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FIXED: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet svc

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FIXED: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet svc

Postby mhschmieder » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:37 am

Stressed beyond belief as networking is not my domain -- though I could learn it easily if there were manuals for this sort of thing vs. mere folklore.

After my housemates moved out unexpectedly and took the internet with them, I was extremely inconvenienced but unable to do anything about it for a week due to being at a tech conference.

I wanted to go with Sonic as they get the highest recs, but they have a two week wait time and that is unacceptable (especially after having no internet for most of the past month). So I went again with Wave (formerly Astound), as they could come on a day's notice and as it's already their wiring.

Nothing worked, and they weren't willing to help as they "don't really support Macs" (not on their website). So they're blaming it on me, even though my computer was turned off during the conference and since the previous Wave service was disrupted.

I had to resort to WiFi, which sucks. Can't stream classical radio while working, and many other tasks are impossible (including remote login to work). But at least I am "sort of" functional now, after many hours of my former housemate, bandleader, and others trying to help.

As far as the internet problem is concerned, my computer sees the Ethernet (if I plug it in), but the browser doesn't even try to load new tabs, so I get no failure message, no search results, etc. Also Apple Mail fails to connect. My bandleader (a former AT&T installer) says this likely means they have me locked out at the Wave end, which is likely as they still had the address associated with my ex-housemate even though he is now set up at a new address. So I suspect Wave screwed up.

Anyway, that isn't my biggest concern anymore as the Mac itself is doing weird things. For instance, I just had to turn it off and back on again as I couldn't reboot due to non-running apps that it thought were running. No OS-level app would launch (Sys Prefs, Disk Util, Activity Monitor, etc.) yet none showed as running and none could be Force Quit nor launched from the Applications Folder vs. the main menu or the dock. THAT problem went away after a reboot (hard reboot via power switch).

The little info I have found on-line so far indicates that starting a Mac with WiFi on, can cause a lot of weird stuff to happen at startup, which may be why general computer behaviour is also now slow. Nothing was installed. Updates were already performed earlier, with no problems (late AUG to early SEP).

I am out of my depth here and distraught as I actually need to log in to work today due to a MAJOR concert that my support is needed for. I at least need to find out whether my late night office work FRI was enough. But I can't get a remote session at this point, and have a gig of my own at 430pm.

It's pretty hard to debug these problems when you have an unresponsive internet and can't do web searches. That aspect is finally starting to clear up a bit at least, in that I can do a search term and get some results a minute or three later vs. a freeze-up. I even hit "Renew DHCP Lease" as it's a different modem from before, to no avail, so really don't understand why Ethernet isn't working (in full) even if I also add the two additional DNS Servers (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) which I think are for Google.

Although this didn't help Ethernet, to even get WiFi working, I had to switch the default setting of IPV6 to Link-Local Only from Automatic. Nothing is set below that; one can no longer directly set IPV4 but I guess it is now done implicitly by configuring IPV4 and setting its values then leaving IPV6 blank. Several people said I must not have selected IPV4, but there is no place to directly select that in El Capitan (at least as of the latest security updates).

Oh, wait, this is weird: now that it's been running awhile, the IPV6 address line for the WiFi has an actual value (in hex, as far as I can tell -- I'm not printing it here in case that would open me up to hackers). The other lines are blank and the configuration drop-list is selected to Link-local only. But I hope this doesn't mean that I need some IPV6 address set up for the Ethernet to work.
Last edited by mhschmieder on Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet yesterday

Postby billf » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:00 am

What happens if you boot in Safe Mode? Anything different, or same symptoms?
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Re: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet yesterday

Postby mhschmieder » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:23 am

Bill, thanks for the feedback. Can you remind me how to reboot in Safe Mode? I forget the sequence (if I do a search, it might find different results for 2007 vs. 2010 etc. so could take awhile to narrow down).

BTW I was just able to log in to my work account using Microsoft Desktop Connection and VPN. I didn't expect that to work with only Wi-Fi enabled vs. Ethernet, due to multiple round trips of data when doing this sort of thing (even with data duplication shut off, my IT department seems to overrule that).

Luckily, the well-known artist's concert at a well-known venue (I have to be vague so that there's no liability in posting this) seems to be going without a hitch, so my being "off the webs" for a day and a half didn't turn into a disaster. :-) In my job, "showstopper" is a quite literal term. :!:
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Re: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet yesterday

Postby billf » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:38 am

Here are the steps for El Capitan Safe Mode

OS X El Capitan: Start up in safe mode

Starting up in safe mode may help you diagnose problems you’re having with your Mac.
Important: To print these instructions, click the Share button in the Help window, then choose Print.

Choose Apple menu > Shut Down.

After your Mac shuts down, wait 10 seconds, then press the power button.

Immediately after you hear the startup tone, hold down the Shift key.

You should press the Shift key as soon as possible after you hear the startup tone, but not before.

Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple logo and progress indicator.

To leave safe mode, restart your Mac again, but don’t hold down any keys during startup.
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Re: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet yesterday

Postby mhschmieder » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:43 am

Cool; I did that once a while back but had forgotten how. I've taken care of the most immediate needs of my day job now so can afford to log out of my remote session and do a Safe Mode reboot now.

Actually, I think I'll check first to see if RME has posted any info about Sierra driver compatibility. :-)
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Re: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet yesterday

Postby mhschmieder » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:49 pm

Safe Mode didn't find any issues, and also the computer is improving across-the-board gradually, so maybe there's some sort of bootstrapping when you switch from Ethernet to Wi-Fi for the first time.

Nevertheless, I do not consider being permanently on Wi-Fi for $50/month to be ideal, to say the least.

Hopefully something will come up in the next few days that explains why the Ethernet setup refuses network access even though it detects the IP and the Ethernet to be valid and running. We've tried every possible combination of TCP/IP, DNS, and general settings.
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Re: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet yesterday

Postby mhschmieder » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:20 pm

Considering that the techie who came to install the new modem/router last night had troubles at first due to my ex-housemate still being listed as having an account at this address -- even thought his new account at the new address is already set up -- I am wondering if the Ethernet blockage issue is an accounting problem at their end and that my hardware is identified as attached to his account and thus enabled at his new address and blocked at my address.

I can see how the Wi-Fi would work because it probably doesn't care about geo-location at all. Maybe that explains why Wi-Fi works and Ethernet doesn't even try to reach past the computer even though it sees the Ethernet as on, available, enabled, and valid.
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Re: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet yesterday

Postby billf » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:32 pm

FYI, since you are having issues, it's probably best to not consider trying Sierra as a possible fix. It seems to be causing network issues with WiFi as per OSXDaily.

http://osxdaily.com/2016/09/22/fix-wi-f ... os-sierra/

However, if you have a backup of an install of Yosemite or Mavericks, it might be worth trying to boot with one of those and see if it helps.
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Re: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet yesterday

Postby mhschmieder » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:46 pm

Ooh, good to know. I'll hold off on Sierra then, as I never got my other installers to work and had to resort to borrowing a non-thumb USB drive from IT at work that had the official installers for updates.

Oh, I see that the steps they recommend for correcting Wi-Fi problems are also supposed to be good for fixing Ethernet and other internet issues, so I may try some of those hints if I have time pre-gig.
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Re: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet yesterday

Postby mhschmieder » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:03 pm

Internet is getting spottier as the day progresses, with lots of ups and downs and hiccups.

I am no longer able to use the VPN to log in to my work account -- probably due to unreliable connection.

Maybe this is the nature of Wi-Fi? I have no experience with that technology as I've never owned a mobile device so never had a need. This is all new to me and complicating the problem resolution.
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Re: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet yesterday

Postby cuttime » Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:52 pm

mhschmieder wrote:Maybe this is the nature of Wi-Fi? I have no experience with that technology as I've never owned a mobile device so never had a need. This is all new to me and complicating the problem resolution.

Sorry for your troubles. WiFi can suck really bad, especially in a congested area. I suggest changing the channel on your router. A lot of pundits will claim that you should use only channels 1, 6, or 11. My experience indicates that this is not the case. Try testing your signal strength and speed with every channel. Possibly over a period of several days. The built-in Mac Airport Utility handily graphs all of this for you.
http://osxdaily.com/2011/12/28/check-wi ... -mac-os-x/
To access this in later OSs, Opt-click the AirPort icon.

My own personal favorite paid tool: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wifi-ex ... 3304?mt=12

You may need to Google your modem device IP address in order to get to the channel setting page. There may be other settings on the modem that could be of use there.

My favorite HTML5 Speed Test: http://testmy.net/
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Re: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet yesterday

Postby mikehalloran » Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:02 pm

Your Mac is not the problem.

Everything you describe is consistent with horrible internet service. Mine (AT&T) was spotty for a long time and I experienced every symptom, often many times a day. Only rebooting the gateway did anything and that would last 1–8 hours.

When service is crap, you don't know which ports work and which won't. Sometimes my VOIP phone worked while I couldn't reach my database; other times vise versa. Sometimes my TV went down but internet was good—just as often it was the opposite. Sometimes, only the VOIP went offline. Rebooting the gateway was the only sure-fire solution, if only temporary.

It worked fine for three years before the troubles began. Each time someone came out, I was told that, it it wasn't fixed, 'the boss' could escalate the problem and a line man could check it further. Every time, I made that call but no escalation. Finally, after two years and over 40 service calls, changing hardware in my house but making no difference, they finally escalated the case to someone who knew what he was doing. He went up the pole and found the problem, fixed it and everything has been great. This was a week ago yesterday.

Comcast, when it was working perfectly, was worse. No other internet service is available besides those two except Dish and that is much slower.

Now that it's been good for a solid week, I will call and see what kind of a credit I can get for the poor service I have been receiving.
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Re: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet yesterday

Postby MIDI Life Crisis » Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:57 pm

I don't know that I would go so far as to decide the Mac isn't the problem. I had very similar issues with my Mac Pro (2013 trash can) and that was the main reason for moving to El Cap, which fixed the problem.

The giveaway was to create a new, clean boot disk (no 3rd party nothin') and see if the problem persists. In my case, the problem did NOT persist. Apple (level two tech) suspected Little Snitch was somehow blocking or tapping into the data flow and preventing a "robust" connection. Certainly worth a try. Also, if you have a Mac that is positively working well otherwise (maybe a friend's laptop?) it would be worth trying that on the network. Again, in my case my wife's Macbook Pro worked just fine while I limped along. It's all fine (for now) under 10.11.5.
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Re: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet yesterday

Postby mhschmieder » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:45 pm

Some great suggestions and useful feedback that will help others as well.

I'm going to see if I still have a backup of my boot drive clone from earlier, as I still have a spare SSD in the optical drive slot that I'm not using and had intended to be a spare boot drive for such occasions.
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Re: Major MacPro problems after restoring internet yesterday

Postby mhschmieder » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:03 pm

If I switch the Ethernet from the top left to the top right port (there is a grid of four ports on the back of the combined router/modem that Wave Broadband provided, model Arris DG860, and no other switches to work with), I get the following error message (new; not received until just now):

"The cable for Ethernet 2 is connected, but your computer does not have an IP address."

If I go back to Wi-Fi, the IP address is known. Maybe I should cut/paste that one to the Ethernet 2 port (I generally use that one vs. Ethernet 1; it's been more reliable for me, but I did try both during initial setup last night).
Last edited by mhschmieder on Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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