What to do When Your Airport Base Station Fails

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Date: Tuesday, February 26th, 2002, 00:06
Category: Archive

If you are having problems with your Airport Base Station (ABS) version 1 (the Graphite colored one) do yourself a favor and read Chris Breen’s article on the topic. He talks about Apple’s willingness to be flexible with replacing out of warranty ABS1’s that fail. Click on the article headline (or “read more..” below) to find out what happened to Lando’s ABS1.


If you are having problems with your Airport Base Station (ABS) version 1 (the Graphite colored one) do yourself a favor and read Chris Breen’s article on the topic. He talks about Apple’s willingness to be flexible with replacing out of warranty ABS1’s that fail.

Last week before departing for a snowboarding trip to SLC (more on that later) my ABS1 stopped working. Symptoms included three blinking red LEDs and blinking LEDs in a sequence: one amber, one red, three amber, three green, repeat.

Apple KBase article 88159 “AirPort: AirPort Base Station Does Not Respond” sheds little light on the situation, only offering this solution:

  1. Perform a hard reset of the base station.
  2. Attempt to connect to the base station.
  3. If the base station does not respond, contact Apple Computer.

To hard reset the ABS1: hold down the reset button with a paper clip, plug in the power cable while keeping the reset button held down for 30 seconds. This is difficult in the ABS1 but easier in the ABS2 because Apple moved the reset button hole is next to the AC power port (see pic below).

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After this didn’t work, I called Apple’s tech support number (800/275-2273) and the phone rep asked me to try to reload the Airport software on the ABS by connecting an Ethernet cable – No Dice. Then we tried to hard reset the ABS per the aforementioned method – Nada.

A helpful Apple rep determined that it was covered under the AppleCare warranty of another product I had recently purchased and is replacing it (5-7 business days) with another one. The lessen here is that Apple doesn’t have to replace anything that is out of warranty, and most ABS1’s are, but it doesn’t hurt to call them and see what can be done. Another example of good Apple support at work.

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