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Macbook Bluetooth Hardware Not Found Issue -- RESOLVED.

48242 Views 69 Replies Latest reply: Oct 18, 2010 7:56 AM by Punctual Diva RSS
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achun Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 10, 2007 1:34 PM
This issue had been annoying me for full 12 months. I knew this issue long time ago but I was hoping a software patch could fix it so I didn't have to bring it for service.

The symptom was almost the same as everybody else: Randomly bluetooth hardware not found-- in both Mac Os and windows. No pattern of disappearing was observed. Just sudden appear or disappear.

Lately, I was too stupid to notice that the warranty was expired but this defect still had not been rectified. End up too sad and wanted to sell this piece of plastic. But was thinking, who's gonna buy a defective notebook no matter how new it is.

Then I ended up picking up a screwdrive and deassemble the unit myself as the warranty was expired anyway.

I followed a website which illstruated how to deassemble the unit STEP-BY-STEP until I could see the tiny bluetooth module. You would see the module is 'glued' on the bottom of the upper right of the plastic case with 2 3-4inches long wires which one of them connecting an antenna located on the DVD drive; and the other one linking to 4pins on the logic board (believed to be USB port).

The abovementioned 2nd cord connecting to the USB port traveled a LONG LONG way along with some power cable for CPU fan; data cord for DVD drive and harddrive; and somemore but I forgot which. Then I analyzed the symptom of sudden appear/disappear is due to two reaons: bad wire connection; or interference with other cable (as mentioned, it traveled a long way)

I carefully disconnected the cable and reconnected again and made sure it was tightly connected. Then I isolate the bluetooth port cable which were tied up together with other wires and reroute it in order to avoid interference w/ other cables.

Before I put all the screws back again, I turned on the computer and ran it for for 5 hours -- tried in windows and Mac OS with all applications and bluetooth file exchange/ data connection etc. Guess what -- Bluetooth worked flawlessly. Then I reassemble the whole unit again and the issue didn't happen.

My assumption was right that: most likely the senstive bluetooth device cable connecting the module and the logic board was interfered by other cables with huge current flow or electromagnetic; or simply the cable is not tightly plugged.

< Edited by Host, No personal information please. >
Macbook 1st Gen 2.0ghz, Mac OS X (10.4.10), 2gig Ram Dual Channel. Otherwise original
  • Omer Bila Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    I'm impressed. Takes some guts to do what you did.
    Intel Imac, Mac Pro (quad), MacBook, Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.4.10), The MacPro Big Kahuna
  • Alin Pilkington Calculating status...
    Hi Achun,

    What was the website which gave you the step by step dissassembly instructions?


    Macbook C2D, Mac OS X (10.4.8), 2GB RAM, 160 GB HD
  • cmt268 Calculating status...
    PLEASE REPLY AND GIVE ME THE LINK TO THE WEBSITE THAT SHOWS YOU HOW TO FIX THIS PROBLEM!!!! That would be greatly appreciated. I have had this problem for months now and I'm tired of it. I am in the same situation you are with the warranty no longer available. I'm willing to open up the laptop and reroute this bluetooth cable, or I'll just disconnect it all together seeing how I don't use it.

    Please reply to the thread or email me at

    Thanks thanks thanks thanks
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • smarch Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 14, 2007 11:45 PM (in response to achun)
    I will be trying this aswell, i just received an MCE optibay, so I was going to open up my 16month old macbook anyways. Good to hear that there is one person that has found at least some way of getting around this most anoying problem.
    Cheers from hong kong [i type this chillin in soho, gotta love those late brunches ^_^)
    macbook 1st gen, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Roel Smelt Calculating status...
  • cmt268 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yes use the above website for disassembly instructions. This is not an easy procedure. I suggest when taking out screws, you label where the go so you don't get confused. When selecting what to do on the website, select "optical drive". The bluetooth module and antenna are in that location.

    I did this procedure and it took an hour or so. My bluetooth cable was intertwined with all the other power cables that was mentioned in the top post. I rerouted mine to make it the last wire on the outside of the wire track. Just keep this bluetooth cable as far away as possible from the other cables.

    I put my macbook back together and now I haven't had any problems in the last 3 days!!!!!
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • Perry5 Calculating status...
    It seems the bluetooth and the inability for the MacBook to sleep are related.

    Does this also fix the sleep issue?
    MacBook 1.83, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • cmt268 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yes the two are related. It fixes both problems. I had both problems as well. I don't use the bluetooth so I could care less if that was unavailable, but it was causing my computer not to sleep when I shut the lid. So yes, this fixes both problems.
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • Roel Smelt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Oke - I have disassembled my MacBook. I have found the Bluetooth antenna, one black wire, 1 inch, to a small print. From here four wires, 4 inches or longer are connected to a BT unit next to where all other connectors (in the middle) are. There is nothing to unwire.

    What I did is putting everything back but with the least intertwining. Until now: my bluetooth is up-and-running.
  • cmt268 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yeah that's what I did. There is nothing to do but reroute it with the least amount of wires. You can't reroute it by itself bc the cable isn't long enough. So I just put the wire on the outside, as close to "by it self" that it can be, and I have had no problems with the bluetooth (or sleep) for the past week.
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • Perry5 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Based on this very clever concept and just wanting the sleep functionality - not the bluetooth (or the headache of pulling everything apart) I decided to try the following:

    - shut down the computer completely
    - unplugged it and pulled out the battery
    - left it for a few hours to let it completely cool off and discharge
    - rebooted, and voila, the bluetooth menu is available again
    - now that it's available I turned off bluetooth in the control panel
    - it's been going to sleep and waking up properly ever since

    It's only been two days so far, but it's a very simple work-around that might be good for some people and won't void any warrenty.

    If it stops working I'll post to let you know.
    macBook 1.83, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • pjkim Calculating status...
    I am having the same problem with my new MacBook- Bluetooth is "Not Available."

    In my case at least, it appears to be an Mac OS problem rather than a hardware problem. I say that because after a fresh reboot, Bluetooth is not available in Mac OS. When I start Windows XP under VMWare (nice program by the way), Bluetooth can find my phone! In other words, the MacBook Bluetooth hardware/driver work correctly under Windows XP in virtual mode when the native Mac OS can not detect the hardware.

    I don't think that rerouting the Bluetooth wires would help in my case. Perhaps the rerouting of wires is true-true but unrelated.

    I don't have a solution at the moment.
    MacBook 2.16, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Roel Smelt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    6 days and counting. My bluetooth is up and running without failure.
    I am using a wireless mighty mouse all the time.

    It is quite clear for me that it is a hardware issue. When the bluetooth was unavailable you could also hear another buzz. So, it seems to be the interference with the other cables.

    Fingers crossed.
  • marceloprimo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 27, 2007 12:45 PM (in response to achun)
    Makes sense to me, since when Bluetooth is not available, the machine win't go to sleep, and the dvd makes some noises every so often.

    I managed to turn off Bluetooth when it was back again, and now the machine goes to sleep OK.

    I need Bluetooth and have the machine still in warranty, so will take it to the mac representative instead of atempting this myself, but will show them this thread.

    macbook 2GHz Intel Core Duo 1 GB 667 MHz DDR2, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
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