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RazA00

Macbook Wifi Problem

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello everyone!

 

So I recently got a refurbished Macbook Air 2015, 8Gb RAM i5. (Bought from another person)

Its in great condition outside and everything. Battery only at 160 cycles.

 

One of the first things I did was reapplying the thermal paste and now it runs as cold as snow. (Maybe not,) 35C on idle.

 

There is one major problem that I have tried to fix for weeks and it doesn't seem to go away...

 

PROBLEM:

The wifi is a disaster.

Most of the times, it says (Could not connect) Even if its correct password. Even if it was connected to it 5 min ago. And it doesn't matter which network. School, Personal hotspot, Home...

 

Sometimes, it connects but the wifi is very slow. Like the pages doesn't even load. 

And sometimes it just drops the connection like its: (Nah, this thing is slow I don't like it.) I know for sure its not the networks problem.

(Same wifi issue was in the internet recovery and while setting up the OS)

 

SOLUTIONS THAT I HAVE TRIED:

 

- New Location

- Forgetting Password

- Keychain Access

- DNS

- Proxy

- Hardware (Package amount)

- Restart

- Reset NRAM/ SMC and other things

- I even reinstalled Mac OS 10 times. (High sierra, Catalina, El Capitan).

- Deleting Files

- Killing activity

- Turning off and on wifi

- Turning off bluetooth

 

MY THOUGHTS:

 

- Probably the network card is broken. (But how? Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Also I notice it depends which location Im at. For example connecting to my phone at home isn't a big deal most of the time. But always when Im at a restaurant it doesn't want to connect)

 

So I have some ideas what it also can be.

 

- Can it be the temperature? I noticed that it never works outside home, maybe because Ive been outside? And I tried setting on CHESS game to pump up the temperature, it raised up to 70C and the wifi magically connected. Tho, still a bit slow. Later it worked great. As fast as the temperature dropped to 50 or below, the wifi randomly disconnects.... 

Do you have any ideas how I can try the theory out even deeper?

 

- Another idea is the location. Maybe it sees that my computer is in another country and thats why it doesn't want to connect?

but that would be weird. 

 

Again, it sometimes connects and sometimes doesn't. (Most of the time it doesn't)

Before I noticed it only after sleep. Now I notice it not only after sleep.

 

Write your ideas or experience. Maybe you could help out my life and make it less tragic.

If you have come this far in reading, have a wonderful day and I hope this doesn't happen to you, because just a simple wifi connection has a big impact on my mood, daily life and choices.

 

Thank You!

 

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There is the possibility that you might have damaged the wifi antenna cables when you took apart your MacBook to reapply the thermal paste. I suggest opening the machine again and making sure that the connectors for the wifi card are seated properly. 

 

Also be sure that you're on an up to date OS. (Mojave or Catalina)


Laptop: 2016 13" nTB MacBook Pro Core i5 | Phone: iPhone 8 Plus 64GB | Wearables: Apple Watch Sport Series 2 | CPU: R5 2600 | Mobo: ASRock B450M Pro4 | RAM: 16GB 2666 | GPU: ASRock RX 5700 8GB | Case: Apple PowerMac G5 | OS: Win 10 | Storage: 480GB PNY SSD & 2TB WD Green HDD | PSU: Corsair CX600M | Display: Dell 27 Gaming Monitor S2719DGF 1440p @155Hz, Dell UZ2215H 21.5" 1080p, ViewSonic VX2450wm-LED 23.6" 1080p | Cooling: Wraith Prism | Keyboard: G610 Orion Cherry MX Brown | Mouse: G303 | Audio: Audio Technica ATH-M50X & Blue Snowball
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Posted · Original PosterOP
7 hours ago, DrMacintosh said:

There is the possibility that you might have damaged the wifi antenna cables when you took apart your MacBook to reapply the thermal paste. I suggest opening the machine again and making sure that the connectors for the wifi card are seated properly. 

 

Also be sure that you're on an up to date OS. (Mojave or Catalina)

I've seen the cables on the wifi antenna. Didn't detach them when I applied the paste. I did later reattach the antenna cables because of the problem but didn't change anything. Still same issues.

 

I have been on Catalina. Same problem there with latest updates.

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4 hours ago, RazA00 said:

I did later reattach the antenna cables because of the problem but didn't change anything. Still same issues.

based on this, I'd say one of two things is the problem, likely the latter but possibly the former:

 

Antennas are broken somewhere other than the connector.  It's possible, though unlikely.  MacBooks (in fact most laptops) are designed in such a way to prevent the antennas/cables from taking damage during normal use. unless you have some significant damage to the chassis of the device, it's unlikely that this is the problem - unless of course, you DO have dings and dents in the chassis, specifically on the monitor-side of the notebook, in which case, this becomes MUCH more likely.

 

The alternative is that either your TX amplifier isn't engaging, or is electrically damaged in some way.  In which case, you need to replace the WiFi card in your macbook to resolve the problem.  You should be able to find one relatively inexpensively second-hand.  I'm not sure if Apple has booby-trapped the WiFi cards at all, so you may want to do some research on this before proceeding (assuming you can replace it yourself at all - not sure if the card is a part of the mainboard or not).

 

in either case, the symptoms point to: you can hear them, but they can't hear you.  Evidence is pretty simple, you can "see" the networks, and you haven't noted the signal strengths are all super low, so I assume they look normal; but when attempting to connect, it fails to permit the connection.  likely because the target network isn't able to receive your signal.

 

This is all just assumption based on the evidence provided, and there are some crazy other things that could have also gone wrong, but IMO, are much less likely than the issues I've stated.  Since a new Airport card can be had (from eBay) for $20-30, it's not unreasonable to pick one up to test with.  Alternatively, buy a USB wifi dongle and use that until you can put together something more permanent.

 

Personally, I'm not a fan of USB WiFi, but if it's your only option, it's better than nothing.  but I'm not you, maybe you're perfectly happy with USB wifi.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 hours ago, MystikIncarnate said:

based on this, I'd say one of two things is the problem, likely the latter but possibly the former:

 

Antennas are broken somewhere other than the connector.  It's possible, though unlikely.  MacBooks (in fact most laptops) are designed in such a way to prevent the antennas/cables from taking damage during normal use. unless you have some significant damage to the chassis of the device, it's unlikely that this is the problem - unless of course, you DO have dings and dents in the chassis, specifically on the monitor-side of the notebook, in which case, this becomes MUCH more likely.

 

The alternative is that either your TX amplifier isn't engaging, or is electrically damaged in some way.  In which case, you need to replace the WiFi card in your macbook to resolve the problem.  You should be able to find one relatively inexpensively second-hand.  I'm not sure if Apple has booby-trapped the WiFi cards at all, so you may want to do some research on this before proceeding (assuming you can replace it yourself at all - not sure if the card is a part of the mainboard or not).

 

in either case, the symptoms point to: you can hear them, but they can't hear you.  Evidence is pretty simple, you can "see" the networks, and you haven't noted the signal strengths are all super low, so I assume they look normal; but when attempting to connect, it fails to permit the connection.  likely because the target network isn't able to receive your signal.

 

This is all just assumption based on the evidence provided, and there are some crazy other things that could have also gone wrong, but IMO, are much less likely than the issues I've stated.  Since a new Airport card can be had (from eBay) for $20-30, it's not unreasonable to pick one up to test with.  Alternatively, buy a USB wifi dongle and use that until you can put together something more permanent.

 

Personally, I'm not a fan of USB WiFi, but if it's your only option, it's better than nothing.  but I'm not you, maybe you're perfectly happy with USB wifi.

Thank you very much for your time and help!

 

Didn't even think about the antennas being broken because the strength and the wifi sometimes work. Probably because of the cables connecting and disconnecting from each other :).

 

No dents on the laptop so probably some network damage. Ill see if I get a network card or not. 

 

Again, thank you for the answer and have a good one ;)

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