MacBook Pro 13 inch, 2009. Slower than a sink clogged with crazy glue. Removed the hard drive, replaced it with an SSD. Speedy and wonderful. Except for one thing.... Wifi stopped working.
iFixit toolkit was fabulous, having just the right little things to do the job. Best yet, the handles fit in smaller girl hands. Yay. Very smooth change over to SSD until...the dreaded "WIFI: no hardware detected" error. So I opened it again and checked all of the connections. All were solid. Pulled the clutch piece and checked those connections. Also solid. So rather than try to check the connections under the screen, I opted to use an external USB wifi device. It came with a teeny tiny CD, which I inserted into the optical drive and.... nada. Seems that the optical drive hated the mini CD. It also wouldn't eject. iFixit tools to the rescue again in getting the recalcitrant CD out. So I downloaded the drivers from their website (via another machine of course) and burned them to a correctly sized CD, installed the drivers, brought up wifi, and *poof* a useable machine with an $11.00 wifi radio.
Be really careful with these old machines not to mess up with AirPort card. Also, good luck with putting the clutch piece back on properly. I couldn't do it. If anyone has tips, I'd be very happy to hear about them. The good news, of course, is that replacing an HD with an SSD in these older machines is almost as good as buying a new machine. Hooray! Also, if you have an AirPort card failure, and your machine is out of AppleCare (which it will be if you replace the HD), rather than buy a new AirPort card and associated cables, and dealing with an annoying clutch, pop in a USB radio. Just make sure that it is Mac friendly first, and hopefully comes with a full sized CD.