Thursday November 20, 2014

Mac Cannot Connect to Messages

Following a communications SNAFU the other day (I was not logged into Skype), I decided to set up Messages on Spouse's Macbook Air, so we'd have a guaranteed way to communicate Mac to Mac. His Macbook is running 10.9; how hard could it be?

Answer: surprisingly difficult. Although he regularly connects to iTunes (no issues with his Apple password), I kept getting "cannot connect" from Messages. It suggested I check my Network connectivity (no issues).

So, I did what I always do... I searched. This seems to be a relatively common problem. A lot of people proposed possible solutions. Delete plist files. (Tried.) Delete keychain files. (Tried.) Reset the clock(?). (Sure, why not.) Check the Console messages.

Check the Console messages.

Screenshot console log

Odd. (Note: the only reason I even saw these lines was because I had the console open while I tried to connect with Messages. It's not something I would have looked for.

Hmmm. I recalled running across something about serial numbers buried in one of the forums I'd read. I fund that again that:

Ralph Johns (UK)
Mar 20, 2014 1:45 PM
If you had Mountain Lion at version 10.8 and 8.1 it may have stopped working at OS X 10.8.2 This particular Update (and since) has required the Serial Number of the Mac to be readable from the logic/mother board. In the Apple Menu > About this Mac click twice on the line that read the current OS version. The first click shows you the Build Number (Another was to work out which OS version) It will then change to the Serial Number. It is supposed to be "flashed" to the board if the board was replaced in a repair or a refurbishment. If it is missing you need to take the Mac to an Apple Store or an Apple Authorised Service Provider (AASP (UK Link)). I have yet to see anyone saying they have been charged for this. IF the Serial Number was incorrectly entered it is a New board as it can only be done once.

Doublechecking with "About this Mac".
Well. Whaddyaknow.

About This Mac

Indeed, as Rich reminded me, he'd had the logic board in this Macbook replaced a couple of years ago. Nothing cared about the missing serial number until he updated to Mavericks and one app looked for it.

So, we made an appointment at the Apple Store Genius Bar. The "genius" connected his magic diagnostic application and set our serial number. He also ran a full diagnostics pass in case anything else was wrong (it wasn't).

I'm posting this blog entry in the hopes that one more post may help the next person with this issue to find the solution sooner. I will also be filing a bug report at Apple. If the issue is "Serial number not found", don't report "Cannot connect, check your network settings".


Mac Cannot Connect to Messages ( in category SciTech , Show & Tell ) - posted at Thu, 20 Nov, 16:09 Pacific | «e»

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