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Need help with power mac g5 wireless networking

by volitaire77 / January 10, 2009 5:45 AM PST

Machine is a power mac G5 tower, 512 MB ram, powerPC processor. According to the apple website, this machine should have had an airport card, but the system profiler says it does not. I want to connect to an 802.11G linksys network. Which airport card should I purchase and how might I install the card? Any thought much appreciated! -V.

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by volitaire77 / January 10, 2009 5:47 AM PST

The machine is running mac OS 10.3.2, if that helps.

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The card you need for that machine
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / January 10, 2009 8:18 AM PST

is the Apple Airport Extreme card.

It slots into the holder inside the G5. Don't forget to power down the G5 and to attach the antenna to the card when you install it.

There seems to be some doubt as to whether this fits a dual processor machine. If you would care to send the serial number of you machine, I can check it definitively.

If you don't want to do that, call Apple and give them ALL your information and get them to confirm that it will fit.
Price is $49

As a matter of interest, when are you going to upgrade your OS to something newer? At least 10.4.11 would be nice


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by volitaire77 / January 10, 2009 10:40 AM PST

Actually, I just purchased it today used. I've been trying to get it to work with a linksys WUSB54GC usb wireless adapter, which the salespeople assured me would work (but you know how that goes...). How difficult is it to install the airport card and is there another USB wireless adapter that's compatible with Mac? Thanks-V.

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How confusing!
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / January 10, 2009 11:07 PM PST
In reply to: Actually

You just purchased what, today?

Why not just get the Airport card which is guaranteed to work with your machine.

Yes, there are USB wireless adapters that work with the Mac, but note that this particular one only mentions Windows in their literature.

Take a look Here but note that the price is more than the Airport but it does have the N capability.
Google for USB Wireless for Mac and you will find a bunch of hits on the subject.

As I said in my first post. The Apple Airport Extreme card just slots into the holder inside the G5. No tools required. Once installed, with the Antenna connected, it will appear in the system profiler.


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by volitaire77 / January 11, 2009 1:17 AM PST
In reply to: How confusing!

I'll probably end up going the Airport card route, just didn't know how difficult it would be. Oh, by the way, I purchased the computer itself just a day ago while looking for older macs. Thanks for your help!-V.

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Ahh, I think I understand now
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / January 11, 2009 2:04 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks!

Good luck with the Airport card


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RE: Ahh, I think I understand now
by mcadoo--2008 / January 19, 2009 3:57 AM PST

According to the Apple Store (, this won't work with the Mac Pro or the Power Mac G5 Dual and Power Mac G5 Quad computers introduced in October 2005. Is this accurate?

I have a PowerMac G5 Dual, and I'm trying to sort out the same issue (setting up a wifi).

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Call Apple
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / January 19, 2009 9:01 AM PST

They should be able to point you at the right Airport Card


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In case you're interested...
by volitaire77 / January 22, 2009 1:28 AM PST

I went ahead and bought a Hawking technology HWUG1A wireless G network USB adapter.It works great with Mac. Make sure you get this model though, they sell another identical looking one that won't work with Macs. Look on amazon or Best Buy's website. It's a good alternative if you don't get the airport card. Good luck!-V.

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wireless card for an old mac
by kimking1 / April 14, 2009 11:14 AM PDT

I have an old mac PowerPC G5 Dual 2GHz. Serial #: YM339V9XNVS
I saw your posting to someone else, and you had asked if they had the serial number so you could look it up. I included it above. I'm wondering if you can tell me what I need to buy to make this wireless? Once I get online I can upgrade the operating system. I to am running an old 10.3 operating system. This is a second computer I'm trying to set up that was given to me by my office for my kids. Thanks in advance!

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Not so old,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / April 14, 2009 9:58 PM PDT

All you need to make this machine wireless is an Apple Airport Extreme card, available from Apple.

I am a little puzzled by your statement about having to have wireless to get online and be able to upgrade your OS.
Apple do not offer downloadable OS upgrades, 10.3 to 10.4, 10.4 to 10.5, they offer them as DVD's. You can only update your installed OS, 10.3.1 to 10.3.9 or 10.4.1 to 10.4.11

To move to a new OS, you will need a physical installation DVD.

Another concern, a wireless card will not get you on the internet unless you already have a wireless network in place.
An ethernet cable connected to your existing home network would negate the "need" for a wireless card.


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by kimking1 / April 15, 2009 12:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Not so old,

Great. Thanks! We called Apple last night and they told us they didn't have anything for a computer this old. I figured I'd try a different person today on the phone.

I'll also ask Apple and get the update DVDs. I have 10.4.11 on my lap top, and thought it just downloaded it from the web automatically.

I currently run a wireless FIOS system right now with my lap top. Hoping once I get this desk top up and running it will be able to hook up no problem. Just use the password.

Thanks so much!

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The Airport Extreme Card
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / April 15, 2009 2:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!

This is what you are looking for. Looks like Apple do not carry it in their store anymore. A little shortsighted, I thought.

Apple Airport Extreme card

good luck


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Airport Card Not Compatible with G5 Towers
by pennewise / April 27, 2009 8:33 PM PDT

It's incorrect to say that the Airport Extreme Card works with the PowerMac G5 Dual Core desktops.

The original internet wireless "card" for these dual core machines was a special installation that either occurred at the time of purchase or could be installed later by a Mac dealer. For a time there was a kit that a Mac service center could install, though I'm uncertain if these are still available. In the last day or so I have seen a few other links that can provide details on this.

This thread does provide help giving the Hawking USB wireless adapter option. There are a few of these USB adapters that seem to work with the G5 towers. I've been looking for one for my kids who both have these desktops in apartments with wireless connectivity. Fortunately they also have laptops that get them online.

Hope this helps.

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(NT) quite right, my mistake
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / April 29, 2009 11:06 AM PDT
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question for you
by MovieFreak4702 / July 27, 2009 8:25 AM PDT

Hi There,

I bought an Airport Extreme card for my Powermac G5, serial number XB3351JFNVR, and I haven't had working internet since the day I bought the damn thing and installed it. The card is correctly installed, I've had several people check it, and I can't seem to get any signal at all. Anyone know what I can do about this problem? I have a 13" white Macbook that gets my wireless signal without a problem. Thanks for any and all help!

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by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 27, 2009 9:12 AM PDT
In reply to: question for you

is the AE card seen by the system and shown in the System profiler?

Stupid question: Is the Antenna attached to the card? Believe it or not, this is a common cause of reception problems on self installed Airport cards


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airport extreme ? Thanks
by cruzguy / March 30, 2010 8:16 AM PDT

Hi, If you can help me to figure this out it would be great,
I have a G5dual and I need to put wifi in it, there is some debate about the Airport Extreme card, so I thought I would take you up on your offer to check. Here is the info on my machine:

Machine Name: Power Mac G5
Machine Model: PowerMac11,2
CPU Type: PowerPC G5 (1.0)
Number Of CPUs: 2
CPU Speed: 2 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 1 MB
Memory: 2.5 GB
Bus Speed: 1 GHz
Boot ROM Version: 5.2.7f1
Serial Number: G8610410UUY

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I seem to remember that the G5
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / March 30, 2010 9:05 AM PDT

Dual Processor had to be custom configured before purchase to have wireless and bluetooth.

The Airport Extreme card is not supported by the Dual Processor G5


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Airport Card for an older G5
by kimking1 / April 29, 2009 11:37 AM PDT

I just ordered one for my old G5 from this place.

If you call them they might have a used one they can sell you for $40. I haven't installed it yet. But the customer service was great! I bought a couple gigs of RAM as well.

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USB wireless adapter for Powermac G5
by vrijhoeve / September 29, 2011 3:12 AM PDT

Have bought a Gigabyte Aircruiser N300 USB adapter. This adapter has a Ralink chip. The MacOSX driver can be downloaded from the ralink website; NOT from the Gigabyte website. Works great.

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