In this How To guide I will tell you how to fix your Apple CarPlay Wireless Dongle if you run in to the Hardware Error: Wifi error on your screen. This might also fix any other broken updates, just as long as your dongle is able to light up in the same way in this video. If there are not LEDs flashing, its likely the dongle is totally broken and unfixable.
If you have updated your wireless dongle with what you thought to be an innocent firmware update and on reboot you see the dreaded Hardware Error: Wi-Fi on your CarPlay display. Now don’t panic, this is totally fixable and in this video I will go through each step to fix it.
You will need the broken dongle, this fix should work on most dongles including the CarPlay2Air and CarLinkit dongles. You will need a USB-A stick, an USB charging adapter, like the one that came with your iPhone and a desktop or laptop to format the USB stick and also to load some files onto it.
So with all that gathered, we can get started on the process of fixing your dongle:
- Remove the dongle from the car
- On your desktop computer go to https://bit.ly/DongleUpdate to download the rollback software.
- From this page, select the correct ROLLBACK .IMG file that correlates to your dongle boot up UI colour. There are two types here and this will correspond with the UI colour you have for the dongles boot menu. If it has a green UI get the U2W_Update_2020.11.10.2138_ROLLBACK.img, and if your dongle has a red UI get the U2W_AUTOKIT_Update_2020.12.25.1732_ROLLBACK.img update file.
- On the next page, there is a Download button or View Raw link on this page that you can select to start the download.
- With the IMG file downloaded, head on over to your browser’s download folder. From here you need to rename the file either U2W_Update.img (for Green UI dongles) or U2W_AUTOKIT_Update.img (for red UI dongles).
- Next, insert your USB drive into your computer. We now need to format it using any drive cleaner software, such as Disk Utility on the Mac. Or right-click the drive and select Format from the menu in Windows. Format the USB drive as FAT 32 to clean it.
- With the USB drive formatted, copy the .IMG file that you renamed earlier to your empty USB drive. Don’t put it into a folder and make sure the .img extension is at the end of the filename.
- Once the file has copied over, safely remove the USB drive from your computer
- Then insert the flash drive into the USB-A passthrough port at the end of the dongle
- Then plug the dongle with the USB drive connected into a powered USB charging adapter. Do not use a computer USB port or your car’s USB port.
- The dongle should now power up and begin to show a Red, followed by Blue and Red indicators on the dongle, these should be flashing intermittently red and blue. And if your USB dongle also has an access status light you should see that flashing now too. This means the file on the USB drive is being copied to the dongle and the firmware is being applied
- Please wait around 2-3 minutes for the firmware to apply and for the dongle to reboot. The blue and red LED lights should stop flashing and a solid red light should appear, meaning you are done.
If this doesn’t happen after over 5 minutes or more:
- Remove the dongle from the wall charger
- Remove the USB drive from the dongle.
- Insert the dongle first into the wall charger
- Wait around 10 seconds before inserting the USB drive into the USB passthrough port on the dongle
- Once the dongle has a solid red light, you can now remove the dongle from the wall adapter
- Remove the USB drive from the dongle
- Return to your car and plug the dongle back into the CarPlay USB port
- Wait until the boot menu window appears on your vehicle’s CarPlay screen.
- Pair your iPhone to the Bluetooth network of the dongle that’s shown on the screen, if you haven’t done this already
- In less than 60 seconds, you should be back into CarPlay
From here you can either stick with this firmware, or you could try and attempt to update it again to get new features from any of the more recent updates. You will notice at the end of the video the difference between the old firmware and new firmware settings area that offer better stability and troubleshooting options.