fixed : 10.8 refusing to see the Atheros AR9280 (same error as in 10.7, including alternative solution !)

Question :

After installing OSX 10.8 “Mountain Lion” on my Mac which has an Atheros AR9280 AirPort-card, I am not able to get any WiFi-connection, and when I click on the (piece-of-pie shaped) AirPort-icon in the upper menubar in the Finder, it indicates “WiFi: no hardware installed”. How can I fix this ?

Answer :

—- updated answer ——

if you get a “WiFi: No Hardware Installed”-error, get the KextUtility for OSX 10.8 and install the Edited Atheros Kext for Lion*3

—– original answer ——

Thanks to Thomas and Josh, I can now present to you the solution to the “WiFi: no hardware installed”-error in OSX 10.8 “Mountain Lion” :

if you encounter the “WiFi: no hardware installed”-error after installing OSX 10.8, do this :

– go to [your hard disk] –> System –> Library –> Extentions –> IO80211Family.kext

– CTRL-click on the IO80211Family.kext and select “Show Package Contents” from the pulldown menu

– then go to Contents –> Info.plist and drag the Info.plist to the Desktop

– CTRL-click on the Info.plist (the one on the Desktop) and select “Open with –> TextEdit” from the pulldown menu

– then, inside the Info.plist file, find and delete these line (found near the end) :


– then select File –> Save to save the edited version of the Info.plist on your Desktop

– then, drag the Info.plist from the Desktop back onto the original version that is in System –> Library –> Extentions –> IO80211Family.kext –> Contents

– in the warning window that pops up, click on “Authenticate” and type your administrator login and password

…that should be it !

now your AR9280 should be recognized by OSX 10.8 “Mountain Lion”, and the “WiFi: no hardware installed”-error should be gone

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the original solution by Thomas (based on the directions from Josh) can be found here :


13 thoughts on “fixed : 10.8 refusing to see the Atheros AR9280 (same error as in 10.7, including alternative solution !)

  1. This is not working for me. I updated to Mountain Lion, thought the OS update would fix the wifi issue. Can u please suggest something else?

    • @Charly :
      just to be clear :
      are you running 10.8 “Mountain Lion” of 10.7 “Lion” ?

      (did you make sure you’re not trying to use the 10.7 solution in 10.8 or vice-versa ?)

      • @Charly :

        Sad to hear it doesn’t work for you yet…

        these problems may be caused by :

        1- an actually broken piece of hardware : check by starting up in Rescue Mode – if you do not get the “WiFi: No Hardware Found”-error there, this is a software problem, if you do get the error there also, you might have failing hardware (e.g. a broken AiPort-card, loose connector or loose antenna) – in that case : go to an Apple Repair Centre if you still have warranty, else you might try to fix it yourself

        2- having had FireVault running during the upgrade : if you did, you might try backing-up your complete system (TimeMachine), then turing off FireVault and reinstalling the Combo-upgrade …and turning FireVault back on afterwards

        3- having multiple user Accounts might also cause this problem : if you do, you might try backing up your complete system (TimeMachine), then do a clean instal reinstall, check if WiFi runs okay and reimport your User-accounts using MigrationAssistant

        4- having a Mac with an ‘old’ AirPort-card ; sadly OSX 10.7 and 10.8 are known to have problems with some older AirPort-cards and Apple doesn’t seem to be actively solving these problems : upgrading to a newer AirPort-card might be an option to consider…

        …I know …none of the above is a quick or simple solution, so think before you start trying any solution, and try to pinpoint your exact problem first…

        quickest and easiest option might just be : trying again… so :
        backing up your complete system (TimeMachine), then reinstall the Combo update and try the solution described in the original post

      • @charly :

        based on a UNIX fix (by some Australians) I think this might be an option also :

        1- backup your entire system (Time Machine)
        2- go to Library (the main one, directly on your drive) –> Preferences –> System Configuration
        3- in that folder, delete all plist-files with names that start with :
        4- in that same folder, also delete all plist-files with names that start with :
        5- shut down your Mac (without the option “reopen open windows at startup”)
        6- (re)start your Mac

        Please let me know if this helps for you – all feedback is welcome

  2. I’m facing the same problem as charly.
    I have tried deleting plist-files as you mention above and done all you have mention.

    Its still doesnt work for me.

    Guess i got to send in to get airport card replaced.


    • @Gwenie :

      Sad to hear it doesn’t work for you yet.
      Can you tell me which of the following you have tried :
      A- deleting the .plist-files & restarting
      B- checking in Rescue Mode
      C- turning FileVault off during upgrade
      D- backing up, then upgrading with only one user
      E- checking your AirPort-card’s connectors

      …and what did you experience ?

      Did you also try option A, C and D a second (or maybe even a third) time ?

      Based on you answers, I will try to help you with next steps.

    • @Konstantin :

      Thanks for the info.
      Still… it’s very odd to hear that in your case, the reinstalling of the .kext from OSX 10.6 still works fine, since others are reporting no luck with that solution…

      For anyone willing to try reinstalling the .kext from OSX 10.6 “Snow Leopard” :

      NOTE : after downloading replace the .doc extension of the file name by .zip to get the file to unpack

  3. I’m not even finding the Kext file in the extensions folder =/ I’ve got an old macbook pro 2007 (don’t know if mid or late 07) and I’ve just took the edited Atheros kext file which was featured on your blog concerning the 10.7.3 issue and changed the lines mentioned from you in this text. Unsurprisingly it doesn’t worked out^^
    In the rescue mod I still have the same problem with the wlan cake, no hardware is found. Does it mean it’s broken or is it “just” the issue with an old network card?

    thanks for your help and this blog!

    • @Sebastian :

      Sad to hear it’s not working for you (yet).

      There generally are 2 problems that may arise if you try to fix the “no hardware found error” :

      1- trying to use the solution for OSX 10.8 when you are actually using MacOSX 10.7
      (or the other way around)
      2- not following the directions outlined to the letter… the devil is in the details…

      …so for both it’s : check what you have and try again

      If that don’t work either, chances are you have to make a TimeMachine-backup of your Mac and reinstall your version of OSX…
      (that’s a very unpleasant route, but it might completely solve your problem without any tweaking…)
      …let’s hope that’s not your case…

      so your 3 first questions are :
      – which version of MacOSX are you running ?
      – did you try the solution for MacOSX 10.7 or the one for OSX 10.8 ?
      – is your AirPort-card being recognized when you startup your Mac in Rescue Mode ?

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