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Old 04-13-2008, 08:45 AM   #1
sunnior
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Distribution: ubuntu
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Unhappy bcm43xx wireless card didn't work on my hp laptop (solved)


Yes, I know it is a very common problem. But I really don't know which tread suits me.

I use both ubuntu and kubuntu. As what said in the official documentation,
I enabled the restricted drivers at the first step, and the lamp lit . But that was where my happiness ended.
Then I used the following command:
Quote:
$ iwconfig
I got:
Quote:
lo no wireless extensions.

eth0 no wireless extensions.

eth1 IEEE 802.11b/g ESSID:"CERNET" Nickname:"Broadcom 4311"
Mode:Managed Access Point: Invalid
RTS thrff Fragment thrff
Link Quality=0/100 Signal level=-256 dBm Noise level=-256 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0
The words "Access Point: Invalid" are really strange, which I think should
be "Access Point: not-associated"(if I use the knoppix livecd it is "not-associated").

Then I typed:
Quote:
$ iwlist eth1 scan
more frustrating, the result was:
Quote:
eth1 No scan results
The command:
Quote:
lsmod | grep bcm43xx
Got:
Quote:
bcm43xx 127336 0
ieee80211softmac 31360 1 bcm43xx
ieee80211 35656 2 bcm43xx,ieee80211softmac
Can anyone give me any suggestion, or lead me to the right thread or documentation? TIA.

More information about my laptop:
Quote:
00:00.0 RAM memory: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0547 (rev a2)
00:01.0 ISA bridge: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0548 (rev a2)
00:01.1 SMBus: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0542 (rev a2)
00:01.2 RAM memory: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0541 (rev a2)
00:01.3 Co-processor: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0543 (rev a2)
00:02.0 USB Controller: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 055e (rev a2)
00:02.1 USB Controller: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 055f (rev a2)
00:04.0 USB Controller: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 055e (rev a2)
00:04.1 USB Controller: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 055f (rev a2)
00:06.0 IDE interface: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0560 (rev a1)
00:07.0 Audio device: nVidia Corporation MCP67 High Definition Audio (rev a1)
00:08.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0561 (rev a2)
00:09.0 IDE interface: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0550 (rev a2)
00:0a.0 Ethernet controller: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 054c (rev a2)
00:0c.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0563 (rev a2)
00:0d.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0563 (rev a2)
00:12.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0531 (rev a2)
00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration
00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Address Map
00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] DRAM Controller
00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control
01:09.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd R5C832 IEEE 1394 Controller (rev 05)
01:09.1 Generic system peripheral [0805]: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter (rev 22)
01:09.2 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C843 MMC Host Controller (rev 12)
01:09.3 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C592 Memory Stick Bus Host Adapter (rev 12)
01:09.4 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd xD-Picture Card Controller (rev 12)
04:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11a/b/g (rev 02)

Last edited by sunnior; 04-18-2008 at 07:20 AM.
 
Old 04-13-2008, 08:55 AM   #2
usaf_sp
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This link might help you. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...20&mode=linear

I have a newer HP laptop with Suse 10.3 and had to use the entire contents of the driver pack when running the ndiswrapper install before I got it to work. Just extract the driver package and leave ALL files in the directory before running ndiswrapper. Not sure why this works, but it does.

Good Luck
 
Old 04-13-2008, 09:32 AM   #3
JimBass
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No, using ndiswrapper is 100% the wrong way to go with any bcm43xx card. Ndiswrapper only attempts to wrap the windows driver into a usable mode with the linux module. Sometimes it functions, but if you get mainline kernel support for your card, you take it an never look back.

The bcm43xx card is all over laptops, and it was added to the kernel a year or so ago. All you need to do is use the bcm43xx-firmware cutter tool is some form to get the closed-source firmware out of a windows driver package, dump those files in /lib/firmware, insert the module into your kernel, and you're good to go. I did this 2 weeks ago on 2 friends' Dells, and they worked fine with these instructions:

http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Dr...43andb43legacy

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 04-13-2008, 10:54 AM   #4
usaf_sp
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The problem with the kernel driver (unless it was fixed) is that you can not use packet bursting or 54MB/S speed. It is a very common for the kernel driver to have issues.

In my previous post, the instructions for the kernel driver are provided.

I also found another howto for you to look at. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wi...eisty_No-Fluff
in case you need to blacklist and install ndiswrapper.

I am not about to make absolute 100% statements because with several distributions and several hardware configurations available, no one can say for sure that one method works over another.

Caveat Emptor - Let the buyer beware. Do your research and let us know what works.

Good Luck

Last edited by usaf_sp; 04-13-2008 at 10:56 AM.
 
Old 04-13-2008, 03:10 PM   #5
JimBass
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There is a major problem with using ndiswrapper however. When a manufacturer doesn't release their hardware specs so the open source community can develop proper modules, that should be a clear indication that they don't value open-source users as customers. Think about that for a second. You paid money (indirectly, but you bought the laptop from some manufacturer who bought it from the chip producer), and now they won't even tell you specifically what you bought! Does that not seem wrong to you? They were more than happy to collect the cost of your card from you, but then when you ask, "what are the specs on this card?" you get no answer from them. When I bought my stove, I was given a detailed map of all its circuits, and clear indicators of where the power should go in, what voltage and amps it expects, etc. The same with my fridge and toaster. Even my Mr. Coffee shows me every wire and board. If my automatic timer fails, I can look at the manual and if I'm feeling adventurous, fix it myself. They don't place a false barrier between me and what I've purchased. Broadcom (and many other manufacturers) will not release specs. They often claim that by releasing the specs, they make it possible for their designs to be copied. I don't know anyone with the ability to make circuitboards. Obviously that technology does exist, but I think by the time somebody copied a board, changed/improved it and released it, we'd already be on to the next level of technology. In short, to prevent the 1% of people who may abuse the info released, they harm the 99% of us who just want the full functionality of the hardware that we paid for.

The friends I helped both were able to connect at 54 Mbps. Obviously there are many different versions of the bcm43xx, and I don't have the specifics here in front of me about which firmware versions I needed. I think one had the v5 chip, and the other had 3 or 4. In either case, the kernel module worked with both once I sorted out the firmware, and I got wpa_supplicant working on my wpa2 encrypted network, at 54 Mbps. The -D switch was used with wext, assuring that I was connected through the kernel mod, and not ndiswrapper. One had a Dell D420, and the other had a Dell 1506 or something of the 15xx series.

I know both users had dual boot systems with XP and Ubuntu, and I believe their kernel was 2.6.22, which isn't brand new, but is recent enough to have the better version of bcm43xx than the one usaf_sp correctly cites as not being up to the level you'd expect from a card. On the tiny Dell d420, I had tried to get ndiswrapper working weeks ago, and couldn't. I'm no stranger to software compilation, but it would only scan, not associate. When I removed ndiswrapper completely and tried the mainline kernel, it worked without issue.

Accepting ndiswrapper as ok rewards companies for not releasing their tech specs. I will never do that, and I hope the community at large sees the problem with it as well. Of course if I have a laptop that didn't have kernel support, I may well have no choice but to use it. Like I said above though, the second kernel support exists for a card, use it and abuse it!

This post brought to you courtesy of the ipw2200 kernel mod, closed source firmware, and wpa_supplicant.

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 04-14-2008, 04:57 AM   #6
wificraig
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ndiswrapper-try this

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...0/#post3107784
 
Old 04-14-2008, 05:04 AM   #7
b0uncer
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I thought the new Ubuntu/Kubuntu distributions had the newer b43 kernel module; or at least the 8.04 version has, that is about to be released in a few days (the beta version is working fine on my computer). I'm using that beta on a laptop with bcm43xx, it uses b43 kernel module and the card worked flawlessly after enabling it trough Restricted Drivers Manager (what it essentially does is use b43-fwcutter and the needed Windows driver to get the "firmware files", place them to the firmware directory and load the module -- this is what you can do manually, RDM just makes it easier for you).

The bcm43xx module worked fine on that laptop too before I upgraded the operating system, though that time I installed and used bcm43xx-fwcutter manually to get the firmware files. It's a lot better way than ndiswrapper really; ndiswrapper works too, but it's just less hassle this way.

If you want, you can upgrade to the new version (in 10 days it's first stable version is released) and see if b43 works better than bcm43xx - if b43 isn't available in your kernel.
 
Old 04-14-2008, 07:47 AM   #8
Hangdog42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimBass
This post brought to you courtesy of the ipw2200 kernel mod, closed source firmware, and wpa_supplicant.
At the risk of derailing this thread, please explain to me the difference between what ndiswrapper does and what Intel does. Yes, Intel does write a "driver" for its cards, but at the core of it, they are the same. Both ndiswrapper and the Intel drivers are merely wedges for proprietary (and very closed source) firmware to be installed on the card. In the case of ndiswrapper, the firmware is packaged in a Windows driver, but in the case of the Intel drivers the firmware is a separate file that doesn't do anything on its own. I agree that Broadcom is a reprehensible company, but lets not slag off on the ndiswrapper crew for providing a very, very valuable service to the Linux community. I know I'm one example of someone who would probably still be stuck in Windows if it wasn't for ndiswrapper.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnior
$ iwlist eth1 scan
You may have to be root for iwlist to be run correctly. At least that is the case on my laptop.
 
Old 04-14-2008, 07:25 PM   #9
sunnior
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Registered: Feb 2008
Distribution: ubuntu
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Original Poster
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the wireless problem solved

I followed this link:
and installed the firmware which was for linux-2.6.24. But my old kernel was 2.6.22. So my friend spent much time helping me compile a new kernel, then installed the firmware. Now it works. I just say the wireless problem solved, because my nvidia video card can't work and the mixer can't be found. I'm going to handle them.

Quote:
Originally Post by b0uncer
If you want, you can upgrade to the new version (in 10 days it's first stable version is released) and see if b43 works better than bcm43xx - if b43 isn't available in your kernel.
I'm waiting for that exciting moment.

Quote:
$iwlist eth1 scan
That's really a very serious mistake. I should add the "sudo" at the beginning.

Despite of all these troubles, I feel very happy now. This is the first time I see my wireless work.

Thank you all!!!
 
Old 04-18-2008, 07:28 AM   #10
sunnior
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I'm using ubuntu 8.04 (beta). And now, I'm glad to say, all these problems are solved. Now my wireless and video card work very well. Even when I plug in headphone, the speaker is automatically muted.
 
  


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