Friday, July 22, 2011

OSX Lion: Not the Fix For Wi-Fi Woes


We began to track reports of Wi-Fi disconnection issues back when we upgraded one of our iMacs to a brand new 2011 model and started to experience daily Wi-Fi signal drop-offs—across-the-board disconnections of everything from iChat to Twitter and Safari. It wasn’t an isolated issue: plenty of people on Apple’s Discussion Forums were having the same problem , and hoping that 10.6.8 would fix it. When that didn’t happen, the hopes shifted to Lion.

Now that Lion’s out, it’s clear that the problem wasn’t fixed—it’s actually become even worse on our iMac, which has started to lose its Wi-Fi connection multiple times a day. The same problem is being reported by numerous Apple Discussions users, in threads such as Wifi Constantly Dropping in Lion , Wifi Problems After Installing Lion , Lion WiFi Connection Problem , and New MacBook Pro 2011 weak and dropping wireless connection .

Based on testing, we get the impression that the issues stem (at least in part) from some mismatched or messed up settings saved by the Mac relating to specific wireless networks it has connected to before. Some people believe that there are wireless network settings with incorrect disk permissions; others think that there are corrupted files. Solutions that have been offered include:

(1) Deleting a system preferences file called, then restarting the machine to rebuild it. This is inside Macintosh HD > Library > Preferences, which is now harder to find in Lion’s Finder because Apple has hidden your hard drive by default in the Sidebar’s list of Devices. You can use Finder’s Preferences to add Hard Drives back to the Sidebar, but based on our experiences, deleting this file doesn’t work to fix the problem.

(2) Reset your Mac’s PRAM and NVAM. This was suggested by an Apple Discussions user, and is explained in this Apple Knowledgebase document. Most reports do not suggest that this works.

(3) Reset your Mac’s System Management Controller Another suggestion from an Apple Discussions user, explained here . Again, most reports do not suggest that this works.

Based on past experiences in trying to fix major issues such as this one, we know that it’s rare that one solution works for everyone, and that readers often come up with great ideas for how to get things working again. We’re going to keep hunting for answers to this, and will update this article when we have one that works for us—did one of these ideas, or something else, work for you? Post in the comments section below.
"It just works" huh?  Sounds to me like it "just makes things worse."


  1. Hey, Apple is soooooo "magical" it made eveyone's wifi dissapear! HOW DO THEY DO IT?!

  2. You worded it differently but you STOLE MY JOKE!!! Well played anonymous, well played....

  3. Wow..... You sure seen to own a lot of Macs to be an "Apple Hater" website. And by the way, being a "Hater" is just as bad as being a "Fanboy".

    You can go reboot your computer while I do big boy things on my Mac. Bitch.

  4. Who are you talking about? I don't own any Mac machines you f*cking retard. If you actually knew how to read you'd see at the top of the article it's from, someone else wrote it. For your information, I haven't rebooted my W7 desktop in over a month. "Big boy things" huh? Like what? Upgrade to the faulty OS Lion? Maybe get the battery in your Macbook hacked to explode in your face. That would be awesome. I'll go use my machine to play the latest games, run a business, edit photos, or watch movies. Then maybe I'll upgrade my machine without voiding the warranty, just cause I feel like it.

  5. Dave have you even used Lion?

  6. Nope, I have not and will not. There is no reason to switch to Lion or any other Mac OS for that matter. My computers never crash and I can run any application or game I want. Why would I switch?

  7. Blind hatred is the best hatred.

  8. Blind huh? I already know there is no reason to even try a Mac. If you think you can tell me a concrete feature or advantage to spending double the cash, I would be surprised. And don't try the whole virus thing, I never get them and my pc's never crash. So what do you have for me?

  9. Frankly, based on your priorities and abilities, I don't think that you are the target Mac customer. Although your opinions might have a bit more weight if you actually had in-depth experience with them.

    There are reasons why Macs are so beloved by their owners-- reasons that may forever escape your understanding.

    It may boil down to left-brained vs right-brained thinking. The left-brainers (many who go into technical fields), are numbers-obsessed. They see the world in a quantitative way. The are primarily concerned with specs, prices, feature counts, etc. They are fascinated with the inner workings of their devices, and have no problem (in fact, may even enjoy) customizing and configuring things.

    The right-brainers (the rest of us) are more concerned with qualitative issues, esthetics, user interface, and fit and finish. They don't particularly care what goes on inside a device as long as work gets done quickly and easily, without a lot of overhead.

    Most people fall somewhere between these extremes, but it is hard for someone at the far end the spectrum to relate to people at the other end.

  10. You are correct, I am not the target Mac customer. I don't really need to have an in-depth experience to know that. I know what Windows can do and I really enjoy the experience, fit, finish and interface of Windows and Android and love the benefit of being able to customize things if I choose. All that and it costs me less money. Call me crazy.