I will never voluntarily give up my 2012 MacBook Pro, but it almost gave up on me. One cold wintry morning in December, I woke up and found that my prized MacBook Pro wouldn’t connect to the internet.
Nothing seemed to fix it. Everything else on our network was working properly, Apple’s Wireless Diagnostics app didn’t find anything and resetting my router and Wi-Fi tower didn’t help.
Finally, I thought — after its speed has become outdated, its battery life has begun to decay and its sound started to crackle — I’d hit a bug that I couldn’t just work around. That is, until I pulled a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and phoned a friend.
As a last ditch effort, I texted my buddy and former Mac developer Rich Beischer, who gave me the solution by asking, “Have you reset the NVRAM?”
And it worked. So, if you’re having similar woes: turn your MacBook Pro off, turn it back on and hold down Option Command+P+R once you hear the first system chime, and release those keys once the second chime rings.
“Sometimes a connection ping setting gets stuck and needs to be reset,” said Beischer. “And while Windows machines handle this with a reboot, Rich explained, “Macs store the settings in NVRAM in case of a failure.”
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After a long wait — USB port settings are also stored in the NVRAM, and I have about a dozen USB devices connected via a hub — my MacBook Pro started up and it connected to the web once again. Shortly thereafter, this loss of internet connectivity happened one more time, but the same steps proved sufficient to overcome the annoyance.
And so, I continue on with my MacBook Pro, the original Retina Display model, which has the perks I value (a keyboard that’s comfortable to type on, traditional USB Type-A ports and the magnetically attaching MagSafe power port for safety), and not the stuff that Apple thinks I want: the Touch Bar, Type-C ports and a thinner, lighter design.
Credit: Laptop Mag