tip : new firmware that might improve WiFi/AirPort-stability

Apple has released firmware updates that might improve WiFi/AirPort-stability on your 2011 Mac after the OSX 10.7.3 update :

Mac mini (Mid 2011) EFI firmware update 1.6

http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1500

MacBook Pro (Early 2011) EFI firmware update 2.7

http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1499

iMac (Mid 2011) EFI firmware update 1.9

http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1498

MacBook Air (Mid 2011) EFI firmware update 2.4

http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1497

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tip : official fix for iMacs with WiFi-problems since 10.7.3 update

Apple has just released a special fix for iMacs that have WiFi-connection-problems each time they ‘fall asleep’, since the OSX 10.7.3 update (but… it’s a iMac-only fix…) :

http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1501

There is no accompanying info with it, so it is unknown if this update fixes the “no hardware installed”-error also…

…and is still remains unclear what the actual cause of this problem was…

tip : use iPhone-SMS from your Mac

iMessage (the free iPhone-to-iPhone messaging service that is integrated into the SMS app on your iPhone running iOS5) is now also accessible from your Mac. Apple has released a Mac-version called “Messages” that is ‘available for beta-testing’ (i.e. ‘free to use’, but it might still have some bugs and shortcomings) :

http://www.apple.com/macosx/mountain-lion/messages-beta/

Using it is quite straight-forward, as you just need your AppleID to login and the interface resembles both the iPhone’s SMS-app and iChat’s text-chatting.

Messages will be part of Apple’s next MacOS (called OSX 10.8 “Mountain Lion”) which will be released this summer. The beta-version will run on MacOSX 10.7 “Lion” only, and will stop working after the introduction of OSX 10.8 “Mountain Lion”. (A procedure we’ve seen before with other beta-applications like FaceTime for Mac.

So with the release of MacOSX 10.7 “Lion”, iChat was abandoned, but FaceTime only replaced iChat video-chat. With the release of OSX 10.8 “Mountian Lion”, Messages will revive what was formerly know as iChat text-chat…

fixed : 10.7.3 refusing to see the Atheros AR9280

UPDATE [2] :

Easiest fix so far (thanks to delifruit on InsanelyMac.com) :

(Re)installing the “Edited Atheros Kext for Lion*3″ you can download here :

https://macmanusnl.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/edited-atheros-kext-for-lion3-zip.doc

Note : after downloading the file “edited-atheros-kext-for-lion3-zip.doc” you need to rename the file to “edited-atheros-kext-for-lion3.zip” and double-click it to unzip, after that download the Kext Utility using the “kext-installer for Lion (Kext Utility by cVad)”-link included inside the unzipped folder ; to install follow the instructions as lined out in the “CAUTION ! (Read Me).txt”-file

the latest Kext Utility can be downloaded here :

KextUtility for OSX 10.8

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UPDATE [1] :

Apple seems to have acknowledged this problem, and has withdrawn the basic 10.7.3 update ; everyone will get the 10.7.3 combo update now :

http://www.macnn.com/articles/12/02/04/apple.fixes.lion.upgrade.issue.with.combo.switch/

And there’s a special fix for iMacs that have WiFi-problems since the OSX 10.7.3 update (but… it’s a iMac-only fix…) :

http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1501

I hope this fixes thing for all of us 😉

——————- ORIGINAL POST BELOW —————————-

The Atheros AR9280 was seen as a genuine AirPort-card by OSX…

…in 10.6 Snow Leopard

…and in 10.7 Lion it could even do AirDrop…

…until 10.7.3 that is…

10.7.3 for some mysterious reason lost it’s ability to detect the AR9280 at all…

…the AirPort-icon in the menubar is blank, and it lists “WiFi: no hardware installed”…

Oddly, when restarting the Mac mini in ‘Rescue mode’ (pressing Apple(CMD)+R during startup), AirPort instantly connects using that same AR9280 card… ???!!

…but that doesn’t last if you start up 10.7.3 the normal way.

So… after a lot of fiddling around I found the solution is quite easy :

Start by downloading the special .kext-installer here :

http://cvad-mac.narod2.ru/Kext_Utility

1- then… reinstall the IO8211Family.kext from 10.6 Snow Leopard and reboot (you can get that .kext-file from the Snow Leopard installer DVDrom)

if you only need WiFi-connection, that will do, but…

…if you also want to use AirDrop, you need to do step 2 also :

2- only after doing step 1, you will be able to successfully reinstall the IO8211Family.kext from 10.7.2 (the previous version of Lion ; the .kext-file you can get from your TimeMachine backup)

It is mind boggling why this works because :

– directly reinstalling the IO8211Family.kext from 10.7.2 onto the version in 10.7.3 doesn’t work – for some reason you need to downgrade to the Snow Leopard version first…

– the IO8211.kext from 10.7.3 appears to be exactly the same as the one from 10.7.2 ; they have the same version number (4.1.2) and have been created and modified at the exact same date…

…only thing is : this doesn’t seem to be an as stable solution as sticking with 10.7.2

fixed : AirPort Utility 6 lost the option to configure connected printers

Apple has updated the firmware for the TimeCapsule a few days ago, and updated the AirPort Utility software to version 6. Which might not be exactly what you were waiting for…

The user-interface of AirPort Utility 6 is completely new, it looks exactly like the iOS AirPort Utility interface now…

the good :

  • direct visual insight in how your local WiFi-network is set up (in a nice tree-branche structure)
  • by clicking on the hardware icons, you will see info like Network name, IP address, Serial no., Firmware version and… a list of all currently connected wireless clients
  • if your Firmware is out of date, you will see that instantly because of the little red circle with the white 1 in it next to the hardware icon
  • full iCloud support

the bad :

  • this is not an Administator interface, it’s nothing more than a nice looking info&update-utility, but as all options for managing your WiFi-network and your AirPort-hardware have vanished…
  • this app is MasOSX 10.7 “Lion” only…
  • from now on, it’s iCloud-only – no support for MobileMe any longer… (so no iDisk any longer…)
  • you can not manage AirPort-networked printers (like the USB-printer connected to your TimeCapsule) any longer
  • some client devices may not be able to find the updated AirPort Basestation / TimeCapsule (my iPhone 4 needed a reboot to become able to connect…)
  • …the printer-timeout-problem still exists, this update doesn’t resolve issues with the TimeCapule not being able to temporarily save big files that the connected USB-printer can not process quickly enough…

the ugly (the dirty way to get everything) :

…luckily, it is possible to re-install and use the previous version of AirPort Utility alongside of this one (eventhough the version 6 installer deletes the previous version) :

  • either place the previous version back into your “Utilities” folder (inside your “Applications” folder) from your TimeMachine-backup ; be sure to change the name of the old version to something like “AirPort Admin Utility” since it won’t be possible for both of them to use the “AirPort Utility” name…
  • or… download the installer of the 5.6 version from Apple :

http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1482