Weird network problem in Mac OS X 10.2.8

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
October 10th, 2003 • 5:58 pm

Yesterday I experienced a problem that I had never experienced before. All of a sudden, my connection to the Internet ceased to function. I am connected to the Internet through a dial-up connection established by the modem inside my AirPort Base Station. Both my desktop G4 and my PowerBook G4 are equipped with AirPort cards and are thus wirelessly connected to the Base Station.

I noticed the lost connection because Mail started telling it couldn’t retrieve my email. Then I went to NetNewsWire and saw that the program kept trying to connect the same XML feed to retrieve it, as if stuck in a loop. I then went to Safari and found that I couldn’t access any web sites either.

I had lost my connection before. But this time I was unable to fix the problem using my usual workarounds. First of all, I checked to see if it wasn’t just a temporary glitch with my provider. (It can happen.) I terminated the dial-up connection in my Base Station and reconnected. The connection with my provider was re-established without any difficulties. But I still couldn’t do anything on the web on my G4.

Then I unplugged the AirPort Base Station entirely and plugged in back in. I have had temporary problems in the past that I had been able to fix that way. I re-established the dial-up connection, again without any difficulties. Still nothing on the G4.

I verified that the connection between my Base Station and my G4 was fine by pinging the Base Station from the Terminal on the G4. No problems. 0% packet loss.

I then went to the “Network” preference pane in System Preferences on the G4 and chose a different network configuration, clicked on “Apply Changes”, chose my normal network configuration again, and clicked on “Apply Changes” again. This sometimes help with network problems. It didn’t in that case.

Finally, I went to my PowerBook G4 and tried to access the web on that machine. Everything worked fine.

So obviously there was something on the desktop G4 that was preventing it, not from communicating with the Base Station itself, but from using the dial-up connection established by the Base Station, even though that dial-up connection worked just fine with the PowerBook G4.

Very strange. I finally decided to restart my desktop G4 altogether. Thanks to the AppleScript solution for saving and restoring open tabs/windows in Safari described a couple of weeks ago, I was able to save all my open web pages in Safari before restarting.

I restarted the machine and… everything was back to normal after that. I was able to go on the web, check my mail, read my newsfeeds, etc.

What might the problem have been? I have no idea. All I know is that my desktop G4 is running Mac OS X 10.2.8, while my PowerBook G4 is still running Mac OS 10.2.6. Based on the various networking issues introduced by the first (pulled) Mac OS X 10.2.8, there might be reasons to suspect that even the new Mac OS X 10.2.8 update still suffers from some networking glitches.

On the other hand, it might just be a coincidence. I’ll probably never know. But I sure hope it doesn’t happen again. I don’t particularly enjoy having to restart my G4. (The stability of the Mac OS X environment is very easy to get used to, and I simply don’t want to go back to the era of daily restarts in the classic Mac OS.)

I just wish that there was something that I could do to better pinpoint the problem, so that I could at least submit a bug report to Apple. But I don’t really see what I could do.

3 Responses to “Weird network problem in Mac OS X 10.2.8”

  1. Jeremy says:

    Hi. I appreciate your post. I have currently been having network problems with my Powermac G4 also. I too am running OS 10.2.8 but through a high-speed connection networked with 3 other computers. My connection to the internet was good because all the other computers were talking just fine, but the G4 didn’t see the network at all. It would just all of a sudden disconnect. I thought it was my configuration, so I tried many different solutions but none worked. It runs just fine after restarting the computer though, so I can’t figure out what the problem may be. I don’t spend a great deal of time online, but when I do… its mostly business. So I would definitely like to find any solutions that you may have found since October. I wasn’t going to submit a bug report to Apple because I didn’t hear of any other instances. I think I have more of a reason to now.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    I am afraid I have since moved on to Panther, and therefore have not been able to find more about this.

  3. Philippe Rousseau says:

    Same problem here since I moved to 10.2.8, I’m connected on an ADSL Router, all computers are working fine exept the one with 10.2.8, it’s connected 24/24 , with ftp server, IRC, ICQ , I usually use iCab for web access. sometimes (after 1 or 2months or after just 1 or 2 weeks) I can’t acced web from my usual browser … but sometimes I can with another one (Mozilla Safari or IE) … all active services stay connected (IRC, FTP server, ICQ) but if I lost connection I’m unable to reconnect. Only remedy is to restart !!! ;(
    Never had this problem with 10.2.6, 10.3 or Mac OS 9 (all this OS running from computers on my LAN)

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