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joshr

Issues w/Airport express no longer joining the network

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I have an older airport express that I use for wireless printing and airtunes. It's a couple years old but it has never had any issues. The other day it wasn't working so I reset it and tried to set it up again. What I found was that every time I told it to join my network it would just flash orange and be undiscoverable via the airport setup utility. I am able to have it setup it's own network with no issues but as soon as I say join another network it goes MIA. Seems odd that it can create it's own network and that it happened seemingly out of nowhere. Did it just die or am I missing something?

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if you have AppleCare on any of your Macs you can have it replaced for free.

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if you have AppleCare on any of your Macs you can have it replaced for free.

 

Awesome to know. I do have applecare and that's perfect.

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I had a similar problem a few months ago when setting up my two Airport Express units for use in a place with Internet coming in via Ethernet with one serving that and the other being simply an AirTunes link. I can't recall the detail now, I'm afraid, but I do know I had "fun" trying to get it all working with the starting point being a reset of each device and, naturally, the usage of AirPort Utility to do what was needed. (I may have had to use an Ethernet connection to see the device at some stage - something I've certainly had to do on occasions after resets - though that could well be down to a dodgy AirPort card in one of my Macs.) A friend also had an AirPort Express which didn't do as was expected - again the details eluding me - but he got there with perseverance. It is odd, of course,, that you found yourself in that situation but it may be worth trying a full reset of your network devices and trying again.

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sometimes forcing the Airport back to defaults will make problems go away. it's the first thing anairquotes Genius will do when you take it to them. they will try to reproduce the problem on the Apple network. which of course will work just fine. for one problematic Airport I had to take both my Airport Extreme and my Airport Express for show and tell. once heads started scratching new hardware was presented to fix the problem.

 

to reset a Airport Express or Extreme follow the steps provided here.

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sometimes forcing the Airport back to defaults will make problems go away. it's the first thing anairquotes Genius will do when you take it to them. they will try to reproduce the problem on the Apple network. which of course will work just fine. for one problematic Airport I had to take both my Airport Extreme and my Airport Express for show and tell. once heads started scratching new hardware was presented to fix the problem.

 

to reset a Airport Express or Extreme follow the steps provided here.

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sometimes forcing the Airport back to defaults will make problems go away. it's the first thing anairquotes Genius will do when you take it to them. they will try to reproduce the problem on the Apple network. which of course will work just fine. for one problematic Airport I had to take both my Airport Extreme and my Airport Express for show and tell. once heads started scratching new hardware was presented to fix the problem.

 

to reset a Airport Express or Extreme follow the steps provided here.

 

 

The very first thing I did was a hard reset then I redid the setup and after the second reset, once I had entered all the network stuff, I would get an error from the airport utility asking me to restart it. Once I restarted airport utility the express would not be able to be found. Do another reset and it would show up again. Then I did a bit of testing. If I set up a network the express worked fine but if I asked it to join the network it would not work.

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based on my experiences with lots of different base stations two years is about how long you can expect them to last without problems. after that anything can happen from spotty connections to features not working. a two year old AirPort Extreme would allow Wireless G connections but not Wireless N. no amount of resetting, updating or rebooting fixed it. so replacing it was the only answer. and as much as I like the venerable Linksys WRT54GL the radio in that box will flake after 18 months (or used to. maybe they fixed the part).

 

this is one of the reasons why WiFi is a replaceable card in laptops.

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based on my experiences with lots of different base stations two years is about how long you can expect them to last without problems. after that anything can happen from spotty connections to features not working. a two year old AirPort Extreme would allow Wireless G connections but not Wireless N. no amount of resetting, updating or rebooting fixed it. so replacing it was the only answer. and as much as I like the venerable Linksys WRT54GL the radio in that box will flake after 18 months (or used to. maybe they fixed the part).

 

this is one of the reasons why WiFi is a replaceable card in laptops.

 

I completely agree with you and although I have found the airport express to have outlasted every other router I have had so far I fully expected it to have died at this point. I really expected that would be the case and there would be nothing to do here. However since I learned that it's covered by my applecare support I set up an appointment and took it in. They went ahead and setup a network with another airport express then added mine with no issues. We tried it with and without wpa2 security and it was fine. So now I am at even more of a loss than I was before. My main base station is a dlink DIR-615 with dd-wrt opensource firmware on it. The base station works fine and the only thing I have changed recently is that I blocked P2P networks. I have had the airport express working on the network before and I tried opening it back up to P2P and rebooting the base station. So far I can not join the network with my airport express. Any ideas?

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make sure both devices are on the same channel. don't use "automatic" mode.

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make sure both devices are on the same channel. don't use "automatic" mode.

I will give it a try. Weird that it was working and it then stopped though. How do you control what channel the airport express is on?

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the channel select is in the Wireless panel. the default state is automatic. I would do a "site survey" using iStumbler to make sure you aren't overlapping other wifi networks. for example if you find 6 and 11 crowded (because this is a default state for Linksys and NetGear) select channel 1. ideally you want 3 clear channels between each channel. thus 1, 6 and 11 are the sweet spots. setting wifi on 3 or 4 is ruining it for 1 or 6.keep in mind that it's okay to have overlap. wifi is supposed to drop out at 150 feet. iStumbler may show networks on the same channel (YMMV networks shown will vary by Mac type and age) but their signals may be so weak that you couldn't connect to them if you tried.

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I set the base station to channel 1 then had the airport express join, you can't set a channel on the airport express if it's joining a network, and it worked. Then I went ahead and reset the base station to automatic and restarted the airport express and all was well. Thanks for the help, not sure what the hell that was really about but it seems to be fixed now and if not I know what to do next time.

Edited by joshr

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