Dell Mini 9 Hardware and Upgrades Discuss Dell Mini 9 Hardware and Upgrades.

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dunster96 dunster96 is offline
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Default Mini 9 w/ OSX, new prob: Wi Fi dies after 2-10 min - 08-12-2009, 09:47 PM

I've read the forums here and seen this discussed, esp. w/ Mini 9s produced sometime between 3/09 & 5/09. My Mini 9 was delivered mid-April '09 and after months of working great w/ OS X installed (single OS installation, ie. no Window$), the Wi Fi died last week (8/6/09). Everything worked fine, then the WiFi/Airport signal indicator went blank, as if the Airport was turned off. Attempts to turn the Airport back on failed (clicking on "airport on" did nothing), as did similar efforts under the System Preferences.

I've read how some folks have swapped out the Broadcom Original Wi Fi chip and this seemed to solve the problem, but I've seen many different chip serial numbers listed: Dell 1501/Dell part #DW1390, a new Broadcom 94311, also BCM 93411... It's all very confusing. Can anyone recommend a chip manufacturer and chip part # they have installed after having the Airport die on them?

Is the chip replacement easy? I took off the back of the Mini 9 and saw the 2 wire leads connected...are they soldered or simple plug/unplug?

Thanks in advance for your recommendations. I will post the results of my chip replacement.

- jay
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underwhelmed underwhelmed is offline
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Default 08-12-2009, 11:57 PM

I don't have experience actually replacing this wi-fi card, but in OS X, Broadcom chipsets are recognized as Airport cards.

I have removed the leads from mine in order to take it apart to replace the lcd, they just sort of snap on. I put a small screwdriver under the terminal at the card and carefully popped them off.

Here is a link to a related thread about upgrading to an N card-

Here is another about using an N from a MacPro-

Mini 9 | OS X 10.6.7 | NBI 20100616212351| BIOS 05 | 32 GB Runcore | 2 GIGS RAM
10V | OS X 10.6.7 | NBI 20100616212351 |BIOS 06|160 GB|1 GIG RAM| 6 Cell Dell Battery
Functioning Hibernation

Back up Mini 9| OS X 10.6.7| NBI 20100616212351| BIOS 05 | 32 GB SuperTalent | 2 GIGS RAM
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sphinxqqg sphinxqqg is offline
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Default os x wifi problems - 08-13-2009, 05:27 AM

You may want to check your Mac os x version number. If you recently updated from 10.5.7 to 10.5.8 there are known issues with wireless signals on all macs so it probably would cause problems for us as well. I have not updated for this very reason. If you have a time machiene backup you may try going back to before the problem occured to see if that fixes it.

Dell vostro a90, 16 gb stec, OS X 10.5.7/Windows 7
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dunster96 dunster96 is offline
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Default Thanks for suggestions. - 08-14-2009, 03:01 PM

Thanks to all for the updates! The hints about removing the leads as well as recommended Wi Fi chip replacements look to be helpful. RE: my Mac OS, I am running 10.5.6 on the Mini9, w/ no software updates (I've eschewed updating software once everything is running well, precisely because of problems such as the one I'm encountering). Current plan = order up a replacement WiFi chip/card, install it and see what happens. Thanks again to all!
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audio_inside audio_inside is offline
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Default 08-21-2009, 04:34 AM

My wifi problem was OS- and network-independent. I finally had to assume it was hardware failure. Effing Dell "support" was completely useless since my unit originally shipped with Ubuntu.

After replacing the original b/g card with a $12 Dell 1501 b/g card (also known by Dell part # DW1390 and purchased on eBay from I have had NO RECURRENCE OF THE PROBLEM and haven't found any wifi network that, if visible, I couldn't connect with.

Antenna leads are press-on, easy to swap.
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dunster96 dunster96 is offline
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Default Prob Solved - new card - 09-03-2009, 11:21 AM

Thanks to all for the comments. I ended up swapping in a Dell 1505 card (b,g,+n?) and have had no recurrence of problems. The card removal was onerous (owing to a screw that would not loosen up) and it took about a half hour. I ordered the card, presumably used, via eBay from a gentleman near Portland, ME for $35 (incl. s/h). Swapping the card in took less than 5 min, and from then on, nary a problem. The prior card died a week after I started streaming video and audio, so perhaps it simply burnt out. After hearing about all the problems w/ Dell customer service (and b/c I installed OS X on the 'book), I avoided dealing with Dell at all.
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broadcom, mini 9, wi fi, wifi

« Any Broadcom BCM4325 mini cards on the market yet ? | would this work?? finally took the plunge and looking to upgrade already »
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