OS X 10.4.10 Wireless Issues Resolved

This post is obsolete and screenshots have been removed.

I finally got around to researching the wireless problem that surfaced after I applied the OS X 10.4.10 update. In short, every time the computer booted, or woke from sleep I’d have to reconfigure the wireless network. For wireless I use 802.11g with WPA for security.

The solution was simple. I deleted the network from my preferred network list then re-added it. Since then it’s worked much better, almost perfect. Waking from sleep is problem free. But, booting up fresh sometimes takes several minutes to join the network. Since I rarely power off completely this is a minor inconvenience.

It’s also worth mentioning that I deleted the wireless network password from my keychain. This did not fix the problem but it is something I did before deleting/re-adding the preferred network so it may also be needed. To do this run the “Keychain Access” app from the Application -> Utilities folder. Use the search field to search for your wireless network name and delete any password entries found.

The steps to delete and re-add the preferred network are:

1. Open preferences then open the network preferences. (Click the thumbnail to see a full size screenshot) Select Airport if you have any choices and click the configure button to open the configuration screen.

2. Select Airport in the “Show” list if it isn’t already selected. Selected your network in the preferred network list then click the minus sign to delete it. Then select the + sign to add a new preferred network and enter the information for you wireless network. Click the “Apply Now” button to save the changed.

Resetting the preferred network resolved the problem for waking from sleep. The problem remained with fresh boots. So I then changed the configuration to tell it to keep looking for recent networks if none were found, rather than prompting for any available network. It may take several minutes (sometimes up to 10) but it would connect to the network. I noticed that when this occurs very few networks are listed (there are many within range) and the list grows over time.

To set the option to keep searching for recent networks click “Options” on the configuration screen (see the screenshot for step 2 above). Select “Keep looking for recent networks” from the first pick list. I also check “Automatically add recent networks to the preferred networks list” although this is unrelated to the problem.

Since these changes everything has been fine and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. My wireless access point is described here. It’s my only Mac that uses wireless.