I have a MacBook Pro 2009 running MacOS El Capitan. Recently the Wi-Fi has stopped working.

When I click on the Wi-Fi icon it displays the message “No hardware installed”, but Ethernet still works.

Is there any way of fixing this by using a Wi-Fi dongle or something of the sort, if so do I need a specific dongle and how do I install it?


If you are getting the message “No hardware Installed” it means that macOS is not detecting your WiFi adapter for one of two reasons:

  • It’s not installed (it physically doesn’t exist)
  • It has failed

Chances are it’s the second option.

You can confirm this by running Apple Hardware Test (AHT). Hold the D key while booting from a powered off state with the AC adapter connected.

Regardless if the first or the second, you will probably have to replace it with another Airport card

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ifixit.com has an excellent tutorial and step-by-step guide on how to replace the board. It’s a time consuming repair – I wouldn’t say difficult, but more detail oriented. If this is not your cup of tea, I recommend taking it in for service.


I had this same problem. I reset NVRAM and SMC to no effect. I also ran the Apple Hardware Test and it came back as a hardware problem. But…

But then I did this, and my wifi was back, working just like new.

  1. Switch to Finder

  2. Click on ‘Go’ (top menu) -> ‘Go to Folder…’

  3. Copy and paste this into the field: /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration

  4. Find and trash NetworkInterfaces.plist, com.apple.airport.preferences.plist, com.apple.wifi.message-tracer.plist

  5. Reboot

I would suggest making a copy of this file, naming it something different and storing it on your desktop before deleting the file – just in case. But this worked for me. Hope it works for you.


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