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Troubles connecting to a wireless network…

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So, here's my problem as I currently understand it…

I have a [2014] Mac Mini running El Capitan, and traditionally I have just tethered it to the router [a Linksys E1000 I believe] via the ethernet. However, I've been trying to connect wirelessly instead and the mini will see all the local networks fine (mine and a couple neighbors), but when I try to connect it gives me one of several errors at random. Sometimes it asks for the password (which I put in and it proceeds to give me a "Unable to join" and a prompt to use diagnostics. Sometimes it gives me this message without even asking for the password. When I use the assistant, it will tell me I'm typing the wrong password (which isn't possible). This issue is occurring with both my home network, and my mobile hotspot. The Mac is literally maybe a foot from both devices, and the other 5 or 6 devices on my network disconnect and reconnect to the router with no problem.

At this point I'm just trying to isolate whether the problem is the Mac, or the router, etc.

If anyone has any insight it would be greatly appreciated.

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Just as a temp solution, have you tried completely disabling the password?

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First you might try going into System Preferences > Network. Then select the Wi-Fi connection and click the 'Advanced…' button. In the 'Preferred Networks' list find and select the networks you're having trouble with and click the '-' to remove them and click 'OK'. Then you may need to click 'Apply'. After that try reconnecting. You'll be prompted for the login again and hopefully this will fix your issues.


If that doesn't work you might try running Keychain Access (Applications > Utilities > Keychain Access). Search for the name of your WiFi router and you should see the saved Keychain items. Try removing those and then re-authenticating to the router.

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as you said that the drop out problems persist when you move the mini to a different network the culprit is very likely the wireless board inside the Mac mini. the board is easily replaced for about $20. here is the link for the steps:


Edited by johnfoster
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