13" aluminum unibody, 2.0 or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

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Airport WiFi connection issus

Hello everyone,

I own a MacBook 13" Aluminum Late 2008, yeah its still working fine except for I had to replace the MagSafe power adapter twice due the rubber wires as you all know the issue and once replaced the battery, and also had to replaced the main screen. Apart from that my 2008 MacBook is working pretty fine so far (almost 10 years now).

OK, so heres the issue, at the back side of the MacBook where the screen is hinged to the lower base theres a black plastic protection. about a inch of that is broken on my MacBook and has exposed the airport card to the dust and what not.

Recently started having issues with my WiFi, the airport is acting weird , sometimes it cannot be switched on and sometimes it cannot be switched off. sometimes when its on if fails to search any of the local wifi networks and sometimes it does search the networks but does not connect to it... just displays what all network are available. I guess the airport card is busted as its exposed to unnecessary dust etc.

But some days it just connects fine like its working normally. but most of the times it won't work.

What do i do to fix this?

Thank You!

Sagar A


Update (07/24/2017)

Block Image

so thats how it looks ,

maybe if you can guide me to remove some cables and maybe spray some WD40 and again re attach the cables for better connectivity.

another piece of information : after i restart my macbook the wifi works flawlessly ( sometimes only )

sometimes it showing no hardware detected written on the airport symbol.


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To start with don't use any sprays! WD40 is an oil which will make a mess and doesn't fix anything electronic! Its good for stuck screws or locks that don't open. The only thing I use is a can of Can'ed air to blow dirt & dust away.

Looking at the image I see a few components missing so it looks like you knocked them off as the clutch cover was damaged. Sadly, that means you'll need a new AirPort board as well as a cover. That can explain why it's not working!


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You may need to replace a few parts here. The black plastic part is call the clutch cover you may need to replace the AirPort card inside as well as the antenna depending on what you find after opening it up. Here's the clutch cover: Clutch Cover - Apple P/N 922-9091

Follow this IFIXIT guide: MacBook Unibody Model A1278 AirPort Card Replacement.

Do keep in mind this older AirPort card is limited on what bands it can connect to. So newer 802.11ac access points (AP) may not be setup to support it.

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But is replacement of the airport card the only solution to it.

Since its working sometimes , could it be a software issue.


Well, not an easy answer here... As you first need to make sure the hardware is in good working order clearly the broken cover let in a lot of junk and exposed the antenna wires so they maybe worn.

As for software yes its part of it as I stated your AirPort is an older design and can't interoperate with some WiFi Routers (AP's). Some people turn off compatibility mode so you can see the AP just can't connect to it.

And to answer your next question can I upgrade the AirPort card, sadly no.


thanks for answering , still looking out for other options than replacement .

I have added a pic in my next post of the exposed wifi card.


Here's a cheap source for a replacement AirPort board: AirPort 802.11n - Apple P/N 661-4766 They have a used one for $17.75 US which is a good price!


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SAGAR will be eternally grateful.
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