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Airport Card Undetected [Solved]

This is a discussion on Airport Card Undetected [Solved] within the Wired-NOT Archives forums, part of the Archived Threads category; I just thought that this would be helpful for anyone with a similar problem: My unit is a 1.5 GHz ...

  1. #1
    Mac Lover farankoshan's Avatar
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    Default Airport Card...Undetected!!

    I just thought that this would be helpful for anyone with a similar problem:

    My unit is a 1.5 GHz Powerbook G4 15".

    Earlier this morning, I noticed my Airport screwing up. Initially, it just wasn't picking up any signal from our router, so after trying to log on to the router, and finding no means to connect, I knew it had to be my Airport card with the problem. So after a restart I was shocked to see NO AIRPORT ICON ON MY MENU BAR! (Bigger problem! Danger! Egad!)

    So my first instinct was to check the airport card itself was securely in place. So;

    1.) I popped the battery out using a coin on the slit...
    2.) flipped open the Airport card lid...
    3.) slid out the thin plastic protective film...
    4.) removed the rope-clamp-thingy
    5.) and removed the Airport, and "reseated" it.
    6.) put everything back the way it was, and booted my mac

    Still no detection after this. So I brought it to an Apple technician, who, after half a day, isolated the problem as "an intermittent Airport card." I asked if it was fixable, and he said probably not. A brand new Airport card would run me around P8,500. So I had to bring my baby home, with no WiFi, and start thinking about getting the funds for that.

    But, using my ethernet port, I searched online and found this little thread (since philmug didn't quite have a thread relevant to my problem).

    So after reading it, and thinking back on my ATARI/Family Computer days, I knew I had to give it one last try to see if perhaps the contacts needed some regular cleaning, and if the card simply wasn't "seated" securely.

    So I did everything again, up until step 5, where I got a Q-tip and VERY little alcohol, and swiped the contacts with the wet side, and dried it with the dry side of the cotton swab. Then, when I "reseated" the card, I made sure to push it in hard (using every bit of my retro gaming experience with faulty cartridges). After clamping it down again, and closing the lid, I took a deep breath, and booted up my mac...

    And, as this post proves, it worked.

    Of course, I still have to observe the unit to see if it doesn't falter again. The technician did say intermittent, so the card could still "disappear" again.

    But I thought to post this, so others could potentially save themselves some replacement costs, by simply "reseating" a card.

    Thank you Nintendo.
    Last edited by farankoshan; 04-02-2008 at 04:13 PM.
    Go Go Bionic! Go Go Bionic!

  2. #2
    Mac Addict mark_17's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airport Card Undetected [Solved]

    if it happens again, use an eraser to clean the contacts... it does happen alot to me but not with airport cards but with ram. the eraser trick always solves it.

  3. #3
    Apple Genius lamski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airport Card Undetected [Solved]

    Did you blow on your airport card? hehehe
    The greatest harm can come from the best intentions.

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    The Pinoy Penman penmanila's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airport Card Undetected [Solved]

    nice work, farankoshan, worthy of a philmugger
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    Mac Lover farankoshan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airport Card Undetected [Solved]

    Hahaha! I sense some old famicommers here... (famicomug forum on the rise? hehe)

    But nope, i didn't blow or use an eraser on the thing. But something did happen during my observation period...

    As I mentioned, my technician friend said that the card may already be faulty, since being loose or dirty is something rare, given that the hardware card is so deep inside. I think the card is truly wonky already, and this is why I know.

    Shortly after an hour or two with a working WiFi icon on my menu bar, I suddenly got a weird screen notice: the kernel panic screen.* I did as it told me to do, and restarted my mac. Upon reaching the desktop a second time, it popped up the kernel panic screen again. After initially wetting my pants seeing these two gray screens of doom, I went online (with another mac) and checked what it was. Ok, so it's not so doom-filled, but it does offer some info regarding the screen.

    Basically, the kernel panic screen is a notice for non-compatible hardware being used on your computer. It can be RAM and other types of first-party or third-party cards, or worse, the logic board (Egad!)

    But keeping a calm cloud above my head, I simply shut down, popped out the battery, "unseated" the airport card (i.e. loosened it so it wouldn't touch), and tried to boot up the computer, with the "now undetectable" airport card.

    I've had my mac on since last night, with no sign of the kernel panic screen. (whew!) So I isolated the problem to be the Airport card simply reaching its end. I've had the machine for around 3-4 years, so perhaps excessive use and regular age simply got to it. I managed to find a seller for a cheaper airport card replacement, and now have accepted that I need a new card.

    I hope to install the new card tomorrow night, and will update you guys on the drama of this prolonged problem. Please post back any thoughts you may have regarding this.

    But until then, stay tuned for the continuing coverage of "The Case of Missing Airport...port...port...port..."



    *for anyone not knowing what the kernel panic screen is, click here.
    Go Go Bionic! Go Go Bionic!

  6. #6
    Mac Lover farankoshan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airport Card Undetected [Solved]

    Ok, good news is I can now surf the net wirelessly with my Airport.

    Bad news is that it's a new one - the old one was officially dead.

    [This is assuming you've kept up-to-date with the ealier posts..]

    So I asked around for a cheaper Airport card and found one for much cheaper that P8.5k. So I went with that one, brought my mac to the shop, and my tech friend saw it, and after hearing about the kernel panic story, he nodded and understood that we both had done all we could to to save my Airport, but it was just his time. The panic screen was simply telling me that it was a "carcass-of-a-card" that was plugged in, and it would be best to just remove/replace it, lest it lead to worse scenario.

    So after buying the new card, and having it installed, no kernel panics, no weird behaviour, and most importantly a working WiFi connection.

    The moral of the story is of course that one must be certain of the problem before jumping into any purchase. It saves money, on repair time in the long run, and a lot of misdirected stress. So in the end, it worked to my advantage to sit on it, isolate the main problem, canvass for better prices and be patient with caring for my mac. (None can be said about other purchases I've made in the past, but I guess I now charge this to experience.)

    So at the end of the day, I may have lost an Airport card, but I gained a better understanding of my mac, of better spending, and of careful deduction in the face of an imminent problem.

    This is farankoshan...sigining off.
    (copyright = Ellen Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo )
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    Newbie Pretorian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airport Card Undetected [Solved]

    Bro,

    Im having the same prob. for sometime now and Im on vacation now, just to ask where did you bought the airport card and have it installed in Phil.? I have a PPC G4 1.33GHZ iBook

    Cheers....

  8. #8
    Mac Lover farankoshan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airport Card Undetected [Solved]

    Quote Originally Posted by Pretorian View Post
    Bro,

    Im having the same prob. for sometime now and Im on vacation now, just to ask where did you bought the airport card and have it installed in Phil.? I have a PPC G4 1.33GHZ iBook

    Cheers....
    Sorry for the late reply. You can ask any mac tech station (PowerMac, LMK, etc.) to do the job, and they'll be more than helpful to assist in the installation. A lot of these shops carry the parts you need, but at a price. Try looking around philmug for anyone selling a compatible. Of course if you've still got the warranty, then fine, no problem. But if you're machine is beyond applecare, then you'll have to spend some money. In the end, it will be worth the cost and hassle if you need your wifi up and working. But if it's a desktop that won't mind using an ethernet plugged into it, then it'll save you loads of time, hassle & cash.

    Hope this helped!
    Go Go Bionic! Go Go Bionic!

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    Mac Freak keyboardstyli's Avatar
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    Idea Re: Airport Card Undetected [Solved]

    Quote Originally Posted by mark_17 View Post
    if it happens again, use an eraser to clean the contacts... it does happen alot to me but not with airport cards but with ram. the eraser trick always solves it.
    Hmm.. interesting.

    I might try your tip on what of my rams that's suspect of either becoming broken/dead or maybe just intermittently not working due to issues w/dirt on the contacts (perhaps)?!

    Thanks.
    @home: our 1st Mac was a Performa 5320CD circa 1997, iMac(s) since 2000 and eMac since 04/27/08.
    @work: iWindows unfortunately since 08/30/05.
    @nywhere: Palm(s) & Handspring(s) since 2000, then iPhone since 03/09/08 and iBook(s) since 08/23/08.

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