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Released June 2012 / Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost / Up to 1 GB DDR5 Video RAM

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Bluetooth unavailable + Screen flicker on MBP mid 2012

Eek! A few weeks ago (right after I discovered the data-& energy-saving “tether via bluetooth” function on android, sigh..) I found that my MBP showed me the “bluetooth unavailable” symbol in the icon bar: A greyed out icon with a sawtooth wave on front of it. I could not connect to any device, no submenu is shown.

But: this does occur randomly! So I guess this is some hardware defect?

Additionaly, recently when I opened the MBP, the screen would flicker initially (not the green-stripe flicker, but some flashing, then grey/white noise, then the standard screen, with the “BT not available” symbol.

Is the BT antenna somewhat connected to the screen cable? Is there something I can do to fix the BT issue and to prevent things getting worse?

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So I helped myself with a TP-LINK USB dongle to get WIFI back. But now I'm a bit in the mood to get this fixed again. I wasn’t sure about the “black clutch” thing, but I guess you mean the black U-rounded cover at the bottom of the display?

Then it could be that I damaged the antenna somehow, as the plastic has been bumped indeed, just as you guessed. I don’t want to to anything with the display and a heat gun, and the display is working fine again, so it seems the LVDS is working fine.

That still leaves me open to the question if not the BT/WIFI module is broken because a broken antenna might rather result in bad connection quality than not being able to switch on at all/being unavailable, wouldn’t it?

Plus: can I replace just the antennas somehow? I didn’t get this very well.

Thank you anyways for your detailed answer, this helped me a lot!


If you dont want to bother with the heat gun and glass removal, you cannot replace the cable alone. You will need to do the display replacement. The Antenna for this model is routed into the screen. When you remove the screen, you remove the antenna (and display cable, obviously). You need a new display and antenna cables, but do not want to lift the glass (I don't blame you, its easy to break if you've never done it). The solution is the same as what dan told u a while ago. If your wifi issue continues to persist after replacement, then you should change the wifi card, which is NOT located in the screen but above the optical drive. But given that the display cable was showing signs of failing, AND your wifi was going out, I would suspect the display and antenna cables before the card. Display replacement is definitely what you should try first!


Perfect, thanks for your thoughts and your recommendations. I think that in this case, I'll just wait until more problems occur.

Is there any WIFI USB driver that acts like a normal AirPort driver software in the system? The TP-Link works, but is a little clumsy in regards of OSX system integration. But maybe that's another topic.


If the TP Link is working, you should be OK. Apple does not manufacture USB wifi dongles as far as I am aware, thus you must continue using the clunky

software TP Link gave you. Seems like you are of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mindset. So am I! If TP Link is getting the job done, don't worry about buying another dongle as it will require yet another driver to be installed. Put that money towards a new display. If you would like to use the regular mac software for your internet at this point, the only option is using an Ethernet cable.


So finally I found out what the problem was: A broken WIFI/BT module. Unfortunately, I only found out after I already replaced the display and still BT&WiFi didn't work. After reassembling, I finally tried out my last resort: switching the wifi module - and voila: It worked!

So if anyone out there gets their hands on any cheap 2009-2012 MBP, give it a try!


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Bluetooth and screen cables share the same pathway where the LVDS display cable as well as the Bluetooth/WiFi antenna cables pass on their way to the lid assembly. Your issue might indicate the plastic clutch cover has been bumped at some point and/or cables inside might have been partly damaged or dislodged. Check the clutch cover for signs of impact. You might just have to replace the cables as well.

Review this IFIXIT guide MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Display Replacement

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You'll likely need to replace the hinge with its cables.


Yeah cool that indication already helps a lot. Any hints where to get hinge and cables? Is there a dedicated source for these parts (preferably in the EU) - or do I have to hunt broken devices to get such a part?


@arbaman which step do you refer to when you say "plastic clutch cover"? I can see the antenna sockets here MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2012 Display Replacement in step 10, but i guess you mean some different part, right?


As it seems we don't have a similar guide for i5/i7 A1286 models you may use as a guideline this guide from the 2010 core2duo model which is pretty much the same to reach and remove up to the clutch cover Remplacement de l'écran LCD du MacBook Pro 15" Unibody mi-2010. Under the plastic cover you will find the cables and the WIFI/Bluetooth antenna and relevant connector as shown in the guide at steps 31/32. Unfortunately replacement of LVDS cable would require removing the screen glass to access the other end of it on the lcd panel, thus I hope that one has not been damaged. For testing purposes you can screw back your screen temporarily without the cover, being careful not to incidentally short anything in the process. In case both cables are damaged and you don't feel like removing the screen glass a full assembly replacement might do the job more easily but at a price. Parts should be available here on iFixit store (that has a EU branch too) or can be googled around the usual places.


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huedrant sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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