Subscribe to
Posts
Comments
NSLog(); Header Image

MacBook Says No AirPort Card Installed

My wife's computer - a MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008) - has recently had a hard time with the AirPort card. After waking it from a sleep once, she told me that she couldn't connect. The network settings said the AirPort was off, but clicking "On" didn't do anything. She's running 10.6.3.

I tried creating a new location (it failed), as recommended. I repaired permissions (several hundred were fixed) and trashed com.apple.airport.plist. I rebooted. It worked.

She slept the computer and it failed again. I reset the PRAM and rebooted. It didn't work. I rebooted and it worked the next time. Then she sleeps it and it goes away.

I took the computer apart so far as taking the battery, HD, and RAM out, but wasn't sure where the AirPort card was located to check for a loose connection. Someone on this page says I'd have to remove the Camera cable guide, LVDS cable guide, Display assembly, and Display clutch cover to get to the AirPort card, and while I'm technically quite capable of doing so, I'd prefer to know what parts those are (a diagram and some pictures) before I go that far.

I re-assembled the computer. The last post here implies that it's a faulty logic board. Well, that's no good. Another thread suggested I reset the SMC, so I did so, rebooted, and the AirPort came up just fine.

And that's where we currently sit - I'm not really willing to put the computer to sleep. I've gone back and forth on whether it's a software problem or a hardware problem, but I'm leaning heavily right now towards "hardware problem." The computer's obviously not under warranty, so unless there's a known issue with this, that's not going anywhere.

I am wondering if anyone knows of any suggestions. Is there a manual somewhere for locating (and checking the connections to) the AirPort card? Again, I've got the materials.

Any ideas at all?

14 Responses to "MacBook Says No AirPort Card Installed"

  1. I'm assuming you've already tried this, but since you didn't mention it, is there anything in Console that might explain what is happening or at least point in the right direction?

    When you say it works until the machine is put to sleep, could it be a permissions problem that is stopping the machine from writing something to disk? Did the machine recreate com.apple.airport.plist?

    I had an problem the other day which was caused by some permissions corruption under /var/folders. Console was full of error messages about failed attempts to write to that location. Repairing permissions did nothing. In the end I booted into single user mode and wiped out that whole folder, the system recreated it on startup and is now working as expected.

  2. Alistair McMillan said on May 31, 2010:

    I'm assuming you've already tried this, but since you didn't mention it, is there anything in Console that might explain what is happening or at least point in the right direction?

    I haven't seen anything in there yet, but I'm going to let the machine sit and boot it from a cold start to have a fresh log.

    Alistair McMillan said on May 31, 2010:

    When you say it works until the machine is put to sleep, could it be a permissions problem that is stopping the machine from writing something to disk? Did the machine recreate com.apple.airport.plist?

    It's still not been recreated, no. I've changed settings in there and done a few other things.

    It's puzzling. I'm still leaning towards "hardware issue" but who knows? And without target disk mode, it's going to be tougher to figure this out...

    1. Just turn of (hold power button >shut down.
      (prepare : Locate 4 button option,command,P,R)
      After shut down then it turn on and hold down 4 key commend,option and P,R let it restart 3 time then release 4 button and you done.

  3. If the wireless was working at some point after the plist file was deleted, then I'm pretty sure the system should have recreated the file? If it hasn't then it could just be a permissions issue.

    BTW When you say you deleted com.apple.airport.plist do you mean /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.airport.preferences.plist or /Users/USERNAME/Library/Preferences/com.apple.airport.airportutility.plist? I can't find a com.apple.airport.plist on my system.

  4. You might have one of those models where the airport card is inside the cllutch/hinge of the display panel.

    Those machinen are quite sensible to misplaced flex cable connectors, especially if you connect this airportcard-connector the wrong side, the Logic board will be fried. This is happening so often Apple warns us technicians explicitly of that.

    Sorry if my english might not be of enough precision.

    Did you try to boot of an external system? Does the card show up in the profiler, if not, does it so if you boot it off the CD and look there?

    You could also have it boot off of your MacBook (being in target disk mode) and see if HER Mac works using YOUR system.

  5. [...] This comment says: "You might have one of those models where the airport card is inside the cllutch/hinge of the [...]

  6. hi!

    sub - trouble with airport showing no airport card installed in macbook 10.6.3

    i jus read through this as im currently having troubles with my airport...but i dint find or may b i jus didnt get if there was any solution to the problem im facing ....

    it shows that the airport card is not installed...that really weird...and plus when i restart my laptop i have to restart it 3 or more times to get the airport working again...and sill it works only for about 30 mins...the last ting i got to know was restarting the laptop while holding 'Cmd+opt+P+R' but its still the same.

    plzz....plzzz help...i cant find any solution anywhere

    ash

  7. I am having ALL of these problems as well.
    I had no airport service for over a year, and I finally got it fixed today.
    They replaced the display..with a new airport card - yes..it is in fact "hidden" in the display hinge that attaches the LCD to the unibody.

    When I brought it home, however..."No Airport Card Installed."
    I went right back the Genius Bar, and when he turned it on, it recognized the Apple Store wireless right away, and my airport connected to it immediately.

    I assumed it got magically fixed..but I'm home again now, and still no luck.
    Does anyone know of a system level kernel option to bring it back?
    I looked for the .com.apple.airport file, but

    Alistair McMillan said on May 31, 2010:

    If the wireless was working at some point after the plist file was deleted, then I'm pretty sure the system should have recreated the file? If it hasn't then it could just be a permissions issue.

    BTW When you say you deleted com.apple.airport.plist do you mean /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.airport.preferences.plist or /Users/USERNAME/Library/Preferences/com.apple.airport.airportutility.plist? I can't find a com.apple.airport.plist on my system.

    Those are only preference lists for the wireless networks to connect to. It still can't DETECT my aiport card...

    This is far too frustrating.

  8. I have also a problem with this.. I just bought a new macbook air 11 day before yesterday.

    "No airport card installed" it says, but I use my WiFi as we speak. Why is it acting like this? It worked at first.

  9. Hi.
    ok so i have a first generation Macbook Air with the Mac OS X 10.6.5 software on it.
    i' ve had this computer for about two and a half years now and the airport worked just fine until today.
    I shut down the computer after using the airport for these past few years on the daily bases, however when i turned it back on i could not turn on my airport.
    so after searching the web and finding that deleting the com.apple.airport.airportutility.plist file from the computer and restarting it worked, i tried it.
    Clearly i either didnt do enough research on the matter or im very lucky with this
    BUT now when i click on my airport it says to airport card installed.
    i'm kind of freaking out because i am no computer professional and well this sounds like a big problem.
    any suggestions on what i should do??
    my airport is still present in the network preferences, however it does not turn on when i click Turn Airport On. I'm assuring this is because i dont have an airport card, but i am simply missing the file for it on the computer it self.
    what should i do, can this be fixed from home or should i consult apple directly??

    please any help would be great

    thank you.

  10. The answer is quite obvious you guys. If you are connecting a macbook pro to a mac pro, the network card is not the same. SO the driver you have installed on the macbook pro is not the same / nor is it sufficient. Depends on the models and firmware.

  11. Hello, I didn't read through all of the posts so I don't know if this will help solve this mystery.

    I think this is a hardware problem.

    My computer has the same symptoms as yours but I am not sure the problems have a common cause. I think my computer is affected with a hardware issue for a certain reason.

    Notes that my computer also says "No airport card installed" and when I tried to fix it, I verified permissions and reset the PRAM. I have the Feb-2011 Macbook PRO.

    About a week after I bought this computer, I installed Windows on it. It has all the proper updates and I have been using windows and mac regularly. Windows also cannot find the airport card. The windows version of the Network Control Panel says there are no internet connections avialable, but I live on a college campus and I am surrounded by wireless networks. The fact that both my windows operating system and my mac operating systems have been affected by the same problem on the same day lead me to believe this is a hardware issue.

    Or am I wrong? I used bootcamp to partition my harddrive, and from what I understand it is impossible to write information between operating systems without the installation of software that can read from both disk formats. I never installed that type of software on this computer.

    This computer had a hardware issue earlier. The screen would flick off in mid-use. The problem lasted for two days and then went away by itself, seemingly, and I haven't had it since.

    Is it just me or do the knew Macbook Pros have a ton of hardware issues?

  12. Hi Everyone!

    I had these exact same problems. Late 2008 aluminum MacBook. I had no issues with Airport or the computer until three weeks ago. Then the airport card stopped working and the computer would freeze requiring a hard reset. It happened regardless of what I was doing on the computer. The only way to stop it was to turn of or make Airport inactive. After a hard reset it would say "Airport not installed" or not allow me to turn on my Airport. After checking out the software issues I went to the Genius Bar. They determined it was the Airport card itself - either a loose wire or damage to the card. The card is located close to the hinges and the antenna is apparently in the frame surrounding the display. He told me they would remove the display and check it out. Ends up they replaced the card. Told me it was most likely my fault due a dent on the corner of the case as a result of a fall, but that happened a year ago. So not sure. But I got it back yesterday. No problems so far. Lets hope it lasts. But if you take it to Apple to replace the Airport card expect a bill about $150. Not sure if it was worth it as the Ethernet works just fine. Guess we are just too used to a wireless world. Hope this helps.

  13. Hi everyone,

    I had the same problems as all you guys about the airport not working and i don't know if it will work but it worked for me. I just turned off my mac and left it their for like an hour and when i opened it again the first time the airport was still not functioning then i did it again and then the airport just worked for some unknown reason


Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Please abide by the comment policy. Valid HTML includes: <blockquote><p>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, and <a href>. Please use the "Quote Me" functionality to quote comments.