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Old 05-20-2004, 05:41 PM   #1
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Base Station doesn't show up in Airport Admin Utility

But I'm still connected, able to connect to the wireless network and access the web. I need to change some settings, any ideas?
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Old 05-21-2004, 01:32 AM   #2
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Reset the base station. I think there's a button on it or something...
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Old 05-21-2004, 01:29 PM   #3
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OK, I tried a "hard" reset from these directions: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106602

I am back to the drawing board, I am connected to the wireless network on the Mac but the Windows laptop still won't connect AND the base station still doesn't come up when I run Airport Admin Utility....
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Old 05-21-2004, 01:43 PM   #4
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Could these be firewall issues?
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Old 05-23-2004, 01:35 AM   #5
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Not to accuse anyone of making a stupid mistake, but are you sure you're using procedures for the correct model of Base Station? Depending on which model you have, there are different guidelines for how you can configure it. It's only on more recent ones (at least dual ethernet, if not Extreme) that you can even configure it via wireless. Before that, I think you had to connect to it via ethernet. So before you mess with it any further, you might just try connecting your Mac to it via ethernet to the LAN port and see what happens.

If you do in fact have Dual Ethernet, don't just to the initial hard reset. Follow the link further down in that article to "reload software". And make sure your computer has the latest Airport software installed (run Software Update).

To be honest, Apple Base Stations are really finicky. When I have a hard time configuring them, usually resetting them a bunch of times eventually just makes it work.
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Old 05-23-2004, 08:58 AM   #6
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I have the dual ethernet, it always showed up in airport admin before, it does show up if I connect it directly to the Mac's ethernet port. Where I'm at now, the PC laptop can connect as well as the Mac, but I still can't run the admin software to change NAT or security.
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Old 10-27-2004, 04:01 AM   #7
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I have the same problem. My mac doesn't see the airport base station even when conncted to the mac thru an ethernet cable. Any ideas?
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Old 10-27-2004, 10:21 PM   #8
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Another possible reason that you cannot connect to the wireless base station is if you have Internet Sharing turned on. When we demoed the Airport Express at the User Group Meeting, we couldn't connect to it until it was realized that the PB we were trying to connect with was currently supplying the Wireless to the rest of the PBs in the room. Turning off sharing suddenly opened up access!

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Old 10-28-2004, 02:02 AM   #9
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Internet sharing is turned off.
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Old 10-29-2004, 07:25 AM   #10
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Have you checked the base stations IP and the IP of the Airport config in network prefs on the client ?

If they are from differing ranges e.g. the base station self-assigns thru DHCP and you are using a different range in TCP/IP for the card, you should set the BS IP to the same range as your card

Then it's fine
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Old 10-29-2004, 07:46 AM   #11
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It is in the same range. Someone on another list just sent me this so I'll give this a try.

I have a Snow ABS, so I've spent quite a bit of time wrestling with it to keep it visible. It took a combination of updates and procedures to finally get it visible, stable, and working with all its features intact. I've helped a few people out with this kind of problem before, so I'm going to give you a "best of" response culled from some previous emails below. If you need more help, you can email me off-list or IM me, and I'll try and help more directly. My AOL/iChat ID is just burkecats@mac.com. I already have you in my iChat list.
If you are using a Snow (Dual Ethernet) ABS (white with a graphite logo), then you may want to try updating it with the most recent firmware. Apple has actually updated the firmware for this particularly quirky base station to v4.0.9, even though most of their own documentation mentions nothing higher than the 4.0.8 version.
A list of Airport software versions is available here:

They don't say anything about the 4.0.9 firmware other than it "improves reliability," but it may be worth trying the update if you manage to connect to your ABS. I applied it when it was released which was after I finally got everything working right, and at least it did no harm. You can download it here:

Most of the rest of this info will apply to any ABS...

I have found that some experimentation is sometimes required to get Admin Utility to see a Base Station, it takes just the right combination of Utility software version and Base Station firmware version. In the best case scenario, the right combination is simply the most recent versions of both, which you may or may not have. Where it can get interesting is when you find yourself needing to "downgrade" one or the other to hit that sweet spot. This is something that can best be gauged by checking out Apple's discussion boards:

The most recent version of all the pertinent software are listed below. Just to be sure, I would recommend downloading them and applying them. If you already have it installed, your Mac will tell you. Let us know what happens...
Airport Update 3.4.1

Airport Card Driver Update (to 3.4.3)

Then try this one if you have Airport Extreme:
Airport Extreme Firmware 5.4
and here's the instructions for applying a firmware update:

And another method of making an invisible Base Station visible, at least temporarily:
Resetting the Airport Extreme Base Station
Resetting the Graphite Airport Base Station
Resetting the Snow Airport Base Station
The only problem with resetting is that there is no differentiation between how the base station's lights indicate a soft versus a hard reset. With me, the soft reset was not helpful (it sounds like you've only done a soft reset), and then when I thought I had done a hard reset, I had in fact still only done a soft reset. (It was very frustrating.) I also had the "now you see it, now you don't" syndrome in Airport Admin Utility.

First, you may want to print out the following article to have on hand:

Then, I suggest that you:

1. Turn off your Airport card.

2. Attempt, or Re-attempt, a hard reset...
-It is very difficult for one person to hold down that darn reset button while plugging the power cable back into the base station. If you can, get a second pair of hands to help. Either way, after unplugging the base station, make sure that you have the reset button firmly pressed down. While holding the button down, plug the power back into the base station. Do not release the reset button for at least 3 seconds!

3. Unplug any cables from the WAN port (the one marked by a circle of dots). Make sure that you are plugged into the base station's LAN port. It is marked with this symbol: <--->

When you successfully accomplish a hard reset, your Airport WILL show up in the Admin Utility - I PROMISE! BUT, if you restart the base station and it returns to it's original name and configuration, then you did NOT get a hard reset and you need to try again. I hope that you can benefit from my frustration : )

There is one last thing. I have had some success administering a Base Station which Admin Utility could not see by using another Apple utility which is unfortunately no longer available for download from the main site. I think it might be available on the developers site. It is called Airport Management Utility, and it is specifically designed for administering multiple Base Stations/Networks/Nodes from one interface. It is also good for configuring just one ABS, though, and even provides some features and info not available in Admin Utility. If you can't get Admin Utility to see your ABS, it might be worth it to try this at least to upload the firmware updates.
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:48 PM   #12
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I tried all of the above suggestions to no avail. Then I found the solution. I bought a new Airport Extreme Base Station. No problems now! And, the new setup software is a dream. Wireless printing. Wireless USB hard drive storage. Amazing!

Whew! Now I can sleep nights!!
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:13 PM   #13
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Can I have your old base station?
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:16 PM   #14
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Thoughts on Airport Setup and monitoring

Some thoughts on base station setup and monitoring.

A) Apple is vague at best re: where to find Setup tools. Nowhere did I find a page saying here is where you get this, and there is where you find that.

B) There are multiple versions of the Airport utility programs. The newest now seems to be version 5.3.2; it looks quite different from the older ones, with a dock icon of a circle & wavefront. There are separate 10.4 and 10.5 versions. I found them on VersionTracker keyword "Airport Airport".

There are two older versions with a 'UFO" icon; one is marked for Snow and Graphite use, but it also seems to work on newer ones. The 5.3.2 version may or may not work on Snow's etc.

C) Don't bother trying to find where on their site Apple has put the updated firmware for the base stations; it's a secret, I guess. The Airport Setup utility does knows, and will fetch such if any of yours needs updating. It does not appear that Software Update will alert you to new firmware being available.

D) There is now logging including signal strengths hidden in the Advanced menu.

E) If setting up a Wireless Distribution System, first copy and paste all the Base MAC addresses onto scrap screen. For some reason the utility does not seem to search & discover them at that step; so you'll need to paste them back in.
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Old 12-18-2008, 01:24 PM   #15
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More thoughts on Airport Wireless Distribution Systems.... and some queries

So I've wasted many hours playing with WDS and have learned a few things. Enlightenment welcomed.

I started out with 4 UFO's/extreme's & a switch on the bench. I thought it was required that you plug their LAN ports into cables going to your configuration machine. Well, sorta, but that can also bite you.

It appears that after you build a WDS, and they are talking to each other wirelessly; if you still have wired connections, you'll get routing loops or such. The net result is you get intermittent connections. So once your Airport Utility locates them, unplug them from your machine and see if they still are available. If so, continue.


You can & should read Designing_AirPort_Networks but it will not answer everything.

Some of my remaining questions follow.

There are three modes of base stations:
  • Main: the Big Kuhuna. It connects to the wired world, and manages the WDS.
  • Relay: An intermediate repeater station that talks to Main and Remotes.
  • Remote: An endpoint station; it talks to users only.

The Fine Manual cautions that you must have a Remote up before adding a Relay. Not sure why.

All three can support both wired [via the LAN jack] and wireless users, if you allow such. Ditto USB printers. Rectangular Extremes can have a USB drive, but it appears Time Machine can not use that drive as backup storage.
  1. What's not clear is: do you explicitly set up Remotes to talk to the Relay (or the Main...); or do you just put the Main's address in, and if the Relay signal is stronger, it automagically switches to it?

  2. It's helpful to know how well the Main sees a Repeater, or Remote; and if the Remote has connected directly or not.

    Ditto the end clients; where did they connect? 10.4's Internet Connect would tell you the MAC address of the Airport you've reached, but that's gone for 10.5. Grrr...

    There is a logging utility hidden in the Advanced section, but it's reporting by MAC number, and from each base instead of a big picture. And knowing where to locate *your* machine's Airport MAC address adds to the mystery. [The Base Station's are the bottom label.]

    Does anyone make a utility that will show you the WDS network; users of each node, and strengths?

  3. Anyone sane with 802.xx inside their firewall runs WPA[2]. But the Utility and Fine Manual makes it unclear if that is set on Relay and Remote stations or just the Main is set for WPA, and her offspring follow along. I assume only the Main as the others would be just bridging, but.....
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Old 12-18-2008, 02:32 PM   #16
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And knowing where to locate *your* machine's Airport MAC address adds to the mystery. [The Base Station's are the bottom label.]

Look in /Applications/Utilities for a program called Network Utility. In the Info tab, set the popup to your Airport wireless network interface, probably en1 for most machines. Then look at the "Hardware Address". That is your machine's Airport MAC Address.

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Old 12-18-2008, 03:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by trevor
Look in /Applications/Utilities for a program called Network Utility. In the Info tab, set the popup to your Airport wireless network interface, probably en1 for most machines. Then look at the "Hardware Address". That is your machine's Airport MAC Address.


Oh, I know where to find it; but my point was most folks won't...
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:54 PM   #18
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Here's the issue. The downstream Airports are bridging, so to the usual TCP/IP utilities, they appear as one with the Main. This includes AP Grapher.

I can use the Airport Utility->Manual->Advanced->Logging to chart the MAC addresses vice signal strength of each user of that Airport, and the DHCP pool of the Main unit. The hassle there is: it's 4 layers down, and then you switch from the Main to the Relay, and dig down again, etc. No way to see all the stations on one screen.

On 10.4 and below, Internet Connect tells you the MAC address of the Airport you're talking with. But I can't find anything in 10.5 that will do that. Grrr.

The 10.5 box is clearly talking to the Airport network; but its MAC address appears on none of the three Airport graphs. (?!?!) It does show up in the DHCP table, but I know that already.

I dream of a utility that shows you:
  • Who is talking to each Airport, and the S/S+N etc.

  • How the Airports are talking to each other; i.e. is the Remote going via that Relay, another, or Direct? Graphics here would be the cat's ass.

  • Lets you label the data with names attached to each MAC address. "Macbook" "Downstairs" "Bob's" etc.
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Old 12-24-2008, 01:18 PM   #19
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What Airport am I connected to?

With 10.4 & before, the Internet Connect utility gives you the MAC of the Airport you're connected to.

But what substitutes in 10.5?

I've not found any other place that does. If you are *not* connected to a WDS network; the System Profiler does; but if you are, it gives you the network name instead...
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:12 AM   #20
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Exclamation solution

to solve the problem, I installed the windows software (version 3.2) on windows 7 (which runs with parallels desktop 4) and yo - I can configure my old airport station again- 1000 hugs to MS!

strange enough that it works on windows but not with the own snow leopard - shame on u apple!

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