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Introduction

Use this guide to replace a broken AirPort/Bluetooth board.

  1. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement, Lower Case: step 1, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following ten screws:

    • Three 14.4 mm Phillips #00 screws

    • Three 3.5 mm Phillips #00 screws

    • Four 3.5 mm shouldered Phillips #00 screws

    • When replacing the small screws, align them perpendicular to the slight curvature of the case (they don't go straight down).

  2. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 2, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 2, image 2 of 2
    • Use your fingers to pry the lower case away from the body of the MacBook near the vent.

    • Remove the lower case.

  3. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement, Battery Connection: step 3, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement, Battery Connection: step 3, image 2 of 2
    • Use the edge of a spudger to pry the battery connector upwards from its socket on the logic board.

    • It is useful to pry upward on both short sides of the connector to "walk" it out of its socket. Be careful with the corners of the connectors, they can be easily broken off.

  4. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Bend the battery cable slightly away from its socket on the logic board so it does not accidentally connect itself while you work.

  5. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement, AirPort/Bluetooth Assembly: step 5, image 1 of 1
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable connector up from its socket on the logic board.

  6. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 6, image 1 of 1
    • Carefully pull the camera cable out of its socket on the logic board.

    • Pull the cable parallel to the face of the logic board. Pulling it upward may damage the logic board or the cable itself.

  7. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 7, image 2 of 2
    • Carefully move the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable out of the way as you peel the camera cable off the adhesive securing it to the subwoofer and the AirPort/Bluetooth bracket.

    • De-route the camera cable out from under the retaining finger molded into the AirPort/Bluetooth bracket.

  8. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 8, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 8, image 2 of 2
    • Use the tip of a spudger to pry the antenna connector closest to the logic board up from its socket on the AirPort/Bluetooth board.

    • De-route the antenna cable from under the finger molded into the AirPort/Bluetooth bracket.

  9. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 9, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 9, image 2 of 2
    • Using the method described in the last step, disconnect the remaining three antenna connectors.

    • De-route their cables from the slots cut in the AirPort/Bluetooth bracket.

  10. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 10, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following five screws:

    • Two 10.3 mm Phillips screws

    • Two 3.1 mm Phillips screws

    • One 5 mm Phillips screw

  11. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 11, image 1 of 1
    • Pull the AirPort/Bluetooth assembly and the Subwoofer upward near the center of the side of the optical drive until they clear each other.

  12. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 12, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the AirPort/Bluetooth assembly, minding the fragile antenna contact near the corner of the upper case.

  13. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement, AirPort/Bluetooth Board: step 13, image 1 of 1
    • Peel back the piece of EMI tape covering the AirPort/Bluetooth cable connector.

  14. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 14, image 1 of 2 MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 14, image 2 of 2
    • Use the tip of a spudger to lift the AirPort/Bluetooth cable connector out of its socket on the AirPort/Bluetooth board.

    • Remove the AirPort/Bluetooth cable.

  15. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 15, image 1 of 1
    • Continue peeling the EMI tape off the bottom of the AirPort/Bluetooth bracket and remove it from the assembly.

  16. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 16, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the three 3 mm Phillips screws securing the AirPort/Bluetooth board to its bracket.

  17. MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Early 2011 AirPort/Bluetooth Board Replacement: step 17, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the AirPort/Bluetooth board from its bracket.

    • Be careful not to damage the pink thermal pad attached to the bracket.

Conclusion

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

92 other people completed this guide.

5 Comments

If you change your bluetooth card, its MAC address will change. Since pairing is done by MAC, you will need to re-pair all devices.

Oliver Humpage - Reply

My Wifi failed, "no hardware found", but the Bluetooth still worked. I replaced the board, but still no dice. Turns out it was the cable. Lesson learned: try the cheaper part first! Not a total loss, now I have Bluetooth 4.

Michael Schwern - Reply

Hello,

I was able to complete this repair in less than 40 minutes, thanks to the author and his easy-to-follow guide!

Regarding Step 10 - I found it easier to use a Phillips #000 screwdriver (instead of the recommended #00 size) for the two “orange” 3.1 mm Phillips screws, as it did not slide off the tiny screw heads like the larger-sized screwdriver would.

Robert Sebastian Soyka - Reply

This is an amazingly succinct and clear at of instructions! My Hat is of to you!

I discovered that the flat wifi cable was not properly plugged in, so I plugged it back in and went no further! Yea it worked!

heartsingingsoul - Reply

I added this note already in step 7, but want to make more visible for those that might encounter a broken cable:

Actually, on my repair attempt, one antenna cable broke (on the image the bottom right one in the red square in #7), I’m not sure whether it broke already before or was morbid somehow. Fact is: suddenly I had this cable in my fingers, and was sure I completely broke the macbook and need to find a new display now.

But as it turned out: the Mac is still fully working, including WIFI, BT, Camera etc. So apart from my huge relief, I want to address that these cables may break easily at their connection with the display. And that one antenna might be not mandatory for WIFI to work.

huedrant - Reply

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