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Old 11-05-2011, 05:12 PM   #1
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wireless disabled after installing Ubuntu

I have installed Ubuntu 11 on a Dell Inspiron 5150 and erased the Windows XP. On first booting I got a message that the hardware would not support Unity and it would open in Ubuntu Classic. Everything seems to work except wireless. The concentric arcs on the network icon only show the top arc and opening the network manager shows "wireless networks" to be greyed out. "Enable Network is checked, however.

I opened the terminal and checked for a wireless card and it is there... BCM4306 and config shows driver=b43-pci-bridge so I assume I have the driver.

Running lshw i get *-network DISABLED

I wonder if this is why ubuntu isn't seeing my card. How can I enable?

I am over my head here, but I would like to enable the wireless. I know it works because I am sending this over the wireless from another computer running Ubuntu.

Thanks to anyone in advance

Old 11-05-2011, 05:21 PM   #2
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As it is a new install can you connect to internet with a cable. Check for hardware drivers and update the system as well you might find this will help.
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:52 PM   #3
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well I did the update on an ethernet connection and no luck. I checked the boot setup and the wireless was disabled so I changed it to enabled... still no luck.
I checked the lshw again and the card is BCM 4306 I guess that means a Broadcom 4306. I know the card works because it worked on windows before I installed the Ubuntu.
So I am thinking the old driver is not recognized or the firmware was corrupted during the installation. I downloaded the legacyb43 but still no luck. I did get a download failure message, but when I checked on installed software it was there.
Old 11-05-2011, 09:13 PM   #4
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have you tried using ndiswrapper?

To install:
sudo apt-get install ndiswrapper
Here is a tutorial on it:
Old 11-05-2011, 09:20 PM   #5
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You have a Broadcom chip.

Ubuntu has the drivers for it in their repos. You don't need ndiswrapper.

In the Synaptic Package Manager, go to Settings-->Repositories. On the Ubuntu tab, enable the "Restricted Drivers for Devices" repository. The Broadcom stuff is in there.

Also, somewhere in the Ubuntu menus, you can find something about "Additional Drivers," but I forget the exact wording and exactly where. That would likely lead you to the same place.

I have two Dells with that family of chips. They both worked under Ubuntu once I had the correct firmware from the repos.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:13 AM   #6
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You are right. Actually I solved the problem last night just before your post came in. The card is BMC4306/3 and I installed both firmware drivers b43 and another one which came up under synaptic. After checking the Broadcom website I found that only b43 is supported on that card so i uninstalled both and then reinstalled the b43 and Voila!

Thanks so much for your help.


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