Introduction

Use this guide to replace a failed AirPort/Bluetooth card. Note that the the airport antenna cables in the Macbook Air 11.6 inch 2011 model are longer than that of the 2010 model. If you're thinking of an easy swap of screen assembly between these two models, it will not work.

  • Shut down and close your computer. Lay it on a soft surface top-side down.

  • Remove the following ten screws:

    • Two 8 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

    • Eight 2.5 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

  • The special screwdriver needed to remove the 5-point Pentalobe screws can be found here.

When you say:

Remove the following ten screws:

Two 8 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

Eight 2.5 mm 5-point Pentalobe screws

Do the 8mm & 2.5mm dimensions refer to the LENGTH of those screws, or the size of the pentalobe? That is, are there other sizes of pentalobe drivers like there are for hex, phillips and torx? When only one dimension is provided, it is usually the socket/driver size, not the screw length, maybe since the length cannot be seen when the screw is installed.

Can I suggest that you clarify your instructions so folks are confident they are only in need of _one_ pentalobe driver?

Nerdily yours,

Larry (whose iPhone 4S can now get through a day without 6 recharges thanks to ifixit.com ;-)

larryleveen - Reply

The 8mm and 2.5mm are the length of the screws. One pentalobe P5 screwdriver suffices for all the screws (P5 is implicitly the size of the pentalobe screw heads).

Michael Welham -

I sourced all the parts from ifixit, plus a magnetic project mat which I found to be very useful for organising the teardown and reassembly.

Allen - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Wedge your fingers between the display and the lower case and pull upward to pop the lower case off the Air.

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Image 1/2: Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both short sides of the battery connector upward to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board. Image 2/2: Bend the battery cable slightly away from the logic board so the connector will not accidentally contact its socket.
  • In this step you will disconnect the battery to help avoid shorting out any components during service.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both short sides of the battery connector upward to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.

  • Bend the battery cable slightly away from the logic board so the connector will not accidentally contact its socket.

My macbook air's configuration (Mid-2011 core i5) has a different battery connector. It slides into a receptacle on the logic board. If your battery connector does not look like the one pictured, use the pointy end of a spudger to depress the small indentation in the middle of the battery connector cable terminal, and pull aft to release the clasp mechanism.

Ethan Cross - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both antenna connectors up from their sockets on the AirPort/Bluetooth card.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the single 2.9 mm T5 Torx screw securing the AirPort/Bluetooth card to the logic board.

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Image 1/1: To avoid damaging its socket on the logic board, do not excessively lift the free end of the AirPort/Bluetooth card.
  • Slightly lift the free end of the AirPort/Bluetooth board and pull it out of its socket on the logic board.

  • To avoid damaging its socket on the logic board, do not excessively lift the free end of the AirPort/Bluetooth card.

  • Remove the AirPort/Bluetooth board from the Air.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

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One Comment

HI, I am an ex mac genius who was a genius at apple for 5 years. Please add the following tip to the above and any mac where the battery has no hard casing. The first thing we had to do was to add a plastic shield over the battery as it is not shielded at all. Any puncture of that battery by a screw or screw driver will cause and explosion of the battery. So please take care to install a plastic shield before working on the mac. Take the back off, install the shield. At apple we had specific shields that fit the batteries exactly. Try to get these or at the very least tape a protective plastic sheild that covers the entire battery before working. If it does explode we had a safe with a bag and some sort of solution in it. Be careful with all macs that have an exposed style battery. They did this to make the computers thinner, but the shield that was removed to make this happen, must be replaced when working on the machines. Thank you.

dylanrogers11 - Reply

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