needed.