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Old Nov 8, 2009, 01:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2009
2006 Macbook Wifi failure: replace wifi card, figure out D-Link 140, or other?

Hi all,

Exec Summary:
My fundamental problem is that the Wifi card in my 2006 Macbook no longer functions (it worked well for 2 years, then has degraded over the past 1 year). I am looking for suggestions to either replace the card (but nervous about paying someone $80 parts and $80 labor to do this) or to simply add a USB wifi dongle (seem to be about $40) so that I do not have the trouble of opening the machine, etc.

Details: Hardware
2006 Macbook Core Due running 10.5.8 with 2GB.
Airport Express connected to a Siemens ADSL router.
IBM T61p laptop, also with wifi, from work.

Details: Problem
1. The Siemens ADSL router works great, because when I connect the router via ethernet cable directly to the Macbook, all is well.
2. The Airport Express works great, because my IBM laptop [the T61p] connects perfectly to it all over the house via the ADSL router.
3. The system is correctly configured, in that it has functioned historically just fine. From 2006-2008, the Macbook worked great in this configuration, and then the sensitivity of the Macbook wifi card seemed to diminish about 1 year ago. Since then, I have had to have the Macbook within about 5 feet of the Airport Express for it to wirelessly connect. Thus, I have assumed for quite some time that my Macbook wifi card was dying.

Current Situation:
As of last week, the wifi sensitivity is of the Macbook is shot, and the Macbook is constantly dropping connection to the Airport Express, making the wifi connection unusable. We have switched to just an ethernet cable from the Siemens router and that continues to work fine. Of course, the IBM laptop still uses the Airport Express around the house fine (like now!).

Problem Resolution Request:
Assuming that indeed the wifi card in the Macbook is dead, I need to either replace it internally or replace it via a USB card. I searched the forums, and bought a D-LINK 140 Wireless USB G/N wifi dongle (http://d-link.com/products/?pid=DWA-140&tab=3), and this is the Rev B. Sadly I cannot get it to work. I downloaded the software from D-Link's website, installed the package, and thought it might function. When looking within System Preferences, I see a new "USB Ethernet (en2)", and when I plug in the USB dongle it briefly flashes. However, System Preferences shows "No Connection". I called D-Link support, but they said it was not in fact compatible.

So, here are my final questions:
1. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to get the D-Link to work?
2. Does anyone have a suggestion on a different USB Wifi card that WILL work?
3. Does anyone think going to the Mac Store is really the best option for replacing the card?

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