Last night, the airport card in my laptop decided to inexplicably stop working. The first thing it did was to fail to pick up any signal whatsoever from our access point--not much of a big deal, seeing as this happens every now and again due to the 15in PowerBook's absolutely terrible wi-fi antenna.
Easily solved--sit down next to the access point and persuade the laptop that yes, there is in fact a pretty strong wireless signal floating around the ether. Normally, this works. It didn't last night.
Ooookay. Well, let's try a reboot. Still nothing doing.
By now a faint sort of panic is starting to set in. I'm breaking out in a sweat. The thought of actually having to use a Windows laptop just because the Apple one has a duff wireless card is getting to me. (Mental note: keep calm, it's only wireless net access. It's nothing serious, it's not as if I've lost a limb or anything. Well. Maybe a phantom limb. That can receive and transmit data at 11mbit/s. Sigh.)
Fine. A second reboot. Still nothing. Scrabble through the pretty box that the laptop came in, find Apple hardware diagnostic CD. Everything's fine. Everything. Especially the Airport card. Panic a little more. Decide to check and repair permissions on the boot volume. Ta-da, tens of files with wrong permissions (not like that's ever a surprise). Reboot. Still nothing.
Do that drum-fingers-on-desk thing. Inspiration hits: zap PRAM. Find toothpick, press button on back of machine for ten seconds. Reboot. Still nothing.
Enter SSID manually into network configuration. It connects--the base station ID changes from a default 44:44:44 etc. to the same MAC on the access point, but a dialog box pops up saying that "An error occurred connecting to the base station". Well, that's useful. Try to create an ad-hoc network. "There was an error creating the computer-to-computer network." Well woo bloody hoo.
Leaf through AppleCare documentation. Note idly that step 6 in suggested diagnostic/repair procedure is "reinstall operating system" and that step 6 occurs before step 7, which is "call Apple". A friend on IRC wonders if step 5 is "Buy a new Mac".
Call Apple. Apple closed (8am to 8pm weekdays in the UK). Call back tomorrow.
This morning: praise the lord, am not the only one whom this has affected. Unfortunately, other people don't have a solution either.
The exact error in the console log is:
WirelessScan timeout waiting for first scan result
Which happens whenever I turn airport on.
More later, I expect.
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