December 30, 2004

Curious George: Updated to Mac OS 10.3.7, lost net access I hope someone can help me out. I have an iBook G3/600Mhz and up until about an hour ago was running 10.3.5. I just got finished updating to 10.3.7 (using the Software Update in the Control Panels) and after the required reboot I now can't connect to the internet.

At first, my post-update Network control panel gave me a red-coded message saying that there was nothing plugged into the Ethernet port (yet there was -- I hadn't disconnected anything). After a couple of restarts and booting from my 10.3.5 back-up drive now I am getting the yellow-coded message: "Built-in Ethernet is currently active. Built-in Ethernet has a self-assigned IP address and may not be able to connect to the Internet" I'm travelling and I've been in internet cafe's where they had to give me a special IP address that I had to enter in the Network control panel, but that isn't the case at my guest house. I had been using the "Using DHCP" option and everything was pretty much automatic -- that is, I plug in the Ethernet cord and I'm online. Any ideas why this is happening, or more importantly, how I can get back online?

  • I feel like I should have an easy answer, but i don't... it always just works, right? well... did you try the "renew DHCP Lease" button? That will poke at the router and get a new ip from it. also, don't forget to check silly things like the cable itself.
  • Use the Disk Utility to repair permissions. Also, you should power down your cable modem, disconnect the router (if you have one) and power down your 'puter. Turn the modem back on, and then launch the computer. Make sure under network that your ethernet settings are set to configure automatically.
  • Oh.. I meant to say in the post above that you should bypass your router initially, and go directly into the cable modem, as there is a *very* slight chance that there is a weird thingy with 10.3.7 I'm running 10.3.7, and haven't had any issues, but I've heard of some screwy things happening. Failing all else, you may want to set up another account (make sure to give it admin access), as their could be something weird in your home directory. I guess you have some sort of internet access (duh), but if you're still running into problems, send me an e-mail, and I can give you my IM to walk you through a couple of other things that are a little detailed.
  • *sigh* One last thing. Whilst I was running 10.3.2, my mother had given me her laptop to configure. For reasons that I completely don't understand (haven't seen it before, haven't seen it since), I had to bring it to my job in order for it to obtain an IP addy. My computer here worked fine, but hers would get the yellow alert you are describing on your 10.3.5 backup. Once it was able to obtain an IP address from my job, it worked fine in all locations. Go figure. But at the very least a "repair permissions" on your 10.3.5 partition should bring it back to the state it was in before you did the upgrade.
  • I'm a big fsck fan. Apple no longer recommends to do this in OS X.3.x Secretly, I suspect that part of the reason is that when OSX checks's doing it. Nevertheless, before a software update, I do the FSCK dance to make sure my HD is working ok. Repair permissions. Use Cocktail/Onyx/Disk Utility In fact right now, I'm a big Onyx fan since my previous favorite cocktail went shareware. Once a month, I run the "cron" or chronometer utilities to rebuild all the logs.
  • Onyx is great! Thanks filmgeek.
  • fsck will not work on journaled disks. Do a File->Get Info on your hard drive to find out if it is "HFS+" or "HFS+ (Journaled)".
  • fsck will actually work on a journaled disk, but you have to force it with a '-f' flag after the command. It is however extremely unlikely to solve any issue with network connectivity. Additionally, it is generally pointless to force a file system check as the whole point of journaling was to allow your Mac to roll back to a state previous to whatever freeze may have forced an unexpected reboot. Any time your Mac is shut down unexpectedly, the OS automatically performs an fsck on its own at boot. This is why it takes so much longer to reboot if you've had the unfortunate experience of a freeze or kernel panic under OS X. Typically with symptoms as described above the DHCP router/modem is not passing through the information correctly to the computer. The modem may show it as having an active IP address, but has in fact lost it. Debaser is correct, power cycling the DSL/Cable modem—typically with a 5-10 second period of having it unpowered—will often do the trick and allow the computer to grab a new IP address. Powering down the computer itself is rarely necessary due to the way X actively grabs adresses as needed. Apple's Knowledge Base has an article that will walk you through the basic steps involved: If that does not solve the issue, you can also try moving to your desktop the 'preferences.plist' file from /Library/Preferences/Systemconfiguration, then rebooting your machine. If this file gets borked, you can see all sorts of odd network issues—including the somewhat common one of not being able to get your choices to stick in the Network preference pane. (Note that this is not the Library folder in your home folder, but the directory at the root level of your hard drive. Hope this helps. Sorry for the length--an occupational hazard as I do this for a living.
  • Oops. Forgot this part: You can also grab the NetworkInterfaces.plist from /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ as it also has information in it your Mac uses for connections. If moving the two .plists does not solve the issue, you may safely put them back, replacing the new ones generated when you rebooted the machine.
  • Douggles: Good info. Thanks.
  • Thank you all for all of your help and comments. Last night I don't know what happened exactly, the first time I ran the update I ran out of space on my HD and had the grey screen "Dude, you need to restart your computer" written in the 14 different languages message. Upon reboot I tried installing the update again, it finished and seemed to work fine. I have been using an old "still free" 2.1 version of Cocktail and I don't want to point fingers, but maybe it isn't 10.3.7 compliant (since it's from 2003). Anyway, after the problem with the no internet access I was running Disk Utility and Cocktail and then when I restarted I got the flashing OS9 folder thing with the question mark. Ha HA! Yeah, so at like 5am this morning I said screw it. Luckily I had backed up my 10.3.5 drive completely using SuperDuper before attempting to update to 10.3.7. So today, I booted off of my OSX install CD, changed the startup drive to my plugged in backup drive (for some reason I still got the flashing OS9 folder thing even with my backup drive plugged in), and then ran SuperDuper using it to revert my iBook back to it's old behaving 10.3.5 self. So yeah, think I'm going to hold off on 10.3.7... figure I'll just wait for Tiger which is due out in the next couple of months. Oh, and it sounds like it would be a good idea to replace my old Cocktail with Onyx... Thanks again.
  • I had a similar problem. In my case, the old DNS settings were not playing well with the upgrade. The main symptom was that my broadband connection felt as slow as a 56K dialup connection. After reading about similar issues with others, I found that deleting the old DNS server entries, then refreshing DHCP did the trick. More specifically: go under network settings, and select configure. Erase whatever DNS server IP addresses that are listed. Then refresh DHCP. Of course, all of this assumes that you are using DHCP to configure your network interface. If that is not the case (you have a static IP address), then *don't* do this.
  • This thread's probably dead, but I noticed you said your HD ran out of space during the update. That you then had a kernel panic is no surprise. With OS X you should leave at least a gigabyte of space free on the drive. And that's the minimum. The OS uses a lot of otherwise empty space for swap files, disc burning, things like that. If you're seriously running out of space, pick up a cheap external FireWire drive. They're great for backups (You do back up, don't you?), and make a great place to store miscellaneous crap.
  • (I do have an external drive that I use for back-ups) I've just been downloading a lot of stuff as of late and so my HD is down to about 850Mb free. I know, I gotta go through my stuff and throw some junk out...