Wi-Fi: No Hardware Installed on MacBook Pro 2015. Need help from Expert Mac Users/Devs

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Applebik, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Applebik macrumors newbie

    Applebik

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    #1
    This question is from a experienced mac user (me) who has literally searched the entire web and still hasn't got the answer. So to start I got a MacBook Pro 2015 on Sierra. Two weeks earlier, one moment the Wi-Fi was working and four hours later there was the no hardware installed problem. I can assure you that no one was near that Mac during those 4-5 hours but maybe it went through an an auto OS update. Here are the things I tried :

    1) Basic PRAM/NVRAM/SMC Reset.... like around a hundred times.
    2) Safe Mode
    3) Running that disk check in disk utility
    4) Disk Check in Single User Mode with the terminal code fsck -fy Result : Disk appears OK

    Here are the things I'm working on but can't get it to be done :

    1) Kext utility to replace the IO80211Family.kext

    I plan to replace my current kext with the one in my other 2012 Mac on the same OS version. But I can't get it to delete. I tried going root user mode and deleting it via terminal commands + single user mode. But it still does not allow me to delete it.

    Problem 2:

    Currently I've been using a TP-Link Wi-Fi USB stick as a temporary solution.
    Side Effects : Cannot use iMessage, Facetime or download apps from the Mac App Store.

    To counter this, I've tried Layman's kext solution in Tonymacx86 which allows the USB stick to pose as an internal Wi-Fi and allow me access to iMessage, FaceTimeand the Mac App Store. But due to my poor technical knowledge about gits, kext etc etc, I could not get past patching something in the MaciASL. Here's the link, if you want to know what I am talking about : https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/laymans-guide-to-access-mac-app-store-with-nu llethernet-kext.127059/

    The only thing I have not given a try is restoring the Mac due to lack of Wi-Fi and a 6 GB Pen Drive. So I still gotta wait a few days until that arrives.

    I know that hardware damage is unlikely unless some hardware was damaged magically on its own when I was alone at my home. But still, after looking at some old forums, which suggested to look whether the Wi-Fi ribbons are connected and to clean the area near the Airport card, I decided to open my Mac up. I didn't go as near to removing the airport card due to my inexperience in hardware issues but the Wi-Fi ribbon and all the connections appeared alright from the outside.

    Finally, to conclude please don't advise me to go to the Apple Store or give me links for solving router issues or other unrelated sites. Any good advice regarding something I may have missed will be greatly appreciated. I have multiple Airport Expresses and two Time Capsules over two internet connections. The warranty is over and they wanted to charge me 50$ for just "diagnosing" it. I'm probably sure that even if I gave them the money, they would charge me 600$ to replace the motherboard or may even ask me to pay the whole sum for replacing the entire Mac itself since I live in a place which lacks original Apple Stores. We have authorized ones here which means they do more replacements here than actual service.



    Regards,
    Bikram.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    It's possible that the wireless card has died. Do you still have Bluetooth? If you boot into Recovery Mode, can you see wireless networks?
     
  3. Applebik, Jan 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017

    Applebik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Applebik

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    #3
    Bluetooth is working fine. Cannot see Wi-Fi in Recovery mode. I really don't understand how the card can die automatically as it was working fine one moment and the next moment it wasn't. There was no physical or water damager, in fact there is not even a scratch on it. I have the necessary tools to open Mac but I really don't know how to check whether the ribbon connections or the airport card is alright. Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
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    #4
    Wireless cards don't automatically die, that isn't a feature. They're an electrical component after all and they can fail without warning at anytime. The first step would be to reseat both ends of the wireless ribbon. If that fails to fix the problem, the wireless card and/or ribbon will need to be replaced.
     
  5. Applebik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Applebik

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    #5
    Okay so I open my MacBook pro up.
    All the wires seem to be fine but the Airport card has this minute green substance on the bottom. Should I remove it?
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #6
    Possibly, either way it's very likely you'll need a new wireless card.
     
  7. Applebik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Applebik

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    #7
    Here's the picture.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2017 ---
    Alright, I'll try to get a new one now. Thanks for your help.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. smirking macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #8
    Before you get a new wireless card, consider that the cable connecting the card to the motherboard is damaged. That's what happened to me. I had the same set of bewildering symptoms. My Wifi was fine one minute and then it was "No Hardware Installed" the next. I was able to get my Wifi back periodically before it went out for good.

    This happened on a 2012 MBP though and I don't know if later MBP models were vulnerable to the same issue. The cable in question is a rather flat and broad cable. Mine certainly didn't show any signs of remarkable damage. It was a little crinkled in the middle, but that may not have had anything to do with the damage.

    If your Bluetooth is fine, but your Wifi is hosed, it might be the cable. If the card is bad, the Bluetooth will probably be dead too.
     
  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #9
    That looks a lot like corrosion or damage. A new wireless card is required.
     
  10. Applebik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Applebik

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    #10
    As I said earlier, Bluetooth is working "Fine" but I really don't know how to tell whether the cable is fine or not.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. smirking macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
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    #11
    I've never owned any of the rMBP models so I don't know what the internals look like at all. I don't even know if that ribbon that I'm talking about is even present in your model.

    Here's what it looks like in the 2012. Go to step 6 of this iFixit guide:
    https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBoo...012+AirPort-Bluetooth+Board+Replacement/10757

    It's the AirPort/Bluetooth ribbon cable that connects it to the logic board.
     
  12. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #12
    The ribbon cable is there, but the wireless card has corrosion on it. How that got there, I do not know. But it has damaged it to the point were the WiFi part of it no longer works.
     
  13. smirking macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Well, if replacing the card doesn't work, try replacing the ribbon. Or try the ribbon first and then the card.
     
  14. cambookpro macrumors 603

    cambookpro

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #14
    I had the same problem with my 2011 MBP - intermittent 'No Hardware Installed' message on WiFi, but Bluetooth would work fine. Ended up just being the flex cable which needed replacing.

    Think the design has changed quite a bit though with the retina models - and the corrosion in the picture suggests it may be a problem with the card itself unfortunately.
     
  15. smirking macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Totally not what you'd expect, right? I couldn't believe it was the ribbon. I never would have figured it out had I not done some extra Googling after a wireless card replacement didn't solve it. I found a couple of other people who had the exact same issue.

    Yeah, I'd agree that it's probably the card in this case. It's only a 2015 so you probably wouldn't expect the ribbon to fail and the card has visible signs of damage.
     
  16. Applebik, Jan 31, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017

    Applebik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Applebik

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    #16
    I would like to thank you all your suggestions (both demotivating and motivating) guys but literally all I had to do was clean it and place it back. Although it was still not working last night, I tried running a diagnostic today morning by pressing the D key after powering the device on. The diagnostic completed with zero errors which I really found absurd. I restarted and Voila! Wi-Fi was back just like magic. So at the end of it, looks you can add cleaning corrosion to the endless list of solutions too. It may even be my good luck but at the end of the day it saved me from a expensive trip to the Apple Store where they would probably ask me to take out 700$ to replace the entire motherboard. LOL
     
  17. therealseebs macrumors 65816

    therealseebs

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #17
    I would advise you to be really careful, for one simple reason:

    You don't know where the corrosion came from.

    And there's nothing in there that ought to be able to produce corrosion like that if it hasn't failed in some way. So maybe a capacitor blew and leaked goo, who knows. But something happened. And it may happen again, or it may cause other damage. Downside, if you don't have applecare, checking it out will presumably cost money. But I'd be pretty concerned.
     

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