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Why Airport still has no functionality?

Hello guys :)

At first: sorry for my bad english...i'm german.

I have a big issue with my MacBook 13" Unibody 2,0 Ghz. A few weeks ago i damaged the connector from the iSight, Bluetooth & Airport Cable that goes to the Mainboard. So i bought a new one and everything works exept the Airport. I thought i have damaged my old Airport card through my repair-session so i bought a new airport card from ebay. The seller from the card meant that the card isn't new but has 100% functionality. But after i replaced the new airpord card with the new one i still have no connectivity. OS X said, that "no airport-card is installed". Resetting PRAM and the other solutions doesn't work. Windows 7 via BootCamp still doesn't find a wifi-card too in the device manager.

So what can be the issue? Maybe the new card is damaged too? Or the connector that connects the airport card with the cable that i written? And when the airport card is the issue....can it be only the card or maybe the card + the antennas there next to the card?

One other small question? the cable that i plugged in the card has at one side a small white dot on which direction the dot should looked to? to the user (away from the lcd) or to the lcd panel?

I hope anyone understand what i want to ask ;)


Rispondi a questa domanda Anch'io ho questo problema

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Look at the connector that plugs into the airport card under the display clutch cover. If you can see two sideways "U" shapes you have the cable plugged in backwards and have most likely damaged your motherboard. In my experience plugging it in the wrong way once and powering on the unit will damage the motherboard causing the airport to stop working.

The only fix I know is to replace the board. Sorry.

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You should see two 'U' marks on the cable. Point those toward the Airport card when inserting the cable into the Airport card.

If it's not showing up, and you're really sure both Airport cards are good, you're looking at either that cable, or the logic board.

EDIT: Sorry, I took a while to answer. Agreeing with Tim.

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Thanks for your answers. I must ask once these "U"-s should look at me when i plugged in the cable? Away from the display to the keyboard?

Oh, i'm scared about the board :-/


You should not see the U shapes when the cable is plugged in correctly.


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Here you go, it is the little resistor in the middle of the picture. To the left of the brown bigger resistor.

There are two right next to each other.

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hi , do you still have that picture somewhere?

thanks in advance


I ran in to the same problem, it is a little resistor that shorts out on the back of the main board.

If you solder of this component, and solder a bridge instead, it will solve the problem :-)

Worked for me anyway.


Sorry, i misunderstood :-)

I do not have a picture after the repair, but it's just a bridge on top of the burned out component.


Could you post picture from dropbox again?


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zemsantos- Everyone with experience on this has posted that connecting the Airport board the wrong way will likely damage your logic board such that wifi will no longer work. Your symptoms seem to match this.

You have 2 options- buy another Airport board just in case the logic board is actually okay, or buy a little USB wifi adapter and use that instead. There are USB wifi adapters that sit almost completely flush against the side of the notebook, so that's not a bad option at all. The trick is to make sure you buy a compatible adapter. Here are some links I had gathered on this, my Airport board replacement ended up working so I didn't try an adapter, but the info might help you-

Airlink driver for Realtek RTL8188SU:

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Just to clarify a bit on the original poster's question- the gray dot is NOT a good indicator for how to correctly insert the cable.

I posted a comment in the iFixit directions (Step 23) clarifying this. In the photo, it appears the pictured cable has a gray dot on BOTH sides. You can see the sideways U notches in the Step 23 photo, but NOT in the Step 22 photo. So apparently in Step 23 the cable got flipped (to the wrong side) before the photo was taken.

As you can see, there is a gray dot on both sides of the cable. On my unit, there was a gray dot on only one side. Since this appears to vary, it does not seem to be a reliable indicator of cable orientation. Just look for the sideways U notches instead- they should be on the other side (and thus not visible) when you slide the cable into the connector, as in the photo on Step 22.

The photos confused me when I did my Airport card replacement, as did the gray dot(s). When I looked at my card, I thought maybe the cable had been inserted incorrectly previously, which would have permanently broken wifi on my MacBook. But I proceeded with the card swap, and my Airport is now up and running!!

Another tip for this step- since you've removed the black plastic retainer bar, go ahead and tighten the Torx screws as per these directions-

If the screws get loose over time, the LCD will feel wobbly. Mine was wobbly, so I was able to kill 2 birds with one take apart. My wifi is working, and my hinges are now tight!




Your replacement ended up working but did you initially plug the cable backwards?

I was kinda hopping that replacing the internal wifi module would work, considering that that the other options are far from a perfect solution (considering the drivers issue).

Thanks for quickly answering :)



My replacement worked, but I think I plugged the replacement in correctly the first time. At first I wasn't sure, because I was judging but based on the gray dot. But the gray dot is not a good indicator of orientation. But judging by the U shaped marks I was able to put the card in correctly.

Good luck-


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Same issue. I ended up buying 4 replacement wifi modules to get the wifi working. The cards I bought also were tested and had 100% functionality. What occurs to me now, is that the macbook pro A1278 does not have plug and play hardware functionality. In other words, if you're swapping or adding new hardware.. it might not show up instantly as new hardware on the osx. What could work is a reinstall of osx after you've added the new hardware. Sounds bizzar, but worth a shot.

If you want to go with another solution for wifi without having a huge dongle sticking out of your usb port, you should try the Eye-Fi SD cards. Basically an SD card that also has wifi on it. It'll pop into your SD slot and be hidden from view.

Hope this helps,

good luck

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Ok, so I have officially tried all the wifi/airport fixes I know to get the darn thing running and I have no luck. Wi fi on the machine will not work. The 4 cards I have are now just lying here and I've given up trying to take the computer apart and put it together again. I did happen to have a bit of an interesting observation though. Seems like the cable setup is a very strange one indeed. I say that because the wifi doesn't work, yet the camera and bluetooth do! Its all the same cable though? Does this mean that it is a motherboard fault and why?

The other thing I've been wondering is whether it be possible to solder the wifi onto the board or not? That would most definitely be something I'd try if I knew how. Any hints/guides for soldering wifi onto macbook pro A1278 anyone?

Throw in a guide about how to solder the mic on too if there's no mic port for plug and play.

Update one Eye-Fi. That darn card doesn't work either. The solution I've resorted to is a little usb device called Edup.


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After making the same mistake as Sinfin i ended up without wifi.

Initially the computer turned on when i plugged the power cord and every time i tried to shut down he would start up again. After plugging the wifi cable correctly it stopped doing that.

Is there no way to diagnose if the logic board is damaged or not? Besides buying a new wifi card... :-|


The solution i found was this usb wifi card:

With this drivers:

I'm using LION 10.7.5 and works like a charm. No issues at all, installed the drivers plug the card and in seconds had wireless internet AGAIN after so many months :-D.

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So i bought a replacement and... it didn't work! (had to try lol)

I guess it's safe to say that if you plugged the airport cable the wrong way, don't buy a new one, IT WON'T WORK!!!!


Now you have to connect the cable the right way on the wifi end or simply unplug the wifi card.


With mine it worked :-/ I can't help you... :-(


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Sinfin sarà eternamente grato.
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