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Mac Tech
Mac Tech, Apple Specialist
Category: Mac
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Experience:  7 + Years Supporting Apple Products
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I cant get my MacBook Air to connect to my wireless network.

Customer Question

I can't get my MacBook Air to connect to my wireless network. It keeps saying "AirPort has the self-assigned IP address 169.254.77.233 and will not connect to the Internet." I've tried resetting the router and that didn't work. A long online chat with Time Warner didn't help either.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mac Tech replied 5 years ago.

Richard :

Hi, and thanks for using JustAnswer. Add this page to your Favorites/Bookmarks first, so as to get back to me anytime later on, if needed.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Thanks. Hello.

Richard :

Are you on the MacBookAir now?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

No, I'm on a MacBook.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

It connects fine. The MacBook Air is the one that keeps giving me trouble.

Richard :

Ok, great. Do you also have your Network Name and Password?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

yep

Richard :

On the MacBook Air click on the Airport icon on the top menu bar and "Open Network Preferences"

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

ok

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

done

Richard :

Next, highlight any "Airport" device that you have in the left panel and "delete"

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

done

Richard :

Ok, to the left of the "delete" you wlll see a "+", click on that and create an Airport Interface.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Ok. Just go ahead and name it "AirPort 2" as suggested?

Richard :

Have you deleted all the Airport Interfaces?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Yep. I think, anyway. The left panel is blank.

Richard :

Ok, great then proceed. Then use the assist to setup up the interface. Reply back if you get stuck with an unknown question.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Ok. Going through it now...

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Ok. I made it to the end. It says "Unable to establish a network connection" and another little message.

Richard :

Run the troublshooter

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Diagnose?

Richard :

Ask me questions if your not sure what to select.

Richard :

Yes

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Ok, locations ... Automatic, yes?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

versus "New Location"

Richard :

Check to see if you have other locations

Richard :

Use new location.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Automatic and New Location are only options

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Ok. Now under "Choose the network port configuration ..." the only options I can click are Ethernet and Other. External Modem and AirPort cannot be clicked. However, AirPort is checked already

Richard :

ok, proceed

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

restarting router now

Richard :

What make and model router do you have?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

smc smc8014WG-SI

Richard :

When you set up the Airport, did you see your WiFi network?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

The setup assistant said it couldn't fix it.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Yes

Richard :

What version OS X do you have on the MBA?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

10.6.7

Richard :

Go back to Network Preferences

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

ok

Richard :

Click on the gear to the right of the "-"

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

ok

Richard :

Select "Set Service Order"

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

alright

Richard :

Move Airport to the top of the list.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Ok. The only other thing was Bluetooth DUN. Just changed it.

Richard :

Turn Airport off, then turn it back on.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Ok. It recognizes the network and gets all the bars, but in the menu it says the thing about the self-assigned IP Address

Richard :

What happens when you open Safari?

Richard :

And try to go to www.ibm.com

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

No connection.

Richard :

Is the Airport Icon greyed out?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Now it is, yes. With an ! in the middle.

Richard :

Did you enter a static IP on this Mac at some time?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

What's a static IP?

Richard :

Have you tried to tether with a hotspot or 3g device with this Mac?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

No.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Only the wireless router that Time Warner gave me

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

No tethering.

Richard :

Ok, click on the Airport icon and then click on "Advancced"

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

ok

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

done

Richard :

How many "Preferred Networks" so you see?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Just "tuba." That's the one I've been trying to connect to. That said, earlier tonight I deleted all the other ones that were stored there.

Richard :

Delete that one with the "-" sign please.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Ok. It's empty now.

Richard :

Then use the "+" sign to add a new network. Make sure you are using the correct sercurity (WEP, WPA, WPA2)

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

done. Now click OK?

Richard :

Yes.

Richard :

It should try to connect.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Done

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Do I need to hit "apply"?

Richard :

Yes

Richard :

What is the status of the Airport icon now?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Same deal. Greyed-out AirPort icon with an exclamation point

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

AirPort has self assigned IP

Richard :

Ok, go back to network preferences

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

in network preferences

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

ok

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

done

Richard :

Click on Advanced

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

done

Richard :

Click on TCP/IP

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

done

Richard :

Make sure the settings here are "Using DHCP" and "Automatically"

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

They are.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Comparing that screen with the equivalent on my macbook that I'm currently using. There is no router info on the Macbook Air

Richard :

Ok, go to DNS and tell me what entries you have.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Everything is blank on DNS

Richard :

ok

Richard :

go to Proxies and make sure all the boxes are UNchecked and then tell me what you see in the white space

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

All of the protocols are unchecked. At the bottom there is a checked box for "Use Passive FTP Mode (PASV).

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

The white space says ...

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

*.local, 169.254/16

Richard :

ok, good. Go to Ethernet and tell me what the settings are please.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Ethernet ID: 78:ca:39:3f:d6:5e

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Configure: Automatically

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

MTU: Standard (1500), but it can't be clicked

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

and that's it

Richard :

Ok, good.

Richard :

Close that then open network preferences again.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

ok

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

done

Richard :

Now try to connect to your WiFi.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

it's trying ...

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

didn't work

Richard :

It may be that your router DHCP has been turned off. Have you checked that?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

How do I check that?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

?

Richard :

Go to your Mac that's on your WiFi

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

ok

Richard :

Go to Network Preferences

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

It says it's "Using DHCP"

Richard :

Advanced>TCP/IP

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Yep

Richard :

What is the IPv4 IP address you see?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

192.168.0.44

Richard :

Click on "Renew DHCP Lease"

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Ok.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

done

Richard :

Did it flash and comback?

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Yep

Richard :

Ok, I'm going to leave chat and do some research on this issue. I will reply back when I have a resolution.

Richard :

Thank you for your patience.

JACUSTOMER-hy4t7nnp- :

Thank YOU, Richard

Richard :

Thank you!

Expert:  Mac Tech replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your patience. Please try this. Reply back with the results. Thank you.

1) Turn off the wireless router
2) "Shut down" all laptops.
3) Power on the wireless router
4) Power on the laptops
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I did this earlier tonight but will try again right now.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ugh. Still no dice.
Expert:  Mac Tech replied 5 years ago.
Try this next:

SYSTEM PREFS>NETWORK

hit plus sign to create new service

select AIRPORT for interface, give it a unique name and hit CREATE

when you select it, it will say it has no IP address

select the original airport service (the one with self assigned ip) and delete it with minus button

select the new airport service and it should now have a working IP
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Didn't work. "Airport 2 has the self-assigned IP address 169.254.231.61 and will not be able to connect to the Internet."
Expert:  Mac Tech replied 5 years ago.
Go to Keychain Access in Applications\Utilities. Under login select all the entires that contain your WiFi network. Delete them all. Close this out.

Go back to Network Preferences and delete the 2 Airport interfaces and then create a new one and follow through with the setup to your WiFi network.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Same as before. "Airport 2 has the self-assigned IP address 169.254.231.61 and will not be able to connect to the Internet."
Expert:  Mac Tech replied 5 years ago.
Run "Repair Disk Permissions" from Disk Utility under Applications>Utilities

After the above is complete, go back to Airport and try to add your WiFi network.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Same deal.
Expert:  Mac Tech replied 5 years ago.
I would recommend that you reinstall OS X. If you do not wish your data to be deleted on your Mac please select the Archive and Install option.

Here's a link to assist you with the process: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2129

Let me know how it goes. Thank you.
Expert:  Mac Tech replied 5 years ago.
I just ran across another article in y research. Your network key is invalid. Try this first.

Plug your MBA into your router with an Ethernet Cable. Verify that you can get onto the Internet with www.ibm.com.

If that works, your network key is incorrect. If needed change it on your router.

Thank you for your patience.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hmm... MBA only has USB ports. No ethernet. Is there a USB-Ethernet adapter? If so, is it worth buying to figure this thing out?
Expert:  Mac Tech replied 5 years ago.
Try changing the Security key on your router and make sure that its running in Mixed mode.