Apple Bungles Bluetooth in Mac Pro

(When I wrote this article in late October 2006, I assumed that Apple would eventually discover the problem and fix it. After all, there are many posts on Apple’s Support discussion boards about this issue. But, no; I get one or two emails a week from readers who have Mac Pros and have the same problem. I’m astounded that Apple still hasn’t fixed this–in fact, it is clear that the problem is not just in factories, because this morning I received an email from a reader who had the Bluetooth module installed (and wired incorrectly) in an Apple Store.

One more thing. I had the motherboard of my Mac Pro changed last week–there was a problem with USB ports. The technician who came to change it was the same one who walked me through the wiring change for the Bluetooth module over the phone–see below for more on my change. He was very interested to see which wires went where; when he took out the motherboard, it was very clear: the wire that had been originally connected to the Bluetooth module was the one that ran to the AirPort antenna at the back of the computer.)

When I got my new Mac Pro, I was delighted to have such a fast, quiet, powerful new Mac. I was also very happy to be able to use it with my recently-bought Mighty Mouse, which is one of the nicest input devices I’ve used yet. So to do this, I had to order the Bluetooth module, which is a build-to-order option on the Mac Pro. Alas, Apple bungled very badly, connecting the wrong wire to the Bluetooth module. But I’m not the only person who has had this problem; it seems endemic. Read on to find out the whole story…I started wondering what was wrong when my mouse skipped across the screen. Tracking was, at times, normal, but at others it was jerky. I’m right-handed, and the mouse is to the right of my keyboard; the Mac Pro is on the floor, just next to my desk, at a distance of about three feet. It’s in a kind of bookcase, and there’s a desk between it, but the bookcase is open at the front and back, so those two pieces of particle board couldn’t be blocking the Bluetooth transmission, so I thought.

Since I have AppleCare on the Mac Pro, I called the support team. They made me go through the usual motions–run a hardware test, reinstall the Mighty Mouse software, try another user account, and do a clean install. (Note that this was about two hours of my time to get a EUR 39 Bluetooth module and EUR 69 Mighty Mouse to work together…) Nothing resolved the problem, so they determined that there was a problem with the Bluetooth module and/or antenna, and told me a technician would get back to me to set up an appointment. AppleCare here offers on-site repairs for desktop Macs, and that’s one of the reasons why I always buy such contracts: living in rural France, the nearest Apple repair center is a few hundred kilometers away.

The next day, the technician who would come and make the repairs called to make sure he understood the problem, and to say he was ordering the parts. Yesterday (about a week after he ordered the parts) he called to say he would be coming today to make the repair. But in the meantime, I had looked around and seen, on Apple’s discussion boards, that other users were having the same problem. Not only was the problem the same, but a solution was offered.

Here’s where we get to the bungling on Apple’s part… The Bluetooth module is a small chip placed on the motherboard, and it has to be connected to a tiny wire that runs to the Bluetooth antenna. This wire is one of four, three of which are labeled: one has a “BT” label (this is a sticker that wraps around the wire), one is labeled “2″, and another “3″. For some reason, there is a fourth wire which is unlabeled.

The 2 and 3 wires are shorter than the BT and unlabeled wires: they are just long enough to reach the location where and AirPort card would be added. (I don’t have AirPort, so they’re not connected.) The other two wires (BT and unlabeled) are the same length; both can reach the Bluetooth module. So the solution proposed was to switch the BT wire for the unlabeled wire; as the posters in the thread linked to above have all said, this resolves the problem.

So here’s the rub: what happened is that two wires got mislabeled. This didn’t happen when the Bluetooth module was added to the computer, but during the actual assembly of the Mac Pro. This means that either all of Apple’s process sheets have an error, or only some Mac Pros are affected. It’s hard to know which: not every Mac Pro purchaser will get the Bluetooth module, so they won’t have a problem unless they add one later. Also, since the Mighty Mouse works at a distance of about two feet, many users may not realize that there is a problem: it seems that the module itself, and whatever that wire is connected to, emits enough power to work at short distances. (Whereas Bluetooth is speced to work at up to 10 meters or 30 feet.) These users may, however, have occasional problems, and write them off as battery issues or interference.

This has already cost Apple a bit of money, in support calls, and in exchanging Mac Pros, which they seem to have done in some cases, as well as keyboards and mice. The technician who was to come and change my Bluetooth module was especially glad that I could fix the problem (I did it while he walked me through it on the phone), because he had a total of five hours’ drive to my house and back.

Apple’s quality control has failed here. It’s pretty simple to mislabel one of two similar wires (though I haven’t yet found what the purpose of the other wire is), but to allow a machine to go into production without that being discovered is surprising. Again, this may only be the case on a limited number of Mac Pros, or it could affect all of them.

Apple, if you’re reading this, you’d better resolve the problem in your factories, and you had better then contact everyone who has bought a Mac Pro with a Bluetooth module. Save your time, and save ours–two hours the first time, then another hour yesterday to make the fix (going slowly, with the technician on the phone, to make sure I didn’t screw anything up) is far more time than I need to spend on a mistake that is the result of ineptitude. I grant that mistakes happen, but I’m tired of spending so much time to resolve them, simply because you haven’t found them yet.

July 2010: I still get emails about this, and comments are posted to this article, so apparently there are still issues with Bluetooth on Mac Pros. I sold mine more than a year ago – not because of the Bluetooth issue, but because I wanted to downsize (I got a Mac mini) – so I can’t help those who post asking for more help.

Here’s a link to a site that shows some pictures, which, if I recall correctly, match what I saw in my Mac Pro.

More info, Sept. 2010: A reader has pointed me to the following information that he posted on his web site. He solved the problem using a third-party Bluetooth dongle.

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50 replies
    • Kirk says:

      Read the article – you need to find the BT module, then look for the wires that
      are mis-labeled. You can’t actually get to the antenna without removing the
      motherboard, since that’s on the bottom of the machine.

      Reply
  1. Anonymous says:

    This is truly unbelievable …I finally had the courage and opened my mac pro
    case .. 10 minutes later, all issuses that i had with this computer have been
    resolved.. bluetooth pairing works flawlessly, mighty mouse tracking is very
    smooth ..also noticed startup time is faster (probably a result of the OS
    detcting the mouse and keyboard faster)..That electric poppping sound that
    used to come from my speakers every now and then has disappeared and
    wireless network continues to run just fine….

    How could this happen with all these accounts of this embarrassing problem
    and its simple solution floating on the internet for 10 months…If you just
    google "mac pro" + bluetooth your page rather than apple’s own website
    comes on top ….I still can’t believe apple is not aware of this ???

    Reply
  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m about to purchase a Mac Pro, standard configuration, but I’m adding the Airport Extreme card in case I want to set up a wireless network at some point. Is there any real need for me to add Bluetooth? I don’t really see myself bothering with a wireless keyboard or mouse–well, I use a Wacom tablet in any case, and use the stylus in place of a mouse–so, it seems the Bluetooth option is needless for me. However, am I overlooking any features of Bluetooth that I may need later, or is the capacity to use wireless peripherals the ONLY reason one would need this added feature?

    Reply
    • Kirk says:

      You might eventually want to use it with a Bluetooth phone or headset, but if
      not, and you don’t want to use a wireless mouse or keyboard, I can’t think of any
      other reason.

      Reply
  3. jason32b says:

    Thanks for your article about this. This has remedied weeks of frustrated
    mousing for me. I would suggest adding more consice instructions at the
    beginning or end of the article and perhaps a photo may help some of the
    other users who posted before who appear to misunderstand that this can be
    fixed with relatively little danger using just needle-nosed pliers and a steady
    hand.

    However, I also would add to this that my experience in the numbering of the
    wires was a little different. I have a new 8-core Mac Pro with both Bluetooth
    and Airport. There were four little wires, one labelled "BT" (plugged into the
    Bluetooth module), and one labelled "2" and one labelled "1" (both plugged
    into the Airport) and one other wire unlabelled and tucked away (not plugged
    in to anything). The wire labelled "2", which was plugged into the Airport was
    the only other wire long enough to reach the Bluetooth Module, so I replaced
    the previous wire plugged into the BT module with that one. And then I
    plugged the unlabelled wire (which was too short to reach the Bluetooth
    Module, into the now-empty Airport socket. So basically, whatever reaches,
    should work (unless its the wrong BT wire, which only has one socket unlike
    the airport which has two).

    My bluetooth mice (tested both mighty mouse and microsoft 8000) are now
    working great! Whew.

    I am not using airport much, but it still seems to be working fine as well.

    Sad to see that this assembly problem exists, but at least its not a hardware
    failure. Thanks again for posting this article. Much appreciated.

    Reply
    • Kirk says:

      Yes, a friend told me his wires, in a more recent Mac Pro, were labeled
      differently as well. I’m glad it helped you.

      Kirk

      Reply
    • deiphon says:

      Hey,

      This is fantastic news. I recently got a second hand mac pro, a great deal but I was starting to think the BT module was broken. But I think its the problem you described as the keyboard and mouse previously worked fine in an other computer setup.

      Normally this should fix it… thanks a thousand.

      Cheers,
      Koen

      Reply
  4. ddarby57 says:

    I am so thankful for this info. My issue was the same jerky mouse, but the
    solution was a little different for my Mac Pro. It came with factory installed
    BT and AirPort. The wire discussed as being "not labeled" was labeled as "1"
    and it was connected to the Airport card. So "2" was left off and "BT" was
    connected to the BlueTooth and "1" and "3" were connected to the AirPort. I
    did notice that "1" was longer like discussed earlier. I removed "1" and "BT",
    put "2" on the AirPort and "1" on the BlueTooth and fired it up and it magic!
    Everything was great.
    My biggest fear was pulling the little gold connectors off the contacts, but
    once i got past that and re-wired, everything is splendid!

    I’m so lengthy so this will give someone else the confidence to solve this
    problem on their own. I had not been inside the Mac Pro until this.

    Thanks again, this would have never been solved by support.

    Reply
    • Frank says:

      This fixed my problem as well with the new Magic Mouse on my Mac Pro. I have an early 2008 Mac Pro with dual zeon processors. In my case wire (1) went to the top of the airport module, (2) was capped, a short unlabeled wire went to the bottom of the airport module and long unlabeled wire to the blue tooth module. I disconnected the long unlabeled wire from the bluetooth module and capped it, connected the wire labeled (1) to the blue tooth module, and connected the previously capped wire labeled (2) to the top of the airport module.

      My bluetooth magic mouse is now working from several yards away and when on my desk (the normal case) the mouse movement is very smooth and no longer sluggish. The airport 802.11N is working as well.

      Reply
  5. TarasVWZ says:

    It has been mentioned, but I will repeat: A picture would really be helpful.

    Thanks for your help.

    Taras

    Reply
  6. Jimw says:

    Thanks this did it for me. Just opened it up and used the other long wire that would reach. “In my case”, there was no wireless card. I have a 2 or 3 year old MacPro. I just bought a stereo blue-tooth headset, DR-BT140Q (works great now). Before I was unable to really use it, now I’m good for 20 ft. Don’t be afraid it works… Thanks for posting this article!

    Reply
  7. AceDeuce says:

    I don’t have Bluetooth in my 2007 Mac Pro but have other “discoveries” having to do with the manufacturing of the Mac Pro line.

    1. I had to replace at my own expense the optical drive (OPTIARC) because “it worked” when tested at the Apple Store. But it wouldn’t burn / read Dual Layer discs and made loud “clunky” noises during operations. The original equipment is junk – period.

    2. My keyboard lost the ability to execute boot commands (“C”=boot from disc, “Option”=choose boot volume, etc). Again it worked when tested @ Apple Store. But I had to replace it at my own expense (plus the USB hub) because I proved it was truly defective by switching keyboards with other Macs.

    3. Most outrageous: the NVIDIA Geforce 7300 GT installed in the 2007 Mac Pros is junk. Apple will replace under extended (3 year warranty) but won’t say what replacement they’re using. The only practical after market graphics card is the Radeon 4870: $349.

    4. You might even add that, if you want to add Airport to a Mac Pro, you must have it installed by an Apple certified technician. You cannot just install the Airport card yourself as can be done with other models of Macintosh.

    5. When I DID buy Airport to network my eMac, this $179 package came with the wrong software CD! This cost no added money but costs a lot of personal time to investigate and solve.

    Obvious: the problem is “more” than just one or two small manufacturing errors. Collectively, at the user end, all this represents untold hours of wasted time, frustration and in some cases added costs. It’s also obvious: this “model” of overseas, multi-lingual imported manufacturing by American companies “stinks.”

    Finally:
    In the U.S., you can go to any car dealer and special order a car: it will be delivered in about 3 weeks -as specified-by buyers. But NO U.S. computer “maker” will allow special orders from their own stores: because such orders cannot be transmitted from stores to the overseas factories.

    Reply
  8. kirk says:

    1 – the Mac Pro was under warranty, so Apple should have replaced it.

    2 – apparently it wasn’t defective at the Apple Store. No idea why it didn’t work on the Mac Pro; maybe it was the USB hub.

    3 – never heard of that; never had video problems. I have since sold my MP.

    4 – yes, that’s correct.

    Finally: you can get special orders from the online Apple Store; I don’t know about retail, but I thought they did BTOs…

    Reply
  9. AceDeuce says:

    Thanks Kirk, for your points. Let me respond:
    1. The OPTIARC was deemed to be operable within (Apple’s) defined limits: even though it did not read / burn DL discs. This is one of those things where one is put in the position of deciding whether or not to spend more time on “fighting” the issue. Since it cost only around $35 USD to replace with a much better optical drive, I elected to take “the easy way out.” This was the first issue I encountered and I first noticed others were reporting problems with it before actually testing the drive – which confirmed the other reports.

    2. Keyboard on the Mac Pro “lost” the boot-command ability on both the Mac Pro and an eMac when switched (the 6 year-old eMac keyboard worked on both Macs). Yet when tested (with me watching) at the Apple Store, it passed the electronics check and worked on the test laptop. I had already replaced the USB hub before doing theses things – because I originally thought it was a more general “USB problem.” I even took the keyboard back and swapped it again with the eMac ky-bd and got the same failure. Go figure: I spent ~$50 USD the next day to get a new keyboard (which I don’t like) at the Apple Store.

    3. The NVIDIA Geforce 7300 GT problem is recognized by Apple – they responded by extending the warranty. I saw many posts on this on Apple Support forum and was advised at that time that the only suitable replacement was the $349 ATI Radeon 4870 (for Mac). These defective cards have bad capacitors: they burn out and swell, that’s according to an Apple Tech with whom I discussed this and he said he’s replaced several. The problem is: no one will say what replacement is *actually* being installed under warranty: this just makes me suspicious. And – owners must *wait!* until the card actually fails before Apple will replace it.

    I did a lot of research on this card: it does not support the Open GL API (which enables 3D rendering) though Apple adopted Open GL some time ago. Of course is also doesn’t support Open CL (which enables recruiting of graphics card “computing power”) – because Open CL is a brand new feature of Snow Leopard. So that is completely legitimate and understandable. It’s just “irony” that neither the older nor the newer technologies are available to Mac Pro owners if you happen to have a 2 year-old machine.

    If you use any Adobe 3D capable apps: the program will turn off Open GL when it detects THIS low-grade graphics card. That’s proof that “everybody knows” this graphics card was inferior from early on, if not from Day One.

    I’m a retired purchasing exec, I can positively say that this is NOT the way to produce a product which is sold as the “flagship” model for any company.

    The example of factory mis-wiring for BlueTooth is just one more item (tho not strictly related). It looks like my keyboard was a “freak” – so I’ll discount that because I’ve seen no other similar reports.

    4. Is another “irony” which I find does relate to my overall point: Mac Pro is the top computer sold by Apple and they heavily promote its “expandability” and “allow” user installation of hard drives, optical drives and graphics cards: but NOT for installing Airport cards which themselves are usually sold for user installation!

    Apple Store vs Apple Online Store: I went to the Apple Store in 2007 originally to buy a 24-inch iMac: but was told they could not get one with the larger hard drive and upgrade graphics card which ARE listed at the Apple Online Store. The A.S. manager informed me that Apple wants to avoid having shipping damage become a factor when shipping to its stores (versus shipping to purchasers: what the heck is the difference??!!). Totally illogical: Apple *supplies* stock for all of its retail stores: so damage which does occur is handled in any case. Bottom line: Apple is “saying” that they’d rather leave the possibility of “inconvenience” for their customers to handle.

    (That this applies to all other computer stores just means the “attitude” is the same and Apple is “one of the crowd” in this way.)

    I should mention: that when I went to buy what I thought would be an iMac with options, I had the full price already saved up (close to $2400, as I recall). So, even with money in hand, I could not buy what I could if I were buying, for example, a full-blown entertainment center at the appliance store down the road. I wanted: to take a product home and plug it in and use it. But noooo, I was expected to go online and deal with SOFTWARE to place my order, and NOT expect to deal with actual human beings.

    My alternative: I phoned a reputable (and popular) online store which sells only Apple products. (I bought my eMac from them years before). When I tried to place my order: I was told that Apple had ceased production of iMacs because: they were going to introduce updated iMacs in about two months! I can’t begin to describe how angry I was: totally blocked and frustrated in an attempt to GIVE my money to Apple!!

    My analogy of the car dealerships is completely valid: no American car company would operate like this. I never “buy off the lot.” I always buy via dealer-to-factory order (for good reason).

    Anyway: I understand because this is also about “consumer education.” My chances of changing this are nil. But at least I make the effort to bring this to the attention of others – in time, maybe people will understand the value of their time and their money and how to get the most out of both.

    Reply
  10. kirk says:

    1 – it read DL discs fine, because the discs that comes with the Mac Pro – the install/restore discs – are DL. I never tried writing DL discs.

    3 – I never had problems with video, but I don’t mess with any 3D stuff.

    Re the BT problem, yes, that was very bad.

    4 – it’s true that, at the time, AirPort and BT were not user-installable, which is weird because they were on other models. Naturally, that’s a thing of the past, since they come standard now.

    I’ve never been in an Apple store (the first one finally opens in Paris tomorrow), so I have no idea what that twisted logic is….

    As for the out-of-stock iMacs, that has been a problem over the years when new models are coming out. But I’ve never heard of it being more than a couple of weeks at most.

    Reply
  11. AceDeuce says:

    Hello Kirk,
    To your 2nd reply I can only offer:
    1. The DL install/restore disks which came with the Mac Pro (and the substandard OPTIARC media drive) were not tested at the time I checked – a couple months after buying the Mac Pro. So I cannot say absolutely that the drive could read it/them. But odds are: If I had needed those DL disks for repairs or re-installation, the OPTIARC drive would have left me high and dry. It could not read or write any quality brand DL disks I tried.

    3. And if you had decided you wanted to work with 3D, you’d have been left wanting, just as I was. But the 3D capability is a side issue anyway: the failure rate is the real issue and that is an established fact.

    4. Weird indeed: which again leaves those owning Mac Pros just 2 years old feeling the effects of mediocre planning and engineering. (perhaps a little angry too, since they paid top price expecting to get the top product)

    I don’t mean to “knock” the Apple Stores. They are fun to visit and when I took my keyboard (by appointment) in for testing: I was given first class treatment. The appointment was made while I was on the phone to Apple Care, it was handled seamlessly in a minute and I was at the Apple Store ( confirmed by previous email & expected) two hours later!

    When I went back the next day to buy a new keyboard, I took along a couple of guests: just to show them how slick the Apple Store operations are. Few remark on this: there is no checkout lane, no cash registers: purchases are done with hand-held “cash registers” and communications in the store between employees are done with iPhones! Other operations are handled by staff using: the demo Macs on display! In our local Apple Store: all the demo Macs are connected to the Internet using T-1 connections (I checked a couple of the demos and discovered this myself.)

    So if Paris isn’t too far away for you – I’d recommend you drop in at the Apple Store there.

    That said, it’s not the A.S. I’m criticizing, it’s the lame way customers are hobbled and expected to “deal with” such things as shipping damage when APPLE should be handling this – just as seamlessly as the rest of their retail operation.

    From what I report above, you can easily see it would be no problem to order Macs at the store and have them receive them for your pickup. Payment in advance: of course. Versus: shipping to residence, where the buyer has to wait and possibly defer other things on the “appointed delivery date.” If the shipment arrives with damage: the buyer is STUCK, having to notify Apple and arrange for return AND wait for a replacement: again with expectation of losing time for other things and being “anchored at home” until the delivery man arrives.

    Out-of-stock Macs: Well, I can assure you that I tried to place my order on the last Friday of July, 2007. The new iMacs were not even announced until September, 2007.

    So you have a chain of inevitabilities here: First, you can’t buy any but the “basic” Macs at Apple Stores. If you have to drive any distance to DISCOVER that fact, you’re already inconvenienced and have burned fuel for nothing. If you’re “unlucky” – since Apple refuses to give out any information about it’s plans regarding product cycles! – you may then find you can’t even get the Mac you want when you want it.

    Additionally, Apple released 10.5 – Leopard – in October 2007. Which was another buggy first release. So if people willing to wait finally got their new Macs during the last quarter of 2007, they would spend more time dealing with that problem.

    The question is (or should be): How much time and frustration are the customers supposed to suffer before Apple begins to suffer? I was trying to get a Mac to use for both personal and business use. But even calls to Apple executives got me only frustration: they said they couldn’t release ANY information about new product releases because: only a few people at Apple (Mr. Jobs and his immediate subordinates) have this information. So the business plans of THEIR CUSTOMERS go out the window.

    Like I said, I’m a purchasing professional and would not consider any supplier with this kind of “attitude.”

    That’s what I meant when I said this is a bigger problem:it’s not just about the occasional manufacturing error. It’s about how Apple’s customers are forced to “solve problems” not of their making and forced to use their time as it suits Apple, the vendor. It’s about what Apple claims and what they provide. There’s a big disparity there and it needs to be publicized.

    I say this even though I could and did solve the original problem of getting a Mac for my intended purposes – at about the time I needed it. I used knowledge, means and resources not available to 99% of Apple customers. Even then, I ended up with a Mac Pro which came with an inferior media drive and an inferior graphics card.

    For emphasis: these are things which apply to everyone wanting to buy a Macintosh computer. IMHO: customers should be more demanding and less understanding of this supplier. Customers ARE the business, it’s time that was recognized.

    For the professional: these are just questions of quality control and infrastructure streamlining. Apple is failing in both areas. Apple CAN correct these things and Apple should correct them.

    Thanks for putting up with my long-winded replies. I just want to be clear and thorough in responding to your thoughts.

    Reply
  12. David says:

    Well, here we are in 2009 and yes, the problem still exists. However for those of us with 2009 Mac Pro’s, the wiring fix described above doesn’t work. It appears that the 2009 problems are related to a badly placed antenna that is shielded by too much metal from the case.

    Reply
  13. AceDeuce says:

    Sorry to hear that. Because: the problem with antennae in metal cases actually began years ago when Apple introduced metal-cased laptops. I had expected they would have solved this problem by now.

    Reply
  14. Alberto Marban says:

    Well I was strugling a lot about the communication between my 2009 Mac Pro and Mighty Mouse, thet came together. I noticed I needed to replace the batteries and once I did then the mouse started failing again and again. After hour reading and checking the possible solution is changing cables on Airpot and Bluetooth cards.
    My personal solution was very easy after checking the mouse inside. I put a small piece of paper underneath the metalic clip in order to raise it, and it worked !!! The mouse is like new just using a Homemade remedy (Mickey Mouse).
    But I need to talk to Apple anyway and let them know what is going on and they have to have a solution. May they already did.

    Reply
    • John Hendron says:

      Wow, Alberto. I was planning on trying to change wires tomorrow in my MacPro (2009 Nehalem). But then I read your comment and took off the little metal door covering the batteries on my magic mouse. The problem went away.

      So, something’s up… It now scrolls smooth, and no lag when trying to drag around windows. Amazing.

      Reply
  15. Alberto Marban says:

    Good John Hendron, I am happy that someone fix the problem very easy before change wires and maybe the whole computer, I read some people did that and the problem still was there. Uff
    Alberto

    Reply
  16. Richard says:

    Thanks for the Mighty Mouse fix for the Mac Pro. Switching the wires was easy. And now it works like “Mighty Mouse”.
    Richard

    Reply
  17. Steve says:

    OH. MY. GOD.

    I have been driven insane by this problem for years. And now my problems are gone. Smooth as butter. Thank you!

    I just wish those antenna connectors were a little more finger friendly, though. There were many bad words uttered during the fix.

    Steve

    Reply
  18. Randy says:

    Awesome. I was ready to throw my new Magic Mouse out the window, even though I love the scrolling, because the tracking kept cutting in and out. Switching these wires totally fixed it. Thanks!

    For the record, my original Mac Pro (mid-2007) had the label 1 on the 4th wire. This was the one I swapped for the BT wire. Also, because I had a hard drive in bay 2, I had a hard time seeing the extra wires at first, but after pulling the drive out of that bay, it became obvious.

    Reply
  19. Eolake Stobblehouse says:

    I’d tried lots of surfaces (see here), but the tracking kept being uneven. Glad to find your article.

    I could not find those wires in my 2009 Mac Pro though. But thankfully I read on in the comments, and it *seems* removing the battery cover has solved it. (Lame issue.)
    I’ve blogged it here, and I’ll update that post if it turns out the solution is not stable.

    Reply
  20. Eolake Stobblehouse says:

    Update:
    (Swearing deleted) … I hadn’t even used the mouse for half an hour when the problem turned up again… back to square one. Will I have to call Apple Support? Get the Mac Pro replaced? Nightmare.

    Reply
  21. Jeff says:

    Okay, so, I was having the same issues with bad bluetooth and airport reception in my 2006 Mac Pro. I have been reading all about the mislabeling of wire so I decided to dive in. Sure enough it was just like everyone is saying however when I went to plug in the upper airport antenna I bent the connection! So now I can’t plug it in.

    Does anyone have a suggestion on a tool small enough or a way to bend the “outside circle” back into shape?!?

    Reply
  22. Richard says:

    Jeff, I too bent a plug that was to go back on the Airport card.
    I don’t use Airport, so I left it off. I think we might have better luck finding a new cable. But so far I have not found one. I’m sure someone can point us in the right direction.

    Reply
  23. Kingumikti says:

    When I scroll up or down with my Magic Mouse, after I stop, the scroll sort of floats for a brief moment before it stops, almost like a slow brakeing. Is that typical of Bluetooth? Doesn’t happen with a directly connected mouse. It doesn’t bother me, but it is a little bit weird.

    Reply
  24. Henrik says:

    Thanks! Had these issues on a MacPro from 2007 with a Bluetooth module optionally installed. Changed the cables as described and now everything works perfect.

    Reply
  25. Daniel says:

    Thanks for this tip. I have a Mac Pro 2,1 but had never used the factory installed BT module until I bought a Magic Mouse a few days ago. Needless to say, its performance was uninspiring (jittery and jumpy and nearly useless) until I found your hint and performed the wire swaps. Now both the Air Port and BT works very well.

    Reply
    • Daniel says:

      @Eolake: The issues with the first gen Mac Pros (v 2,1) are the wires. Apparently, the new generations have a different cause of their BT connectivity problems. You might want to visit the Apple Support Forums to catch up on the efforts to find a solution. So far it seems Apple has nto acknowledged a problem–this could be that it is external interference or there could be a problem iwth a small number of systems. A lot of the people jsut gave up and bought an external USB BT dongle and that fixed it for them although it has other issues. There are 7 pages of posts. Bon courage!

      http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2231119&start=0&tstart=0

      Reply
  26. Dd says:

    Hey Kirk. You’re a legend.
    Using the unlabelled one fixed it.
    Now my designer can use her BT mouse.
    Many, many thanks.

    Reply
  27. Daniel says:

    @Dd: I suspect you are right mine is now unplugged and Airport and BT work flawlessly and teh Airport range is better as well.

    @Kirk: with a small effort you have done a great deed for many. thank you. Sorry to hear aoubt you DL disc issue, I had 2 supper drives in my Mac Pro 2,1 and one of them was flaky. I always buy Apple Care so Apple Service made a house call to my home office and replaced it free. Over the last two years, they also had to replace the main board last year (One DRAM bank’s red LED wouldn’t turn off and I was worried about ECC problems), and they replaced the ATI X1900 card which failed. I always buy Apple Care–cheapest insurance policy against costly repairs in the industry. If your original warranty hasn’t run out, you can still extend it with Apple Care–if you can you should do it.

    Reply
    • kirk says:

      Daniel: I sold my Mac Pro last year and downgraded to a Mac mini. I did have Apple Care, and they came to me house twice for different issues.

      Reply
      • Daniel says:

        Nice. I still use a Mac Pro 8-core because I need the horse power for video and 3DFX work and a both it and a Macbook Pro for SW development but my wife and daughters use iMacs and Macbooks. I recommend a Mac Mini for switcher friends as the least expensive way to move over. Sorry to hear of your problems. Apple has been first in reliability and quality consistently in surveys for years now but they do fall down sometimes.

        And you live in (or near) Paris you lucky dog.

        Reply
    • Daniel says:

      I cannot argue with that–Paris has always been great to visit, but it would be even better to live in the Alps (see the Tour de France every year, skiing, hiking, etc) and one can always take the TGV into Paris for a bit of the bright lights, history, architecture, etc. when one needs a fix.The last time I took the TGV it was quite a nice ride–wish we had those in the States.

      Reply
  28. Bryan G says:

    Any update on the 2009 Nehalem Mac Pro BT issues? I love my mighty mouse, but I just upgraded from a 2006 Mac Pro (thank you for the article, by the way! BT was frustrating until I read it and swapped wires) to a 2009 Nehalem, and the BT card and Airport card are on entirely opposite sides of the motherboard, with no way for the antennae to stretch/reach! I downloaded all the updates and read all the threads (disheartening that Apple refuses to acknowledge that it has a problem… the only ones they are hurting are their clients!!), and I am out of options… go back to a windows mouse or mighty mouse, or live with lag =/

    any help would be appreciated!!

    Reply
  29. Daniel says:

    None from me–I am still on that aging Mac Pro 8-core and BT is working well with the Magic Mouse. I’ll be getting a Magic Pad one of these days.

    Reply
  30. Neil says:

    You, my friend, are an absolute genius.
    It was a bit of a fiddle, and I’m not 100% convinced the airport lead is connected fully, but I don’t use that anyway (certainly not very often). Had this problem since new and it’d always frustrated me. Now I can take my trackpad and keyboard to the sofa and away I go with the TV!
    THANK YOU so much for taking the time to share your knowledge. You’ve made my day, and made the internet an even better place!
    Cheers.

    Reply
  31. CrackerT says:

    YES! THANK YOU VERY MUCH. this had been driving me NUTS since I moved the machine into the closet. I actually ordered a dongle but it just confused the thing even more so I ended up opening the thing up and trying my luck. i didnt even have a BT wire (2006) but the #1 wire seems to be working like a charm! the hardest part is geting that antenna connector snapped back into place. dont try doing it while slouched over on the floor! thats all i can say!? THANKS FOR MAKING ME WASTE MY SATURDAY SJOBS!

    Reply
  32. Josh says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank YOU!

    Has been driving me nuts for sooooo long. Was about to give up and get another mouse, and stumbled across your page.

    You are legend!

    Reply

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