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Tuesday 4/20/2004 story detailReturn to News Page

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Reverting back to Airport 3.3.1 (guide and feedback)
Posted: April 20th, 2004
Last Updated: April 21st, 2004

(see below for a a reader's tip on updating to Airport 3.3.1 successfully after reverting to v3.3.)
In reply to my comments yesterday and today on problems with Airport 3.4, a reader sent a link to a user guide on how to revert back to Airport 3.3.1.
I've gotten several mails from other readers on problems they've seen after the 3.4 update including loss of signal strength, connection loss after a period of time, etc. (Although I also often see lower signal strength than before - it varies and I've not lost any connections except after waking from sleep. WEP and MAC filtering, etc. still working.) Versiontracker and Macupdate both have many reader reports on problems with Airport 3.4. Since I've updated my AE base to 5.4 and other than the wake from sleep not reconnecting on some systems, I'm not going to revert (yet) unless things get worse. But all things considered I really haven't seen anything positive from the 3.4 update at all for my network here. (AE base, several Mac clients and one PC, shared printer connected to the Base.)
BTW - on the PB G4 selecting to enable "Interference Robustness" increased signal strength (from 3 to 4 bars) for my particular environment. The Base was set to channel 10, setting channel to Automatic (which selected channel 1) in a later test showed no improvement however and back to 3 (of 4) bars most of the time. I wish I knew what solved the PB G4 wake from sleep reconnect problem but nothing I've tried on the G5 helps with that problem, but it takes only 5 seconds or less to turn airport off and then back on, which works.

Reader Feedback:
As I said when first posting this, I'm sticking with v3.4 for now, but here's reader feedback on using the linked guide to reverting back to Airport v3.3/3.3.1 (latest reports first).

(added 4/21/2004)
"I had had the 3.3.1 installer problem, too. After following Dan Y's Terminal trick (below), I was able to run the 3.3.1 installer and complete the reversion to 3.3.1. Thanks so much for helping all of us (too) early adopters!
Everything's back to the pre-3.4 speed and range. What was Apple thinking?
Roger B."

Not everyone has had problems with Airport 3.4, but many did as far as lower reported signal strength, wake from sleep reconnection problems, etc. (bottom line is I really didn't see any benefit to v3.4 here - but I'm not using WPA.)

Tip for Updating to 3.3.1 Successfully:

The earlier 2 reports mentioned the 3.3.1 update would not install after reverting to v3.3, due to the installer log still showing a recorder of version 3.4 being installed previously. Here's a tip for solving that problem that's not (yet at least) in the linked guide page above.

" Here's how I got 3.3.1 to install. I opened the Installer program's log window, and then opened the update and the log informed me that one of the plist version numbers had to be 3.3, but was not. This file is /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Resources/ Info.plist. So I opened this file up using pico.
You can do this in the Terminal by typing:
"sudo pico /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Resources/ Info.plist" (without the quotes),
or you can use BBEdit and then scrolling down to where it says:


I changed both strings to 3.3, then hit Control-o and Return to save the changes, and Control-x to exit. And then the 3.3.1 update installed fine.
Hope this helps!
Dan Y."

Thanks Dan, this info should be of use to previous readers that had problems updating to 3.3.1. (It has for the reader below)

"Mike, I attempted this revert and ran into the issue with 3.3.1 not wanting to run. I did NOT, however, have the problem with the utilities not being installed. They WERE installed with my downloaded 3.3.

As for the 3.3.1 problem. I noticed that in Software Update under INSTALLED Updates even though one deleted all 3.4 and did the 3.3 installer the Software Update program still states 3.4 was installed on XXX date. I believe that the 3.3.1 updater is looking at whatever file that the software update uses to make it's report. The following is being satisfied in the 3.3.1 update IFRequirements

"wrongAirPort" = "This update is only required if you are running AirPort Software, version 3.3";

I did find this file:

Where the version is stated as 3.4 but I don't know if this is where it needs to be changed or not. I was hoping another xlr8yourmac reader who actually knows Pearl and XML would be able to verify this is where the version is being checked? If so then editing this and trying to install 3.3.1 could work. Since I'm at work and currently using my laptop I did not attempt this on a whim because there is also this file:

/Library/Logs/Software\ Update.log
Where one could just delete the line stating 3.4 was installed???
I am, however, running 3.3 with original signal strength and P2P software working without dropping out.
Matthew P.
Broadcast Engineering
Universal Television (Formerly USA Networks) "

Matt later wrote the tip above solved the problem and he's now running v3.3.1 OK.

An earlier (first) report follows:

" Mike,
I was able to revert back to 3.3 by using the directions you linked to. The 3.3.1 updater refuses to run however. It says that it requires 3.3 to install. Also, the 3.3 installer won't reinstall your airport admin or setup software that you need to delete. (the later report above noted they were there) But my signal strength seems to be back to pre-3.4 levels.
just some feedback.
pb 12" 867 640/40/combo os X 10.3.3
(he later wrote)
Mike, Thanks. The third tip worked perfectly. Back to 3.3.1 goodness. "

(Update: see later reports above which include tips for fully successful reversions to Airport 3.3.1.) I've not reverted back but also wonder if running a 10.3.3 combo updater would restore the files. Extracting them using Pacifist from the 10.3.x installer CD would be another option to try.

Airport 3.4 Update: (repeat of the April 19th, 2004 news page comments as a FYI)

Checking software update in 10.3.3 this morning showed the Airport 3.4 update. (Airport 3.3.1 still latest for 10.2.x.) Here's the info from the SU Panel.

" This software update provides improved AirPort wireless networking software, and is recommended for all users with an AirPort Extreme and AirPort enabled computer or an AirPort Extreme base station.

New AirPort Extreme Features

  • Improved antenna output control.
  • Enhanced logging from your base station which is compatible with syslog.
  • Performance improvements for WPA security implementations. "
  • One thing I noticed (repeatedly) after updating a PB G4 (w/Airport extreme card) is that after waking from sleep the base station connection was lost. (Using Apple AE base with latest 5.3 firmware to date.) Turning Airport Off on the PB and back On reconnected OK and Networking/Airport prefs were still intact, but the problem persisted after sleeping the PB again for any length of time. Finally I cycled power on the base and rebooted again and it seems OK now. (I later saw the same thing on a G5 system after the Airport 3.5 update. Turning Airport Off then On from the menu bar after waking from sleep as a workaround on that system. This wasn't a problem before the update.)

    Airport Extreme Base station 5.4 Firmware Update: Apple also posted a 5.4 firmware update for the AE Base station. Comments there are similar to the Airport 3.4 (client) update:

    " New AirPort Extreme features:
  • Improved antenna output control.
  • Enhanced logging from your base station which is compatible with syslog.
  • Performance improvements for WPA security implementations.

    System Requirements:
    This version of the AirPort software requires:

  • Mac OS X v10.3 or later
  • An AirPort Extreme-ready computer with an internal AirPort Extreme Card or
  • An AirPort-ready computer with an internal AirPort Card
    Note: WPA requires an AirPort Extreme base station and AirPort Extreme or AirPort clients running Mac OS X v10.3, or later. Use of Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) reduces the maximum number of network users. Computers with wireless cards that only support WEP cannot join an AirPort network that has WPA enabled. "
  • The download there is a bin file, so you use the Airport Admin utility to update the base. (See this update readme page). I applied this update (was running v5.3) to see if it helps with the wake-from-sleep reconnect issue but the first sleep/wake test on the G5 showed the same problem (lost airport connection, no IP after waking from sleep.) The settings are the same as before (DHCP, etc.) and this was not a problem before the Airport 3.4 update. (I mananged to somehow fix the PB G4 problem with this but on the G5 nothing seems to help so far other than turning Airport off then back on.)

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