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

  1. Remove the following ten screws:
    • 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).

    How much weight can I save by removing the optical drive?

    gunes314 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    You can save a lot of weight if lets say your installing a solid state drive or putting in a second hard drive but if you know that you use the CD/DVD disc drive a lot then you might just want to leave the drive alone.

    Marshall WahlstromHelgren -

    Tip: Use one of those weekday pill holders to have a cheep way to store screws you remove and each day of the week can be for different sizes or parts. It has been handy to have (much less expensive than the magnetic mat.

    Robert Wacker - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Hello, where can I buy the screws I need in case I lose one of them?

    taylornya - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I have one stripped screw... How opening without drill it?! Any suggestions please?

    rodrigosady - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I also stripped a couple screws. I wasn’t able to open it up without drilling. After drilling the heads and removing the cover it was easy to hacksaw the tip and unscrew with a standard driver.

    Michael Wilkens -

    My top tip - make sure you buy good quality Phillips screwdrivers and a magnetic holder. Cheap screwdrivers won’t get the screws undone safely. Without a magnetic holder you have no chance of getting the tiny crews in and out safely.

    jeremyyoung - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    A good Phillips 00 is your friend here. Also, when reinserting the screws, gently start anticlockwise and you wil feel a click at the start of the thread. This tells you you’re in the right place and less likely to cross-thread through force in the wrong place.

    Iain Boyd - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  2. Use your fingers to pry the lower case away from the body of the MacBook near the vent. Remove the lower case.
    • Use your fingers to pry the lower case away from the body of the MacBook near the vent.

    • Remove the lower case.

  3. 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.
    • 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.

    Is this step of removing the battery connector required?

    manodh - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    yes - as with disassembly of any electronic component you have to remove any power source. You don't want to accidentally turn the Mac on

    khull -

    Prying the battery connector off does not take much force. I did exactly what the guide suggested (walked it off back and forth) with the spudger without any problems. Just be very gentle, much like with anything inside laptops, they are very fragile and need to be worked with carefully. A+ instructions, battery replacement was a success.

    aekinaka - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Be patient on disconnecting this one. It worked for me step by step, little by little.

    Phil Wagner - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  4. Bend the battery cable slightly away from its socket on the logic board so it does not accidentally connect itself while you work.
    • Bend the battery cable slightly away from its socket on the logic board so it does not accidentally connect itself while you work.

    I put some tape between the connector and socket while working on the drive.

    Stephen Smith - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    That's a good tip

    Anrothan -

    Great tip, I did that too

    Ahmed Mahran -

    One other note: The screw heads fit flush with the curvature of the case -- which means that they aren't exactly horizontal. In other words, they aren't perpendicular to the table that the computer is resting on. Don't try to force them straight in vertically, because you'll risk cross-threading them. (nearly ruined one screw hole myself!)

    lelandjordon - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    On my MacBook Pro, the connector seems to be an integral part of the battery.

    Jerry South - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  5. Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable connector up from its socket on the logic board.
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable connector up from its socket on the logic board.

    N.B! Thank you very much all you here on iFixit! Some IMPORTANT notes. Be very careful BEFORE prying the connectors up and down. They are very fragile and the picture could actually be seen as showing a bending loading in their weakest direction, AROUND its slender axis. The connector is slender and inserted on the logic board, so the gentle "walking" up and down should be done ALONG their slender direction and WITHOUT touching the adjacent connectors. If bending is done around its axis the soldering comes apart and the cable is done and gone. Just happened. These flat cables are one of the weakest design spots in my experience. They are a major time, money and geist consuming reason for malfunction like Wi-Fi connection problems, HDD, SSD not found internally but externally from USB issues et al being found on different forums. Thanks again and again.

    Greg - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  6. Carefully pull the camera cable out of its socket on the logic board.
    • 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.

    Be extremely careful on step 6 with late 2011 model unibody macbooks! The cable is connected very tightly to the board and has a great chance of ripping if you just pull the cable.

    Tim Rauls - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    My cable is broken, have the part number or code to buy?

    VÍCTOR RIFFO - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I found there was plenty of length in the camera cable (as it goes around two sides of the optical drive) so does not need to be disconnected - just ease it out of the slot alongside the drive and lay it diagonally across.

    Nic Blinston - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  7. 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.
    • 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.

    Take a few phone close-ups of this corner of your system prior to disassembly. Extra photos really help during reassembly.

    airshack - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  8. 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.
    • 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. 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.
    • 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.

    I found re-attaching these antennae connectors the trickiest bit by far as they appear very delicate and seating them correctly was fiddly. In the end lighting them from the side with a small torch helped to check their position before gently pushing them down. The first one made a clicking sound as it connected, the other two went on silently. MBP wifi working perfectly now. I’m fairly sure that was at least £100 of labour had I taken it in for repair so thanks ifixit for saving me money and for the warm glow of accomplishment!

    Andrew - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Actually, on my repair attempt, one antenna cable broke (on the image the bottom right one in the red square), 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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  10. Remove the following five screws:
    • Remove the following five screws:

    • Two 10.3 mm Phillips screws

    • Two 3.1 mm Phillips screws

    • One 5 mm Phillips screw

  11. Pull the AirPort/Bluetooth assembly and the Subwoofer upward near the center of the side of the optical drive until they clear each other.
    • 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. Remove the AirPort/Bluetooth assembly, minding the fragile antenna contact near the corner of the upper case.
    • Remove the AirPort/Bluetooth assembly, minding the fragile antenna contact near the corner of the upper case.

  13. Peel back the piece of EMI tape covering the AirPort/Bluetooth cable connector.
    • Peel back the piece of EMI tape covering the AirPort/Bluetooth cable connector.

  14. 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.
    • 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. Continue peeling the EMI tape off the bottom of the AirPort/Bluetooth bracket and remove it from the assembly.
    • Continue peeling the EMI tape off the bottom of the AirPort/Bluetooth bracket and remove it from the assembly.

  16. Remove the three 3 mm Phillips screws securing the AirPort/Bluetooth board to its bracket.
    • Remove the three 3 mm Phillips screws securing the AirPort/Bluetooth board to its bracket.

  17. Remove the AirPort/Bluetooth board from its bracket.
    • Remove the AirPort/Bluetooth board from its bracket.

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

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

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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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

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 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

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