Network problems with Mac OS X 10.4: 10.4.6 update doesn’t fix them

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
April 18th, 2006 • 8:02 am

This is a quick update on my on-going problems with the Internet connection on my G5 Quad running Mac OS X 10.4.x.

Last time I wrote that I had been able to determine with some amount of certainty that the problems started with the 10.4.4 update. I then decided to apply the 10.4.6 Combo updater and wait for a few days, to see if that would fix the problem.

I am afraid I have to report that the 10.4.6 does not fix the problem. I was able to use my G5 Quad with my Internet connection for several days without any problems. But then last night at some point during the night the problem occurred again. When I went to the computer this morning, I had downloads in progress in Speed Download 3 that were stalled at 0.0 KB/s, even though the modem in the AirPort Base Station was clearly still connected to the Internet.

I tried loading a few pages in Safari, and I would only get the “Your computer is not connected to the Internet.” error message after a while.

At that point, I unplugged my Ethernet hub and power-cycled the AirPort Base Station. That did not fix the problem. I reconnected the base station’s modem to the Internet, and still Safari was not able to “see” that I was connected to the Internet.

I power-cycled the base station again, this time waiting for a few minutes before plugging it back in. Once the base station had restarted, I reconnected the modem to the Internet, and after that everything was fine.

The conclusion? The problem is clearly not fixed by the 10.4.6 update, and I am afraid it’s time to submit a lengthy bug report to Apple again, with the faint hope that they will actually get interested in the issue and try to fix it. (At this point it doesn’t look like the problem affects a huge number of Mac OS X users. I find it hard to believe that I would be the only one, but since I am on dial-up, if the problem only affects dial-up users, it’s not surprising that we’re not hearing too much about it. There are fewer and fewer dial-up users like me, and because of the limitations of dial-up itself we’re much less likely to participate in discussion forums, etc.)

4 Responses to “Network problems with Mac OS X 10.4: 10.4.6 update doesn’t fix them”

  1. sjk says:

    For whatever reason, AirPort reception significantly improved with the 10.4.6 update on my iBook G3. No more reason to borrow the neighbor’s net from my garage. :)

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    I am afraid Apple’s wireless ways have been quite impenetrable in recent times. No software update has ever done anything to improve the lousy reception of my TiBook, though!

  3. Tony Frye says:

    I actually have the EXACT same problem. It also started at 10.4.4ish and has persisted. I don’t use any Apple network equipment. I have a Linksys Router, instead.

    It’s very very frustrating. I do find, however, that if I just leave the machine a lone, after about 20 minutes it’s correct itself, but I have no idea what it is.

  4. Pierre Igot says:

    Tony: Glad to hear I am not the only one, although of course I am not glad that you are experiencing problems… Yes, I can confirm that the problem seems to correct itself after a while. At least that’s what I have noticed on the few occasions where I have been patient enough. Most of the time, however, I cannot wait 20 minutes and I end up power-cycling my equipment to clear the problem.

    Based on my own experience and what you are telling me, I suspect that the problem is not hardware-specific. It definitely sounds like a bug introduced by 10.4.4 (and up). The strange part is that, while the bug is triggered by 10.4, once it occurs, it actually resides somewhere in the hardware and not on the computer itself. It’s the hardware that needs to be power-cycled to clear the problem.

    So to me it looks like 10.4 corrupts something in the network hardware, and that we are then forced to try and somehow clear the problem from the hardware.

    Thanks for sharing your own experience.

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