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Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Hi,

We have many MacBook pros that are having a hard time staying connected on wireless.  Often times a user can be connected for only minutes at a time.  Our wireless environment consists of 1142s and 3502 series access points.  We use WPA2 Enterprise for authentication via ACS server 5.x.

The Windows 7 machines usually never have an issue.  Can someone please provide some insight.?

*we use Lion OSX on our Macs.

This Discussion has been converted into a Document:- https://supportforums.cisco.com/docs/DOC-26228    

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1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Disable client load balancing and I bet your problems goes away... I'm 99% sure:). Always got to leave that 1%!

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
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62 REPLIES
Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

What WLC version are you on and can you attach a screen shot of your WLAN advanced tab on your SSID?

Sent from my iPhone

-Scott
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New Member

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Thanks for the quick response Scott.  We're using 7.0.98.0.  I've attached a screenshot of the Advanced tab as well.

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

By the way... I never use that feature anymore. It's not just Mac Books, but some HP and Dell laptops have had issues also.

Sent from my iPhone

-Scott
*** Please rate helpful posts ***
Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Disable client load balancing and I bet your problems goes away... I'm 99% sure:). Always got to leave that 1%!

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
*** Please rate helpful posts ***
New Member

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Can you provide some detail behind this suggestion?  Also, don't we need this option enabled if we wish to leverage the full throughput of 802.11n?

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

You don't need this for 802.11N. It's a feature that tries to reject the client and have the client try to associate to another AP. Well in high density environments with it seems 10+ clients, this feature causes issues with various devices. Again, I don't ever deploy this in any of my installs anymore.

Sent from my iPhone

-Scott
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New Member

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

I will try and will let you know how it goes.  Thanks again.

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Let me know if it works for you.

Sent from my iPhone

-Scott
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Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Were you able to verify if disabling that feature worked?

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
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New Member

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

I think it's very early to assess the impact.  My wireless is 100% better but I'm seeing an oddity where getting my 1st wireless connection for the day takes several minutes.  Once it's established it works great, but when I arrive to the office and open the lid it takes roughly 5 minutes to get a wireless connection.  I grabbed a packet capture and exported the logs from the WCS via the troubleshooting tool.  Are you interested in looking at this?

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Sure... Disabling that feature will not have any impact on what you are experiencing and must be something else. You might try to disable client band select to see if that helps your clients associate better.

Is your environment high user count. I see this type of behavior in education where many users try to login to the network first thing in the day.

Sent from my iPhone

-Scott
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New Member

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Funny you mention the "Client Band Select", it was recommended to me to enable it when I attended training.  As far as high user count, I will say we have don't have too many users associated early in the morning.  Overall, we have about 900 WIFI clients but only about ~50% is associated form.

Attached are the logs and packet capture.

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

It's varies... Depending on the client device, the client still decides what band it wants to use. This feature also tries to 'force' devices to associate on the 5ghz, but I have also seen many devices that don't connect on the 5ghz and prefers the 2.4ghz and at times we also see client devices not associating well because of this feature.

Testing helps, but doesn't cover everything in a production environment.

Sent from my iPhone

-Scott
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Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

By any chance do you have both wpa/tkip and wpa2/aes enabled on the SSID?

-Scott
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New Member

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

No we only have WPA2 with AES enabled.

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Do you see this issue with certain clients or certain clients with the same driver version? The AP's and WLC are locate in the same location?

Sent from my iPhone

-Scott
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New Member

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Only with MacBook pros and MacBook airs.  The aps and wlc are not in the same location.  The wlc is in our data center and the aps are in an office.

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Okay so disabling client load balancing fixed the issue with the MacBook and MacBook Air when joining. Now you have another issue of taking a long time for these devices to obtain an ip when they first connect in the day?

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
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New Member

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Exactly.  The oddity is that this happens even early in the morning when we barely have anyone in the office.

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

I don't think there is a configuration that can fix that.  I have a mac book pro and the only issue I have with that is if client load balancing is enabled.  Maybe ist your authentication that is timing out.  Maybe you need to bump up that timer.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/access_point/1140/quick/guide/ap1140gsg.html#wp37791

-Scott
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New Member

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Scott, I checked the link you sent but I didn't see anything regarding authentication or timers.

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Consol, telnet or ssh to the WLC and enter this command:

config advanced eap ?

bcast-key-interval Configures EAP-broadcast key renew interval time in seconds.
eapol-key-retries Configures EAPOL-Key Max Retries.
eapol-key-timeout Configures EAPOL-Key Timeout in milliseconds.
identity-request-retries Configures EAP-Identity-Request Max Retries.
identity-request-timeout Configures EAP-Identity-Request Timeout in seconds.
key-index      Configure the key index used for dynamic WEP (802.1x) unicast key (PTK).
max-login-ignore-identity-response Configure to ignore the same username count reaching max in the EAP identity response
request-retries Configures EAP-Request Max Retries.
request-timeout Configures EAP-Request Timeout in seconds.

Might of sent the wrong link:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk722/tk809/technologies_configuration_example09186a0080665d18.shtml#Tshoottips

-Scott
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Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Or you can change the 802.11 Authentication Response Timeout in the GUI:

Under Wireless | Timers|

-Scott
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Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

+5 Scott...

I always enjoy following your post as you bring things to my attention I didnt know ...

__________________________________________________________________________________________ "Satisfaction does not come from knowing the solution, it comes from knowing why." - Rosalind Franklin ___________________________________________________________
Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Haha... I learn the hard way:) that is what I like about this forum too... I learn things that you guys post also.

Sent from my iPhone

-Scott
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New Member

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

I'm going to try it this weekend and will let you know.

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Sounds good!

Sent from my iPhone

-Scott
*** Please rate helpful posts ***
New Member

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Hi guys,

I am interested to know the outcome of this Macbook, Lion and wifi problem as we are experiencing a similar issue with our Macs..

We have a mixture of 1131 and 1142 APs around the building and have a similar problem with Macs failing to authenciate on 802.1x during roaming or Macs coming out of standby mode.

I have tried the above suggestions with the disabling Clients Loads balancing and it does not appear to have made any difference ( although I do seem to see more notifcations about Loads Profile failures now ).

We are currently experimenting with putting some APs into H-Reap mode ( instead of Local ) and on static ips to see if that makes any difference..

Did the above suggestions make any difference to your Macbook or have you tried anything futher ?..

Thanks.

Jon.

New Member

Re: Apple MacBook Pro dropping wireless connection

Jon, disabling "client load balancing" did the trick.  I suggest you try and please update us all on your progress.

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