Model A1237 or A1304 / 1.6, 1.8, 1.86, or 2.13 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Change AirPort Extreme card?

So I dropped my MacBook Pro down the stairs (with my 12.9" iPad Pro), and I don't have the money to replace them right now.

I need to continue my iOS App development, so I tried to pull out my old Late 2008 MacBook Air, but I can't install Xcode 9 et al on it.

I found a site by ‘dosdud1’ that has a High Sierra patcher on it to install current macOS on old hardware, but my AirPort Extreme card in the Air is one of only 8 that won’t work. So while it allows me to get High Sierra and Xcode on it, it disables my WiFi Card.

I have the usb to Ethernet dongle, but it's a pain, so I read on this amazing guy's site that it's possible to replace the A1237 and A1304 WiFi Card with a different Airport card that is supported by High Sierra and fits in the Late 2008 MacBook Air.

I've spent the last 200 mins looking, googling and trying to find which card this could be - could someone please help?

I found this on Ebay: BCM94331PCIEBT4CAX

But the alignment holes won’t line up, and I don’t know if it will work as it has 4 aerial attachments not 3.


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First you are doing a very risky thing here!

I have not seen anything like this being done on this series. So it may not work and/or it could damage your system!

Just by looking at the parts this is the closest one that has the similar connector: MacBook Pro Unibody (Early 2011-Mid 2012) AirPort/Bluetooth Board. Thats without reviewing the schematics to see if the pin assignments are compatible or not.

I’m not sure if the OS will even acknowledge the AirPort considering what you are doing by forcing High Sierra, a 64bit OS onto a 32bit system.

How about telling us whats damaged on your MacBook Pro maybe we can get it working here Vs taking such a large risk.

MacBook Pro Unibody (Early 2011-Mid 2012) AirPort/Bluetooth Board Image


MacBook Pro Unibody (Early 2011-Mid 2012) AirPort/Bluetooth Board


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Hi Dan

Thanks so much for taking the time to try and help.

How would it damage the system?

What are the risks you're worried about?

As for my MacBook Pro, screen cracked and snapped off at one side, main case is bent 30 degrees so guessing logic board / battery are cracked too.

iPad screen smashed and detached, and case bent at 45degrees for about 1/5th of it's length.

The item you found; it's the same as the one I'd found isn't it? i.e. BCM94331PCIEBT4CAX

It's trivially easy to swap these out, and considering I also need a new battery for my MacBook Air, then it's the perfect time to do this, as I need to remove the battery to get at the Airport card.

From the videos, twitter feed and information on the site I mentioned ( I did provide links but the iFixit spam filter bot was over-enthusiastic and blocked all my posts) it seems like it's just the airport card, brightness keyboard controls and the trackpad on a different model than mine that don't work.

Everything else in the OS works fine. Including system updates.

So I'm not sure your worries about upgrading the OS are necessarily warranted, but I haven't tried yet, so I can't say for sure.

I think if I can get this card, I'm going to try it in the MacBook Air without updating and see if I still have WiFi... although without the newer driver I'm not sure that will work, but hey...

Thanks for your help.

I've noticed my card has a 'C' in the part number, but yours doesn't... I wonder what the differences are?

Also, do you think it's safe to just tape this (duct tape?) to the unibody, as I mentioned before the guide posts won't line up.


Just because the connectors look the same doesn't not mean the signals on them are compatible! Think of it this way when you plug in your TV you are expecting the power coming from the outlet to be the correct voltage. But what if you have a 120 volt TV and tried using it in the UK where the power is 220 volts? Bang! There goes your TV in a puff of smoke! While this is a very dramatic vision when we work inside of computers the same type of risks are present just at a much lower voltage ;-}

The other issue is the mounting of the part as the alignment of the standoffs is not the same. And you can't use duct tape to secure the part as it's not going to hold up.

As far as the OS issue. I'm not sure if your system is able to run a 64bit OS and apps.

The software you are trying to use is what we call a 'Thunker' it takes the 64 bit calls and converts them on the fly to 32bit as your system is unable to deal with 64bit natively (not 64bit clean). You need to remember Intel had issues with both the Core2Duo and the PCH logic at the beginning of the Core2Duo intro, your Air is one of these (intro'ed Jan 2008). It was only certified to run 32bit.


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