How To: Installing an Airport Extreme Card in an Intel Mac Pro

Posted on 18 Jul ’07 by Earl

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.  You’ll need a steady hand and patience.  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.  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.  Use them at your own risk.  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.  Note the location where the new Airport Extreme Card will be installed.

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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.  The drive bays pull straight out once this latch is released.

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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.

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5. Gently push the Airport Extreme Card into the mounting slot leaving the rear slightly elevated.

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6. Carefully press down the rear of the card and insert the two mounting screws.  A small magnetic screwdriver may be of help here.  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.  There will also be a bluetooth antenna lead in that same area.  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.  Be patience and careful not to force things.

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7. Slide the two hard drive bays back into their correct slots.  Double check everything and remount the side panel.

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8. Reconnect the Mac Pro to the keyboard, mouse, monitor and network and boot.  On the Apple Menu check “About this Mac” to confirm that the Airport Extreme card is being recognized.

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9.  Go to System Preferenced/Network and configure your new Airport Extreme card.

10.  Download and install the Airport Extreme Enabler from Apple in order to use the card in 802.11n mode.  Reboot you Mac Pro.

11. You’re finished!  Enjoy your new WiFi capabilities.

What Others Are Saying

  1. tobyone 24 Aug ’11 at 2:38 am

    A few years back my mac pro got hit by lighting and it fried the network card on the motherboard. does anybody know what kind of pci network card will work on my mac?
    thanx

  2. Jemmo 24 Aug ’11 at 6:40 pm

    Hi!

    I’m having trouble getting the antenna connectors to fix to their sockets. I’ve tried with the board screwed down, and with it out and loose. No way can I get those little guys to attach to the board!

    So question: How much force do you need to apply to get them to stay put? I’m reluctant to force anything, so maybe I’m being too careful? Or maybe I’m just not lining them up properly??

    Thanks!

    • Jemmo 24 Aug ’11 at 8:52 pm

      Ah! Got it!

      I disconnected the cable from the already installed Bluetooth card and reconnected it to get a feel for how it went on. I found that the best way was to tilt the connector slightly relative to the socket to get an edge lined up, then to flatten it out to push it on with a hefty squish from a fingernail.

      The other thing that helped hugely, not just with the wire connection, but also with getting the screws in, was a grabber tool – a little gizmo with three spring-loaded fingers at the end to hold things like screws and wires securely and guide them to their destination.

      Oh, and it’s cables 1 and 3 on my Early-2008 MacPro3,1 2.8GHz Quad-Core Xeon.

      • Johnny 2 Oct ’11 at 11:15 pm

        Hello Jemmo,

        I also have the early 2008 quad core xeon and really want to get a card, but not 100% what card to buy. You have a link to an ebay one or something even outside of ebay so I don’t get the wrong thing?

        Much appreciated,
        Johnny

        • Tony 4 Oct ’11 at 12:39 am

          Try this

          http://bit.ly/oZn6q9

          If it’s gone by the time you try the link, just get on the ebay page and do a search for

          Broadcom BCM94322MC Mini PCI-e Card 487330-001

          • Johnny 21 Oct ’11 at 5:39 pm

            Just bought it! I’ll update you guys on how it goes :0)

            Thank you for all your help!

            J

  3. steve 1 Sep ’11 at 11:40 pm

    two of the antennas in my Mac Pro aren’t labeled. 1 & 2′s labels are gone, and 3 seems to be the second longest, but be mis-labeled. Can anyone help me to correctly identify the other two, and which antenna goes on the airport card. Does it matter which one goes on which terminal?

    Thanks

  4. Kevin 4 Sep ’11 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks, this helped a lot. I was able to get mine installed and it works great. For sure the hardest part is attaching the antenna connectors. What I found worked best, was to screw down the card FIRST, and THEN attach the connectors. Putting in the screws isn’t hard at all if you have a magnetic screwdriver to hold the screw in place. Once the card was screwed down, I used the flat end of a allen’s wrench to push down on the antenna connector once I had my fingers holding the connector in place. Mine also worked using wires 1 and 3.

    Thanks for the info.

  5. HD Boy 13 Sep ’11 at 8:13 pm

    Here’s a link on a Bluetooth issue that is somewhat related to the WiFi AirDrop issue discussed here:

    http://nobblynoel.wordpress.com/2010/04/25/mac-pro-2009-bluetooth-fix/

    Apparently, some people with Mac Pro’s are encountering lag problems with Apple’s Bluetooth Magic Mouse. Some have speculated that Bluetooth and WiFi antenna wires may be improperly connected or even reversed. This blogger developed a fix for this by installing new, antenna cabling and a more powerful antenna for his Mac Pro. Has anyone encountered Bluetooth mouse lag before or after working on the WiFi AirDrop fix?

  6. tobyone 14 Sep ’11 at 3:46 am

    I get a bit of lag on my BT magic mouse from time to time.. thanx for the post i’m going to have to check this out

  7. Rob 14 Sep ’11 at 4:43 am

    Actually my Bluetooth is behaving much better since installing the new wifi card. Maybe I had a loose antenna connection or something.

    The whole antenna mislabeling thing is really frustrating, not to mention the tags falling off after a few years. You really have to be careful and scientific about the whole process.

    Regarding Airdrop, I have my new card installed, a Broadcom BCM94322MC, $16 on eBay. I had to reboot a few times before it was fully functioning, but it’s performing very well as a network card. Now I just need someone with another computer running Lion to come by for a visit and test Airdrop. (I realized after I got the card installed that I may never actually need to use Airdrop, but I’m always obsessed with getting unsupported features to function on my 6 year old beast!)

  8. tobyone 16 Sep ’11 at 3:01 am

    i found an article about the BT wire.. its apparently it labeled incorrectly in some mac pro.
    wire labeled 1 should be connected to BT card, wires 2&3 to airport card and BT wire should be left unconnected. here is a link http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/Mac_Pro/Bluetooth_MacPro_install/Bluetooth_MacPro_install.html
    i’m going to try this out and see if it makes any change

  9. tobyone 16 Sep ’11 at 5:06 am

    what a mission getting those connections in again! but my magic mouse is running like a dream and wifi at 100%.

    so if you are having problems with your magic mouse lagging, its most probably a Blue Tooth issue. just swap your cables around as per my previous post.

  10. HD Boy 24 Sep ’11 at 1:04 am

    Today, I tried to replace the original, factory-installed Apple OEM Airport Extreme Card in my late 2007, 3GHz dual quad core Mac Pro (2,1) with a new, AirDrop-capable Broadcom Airport Extreme Card (BCM94322MC Mini PCI-e Card 487330-001), but failed.

    Unfortunately, the existing daughter card screws are locked down tight and won’t budge (loctite must have been used). I’m going to have to take this box to a local Apple dealer to have them work on it (they may have to drill out the screws now — the heads are somewhat mangled).

    Bummer.

    BT MOUSE LAG SOLVED
    On a positive note, I disconnected the BT labeled antenna wire from the factory-installed BT card. I then moved wire 1 to the BT card and connected wires 2 and 3 to the Airport Extreme. My Bluetooth mouse lag problems immediately went away! Eureka!

    VIDEO CARD UPGRADED TOO
    While I had the Mac Pro on the bench, I also upgraded the video processing by installing a circa 2010 ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB card to ensure faster graphics performance in OS X Lion. Only a few video cards are compatible with these older Mac Pro’s. This is the same mid-level card that shipped with Mid-2010 Mac Pro’s (along with the 5870 model). Now, it’s sold a $249 Mac Pro upgrade option in the Apple online store.

    This card doubles the VRAM over my old Radeon X1900 card and can lighten the processing load on the system CPUs because it supports OpenCL, which gives Snow Leopard and Lion applications access to the graphics processing unit for non-graphical computing. It also supports Apple’s Quartz Extreme, Core Animation, Core Image and Core Video technologies in Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion and can render large, complex Photoshop, Lightroom and Final Cut X files in seconds instead of minutes. In fact, Final Cut Pro X would not even launch on my old Mac Pro with the original ATI X1900 video card installed.

    Unfortunately, the ATI card does not fully support all the capabilities of the 64-bit CUDA, Mercury Playback Engine that’s used by Premiere Pro CS5 and later. CUDA is an Nvidia GPU architecture and programming language and to my knowledge, the most advanced CUDA processing only is supported by expensive ($800-$1400) Nvidia video cards.

    Apple’s own Knowledge Base documentation does not even list the ATI Radeon 5770 as being compatible with older Mac Pro models, but several of the online store’s “Buyer Comments” indicate that it does work with 2006 and newer models running Snow Leopard (or newer) OS versions. It’s certainly a big step up for my older machine, which is no slouch, but like me, is starting to show its age.

    The Apple (Online) Store carries this card, but so does Fry’s, B&H Photo, and probably some other resellers.

  11. JB 24 Oct ’11 at 3:14 pm

    This helped, thanks for posting.

  12. Johnny 25 Oct ’11 at 10:16 pm

    I just wanted to give major kudos to this post and especially Tony for all the help. I installed airport card, connected wires 1 + 3 and I am surfing the web on my tower without wires in my basement.

    Just one point is that I did not have to download or install the airport enabler, my tower immediately recognized the card and enabled. I’m not saying you don’t have to do this, but it was $1.99 so not a big loss that I purchased the enabler anyway.

    Again, major kudos, you guys saved my life and it cost me maybe $20 in total! :)

  13. Ed 27 Oct ’11 at 6:00 pm

    Just thought I’d drop the note that apparently some Mac Pros may be different in terms of which antenna wires you use. Using 1 & 3 gave me horrible reception, but using 1 & 2 works like a champ. So moral of the story is, be patient and try a few different combos if you don’t get good reception.

  14. Henk 4 Nov ’11 at 3:57 pm

    Tried to get this Airport Card in its place. Cables 1,2 and 3 are all there. are screws already in place or do I need new ones?
    After trying to install the Ethernet connection dropped out. Have I diconnected Amy cable?

  15. Alan Walker 8 Dec ’11 at 2:43 am

    What would be nice to now, is that my computer did not have any wires or card in, I managed to buy the silver bar with wires, but have know idea where it is placed in the cabinet..
    Some help would be great please..
    All the best from Alan

    • Johnny 8 Dec ’11 at 12:22 pm

      Alan,

      Firstly did you make sure you have a tower of the right year to be able to install this?

      If the answer is yes, I’ll tell you that I had the same issue and couldn’t find my wires either. The reason why was because they were somehow pushed back under the MoBo. If you look at Figure 6 above, it is the best picture as far as seeing where they should be. So what I did was take a long piece of plastic and moved wires around a little bit until the three appeared. I say this with extra caution on being VERY careful you don’t push around other wires and disrupt anything actually attached. I cannot stress enough that I’m not recommending to just take something in there and start poking around freely. If you have the right year of tower, they should be there. I don’t have the specs for you but someone here might if you’re patient.

      Also, Henk above…

      Mine also did not come with screws and I had to improvise with my years of collecting computer parts. I was bummed about that but you definitely want this card seated in with screws or you’ll keep fighting with it. I’m not sure anyone can tell you if you disconnected something. Did you? :0)

      J

      • Alan Walker 8 Dec ’11 at 2:09 pm

        Hi Thank you for a very informative reply, The computer is one I brought second hand, it works very well, I added an extra 4 gig of memory, it will not take an other disk, I think the PSU needs upddateing, but I wanted wireless, I got I think the correct card, and I brought the wiring, because I could not see any wires, but I have not taken the computer apart to see if there are any hidden away, is there a way I can find out what wattage the PSU has, or do I need to start stripping the computer down..

        Thanks again..

        All the best from Alan

  16. TC 15 Dec ’11 at 4:32 am

    Okay guys wish me luck. I purchased a newly used display model Mac Pro at Fry’s Electronics two weeks ago. It’s the 2009 Nehalem for sure. I got a great deal on the beast and because i’m a photographer and create photo slides and videos I thought it was a good idea. BUT…it did’t come with a WiFi card and the kids at Best Buy and Fry’s were trying to get me to buy USBs that were not compatable with my machine. So…I ordered the Airport Extreme card from Amazon ($49) and should be here in 3 to 5. I love the internals of the Mac but, as a former PC owner, I wish it could have been a little more user friendly for us tinker’ers. Anyway…has anyone figuered out what size screws I will be needing to secure the card? Also…what a bummer…the Pro doesn’t have slots for my SD camera cards. I really wouldn’t like to use up all my USB ports for items I can buy and install in bays on a PC. These kind of things make me wonder if I made a wise choice moving over to Mac.

    • Alan Walker 15 Dec ’11 at 9:52 am

      I think it may be part 922-7734, see apple web page at:-

      http://www.applemacparts.co.uk/store/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=922-7734

      All the best from Alan

      • TC 15 Dec ’11 at 6:34 pm

        Thanks Alan.

    • Tony 15 Dec ’11 at 12:05 pm

      I located a U.S. supplier for these M2x3mm screws,

      http://www.laptopscrews.com/M2x3.htm

      Based on precise dimensions I took from an actual screw out of the Mac Pro, we determined the closest size would be item #10004. They were extremely helpful, considering that the amount of the purchase was less than $5.

      I was not sure if they would be a 100% fit so I was careful not to over tighten them, but they felt snug, thanks to the dab of loctite from the supplier.

      • TC 15 Dec ’11 at 6:32 pm

        Thanks Tony…I just placed the order for screws a few minutes ago. Will keep you posted.

      • Johnny 15 Dec ’11 at 6:51 pm

        I also just ordered these, thank you so much for the tip. I had mine “rigged” temporarily and was trying to track these down. I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

        J

        • TC 21 Dec ’11 at 2:54 pm

          Hey Johnny…how did you upload your photo.

          • Johnny 21 Dec ’11 at 2:58 pm

            This blog is created using wordpress self hosted which pulls from gravatar. So anytime I post with my email, my images follow me. Cool system and wordpress is the best. That’s what I develop with :0)

            http://en.gravatar.com/

      • TC 20 Dec ’11 at 1:08 am

        Tony..how did you upload your photo. I haven’t found a way to do this and would like to.

        • Tony 21 Dec ’11 at 3:05 pm

          TC, same way as Johnny, via Gravatar.

  17. Jim 18 Dec ’11 at 4:54 pm

    Hi there guys, I’m glad this how-to exists. I just installed the airport extreme card into my 2008 Mac Pro. I came across 3 antenna wires labeled 1, 2, & 3. However the card had terminals labeled 0, 1, & 2. So I only attached 1 & 2. When I boot, the computers “about me” shows that the airport extreme card is now being recognized, however it’s not finding the wifi network that my Macbook pro (typing on right now) and iPhone can find instantly in this same position. I downloaded the Enabler for $1.99 and tried to install it on my Mac Pro, but I got an error message saying “your computer does not meet the hardware requirements for this update”. So now I’m stuck.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    • TC 19 Dec ’11 at 4:02 am

      Jim…in Ed’s post above…he used wires 1 & 3. Those are the wires I will first try when I get my Airport. Try this and let us know if it works.

  18. Jim 19 Dec ’11 at 12:23 pm

    Thanks TC! I will try that. Also a friend of mine told me that I need an external antenna for the Mac Pro. I had no idea, does that sound correct?

    • TC 20 Dec ’11 at 3:09 am

      Jim…so far I haven’t heard anything about needing an antenna for the Airport WiFi signal.

  19. TC 20 Dec ’11 at 1:06 am

    Guys listen to this…I stopped by my favorite electronic store and found a Mac Pro within reach. I removed the side panel and noticed that the Airport was connected to wires 1 & 3. Also, when I returned home…I removed the side panel of MY Mac Pro and noticed that the location of the Airport input and mounting holes are not like the picture shown above. The above photo shows the Airport mounting location above and near the #1 hard drive bay. On my computer it is below and behind the CPU cooler. It should be easy to connect the WiFi unit by just removing the cooling unit. How bout that?

  20. TC 20 Dec ’11 at 1:52 am

    Because I’m new to the world of Macintosh, I decided to do some googling and find out more about the machine I purchased. On the internet I found the 2006 introduction to the first Mac Pro with Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l72MsGZQA8Q&feature=related) In the video, Phil talks about the four hard drive bay slots capable of handling up to a total of 2TB of storage. With the three HDs I have installed now, I total 1640 GB. Does this mean I can only add another 60 GB? Or was this possible only in 2006? What is the capable storage of my 2009, 2.66 GHz Quad Nehalem Mac Pro?
    Because I purchased the display model, I didn’t get any paperwork/instructions/information sheet with it and I have owned it only a few weeks. I am hoping, with your help, to gain as much knowledge about this investment as possible.

    • Tony 20 Dec ’11 at 2:23 am

      The two-terabyte figure was based on the largest hard drives available in the market at the time, 500 gigabytes each. With the three-terabyte drives now available, your Mac Pro is now capable of storing 12 terabytes internally.

      If your 2009 Mac Pro is a quad-core, you can add up to 32 gibibytes of memory. The 8-core is capable of addressing 64 gibibytes.

  21. TC 23 Dec ’11 at 1:03 am

    Okay guys I did it! Whew! Was I sweating bullets. As soon as I received my Airport card, I pulled off the side panel of my Mac Pro and started to work. I guess I know why these things are assembled in China. They need little people with little hands and fingers. The hardest part was getting those wires (1 & 3) onto the board. The card slipped right in to its connector but the screws were too small and my hand too shaky to get it lined up to the holes. But, once in, I was able to get them snug and secure. (BTW…my Airport came with two mounting screws. If anyone needs M2x3mm screws, let me know, I’ll get them out to you). Anyway, I just wasn’t comfortable with how the wires snapped into the board. There was no audible click so I did’t know if I actually made my connection plus I didn’t know how much pressure to put on the connectors. My biggest worry was that I would push down too hard and crack the circuit board. Well….I got it in and connected and, at boot the Beast recognized the addition of the unit and sort of led me through its configuration. Now my Mac Pro aka “Big Mac” is online. Peak signal is 854 kb/sec. How bout that!

    • Plakotaco 28 Dec ’11 at 12:38 pm

      I installed a card I bought off amazon in my gf’s 2007 quad-core mac pro. Getting it all in there was easy enough. I removed the #2 hd and after I fished out the wires from under the edge of the mother board I screwed the wifi card into place. Due to the long and short lengths of the wires I think I went with 2 and 3. This worked but with very poor signal. Next I tried 1 and 3. This showed full bars but was slow to load the simplest of web pages. I had to give up as her parents are in town and wanted to go to bed but believe I’ll be attacking this asap. The real question I have is do I connect wires 1,3 or do I use wires 2,3?

      • Wolfman 29 Dec ’11 at 12:47 am

        1 and 3 is correct. Typically you place 1 towards the bottom and 3 towards the top. Speed
        Will be fine, even in reverse unless you got the BT wire in there by mistake.

        Good luck!

    • Juggalo 30 Dec ’11 at 8:29 pm

      I sure could use those screws if you still have ‘em.

      • TC 30 Dec ’11 at 9:36 pm

        Glad to get them out to you. How?

      • TC 3 Jan ’12 at 5:05 pm

        Ok Bill, the check is in the mail!
        I mean “the screws”.
        The envelope containing the screws was place in my local mail box at 1PM Pacific Standard time. It should be in the United States Postal system by about 5PM.
        At that time it will be on its way to Texas. Shoot me an email when you receive them okay.
        BTW….I know you only need two screws but, I’m sending you three, just in case.

  22. TC 29 Dec ’11 at 4:46 am

    To my MP buddies….I have a question regarding a new subject. The issue is with the connection of my SD card reader to the Mac Pro via USB.
    When I connect the card reader to the computer, it will make note of the fact that a card has been connected and within about 20 sec. will disconnect and an error message stating….I have incorrectly disconnect the card reader and must eject the card prior to unplugging it, (the thing is still connected). Also, because I do video transfers to DVD, I have a Dazzle which will connect my VCR (analog connection, using the white, red, yellow connectors) to the USB. Well, if I connect the Dazzle to the computer while the computer is running, it will not be recognized…if I connect it first then boot…the computer, will then recognize it. This happens on both the front and rear USB connectors. What up?

    • rob 29 Dec ’11 at 4:49 am

      Are you running Lion? Lots of USB peripherals got all whacky under Lion.

      • TC 29 Dec ’11 at 5:28 am

        No…I’m running Snow Leopard.

  23. Juggalo 30 Dec ’11 at 8:27 pm

    Well I thought I would try this and end my internet drought. I went to install the card in my Mac Pro 3.1 and it went fine until I tried to hook up the antenna. One of the leads was giving me trouble and I evidently crushed the receptacle! I am wondering if I can just solder that lead to whats left (the center part). Is it a coax or just a single wire? If its just a single wire I dont see where soldering is a problem. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Juggalo 8 Jan ’12 at 10:03 am

      Okay, I got my replacement card ($20 on Amazon) and tried to install it without destroying it this time. I used antennae lead one in the upper position and three in the lower position. And used the screws that TC sent me (thanks!) and restarted the computer. It shows up in system profiler and it automatically connected to my airport network. Sweet! Thanks a lot guys!!

      BTW, I also picked up a magic trackpad, and I highly recommend it!

  24. Sean 2 Jan ’12 at 3:19 am

    Thanks for putting these directions together. It seemed impossible to install but thanks to your help I made it happen. Much appreciated!

  25. TC 4 Jan ’12 at 3:17 am

    Hey guys…
    Before, when I had a PC, I used Pinnacle Studio to create slideshows using still photos and/or videos for presentations. Now, I am looking at purchasing a program like Final Cut Pro X but,
    this software is way beyond my financial means. I need something less expensive. Can anyone suggest an editing program I can use on my Mac with the same kind of capabilities as Studio?

  26. Christa 5 Jan ’12 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks so much for these very helpful instructions. I have a 2007 dual-core intel xeon Mac Pro that did not come with the airport card installed. I have been able to successfully install the airport card in the slot and connect the antennas, but the computer will not recognize the card. I have done a couple of different configs for the antenna thinking that would help. I have rebooted several times hoping that after a couple of tries it might recognize it. I also did download the enabler and can’t get it to run because it says it cannot be installed on the HD because it does not meet the requirements. I am running Lion on it now and so I am not sure if i really need to run the enabler anyway since I read somewhere in another forum that Snow Leopard included the enabler. I am lost and don’t know what to do. Is it possible I have a bad card? Does anyone have any suggestions for what to check or do? Thanks for you help.

    • Christa 23 Jan ’12 at 11:45 am

      So, I had a bad card. After bad customer service from the place I originally ordered it from I finally got a good card and now my wireless is working great. However, I have another problem and I am not sure what to do with it. As I said I have wireless connection but the airport/wi-fi indicator in the upper right of the menu bar states “WI-FI: No hardware installed”. It also doesn’t show the hardware component in the About Mac system information. It shows I am connected in the network system preferences and I am fully connected and have been for a few days now without any drops in connection. Does anyone have any advice?

      • rob 23 Jan ’12 at 12:34 pm

        I got that same message and a cold reboot solved it.

        • Christa 23 Jan ’12 at 1:22 pm

          Thanks, that worked. I had done at least one reboot since installing but maybe it just needed a couple to get it going. Anyway, thanks so much for the help.

  27. tobyone 6 Jan ’12 at 2:38 am

    with snow leopard and lion it automatically recognizes the card.. may be its not fitted in properly.

  28. Josh 7 Jan ’12 at 10:52 pm

    Cant seem to find my wifi antenna leads.

    I havean 8 core. Can anyone help?

  29. Dave 1 Feb ’12 at 10:18 pm

    Need an airport card and looking to eBay. Found the following:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Airport-Extreme-Card-802-11n-Mac-Pro-Broadcom-4321-/250866324295?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a68cc5347

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300658290679&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123

    I emailed the 2nd entry and the seller said he didn’t think it would work. Any help appreciated!

    • Tony 1 Feb ’12 at 10:57 pm

      As I wrote in a previous post, do a search on ebay for:

      Broadcom BCM94322MC Mini PCI-e Card 487330-001

      This card will work with Air Drop in Lion, and 802.11n or earlier.

      Good luck.

  30. Dave 1 Feb ’12 at 11:47 pm

    Thanks…what concerns me with the card that matched your description is that is says:

    “it is a wireless N Broadcom BCM94322MC with HP/Compaq coding” Will the HP/Compaq coding make it not work on my Mac Pro? Just want to be sure, thanks!

    • Tony 1 Feb ’12 at 11:55 pm

      Not to worry. I have installed the same card in three Mac Pros, from a 2007 to a 2010 model. At first I was doubtful if it would support Air Drop in the older MacPro1,1, but it does.

  31. Dave 1 Feb ’12 at 11:59 pm

    One final question…I am running 10.5.8 on an early 2008 (MacPro3,1) not Lion. Would i need to upgrade to Lion to use this card? Or is Leopard/Airport OK to use? Thanks so much Tony!

    • Tony 2 Feb ’12 at 12:47 am

      Dave, you’re good with Leopard. I also have a MacPro3,1 running Leopard Server with the exact same card. You won’t have Air Drop, but at least you know that if and when you decide to move up to Lion, that card will work. Just so you know, 10.7.3 was released today and after updating my Macs, the Broadcomm cards are working perfectly.

      Good luck getting and installing the card.

      • Dave 20 Feb ’12 at 2:25 pm

        Tony,
        I now have the card installed, but the mac will not hook up to my wireless network. It does see the card as:

        Wireless Card Type: Third Party Wireless Card
        Current Wireless Network: AirPort is currently turned off

        When I attempt to connect using my WEP password is says connection failed. Any thoughts? The card shows up as en3 as Wireless Network Adapter (802.11 a/b/g/n) in the network utility. The Mac website says it should show up in en1. See info here: http://store.apple.com/us/product/D4141ZM/A. Do you think this is a reception issue?

        • Dave 20 Feb ’12 at 2:36 pm

          Sorry…false alarm. I went to the network assistant and told it I will connect to the internet via Airport and entered my password. Not sure what it did in the background but the card connected to my router and I am good to go. Thanks for the advice! Kudos for the step by step and extra “hand holding”.

  32. Herb 7 Feb ’12 at 12:47 pm

    Purchased an airport extreme card from the Reston Apple store. Your comments were instrumental at making the install go smoothly. NO problem!!!! Worked great the first time. Not, however, for the mechanically, physically, visually, or electrically challenged. Having the correct tools and an extendable magnetic pickup widget are a must. Thanks again for your writeup and photos.

  33. Mark 19 Feb ’12 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks for the help here! My card did not come with the mounting screws, so I harvested one from the two that were used to install my Bluetooth card…worked fine. Also, I am using connectors 1 and 2 for my Airport card, and I have great reception.

    Thanks once again for the instruction and support here.

  34. TC 23 Feb ’12 at 6:31 pm

    Hey guys…because I bought a Mac PC, I decided to stick with Mac and get an iPhone 4S. Now I am trying to pair the two so I can do the wireless thing. But….my Mac Pro will find it but, will not connect. What up? Your help will be appreciated.

    • Tony 23 Feb ’12 at 8:09 pm

      TC, not sure if this is what you are having problems with, but if you haven’t set the iPhone 4S to sync over Wi-Fi, first connect the phone to the computer using the USB cable. In iTunes (on the computer), select the iPhone, click on Summary, scroll all the way down to Options and check the box “Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi.” From then on, you should be able to synchronize without the cable.

      This assumes that you have Wi-Fi active on the iPhone (under Settings) and are connected to your Wi-Fi network. You can trigger synchronization from iTunes, or from the iPhone (Settings->General->iTunes Wi-Fi Sync). Just make sure iTunes is running on your computer at this time.

      Good luck.

  35. Robert 27 Feb ’12 at 12:57 am

    I just wanted to say thank you for posting this. These instructions, combined with some browsing on the web, provided enough information to harvest the Airport Extreme card from my pokey nearly-5-year-old MBP that’s on its last legs and breathe new life into my Mac Pro. I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody else, but it’s totally doable. :)

  36. Erika 27 Feb ’12 at 10:06 am

    Thank you. I was able to do this myself and thus avoid paying Apple’s “geniuses” to do it for me.

    Question. Where does the Bluetooth cord connect too?

    Cheers.

    • Tony 27 Feb ’12 at 1:23 pm

      Congrats, Erika. Don’t get confused by the three wires. Just leave the odd one alone. Bluetooth has it’s own antenna. I, too, assumed that the third wire was for bluetooth until I worked on a Mac Pro with bluetooth already installed.

      • Earl 27 Feb ’12 at 3:22 pm

        Tony, I appreciate how you’ve stepped up and play such a central role in answering many of the commenters questions on this issue. I’ve been away from the subject mater a while but I’ve certainly noticed how helpful you’ve been to the community. Thank-you!

        • Tony 27 Feb ’12 at 3:34 pm

          My pleasure, Earl. You’re most welcome.

  37. alex 21 Mar ’12 at 6:52 pm

    I have a newer 2.66 Quad-Core Intel Xeon. I just bought an airport extreme for it. I can’t find where to put in on the motherboard. I keep finding videos on how to install it on the earlier quads. But, my motherboard doesn’t have the bluetooth and wireless internet slots under hard drive bays 1 and 2. Where is it? Thanks!

    • Tony 21 Mar ’12 at 7:45 pm

      Alex, the AE card for your model MP is located towards the bottom left side of the machine. When you pull out the memory module (lower left), you should see the connector and hopefully the wires, if they are not tucked away hidden from view. For these installations I have always used wires #2 and #3, but you may have to experiment with other combinations if your reception is not acceptable.

      You would think that with the newer design, installation would be easier, but it’s not. It’s as tight down there as it is underneath the drive bay.

      Good luck.

      • alex safdie 23 Mar ’12 at 4:49 pm

        I see the wires but I have the airport extreme card model # BCM94322MC
        Not sure how to hook this up through wires, it needs a slot to kink in. Maybe I bought the wrong one from B and H?

        • Tony 23 Mar ’12 at 6:40 pm

          That looks like the correct model number. The full product name for the kind I have been ordering is Broadcom BCM94322MC Mini PCI-e Card 487330-001. It should look like this,

          http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2241210/IMG_0507.JPG

          It’s compatible with Lion and AirDrop.

          The connectors on the left plug into the slot on the motherboard. The two (tiny) connectors, J1 and J2 (circled) are for the two antenna wires. The two holes on the corners are for the mounting screws. Getting the antenna leads to snap onto the J2 and J1 connectors is the toughest part of the installation.

          • jimmy 1 Jan ’13 at 11:44 pm

            Hi there,

            quick question. I have a MacPro 3,1 bought in 2009. It has an Apple Card in there already, but it doesn’t support Wireless LAN wakeup. Will this Broadcom BCM94322MC Mini PCI-e Card 487330-001 allow me to do so?

            I can wakeup via ethernet, but would like to wake up wirelessly. It says in my system profiler that Wireless LAN is not available. I’m assuming the new card would allow for it to work?

            thanks,

  38. bobby good 12 Apr ’12 at 11:25 am

    Thank you! Absolutely perfect! I used wires 1 and 2. Works fine.
    The card is used was a Broadcom 4321 WLAN Wireless Airport Extreme Card 802.11n

  39. Richard 19 Apr ’12 at 11:09 pm

    I just installed a Broadcom BCM4322MC in my 2006 MP.

    The install went fine, I used antenna wires 1 & 3 (#2 was way too short).

    I powered up the machine and it has a wireless network icon. I can connect to my WiFi but in the Network Preferences it shows as a “Bluetooth PAN”

    Heres the info from Network->Wi-Fi:

    Software Versions:
    CoreWLAN: 2.1.2 (212.1)
    CoreWLANKit: 1.0.2 (102.2)
    Menu Extra: 7.0.2 (702.1)
    configd plug-in: 7.1.2 (712.1)
    System Profiler: 7.0 (700.3)
    IO80211 Family: 4.1.2 (412.2)
    WiFi Diagnostics: 1.0.1 (101.1)
    AirPort Utility: 6.0 (600.92)
    Interfaces:
    en2:
    Card Type: AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x8E)
    Firmware Version: Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (5.100.98.75.19)
    MAC Address: 00:26:08:f2:b4:2d
    Locale: FCC
    Country Code: US
    Supported PHY Modes: 802.11 a/b/g/n
    Supported Channels: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 100, 104, 108, 112, 116, 120, 124, 128, 132, 136, 140, 149, 153, 157, 161, 165
    Wake On Wireless: Supported
    AirDrop: Supported
    Status: Network Service Inactive

    Any suggestions?

  40. Brian 20 Jun ’12 at 11:20 pm

    Bought a used HP card (Broadcom BCM94322MC Mini PCI-e Card 487330-001) on eBay for $5 (with free shipping) and bought the #10004 screws mentioned above (http://www.laptopscrews.com/M2x3.htm). The screws cost $7.50 with shipping… $12.50… and everything works great! Thank you very much for posting this and for everyones suggestions. It helped a bunch. BTW, I have a MacPro Early 2008 and used wires 1 and 3.

    Software Versions:
    CoreWLAN: 2.1.2 (212.2)
    CoreWLANKit: 1.0.3 (103.2)
    Menu Extra: 7.1 (710.1)
    configd plug-in: 7.2.1 (721.3)
    System Profiler: 7.0 (700.3)
    IO80211 Family: 4.2 (420.3)
    WiFi Diagnostics: 1.0.2 (102)
    AirPort Utility: 6.0 (600.92)
    Interfaces:
    en2:
    Card Type: Third-Party Wireless Card
    MAC Address: 00:21:00:da:f7:fb
    Supported PHY Modes: 802.11 a/b/g/n
    Supported Channels: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 100, 104, 108, 112, 116, 120, 124, 128, 132, 136, 140, 149, 153, 157, 161, 165
    AirDrop: Supported

  41. Matt 21 Jun ’12 at 7:32 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks for this write up! I just bought and installed the card for my 3,1 Mac Pro and (once I finally found the antennae leads hidden behind the motherboard) I’m good to go. Thanks again for the great instructions!
    -Matt

  42. adamdoak 3 Jul ’12 at 4:44 pm

    I tried to apply what advice you gave – even used a flat headed filer over a screw driver as I was concerned of the dmage from a screw driver should it slip and also, that more surface area should give even pressure on the connector.

    After 20 minutes, the female connector at point 2 broke away after the file slipped under the pressure. The file slightly connected with the motherboard also. I bought the whole thin second hand for 1700 Gbp. It no longer starts.

    Thank you for the advice, but I think you should remove it other than to say leave it to the professionals. No screw drivers.

    I used magnifying glasses and a head lamp and did everything you suggested, god knows how much more money this is going to cost to fix a motherboard or worse replace it – plus, I never new my license info and cannot now retrieve itnso willnhave to cover a new software install – plus, it came second hand with adobe suite which I will never be able to buy.

    Complete mess.

    • Earl 3 Jul ’12 at 5:13 pm

      Out of the hundreds of people here that have installed these cards you’re the very first I’ve heard of damaging their Mac Pro. The metal of files (filers) are tempered differently. They are harder and brittle, breaking easier then the metal of a screwdriver. If you would have asked here about using a “filer” instead of a screwdriver I’m sure you would have been told it wasn’t a wise thing to do.

      I’m sincerely sorry you experienced this, but I honestly can’t see how this happened except for carelessness or excessive force. I also would never recommend using a file in the place of a screwdriver, that was your decision. I clearly stated at the very beginning this was NOT considered by Apple to be a user installation and that it wasn’t a job for the timid.

      I understand that doesn’t help you now.

    • Rob 6 Jul ’12 at 6:44 am

      One should know when one is in over one’s head. A man’s got to know his limits.

  43. alex 15 Aug ’12 at 12:05 pm

    Just done it! brilliant. A few tips from me.

    Purchase a magnetic screwdriver first, it will save you losing screws, and be very simple. I have a rolson kit, brilliant for all computer needs. Then touch the top of your mac, to stop static electricity.

    Put the mac on its side, so you are working down on the mac. Hold the card in place, and gently push the left side of card into place, it will gently snap into place. (the connectors are at top)

    Next screw down the card, using magnetic screwdriver, be careful to have the wires ready, not underneath the card. NOW THE BEST TIP, when you attach the attenaes, have them coming in from the left, so hold the wires coming in horizontal from the left. Not from any other angle. Do the top one first. hold it over the connector, and when exactly over, push down with finger, until it feels solid (won’t move) it will not really snap into place. Now attach the bottom one, in the same way, be careful not to knock first wire.

    Then job done. enjoy

    • Ben 15 Oct ’12 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you for the best tip ever Alex!
      I tried putting them in from the left and it finally worked!!!!! WOOHOO!!!

  44. adamdoak 19 Aug ’12 at 7:49 am

    Earl,

    I took my mac to a specialist and they offered 150 fix all problems to motherboard which helpd me diagnose the reason the mac was no longer starting. It turns out that is was just dirty and needed cleaning -my messing around dislodging dirt somewhere that was causing a short. After a 150 GBP motherboard cleaning which I could have done with a can of compressed air, I set to the task again and successfully atteched as per your dirtections so I am glad to report a still maintained 100% success rate. If it helps anyone else out there reading this, I attached the antennas to the card prior to installing the card to its ‘slot’ to allow freedom in some seriously limited space, then fixed it down!

    Thank you and sorry for the mellodrama.

    Adam

    • Earl 19 Aug ’12 at 10:43 am

      I’m very glad for you it turned out not to be a damaged motherboard and that you were successful installing the wireless card. I understand how stressful it must have been when your Mac stopped booting and I appreciate you leaving an update of your situation.

  45. Trevor 26 Aug ’12 at 12:24 am

    Hi All,

    It looks like I should have come here first.

    I just bought an early 2008 Mac Pro. It didn’t have wifi, so I bought an Airport Extreme card from Apple.

    I installed the card and have used wires 1 & 2 as well as 1 & 3. Every time the System Profiler shows “No Information Found” under AirPort Card.

    I’ve checked that it is inserted all the way into the motherboard.

    I’m at wits end! Any help is much appreciated.

    Trevor

    • Tony 26 Aug ’12 at 12:28 pm

      Hey, Trevor. Sorry about your troubles. It might sound silly but have you tried antennae #2 and #3? It seems like #1 is the common denominator to the failures. In my experience I’ve had the best luck using 2 and 3 anyway.

      It could also be oxidation on the contact surfaces of the card and slot. I always use a contact cleaner/enhancer when plugging in cards like this (e.g., memory modules, PCI cards, etc.). DeoxIT D5 is a personal choice of min.

      Good luck,
      Tony

  46. John 5 Sep ’12 at 11:21 am

    Late to the game but figured I’d put my two cents in.

    Got the card, read the thread and all of a sudden realized I should take to an apple store. But… having been a PC power user for years and now doing a fair bit of upgrades for the mac I went for it.

    Keep in mind I’m almost 300 lbs, have hot dog fingers with little to no dexterity (I have really bad carpel tunnel). But I’ve been working on computers for years and know a few tricks which I’ll share with you.

    1) attach the antenna wires BEFORE you bolt down the card. Incredibly easy. They just “Snap” into place. Additionally this gave my massive hands room to maneuver them. No tools needed for this step – just like putting a snap together model together.

    2) I couldn’t find my magnetic screwdriver set so I just used a cheapo eyeglass repair screwdriver kit. Non-magnetic. So, what I did was as soon as I was done with the antennas, I then took the screw (which I stole from the BT card), carefully put in the whole (which was easy because the card was still freely moving) and then put a tiny piece of scotch tape over the screw, affixing it to the card. Slid the card into place, used the cheapo screwdriver to screw in the screw. The tape actually stuck to the screwdriver (I was stabbing through it to get to the screw) so when I was done, it automatically removed the tape.

    Powered up… and away we go! By the way it was wires 1 & 3 that worked for me.

    Disclaimer – follow at your own risk.

    Cheers!

  47. ChuckR 2 Oct ’12 at 9:35 pm

    Bought this a while ago, got an RMA from the vendor, but never got around to returning it. Much later, pulled an old laptop apart and practiced on its wireless. On the Mac Pro, I fished out the ridiculously thin leads using 6″ long tweezers – and a flashlight to spot them. I installed the card first, then attached the leads using my fingers followed by an unsharpened pencil to snap them in place. I can’t imagine why Apple felt the need to put that tiny card in the giant Mac Pro box – its a lot easier to work on a laptop compared to deep within the Mac Pro.

    After a couple tries, got it to access the network using MAC address filtering and encryption. The initial setup didn’t have a way to select which encryption to use and so the password was bad. Saving the location and bringing it up again allowed selection et voila.

  48. Ben 15 Oct ’12 at 4:55 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this up! I would have been lost without it.

    I bought a MAGNETIC SCREWDRIVER size “0″ specifically for this install.
    I bought my card from amazon and it came with screws. http://amzn.com/B0012YYITW

    Placing the card in and getting it screwed in was easy peasy thanks to the magnetic screwdriver.

    I connected wires 1 and 3 making sure to approach the connectors FROM THE LEFT and they finally secured on!

    Thanks everyone for your additional comments. They really helped.

  49. Dan White 23 Oct ’12 at 8:37 am

    Do I need to purchase mounting screws to install the Airport card?

    Thanks,
    Dan

    • Ben 27 Nov ’12 at 2:48 pm

      my card came with screws.

  50. Jodi B Grasso 10 Dec ’12 at 10:13 am

    Thank you for doing this!! I found other sites, but they said nothing about the antennas and since mine were hiding, I could not figure it out on my own.

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