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10.4: A fix for Motorola wireless cards under 10.4.2 System 10.4
Tiger only hintI have a Dual PowerMac G4; it's from before the time of AirPort Extreme Card slots. It does has an AirPort slot, but only for wireless-b AirPort cards ... which you can no longer get from Apple, and other place charge a premium. does have WiFi-G card that work for this unit, but once again, they charge a premium ($150 was the cheapest I found).

But you can use a cheap Motorola card, WPC1810G, which I found for 35$ at a local Radio Shack on clearance. I found that this card was confirmed to work based off a website I found using Unfortunately, I lost the reference to that site; sorry. Sadly, this card stops working once you upgrade Tiger to 10.4.2. There is an update to the AirPort kernel extensions, from version 3.5 to 4.0. I don't know if Apple did it on purpose, or just doesn't care to make sure it doesn't break third-party wireless cards. But this update does.

Since this update is mandatory if you want all the other fixes, and you can't choose not to install just the AirPort update, you can't roll-back (easily). So I personally had reinstall Tiger from scratch to undo the changes.

But this time, I backed up the following files.
  • /System/Library/Extensions/Appleairport.kext
  • /System/Library/Extensions/Appleairport2.kext
  • /System/Library/Extensions/Appleairport3.kext
Then I updated my machine again, and again AirPort broke. So I copied the files I saved back into /System -> Library -> Extensions, ran Disk Utility and repaired permissions, then restarted my Mac, and I was back online.

I've read that you can make all types of changes inside the kext bundles to make third party cards work. But that's not for me; I don't know enough about it. This works, and if you need (want) a wifi-G card in an older Mac, this is the cheapest method.

[robg adds: I obviously haven't tested this one, and I cannot really recommend it as a good solution -- any time you have to downgrade a piece of the OS to get something working, you don't really know what else you may be putting at risk. For example, perhaps there were security patches in the newer version of the AirPort kext. With that said, this approach seems to work, based not only on this post, but some work with Google to see what others have done.]
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10.4: A fix for Motorola wireless cards under 10.4.2 | 5 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: A fix for Motorola wireless cards under 10.4.2
Authored by: jlynch3 on Oct 13, '05 07:38:03AM

Perhaps a return visit to is in order... as I am taking delivery of an airport compatible 802.11g PCI card later this afternoon that cost $79.99.

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10.4: A fix for Motorola wireless cards under 10.4.2
Authored by: dylanw on Oct 13, '05 08:20:45AM

There's a fairly comprehensive list of wireless cards here:

For what it's worth, I put a fairly cheap Buffalo Tech WLI2-PCI-G54 in my wife's G4 466 running 10.4.2, and it works with the standard Airport drivers, without any tweaking at all.

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10.4: A fix for Motorola wireless cards under 10.4.2
Authored by: sjonke on Oct 13, '05 01:38:27PM

This is good to know! I have used the hack to keep my linksys card working, but I'd like not to have to do that. FYI, I found this card for $34.19 shipped at Search for WLI2-PCI-G54

--- What?

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10.4: A fix for Motorola wireless cards under 10.4.2
Authored by: sethd on Oct 13, '05 07:13:09PM
10.4.2 didn't just break 3rd party wireless cards. My Airport Express in my Powerbook G4 12" had very shaky performance until I replaced the airport kext files with the versions from 10.4.1. The key topic in the discussion forums is here. Here are the instructions from "HR":
The issue is software. I just took the airport kext files back to 10.4.1 and all is well. Signal strength is comparable to our Titanium Powerbook (a bit lower than an iBook or our Sony but not an issue). My signal strength without the repeater went from 0% to 5% in a far bedroom to 40% to 45%. With the repeater on, its back to 85%. The PBook now flows seamlessly between the router and the repeater as the 10.3.9 laptops have always been able to do. We have a fairly large cement block house with plaster walls laid over metal lathe. The router is at one end and the repeater at the other. Not an 802 friendly environment. If you do purchase the Powerbook and need the 4.1 files, here: I would stress that you do the following prior to installing: Back the 10.4.2 files to another drive/flash memory/whatever. I put them in a folder on the desktop and they were no longer there after I rebooted. Although I did not need them it was a bit disconcerting to lose the original files before I knew the 4.1 files would do the trick. Overwrite the files, you will need to authenticate. You must run permissions. Reboot. Done!
I also offered to host the 10.4.1 files on my webspace:

My backups were mysteriously missing, so make sure you have your backups on a separate drive or archived just in case. And don't forget to repair disk permissions!


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Use a bridge instead.
Authored by: Blittser on Oct 28, '05 03:50:13AM

My opinion is that using a PCI network card in a Mac is a losing battle. When system updates break it, you can point a finger at neither Apple or the network card manufacturer.

A much cleaner approach, is to use a wireless bridge. This plugs into a computer's ethernet port, and can then join an pre-existing wireless network. Since the computer's ethernet port is used, there is no software to install, the hardware is cross-platform, and multiple machines can be added via a ethernet hub.

I used the ASUS WL-330, which supports 802.11b, and WEP encryption only. The newer version (which I have not used), is shown here:

There are a myriad of similar products. Some are targeted at the console gaming market--since ethernet ports are now present and used on the Xbox and PS2. The Airport Express will work as one, if in WDS mode--although this is pricey.

Just as an aside, the WL-330 I used, could be powered by a USB port, which negated the need for yet another power socket.

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