How To: Installing an Airport Extreme Card in an Intel Mac Pro
Posted on 18 Jul ’07 by Earl Moore
Installing an Apple Airport Extreme Card in a Intel Mac Pro is not considered by Apple to be a user installed option so you’ll find little or no instructional help from Apple.
It’s not a job for the timid.Â You’ll need a steady hand and patience.Â It will also help if you have small fingers. It’s difficult mainly due to the cramped space and small parts involved.
I purchased my intel Mac Pro from Apple as a refurbished unit and it didn’t have the 802.11b/g/n Airport Extreme Card installed as a factory option.Â I wanted this capability, so I purchased a compatible Airport Extreme (802.11n) from FastMac and did it myself.
Disclaimer: Here’s the procedures I followed.Â Use them at your own risk.Â It worked for me but I’m not responsible for any damages you might do to your computer.
Instructions for Installing a Airport Extreme Card in an Intel Mac Pro:
1. Lift the rear latch and remove the side panel of the Mac Pro.
2. Place the Mac Pro on it’s side on a desk or workbench where you can have easy access.Â Note the location where the new Airport Extreme Card will be installed.
3. Remove hard drive bays 1 & 2 to give yourself some extra room. The latch in the back that was used to remove the side panel will have to remained released to remove the drives bays.Â The drive bays pull straight out once this latch is released.
4. Note the mounting points for the Airport Extreme Card. The card slot is spring loaded so when you put the card in the rear of the card will be elevated above the two rear mounting tabs.
5. Gently push the Airport Extreme Card into the mounting slot leaving the rear slightly elevated.
6. Carefully press down the rear of the card and insert the two mounting screws.Â A small magnetic screwdriver may be of help here.Â Locate the two WiFi antenna leads stored in the area above the cards mounting location and attached them to the two antenna post on the card.Â There will also be a bluetooth antenna lead in that same area.Â Inserting these screws and attaching the antenna leads is the most difficult part of this install due to the limited space and the small size of the parts involved.Â Be patience and careful not to force things.
7. Slide the two hard drive bays back into their correct slots.Â Double check everything and remount the side panel.
8. Reconnect the Mac Pro to the keyboard, mouse, monitor and network and boot.Â On the Apple Menu check “About this Mac” to confirm that the Airport Extreme card is being recognized.
9.Â Go to System Preferenced/Network and configure your new Airport Extreme card.
10.Â Download and install the Airport Extreme Enabler from Apple in order to use the card in 802.11n mode.Â Reboot you Mac Pro.
11. You’re finished!Â Enjoy your new WiFi capabilities.