AirPort Express Woes

So now I’ve had the AirPort Express for a little while. My wife loves it – she uses a MacBook and iTunes and can pump music out to our family room stereo with no problems.

One thing that is bugging me is that I can’t configure the AirPort Express from my Dell laptop. The AirPort Utility just refuses to connect or see it. Whereas the AirPort Utility on the MacBook works with no problems. To me, it’s not a big deal as I can use my wifey’s MacBook.    But after a bit of googling, I’ve found that many others are having similar problems. But they might not have access to a MacBook, so they’re really.. just… stuffed… and left with a white brick.

First, to explain my home network configuration:

  • Wireless Linksys WRT54G wireless router connected to D-Link ADSL Modem to the Internet
  • All devices in the house are connected wirelessly.  This includes my wifey’s MacBook, my Dell laptop, Tivo, PS3, AirPort Express, any work laptops, etc.
  • WIreless uses WPA-PSK (TKIP).

Now, when I first set up the AirPort Express, it created its own wireless network by default.   I think my Dell did find it at the time, but couldn’t configure it.  I ignored it at the time and just configured wirelessly using the MacBook.   After configuring it, I ended up with this:

  • AirPort Express connecting to my existing network with remote speakers configured.
  • iTunes on the MacBook can see remote speakers
  • iTunes on the Dell laptop can see remote speakers
  • AirPort Utility on the MacBook can see the AirPort Express and configure it
  • AirPort Utility on the Dell laptop can’t see the AirPort Express at all

Here is the AirPort Utility output from the MacBook:

AirPort Utility from MacBook
AirPort Utility from MacBook

Here is the AirPort Utility from the Dell laptop:

AirPort Utility from Dell Laptop
AirPort Utility from Dell Laptop

Not really useful.  I click on the Rescan button but it finds nothing.

I’ve checked that the AirPort Express is actually there.  For example, I see it listed in the list of wireless DHCP clients on the Linksys WRT54G status page, and I can actually ping the AirPort Express from my Dell laptop.

Pinging the AirPort Express
Pinging the AirPort Express

In the AirPort Utility, you can actually specify an IP address directly.  I tried to enter the AirPort Express IP address, but it still can’t connect.  But it gives me an error this time:

AirPort Utility error
AirPort Utility error

Oh, the dreaded 6722 error.  I did a bit of googling and I think I found someone with the same problem and he was being bounced between Mac and Windows forums as they pointed the finger at each other.

It’s wierd that iTunes on the Dell laptop can see the AirPort Express, it can ping it, but the AirPort Utility can’t.  I’m convinced it’s a software bug with the Windows version of AirPort Utility.

I’ve installed the latest updates and firmware but it hasn’t helped.  For now, I’ll have to make sure we keep the MacBook around in case I need to reconfigure it.   But everyone else out there – if you don’t have an iMac/MacBook/etc, you may want to think twice before buying an AirPort Express.   You may be buying a very pretty, smooth and white…  brick.

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10 thoughts on “AirPort Express Woes”

  1. Have you tried disabling the firewall on your Windows laptop?
    According to thispage, there’s a few ports you’ll need to open through your WinXP firewall to be able to configure the AirPort Express.
    (If it’s a work laptop, try stopping the BlackIce firewall too, as it may be getting in the way.)

  2. Yep the Windows firewall was disabled. I also made sure PeerGuardian, NetNanny and any other packet filtering software was disabled. I might double check the ports, but the fact that iTunes sees the AirPort Express in Windows mystifies things further…

  3. Dude, I’m having the same problem. Any luck setting this up yet?

    My wife’s IBook works fine, iTunes on my Dell can see the Airport Express, but I can’t get either of my Dell laptops to see the Airport Express in the network. One is running XP and the other is running Vista.

    Airport Utility sees it but doesn’t offer any help in configuring for the Windows network.

    When will Steve Jobs and Bill Gates learn to play together.

  4. Nice to see that things haven’t changed. I installed a new Airport Extreme and am running WIndows 7 64-bit. While my Dell laptop can connect to the Airport, the utility can not find it. I too, had to configure with a Mac computer. I even had a support call with Apple today and they played dumb and simply said ti was a good thing thatr I had a Macintosh and even implied that I should have an all Mac network!

    Like you, I also have a Linksys WRT54G(2) as my second access point. The Airport definitely has a stronger and more dependable signal or I would have returned it immediately.

  5. Hi,

    I’ve been struggling with this for days and just accidentally fixed it. I’ve tried all the above methods and none of them worked so I thought I should post the one that did. It’s pretty simple. I have Airport Utility installed as well as Bonjour. I had everything set up, but nothing would print. I’m on a Dell Latitude trying to print off an Airport Express. I opened Printers and Faxes in the Control Panel. I right clicked on the printer I’ve been trying to use. I went to properties and then to Ports. I found the TCP/IP port which the printer was running through. Then I hit Configure Port. The info there was:

    Port Name: IP_NAMEOFAIRPORTEXPRESS.local.9101
    Printer Name or IP Address: NAMEOFAIRPORTEXPRESS.local
    Protocol: checked: Raw
    Port Number: 9101

    On a lark (I know little technically about any of this), I changed the “Printer Name or IP Address” to the IP Address of my Airport Express, which is the number that looks like xxx.xx.x.x but with numbers instead on x’s.

    Suddenly I was printing. I’ve tried a dozen complicated things and maybe those all contributed to this working. I’m just posting this in the hope that anyone else in my position gets as lucky with this method as I did. What a relief.

  6. I just purchased both the Airport Express as well as the Linksys Cisco Dual Band N Router (do’t ask, long story)…but now I am unsure which to try and hook up- after reading this I am thinking I might just be better off conncting th Linksys…. want to be fast but worried.

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