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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep Laptop Macs
Some years ago (many Mac OS X revisions ago) when I used a beautiful Titanium PowerBook, it lost its ability to automatically reconnect to a known wireless network when waking from sleep. When I got my MacBook Pro, I used the OS X automatic copy to migrate to the new machine. The MacBook Pro inherited the same stupid reconnect problem. Upon waking, I have to go to the AirPort menu and choose a network, and the machine would connect. I've tried all the solutions on MacFixIt, and those I found here on MacOSXHints (excluding wiping the drive and starting from scratch). Nothing worked.

A few days ago I was presented with a great big hint as to what the problem was, when I saw my default wireless network listed in System Profiler. That network was an old one I had used many years ago. It did not appear anywhere in the network System Preferences, or in any other utility app on my Mac. So I opened terminal and started grepping for that term in the various places where .plist files live. I found that network listed in preferences.plist, found here: /Library » Preferences » SystemConfiguration. I renamed the file, just in case, and rebooted.

The OS created a new preferences.plist file. I then went to Network system preferences and set up AirPort again. My existing networks were still there, but my locations were all gone. Easy enough to recreate those, so I did that. I also went to the Sharing System Preferences pane, and put in my computer name, which was also gone. I lost a VPN setup due to this as well, and a Bluetooth connection. IMPORTANT! Other items might also be missing, so check to make sure everything works as expected.

Next, I put the machine to sleep, then woke the machine. It logged into the default network automatically! Problem solved, after years of annoyance. Be advised that there could be some risk to doing this. If you have problems, you can just replace the newly created, but nearly empty, preferences.plist file with the one you saved.

[robg adds: Technically, it should be possible to edit the preferences.plist file, and remove just the references to the now-missing AirPort network. However, I'm not sure exactly what keys one should be looking for.]
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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep | 18 comments | Create New Account
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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: siliconman on Feb 09, '07 09:23:31AM

Where did you see it in system profiler? I don't have a default network listed. (that I can see)



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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: morespace54 on Feb 09, '07 10:54:47AM

Could that be somewhat related to the fact that you already set a "location" in the Network PrefPane in the past?

I'm asking because I have the same problem on my iBook and not on my PowrBook. The only difference I can think of (Network wise) is that I did set locations on my iBook a while ago...



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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: broz on Feb 10, '07 09:07:58AM

I did indeed set that airport network as preferred in the past.



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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: corvus on Feb 09, '07 11:33:55AM

Aren't the list of wireless networks easily managed from System Preferences -> Network -> "your airport card" -> Airport?



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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: peragrin on Feb 09, '07 01:41:03PM

It doesn't always take. I had a dying powerbook. I bought a Mac Mini and used firewire to transfer over my account. the Mac Mini got hardwired.

When the Powerbook finally got back to me, I again used firewire to mirror my personal account back onto the powerbook. I have had numerous wireless connection issues since then. It will randomly not reconnect or even notice the wi-fi adapter sitting 10 feet away. Hopefully this will help me sort out the problem.

---
I thought once I was found but it was only a dream



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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: broz on Feb 10, '07 08:42:47AM

As I stated, this old wireless connection did not appear anywhere in my system preferences, so I could not delete it.

Also, another person said they deleted all those connections and that worked for him. I had tried that and it didn't work for me.

The core of the problem for me was that the old, useless connection was in the preferences.plist file but could not be removed thru the network preferences in system preferences. It wasn't there to delete.



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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: gloubibou on Feb 09, '07 03:38:12PM

My solution is to remove all entries from the list of preferred networks. Then I set AirPort to automatically add new networks to the preferred list and log into my network.

From there on all should work. Even after disabling the automatic add to preferred list.

Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.



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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: broz on Feb 10, '07 08:45:54AM

You suggest: "My solution is to remove all entries from the list of preferred networks."

That old network did not appear in this list. I tried removing all the entries that did appear, but it did not solve my problem.



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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: peragrin on Feb 09, '07 06:00:33PM

/Library/Preferences/system configuration/com.apple.airport.preferences.plist

Is the actualy plist file that contains airport network configuration. Teh other file is for all network interfaces

---
I thought once I was found but it was only a dream



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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: broz on Feb 10, '07 09:21:56AM

you said: "/Library/Preferences/system configuration/com.apple.airport.preferences.plist

Is the actualy plist file that contains airport network configuration. Teh other file is for all network interfaces."

That is indeed true. I just looked at that file using the Property List Editor, and found all the current airport network configs. I did not find the old, useless one. Still, that is not the file I renamed, which was:
/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/preferences.plist

Interesting, just the same.

I'm still wondering how this problem occurred. The PowerBook went thru many different OS X versions thru its life. Maybe the format of the files changed or their purpose changed.



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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: litedoctor on Feb 09, '07 07:31:23PM

All I had to do was set a different default network, close System Prefs, re-open Network Prefs, and re-set to my network.

Funny thing is when I called Apple Tech about the problem the only solution they could offer was to re-install the OS.



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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: rosenthalfibers on Mar 22, '07 10:38:51PM

Worked great. Thanks for posting.



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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: RiHa on Feb 10, '07 03:24:46AM

Be aware that if you rename or remove this file, all your network settigs will be removed, that includes ALL locations.

For example i have 54 locations that i switch between when i am at different customers, if i remove that file, all 54 settings/locations are lost.

So i would look for an ti that tells you what to change/edit in the file instead of removing it.

---


//Rickard Hansson



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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: pianoman on Feb 11, '07 07:42:34AM

I had this problem on a my newer Powerbook and the fix mentioned above (going to the Network Preference Pane, selecting Airport, deleting the wireless network and then adding it back in) definitely worked. This seems like it would be the optimal method of fixing this problem.



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Voila.
Authored by: Anonymous on Feb 12, '07 12:57:38AM

I found this on one of the posts here.
This solves a bigger issue for me - no automatic wireless connection on startup.
Put this in the terminal:
/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Resources/airport -a
And voila - solved. I never had a problem with wireless and waking, but I'd imagine this would cover that boat too.



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A fix for a different, but related, problem
Authored by: PeteVerdon on Mar 11, '07 04:09:03PM

For a long time, I suffered from a different, but related, annoying problem. Normally my Powerbook would connect happily to my home network each time I woke it up. If I had taken it out, though, and connected to a different network elsewhere, when I returned it would refuse to go back to the home one. I would receive the inscrutable "there was a problem" error message, until I manually entered the network name and typed the password.

It turned out that the cause of the problem was a saved password in my keychain which was out of date. Apparently OS X would use the manually-entered one happily for days, but forget it if another network made an appearance. After such an event it had to go back to the keychain, which of course was invalid, and so could not connect without asking me to type the password. The problem arose because, having been given a correct password, it didn't bother to change the keychain for next time.

SInce I manually updated the keychain password, the problem has disappeared.



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A fix for a different, but related, problem
Authored by: normd on Oct 03, '07 06:34:05PM

Deleting duplicate entries in my Keychain and making sure the one remaining one was accurate worked for me. I also set the password to be accessible form all applications.



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A fix for no auto-wireless connection on wake from sleep
Authored by: gsilkey on Jul 10, '08 06:44:37PM

Based on the hint above, I found a fix that might be easier for many folks since it does not require the user to directly edit an xml preferences file:

1. In the Network references pane, delete the Airport connection that does not like to reconnect.
2. Click Apply and Quit the System Prefs app.
3. Put the computer to sleep.
4. Wake the computer.
5. Go back in to the Network pref pane and re-add the Airport connection. Do not try to connect to the network at this time.
6. Click Apply and Quit the System Prefs app.
7. Use the Airport menubar app to connect to your network.
8. Verify connectivity
9. Put the computer to sleep.
10. Wake the computer.
11. Verify connectivity

My machine now consistently reconnects when coming out of sleep or restarting.

God luck!



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