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I have a MacBook Pro Unibody Mid 2012 15''

When I looked up the model number online, it says I have A1286

Since more than a month, the WiFi stopped working and shows Wi-Fi: No hardware installed. A few weeks ago, I already posted here "Wi-Fi: No hardware installed". Replaced WiFi cable and WiFi/Airport/Bluetooth card. Bluetooth works but not WiFi

Unfortunately any possible possible solution did not solve the issue. Replacing both the WiFi cable and WiFi card did not solve the issue, nor did the other recommended solutions. Under System Information -> Network -> Wi-Fi, the hardware part is not shown. Only the Software part is shown, so it definitely seems to be a hardware issue

enter image description here

Image 'squeezed' in photoshop to save space. Click for original.

Some users suggested that the connectors on the LogicBoard/ Motherboard are damaged, thus preventing the WiFi connection

I found another MacBook Pro online with the same model (A1286) but different year (2010 instead of 2012). Their computer is not working at all but is sold for a very cheap price. If I buy their computer, would their computer parts work on my computer ? The offer I saw is this one https://www.ricardo.ch/de/a/macbook-pro-15'-a1286-1231645760/

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    @Tetsujin That Photoshop was a nice idea
    – grg
    May 1, 2023 at 19:22
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    I was limping a 2006 along for a good long while past Apple abanonding it, and much of that time it had a tiny $11 USB-WiFi adapter plugged into it - a lot simpler than trying to fix the guts properly.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 3, 2023 at 16:58

3 Answers 3

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The model number is not a valid reference for Macs - as you already discovered the same number is re-used almost at random across many models in different years.

The 'true' identifier is the full model designation you see in About this Mac, accessed from the  menu.

eg, for a 2012 MPB…

enter image description here

So, this is a MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012)
All of this bold info is needed to accurately define the exact model. The model number is not necessary at all, and as you noticed, just adds confusion.
btw, the term 'Unibody' was only used in official designations pre-2009, when the year started to be used instead.

If you don't have access to the About menu for any reason, there are other ways to identify a Mac correctly. See Everymac's Ultimate Mac Lookup

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    Also system_profiler SPHardwareDataType | grep Identifier in Terminal.
    – lhf
    May 1, 2023 at 10:36
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    hmmm… seems considerably more effort than About this Mac & as inaccessible if you don't have hands-on, as in the OP's online advert ;)
    – Tetsujin
    May 1, 2023 at 10:43
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The A1286 model covers 15-inch MacBook Pros from Late 2008 until Mid 2012. There is considerable variation between these models -- notably in the ports that are present -- so they are not interchangeable.

A 2010 MBP would not have USB 3, nor Thunderbolt, for example.

There are third-party USB WiFi 'dongles', which might be an easy option, if a little bit annoying. Your Mac is over 10 years old; I would not invest much in it, but rather see if you can get a secondhand younger model.

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    OP might have good reason to still have the 2012. I have one precisely because it was the last with easily changeable RAM, drives & battery & will run Mojave for 32-bit compatibility. All kinds of reasons to hang onto old kit ;))
    – Tetsujin
    May 1, 2023 at 9:36
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The "EMC" number (in typical Apple barely readable no-contrast small text that may have worn off) is the usual way you disambiguate MacBooks without being able to get into the system information page. However:

Clipping from everymac.com

Info above from everymac.com website

In this case it apparently is shared and isn't even externally listed at all (though I wonder if it's hiding in the battery compartment, if this is still removable battery era? No, it's past that, best I recall) However, the order number MD103LL/A may be shown?

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