Mac Hardware forum


Airport Express "disconnects" from PC after some time

by ezatnova / November 19, 2012 7:56 PM PST

I have an Airport Express set up to receive music from iTunes and play on my receiver. I have two machines linked to the AE, my laptop, and my desktop. My laptop never has an issue. It linked to the AE when first set up, and it "sees" it any time I would like it to.

However, all of my music is housed on my desktop. The desktop will see the AE and function fine with the AE when the PC is first booted up. Then, in anywhere between 15 minutes and a day, the AE will disappear from iTunes (grayed out) and the only way to fix this is to reboot the PC. As soon as the computer is restarted, iTunes sees the AE again just fine, until it "forgets" it again whenever it feels like.

When it is not seen by iTunes, the AE Utility on the PC also does not see any AE units (however, if I load AE Utility on my laptop, it sees it just fine)

Any thoughts on how I can look into fixing this?


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All Answers

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Not sure where you would go from here but,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 19, 2012 8:55 PM PST

this appears to be a Windows problem.
Does the PC have a separate wireless card?

You could try a cheap PCI wireless card or even a USB wireless dongle.


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re: Airport Express "disconnects" from PC after some time
by slurm / November 23, 2012 5:23 AM PST

Sorry I don't have a solution, but wanted to second this exact problem with my laptop. Just started happening today without any particular action preceding it. (Just playing iTunes). Mine has worked fine in the this a recent problem for you as well?

The answer below seems a little too facile+Apple-centric - "it must be a Windows problem/add a dongle" (when all other wireless connectivity is perfect across my network).

Other advice would be much appreciated.

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Additional info
by slurm / November 23, 2012 5:26 AM PST

For reference:

I have only one computer connected to the wifi network. It's a PC laptop/Vista/all updates current/no other system/app changes since the problem started.

All other wifi functions are working perfectly. iTunes works perfectly when I play it through my laptop speakers.

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Not sure how you conduct your troubleshooting procedures but
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 23, 2012 10:48 PM PST

when something fails to do something, and everything else that does the same thing is doing it correctly, where do you suggest we start?

The Airport Express seems to be functioning correctly and allowing other devices to connect to it.
The PC will no longer connect to the Airport Express, although it has done in the past.
Next step?
I wonder if the wireless card in the PC is no longer functioning correctly. Let's substitute with cheap PCI card or one of those USB wireless dongles and see if that works. If it does, then game over.
If it doesn't then we can move on.

So what exactly did you do to troubleshoot?


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Connection to PC
by ezatnova / November 28, 2012 8:26 PM PST

In my case, the problem happened with my old desktop (wired LAN), and now my new desktop (both when wired and using the built in wireless), so the PC connection itself isn't the issue.


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Are we talking Airport Express Base Station or the original
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 28, 2012 8:56 PM PST
In reply to: Connection to PC

Airport Express that plugs directly into a wall power outlet?

Is the cable from the PC to the Airport good?
Has it been replaced as a trouble shooting measure?

IF the drop outs continue after you have changed out the cable, and the problem happens with more than one machine, I would suspect the Airport to be the culprit.

Are you up to date with updates for it?


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by ezatnova / December 2, 2012 11:05 PM PST

Yes, airport express plugged into a wall outlet.

There is no cable form the PC to the airport. The airport works wirelessly.

Firmware is up to date.

Some details in case I didn't mention:

- My iPhone stops "seeing" iTunes on that computer at the same time the computer stops seeing the Airport Express. What I mean by this is, when I open my Remote app, to play music from the computer, it can't find the library. If I restart the PC, all is temporarily fixed... the iPhone can see my library with Remote, and the computer can play to my Airport Express.

- My other computer sees the Airport Express (and can be seen by my iPhone) all of the time, perfectly. So, I don't believe the Airport is the issue. Seems that if it works fine with on computer, and not the other, that the issues lies in the computer, I'd think.

- I do have Norton and whatever Windows 8 has built in, but I've tried disabling everything, and the issue still occurs.

- I poked into my Norton log a little, and say instances of "Teredo Tunneling Pseudo-Interface". But, Googling this, it seems like this is a normal message when any of the many network devices connects/disconnects (i.e. turning on Xbox, turning off my iPhone, etc etc) so maybe that is a red herring.


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Moving along,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 3, 2012 8:28 AM PST
In reply to: re

Did this PC come with W8 or did you install it as an "upgrade"?

If the latter, did this happen before W8?

Is there a setting for the Wireless card on the PC that tells the Wireless card to power down at some point.
I know there is such a setting in the wireless setting in XP so it may be reasonable to assume that it is still there in W8.
In the network configuration page, select the wireless card and the configure option. Try there and also turn ON "Wake on LAN"


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by ezatnova / December 4, 2012 7:58 PM PST
In reply to: Moving along,

This is a brand new PC. It came with W8.

Not sure if I mentioned, but the behavior is the same whether I have the PC connected wirelessly, or plugged in with CAT5. Also, all other internet connection is fine. It's just the communication to the AE that stops.


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I'd love to help but don't be defensive.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2012 8:44 AM PST

There are a few issues with Vista and if you get defensive about it I can't help you.

VISTA's BROADCAST FLAG can cause what you noted. And about Norton. The lesson is to strip the machine down till it works.

There are so many gotchas that I can't possibly list them all or guess which it is. I have given a lot of what works for me in the CNET Networking Forum stickies about many setting issues. For example, IT WILL DROP!!! if you hide the SSID.

That's a bug some folk refuse to admit to. If you want to hide the SSID then we have to wait till you get sick and tired of the drops.

--> I know this is a lot to check but I'm working without how this router is setup. We know that hiding the SSID is trouble, anything less than WPA2 is trouble, Vista's Broadcast Flag is trouble and then you can read what we found at;threadListing

Let's hear some more and if you want to see if it's one of the issues I've run into, I'm ready.

Tracking is on.

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