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OEM Card for the Mac Pro
on November 6, 2010
Just installed a card on my closeout 2009 Mac Pro. (2009 models don't come with Airport in the standard configuration for a single processor 266GHz)
The card you get should not look like the stock photo that shows mostly metal shielding. The right part is not fully encased in metal.
Installation is a bit tricky because of the antenna connectors, which are about the size of a pin head. Also, this is a sensitive electronics involved. Use proper grounding to reduce the risk of damage from static electricity, etc.
Briefly... shut the computer down and disconnect all the wires from your computer. Pull off the side cover. Lay the computer on its side, with the bottom of the computer closest to you. Pull out the processor tray on the bottom. (Brilliant design feature!) There are three small, short wires near the airport card connector. These have a clear plastic cover over the (fragile) gold plated connector, which will have to be removed. There are two antenna connectors on the airport card, so one of the wires seems to be a spare. (FYI, I used #2 & #3 because I couldn't get #1 to fit.) The connectors themselves are 90 degree, meaning the fitting is perpendicular to the length of the wire, so you will have to twist the wire to get the connectors to line up. This is the tricky part, because they are very thin metal.
Apple tells you to get this card installed professionally, and, after having done this, I can see why. It's not that it's so hard, but things can go wrong.
I installed the card, screwed it in with the provided phillips head screws and then installed the antenna wires. (It may seem easier to put the wires on first, but I had better luck when the Airport card was fixed in position. But YMMV.)
I put everything back together, reinstalled the cables, and the fired up the Mac Pro. Airport card was recognized, the signal level was as strong as it should be, and I was up and running after selecting the network I wanted.