AirPort Express Setup Failure: Is 2012 the Year of the Lemon?

I haven’t been doing well with tech hardware this year. I think I’ve had to return more devices that failed on installation this year than any year before. The last one was just last week, and it looks like I’ve got another one now: a new AirPort Express Wi-Fi device.

This should be simple to set up. In fact, when you plug it in, and open the AirPort Utility, it looks like it’s only going to take one click to do so. I want the device to extend my network, so my Wi-Fi is better at the far end of my house from where my AirPort Extreme is located. But no luck. When I tried, I saw this dialog, informing me of an “unexpected error” (as if any errors are “expected”:


I tried resetting the AirPort Express to factory settings, a half-dozen times, in fact, but no dice. So this goes back to Amazon for an exchange. I’ve also got a new AirPort Extreme, which I was in no hurry to set up, but which I think I’ll try today, just in case.

This is getting tiring. I’ve spent way too much time trying to get faulty devices to work this year. Last year it was an iMac and a Mac mini, and this year it’s been small devices that have been DOA. Quality control seems to be slipping among many companies, Apple included.

Update: Interestingly, I set up the new AirPort Extreme, and tried setting up the AirPort Express extending its network; it works fine. So is there an incompatibility between the new AirPort Express and the older AirPort Extreme (it’s an 802.11n model, a couple of years old)? If so, there certainly shouldn’t be.