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Tue, 26 Feb 2008 8:13 PM

Replacing wireless card in macbook

Michael Dale

I'd been having some issues with the wireless in my macbook for the last month or so.

It was only picking up really strong/close wireless access points. I first thought it was a software issue as there have been some issues with mac os and wireless of late.

Anyway I tried Windows XP and was getting the same problem.

So after a lot of playing around I opened up the macbook to make sure that the antennas were connected correctly; they were.

So tonight I tried replacing the airport (wireless) card with another one. The original macbook uses an Atheros 5006X wireless chipset (Mini PCI-E). I used a standard PC Atheros AR5006EG (ar5bxb61 (em100)) card and it worked straight away. The mac thinks it is the same card that was in it before, except that the mac address has changed and that the wireless now works!

So it looks like the airport card was dead, sort of. But I'm happy now my wireless works.

This macbook hasn't been all that reliable. I've had a dead hard drive, replaced the top casing twice, had my battery die and had the wireless die. Saying that 1st gen apple products are known for their issues. I will keep using macs for laptops and PCs for desktops.


Comments

On Thu, 06 Mar 2008 at 6:08 PM, Laszlo Krencz wrote

Yep, I would only buy a Macbook Pro. Macbooks are definitely the cost saving models->many issues because of the cheaper parts.

1: Comment Link

On Fri, 04 Apr 2008 at 10:29 AM, Bryn wrote

and what about the screen flickering?

2: Comment Link

On Wed, 13 Aug 2008 at 2:34 PM, Chris wrote

I am having similar issues: replaced the top case once, the battery is going, and I have had constant screen flickering problems throughout its life and now the wireless card seems to be going as it hardly connects to any signals, close or not. And of course my warranty has expired so Apple is not going to fix their faulty machine. 1st gen macs just don't seem worth it to me.

3: Comment Link

On Fri, 02 Jan 2009 at 6:44 AM, Joe wrote

My sister is having the same problems with her 2nd Gen MacBook, so i have just ordered a new card for her laptop, and will be installing it soon. You say that you have had to replace the top case of your MacBook, where about did buy/ get the new case from?

Cheers, Joe.

4: Comment Link

On Wed, 07 Jan 2009 at 7:29 AM, Jillian wrote

I seem to be having the same problem, however I don't think that I would be able to change the airport card myself. My warranty is up however, how much do you think apple would charge to fix it? Should I just find someone who can do it?

5: Comment Link

On Thu, 21 May 2009 at 5:34 AM, Bonnie Harris wrote

Don't replace the card...I've already done that and it only lasted for about 2 weeks. The problem from what I'm hearing is often a bad antenna. Have them check that out too.

6: Comment Link

On Wed, 03 Jun 2009 at 7:49 AM, bf wrote

got any walk through on how to change the card?

7: Comment Link

On Mon, 08 Jun 2009 at 1:49 PM, Michael Dale (of michaeldale.com.au) wrote

Yep there is one on the ifixit site here.

8: Comment Link

On Thu, 23 Jul 2009 at 10:09 AM, rosie m wrote

hi.

does this work on all macbooks? I still have a warranty and apple is screwing me over saying the flickering and airport failure are due to impact. its bull. they say it will cost 747.00 to fix because it was my fault. anyway yes does this work for all macbooks? i bought mine in august 2006. how do you know which airport to buy? please help. im completely clueless about the internal workings of macs.

9: Comment Link

On Mon, 19 Oct 2009 at 3:54 AM, BK wrote

Where did you buy the NIC card?

10: Comment Link

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