Model A1286. Released February 2011 / 2.0, 2.2, or 2.3 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor

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MB Pro A1286 early 2011 wi-fi dead - board level problem


First time I see this... wifi won't initialise/work.

Tried 2 known working wifi cards+cables, tried a different chassis completely.

Still, no wifi, no 'no hardware found' message, it's like it's there but not functional as I can see wireless in system report.

Another odd thing - Kingston UV400 SSD would have 400+MB/s write but read speed was lower and on next run, it would halve that under 250MB/s

Goes to say it is inconsistent, not running at same parameters at all times.

If anyone has got any feedback on this - board level issue which may cause this rather strange behaviour, please let me know.



Update (05/19/2017)

Wifi: A1286, early 2011 and late 2011, also all wi-fi cards from A1286 2010-2012 are compatible. Installed wifi card from another machine then I simply moved the board from its own to another unibody 15'' - and still same symptoms - hence trouble is on the board. no signs of damage to connectors, cables wifi-mobo are fussy but with 3-4 tried, it is obvious.

The 'no hardware installed' message comes up when wifi card fails or ribbon cable goes bad, which indicated trouble on the logic board.

SSD: Kingston UV400 480GB - has just Sierra installed on, just pulled from packaging. Building a couple of A1286 'on steroids'.

Need a 2012 A1286 for Raid 0 drag race the retina on speed :)

SSD sits in the hard drive bay as it's SATA III / optical bay sata II in 2011...

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WiFi: First, are you working with two systems which are part of the same series?

You talk about swapping parts around between the two systems. Do the parts from the questionable system for in the known good system?

Please clarify what you have done and if one or both systems are not working here and are the SAME series.

SSD: Can you explain your drive config, is the SSD sitting in the HD bay or the Optical bay? How much free space do you have and what is your OS version.


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Check L3401 in case this has burnt (common), which will stop wifi working. Check to make sure PP3V3_WLAN is present. See if WIFI_EVENT_L and PCIE_WAKE_L are low. SMBUS line could also be pulled down, which will effect this. If it is getting power, and L3401 isn't burnt, it is very likely an SMC issue or a problem with the above mentioned.

Regarding the SSD issue, best left to @danj or @mayer, no idea when it comes to SSD speeds myself :)

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thanks for that, will have a look.

the ssd issue: it is fluctuating, like the cpu is being flooded with commands/requests, though no apps running and no internet connection, to have background activity.


This is a SATA port issue See my answer on that


WIFI no longer dead.

So... I swapped the same SSD drive into another machine with another 2011 A1286 board.

As soon as I put the SSD back on the faulty wifi board, it came up with message 'no hardware installed'...


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Building a RAID 0 setup within MacBook Pro's can be tricky! Apple has a known issue within some of their systems optical drive SATA connection which you appear to be aware of. Here's a good reference: OWC Data Doubler on which systems have a problem. Again this is a logic board issue within the MacBook Pro not the adapter! But, what many people don't fully realize is the systems with the odd SATA port is not really SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) nor is it a SATA III (6.0 Gb/s). So you can't use an auto negotiating drive (HD or SSD) as it can't tell what the port needs to run at. This is where you do need a FIXED speed drive (one that only runs at SATA II).

So here's the rub: Kingston UV400 SSD drive you are using won't work in either of these systems properly:

  • MacBookPro5,1 - 2.4GHz, 2.53GHz, 2.66GHz, 2.8GHz, 2.93GHz
  • MacBookPro8,2 - 2.0GHz, 2.2GHz, 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz

Then if you are trying to run a RAID 0 config you hit another problem as technically the SATA connections need to be the SAME. So if you have one of these systems you'll in fact need to use a FIXED SATA II drive in the HD bay so you are running two drives that are matched in make, model size and here the common SATA speed the two ports can support in this case SATA II.

If you have one of the systems which do in fact have a SATA III interface in the optical bay (per OWC's note) then you can run your RAID 0 SATA III setup with no worries!

Some additional notes:

  • Be aware you can't trust the physical ports info within the System Profiler service (About This Mac) it will list the optical drives port as SATA III on the systems that have the bad SATA port which is true within the PCH its self. It is not true within the system! This is do to Apples PCH's SATA port design defects to run the port as SATA III which Apple never expected people would do! But, you can trust what the negotiated speed is! So as an example your Kingston UV400 SSD might show it is running in SATA II and then without warning be running at SATA III or visa versa! This is the problem as the way Apple designed the logic board uses the wrong clocking for the SATA data lines. The only reason the HD port works correctly is Apple has an additional circuit inline which acts like a buffer so the wrong clocking doesn't effect the drives SATA speed negotiation (HD crash guard). Then to add to this... They did a poor layout with the SATA lines so the lines are not shielded enough to run at SATA III so you'll get lots of errors (similar to the early HD SATA cable problems the MacBook Pro's had).
  • Today we have two other issues within the HD bays SATA cable ;-{ chaffing from the case and being punched by the case bottom cutting into them. Which is why you often need to replace the HD cable and for poor signaling as in some the cable is not rated to run at SATA III if you are upgrading the original Apple SATA II drive. As a good practice we replace the cable whenever we swap out the HD drive.

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Kingston UV400 480gb and any raid 0 setup are ment for late 2011/2012 non retina.

For Early 2011 8,2 will use 120gb ocz sata II & III drives which are older gen and better compatibility


Not sure I follow what you're saying here in the comment.

From what you stated you wanted to upgrade a non-retina MacBook Pro to be from a drive performance equal if not better than the retina systems which you can achieve with the correct version of MacBook Pro.

OCZ SSD's auto negotiating drives won't work in the systems what have a bad optical drive SATA connection. So if you were thinking you could get it to work it's not stable! Remember RAID 0 requires matched performance so running one drive faster than the other will create both performance issues but also possible file corruption if the system is unable to fully write out the pending data.


Got a 2012 A1286... any thought Dan? Any point in Raid 0 on that one?

When I'd did it on a 13" 2012, I did notice it didn't double the speed of the SSDs when in RAID 0, but it was something like 170% - Must be the optical data's speed is lower then HD bay data speed... but that goes to say I didn't use it as a workhorse as I don't have anything demanding to throw at it, my main rig is MSI GS30 with GTX1060 soon to be 1080... don't know what to do with a Mac, it's just a brilliant machine to sell! :)

Not sure what to do for testing, I mean...copying large files or any test is not the same as writing a file while 10 apps are running with notifications and all that, which may keep the CPU busy and corrupt/alter data integrity during read write operations.

Makes most sense to just go SSD in hdd slot and HD or SSHD in optical bay...


As you have quite a few systems here its best you double check your self. Go to this listing EveryMac - MacBook Pro listing to locate your system find the Model ID so you can compare it to the OWC Data Doubler link I posted above. This is the only way one can be sure what the optical bays SATA ports performance will be.

If you were expecting doubling in performance with a 2 drive RAID 0 set up it won't be that fast. You have about the best you can get in this system (170%).

As for switching the drives around sadly you then get into a second issue as Apples HD crash guard technology is located only within the HD ports SATA connection so putting the HD into the optical drive does put it at risk of damage if you bump or move the system while the drive is busy.


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