Previous 1 2 3 Next 72 Replies Latest reply: Jan 20, 2016 7:39 PM by LSeanS1962
Patricia Henwood Level 3 (930 points)

I have a MacBook aluminum unibody (late 2008) with OS 10.7.5.  This morning when I turned it on,  the wifi icon in the Menu bar was 'empty' (i.e. no bars) - clicking on the icon gave me the info that 'wifi is off' - I clicked 'turn wifi on'- nothing happened.  I opened System Preferences - Network.  Status showed Wi-Fi is off.  I clicked on the 'turn wifi on' button - nothing happened.  I restarted the MacBook - repeated the above steps - six times now - always the same result :-(


Can anyone suggest some other trouble shooting steps to take?


I've also unplugged and re-started the modem/router.  AIl other devices in the house can connect to the network without any problems - my MacBook is the only device having problems!




MacBook (13-inch Aluminum Late 2008), Mac OS X (10.7.5)
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,079 points)

    I had the same symptoms on my early 2008 MacBook Pro.


    The "fix" was a new internal wireless card. That is a job for a service shop.


    You might want to follow this post to see if there might be a miracle cure, though:


                     Re: No airport card installed            

  • Patricia Henwood Level 3 (930 points)

    Many thanks for the response Bob - may I ask whether that was an expensive 'fix'?


    Even though it's now 'ancient'  I'm very happy with my MacBook - I've upgraded the RAM to 8GB as well as replacing the original HD with a 750 GB 7200 rpm Western Digital HD, however, I realise that one reaches a stage where parts start to fail or become unreliable and there's no real point in spending any more money trying to keep the old MacBook going indefinitely.


    I had a look online and couldn't find any reference to replacement wireless cards for my Model A1278 - only a Bluetooth Board replacement - I thought that if there were a replacement wireless card the reference for it would be Airport Extreme?


    Perhaps, if I don't turn it off again the problem won't arise .....


    I persisted this morning in turning the machine on and off and, after about 15 minutes, I finally managed to have it turn on with the wireless icon functioning.  Fingers crossed....



  • Bob Timmons Level 10 (98,079 points)

    About $175 as I recall....mostly labor.


    Hopefully, the wireless card will hold on a bit longer.

  • AtlantaElise Level 1 (5 points)

    I just had this similar problem happen to me! Although you have probably resolved your issue by now, this is what I ended up doing to fix it.

    1. Go to System Preferences and open 'Network' - or click your wifi triangle along the top tool bar and select 'open network preferences'.

    2. Click your wifi on the left hand side from the list, and then click the small cog at the bottom of that box, and click 'Make Service Inactive'.

    3. Once you've done that, click the minus to delete your wifi as an option from this box.

    4. APPLY!!


    All other instructions I read said to click the plus and add your wifi again and then restart. Well that did nothing for me, infact it did nothing about 7 or 8 times, soooooo...


    5. Restart your computer now, without any wifi configuration setup.

    6. Once restarted, go back into system preferences, into network, and use the + button to add a wifi connection back into your computer.  With any luck, you will be able to click on 'Turn wifi on' and it will actually work!

  • Patricia Henwood Level 3 (930 points)

    Thanks Elise, fortunately for me I haven't had the problem since my last post (although I have had it several times in the past) and, as Bob Tmmons pointed out, it's most likely because my MacBook is now coming up to 5 years old which, I believe, is positively jurassic in IT years ;-)


    If my problem does re-occur I wil remember your 'fix' and see if it works for me, too.


    Many thanks


  • ChrisZam Level 1 (0 points)



    I had the same problem as Tricia and took your advice, only I am unable to figure out how to add a wifi network. The list does not give me a wifi option when I press the add sign. Suggestions, Elise?




  • Smokeyp Level 1 (0 points)

    i was having same issue today (first time ever happened)and tried your tip and after restarting it worked.thanks

  • Smokeyp Level 1 (0 points)

    once you hit the plus u should see select interface and name for new service and beside iterface it shows bluetooth pan.dont know if u tried or not but click little arrows on bluetooth pan and wireless option is there.if u just mean its not showing up after doing this sorry fo not helping

  • Greg Beaton Level 1 (35 points)

    Thank you Elise! This solved my problem

  • AtlantaElise Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi Chris,


    Sorry I don't have any suggestions! I'm so technologically challenged I'm surprised I was able to fix my own let alone actually help some other people! Maybe a call to Apple might be in order?


    Sorry again!



  • AtlantaElise Level 1 (5 points)

    Good to hear Patricia! Mine did the same thing the next day so I'm hoping this isn't going to become a regular occurrence... My MacBook is also one of the first released unibodies and is still pushing on like a trooper so I have no doubts that mine cracks it every now and again purely because it's old!

  • alexinfla Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you, Elise! Your suggestion worked for me! I'm thinking I need to do as Tricia did and upgrade memory (I still have the original 2GB) as well as keeping a watchful eye on my wireless card ...


    All the best ... -alex

  • DavidinWilliamsburg Level 1 (0 points)

    Dear AtlantaElise,

       Many thanks for posting - your solution worked perfectly for me... I was fearing the need to replace

    my Airport Exterme card. Now all is well again!



  • alexinfla Level 1 (0 points)

    I wrote too soon ... Shut down the bitbox to attend to a few honey-do projects and when I powered back up the wi-fi was off again. Elise's procedure brought it back online (great relief).


    A trip to a fix-it shop is on my short list for the first of the week to check configuration and (probably) install a new wireless gizmo. I don't want to push my luck.


    Thanks to Tricia for posting the question originally, to Bob for his hardware answer and to Elise for a great temporary work-around.



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