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HP nc6400 Laptop with OSX wifi working!!


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#1 QuashPhillips

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 09:22 PM

Hello all, I was able to get the wireless on my HP nc6400 laptop working. While my sig only tells of dual booting, I am now triple booting, Vista, Ubuntu, and OSX. I needed to set up an Ubuntu Partition in order to get the wireless to work. At first I was part of a team to hack the intel pro wirless. But medschool proved too busy for me so I gave up.

In comes eBay. My card was the Intel Pro Wireless 3945 abg, and Dell makes a wifi card that fits the 3945 module called the Dell 1390 mini PCIE card. I picked up one of these suckers on eBay for 10 dollars including shipping. The thing came in 2 days. I put the card in and booted up the comp thinking it would work OOB. Wrong, I got a nice error: 104-Unsupported wireless network device detected. System Halted. Remove device and restart.

So then, this is where I got up on google on the mad search. Here is the guide.....Good luck, There may be another way to get this to work. Preface: requires a screwdriver, and balls to mod your SPROM

Forward: If you can find a way to have the build-essentials module in your choice of Linux distro you dont have to install that Linux Distro on your laptop. Or perhaps you can create the partition and then delete the partition once you have modded your SPROM to work with the Dell 1390.

So I fired up my Ubuntu Live CD, installed Gutsy Gibbon and followed these instructions (modified by me cause there were a few mistakes. Original credit goes to Philip J Fry) So, provided that....

You have a HP laptop and there is no driver for your miniPCI express card ?
You bought a $10 dell 1390 card but you can't use it because of the "104 unsupported network device" ?
You don't want to hack your BIOS (but the card SPROM) ?

!!! WARNING, this howto comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, blah, blah, blah !!!

What do I need ?

- An HP notebook with a non friendly miniPCIe wireless card (mine was an Intel Pro Wireless 3945ABG).
- A Dell 1390 miniPCe wireless card (with the bcm4311 chip).
- A GNU/Linux based OS.
- Some hands.

Great. Now how do I get the 1390 card working ?

IF You have easy access to a wired connection drop down and continue. If you dont, scroll down this guide and download in the OS of your choice: all the files needed. And slap all these on a USB, then put them all on your Linux Distro Desktop when you get to it

1. Remove the miniPCI-e card. There should be a wifi module underneath your laptop that holds the wifi card that can be easily swapped out. Get out that Precision screw driver. If you dont have one walmart has em for 94 cents in the Automotive Section. Dont fall victim to stripping your own screws

2. Start your notebook. After the BIOS check but before the boot of your favorite linux OS (by pausing GRUB for example), put the 1390 card in the miniPCIe slot (be really careful !).

3. Boot up the linux based OS and make sure build-essentials is installed (can be found in synaptics package manager). If not, in Terminal do a sudo apt-get install build-essentials, some distro's its just build-essential

4. Load the Terminal and Check that the bcm43xx linux module is present:
> sudo modprobe bcm43xx
Now, we need the chip firmware:
> wget http://downloads.ope...ta-3.130.20.0.o
We have to extract it to /lib/firmware with the tool bcm43xx-fwcutter
> wget http://prdownload.be...ter-006.tar.bz2
> tar xvf bcm43xx-fwcutter-006.tar.bz2
> cd bcm43xx-fwcutter-006
> make
> sudo ./bcm43xx-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware wl_apsta-3.130.20.0.o (This file may need to be put in the bcm43xx-fwcutter-006 folder)

Then, reload the module
> sudo rmmod bcm43xx
> sudo modprobe bcm43xx
Now, turn on the card and try it:
> sudo ifconfig eth1 up
> sudo iwlist eth1 scan
(! the card may not be eth1)
If you get a list of available networks, the card works fine. Skip the next lines and begin Step 5. If not, check the next lines.

(These instructions may not work with special kernel/config/... If so, see http://linuxwireless...ers/Drivers/b43 to get the card working on linux.) Instructions on this site are pretty good. Once you load those, run the last 4 sudo commands again

5. Time to hack the card SPROM.
The BIOS checks the subsystem vendor id and product id of the card. So they have to be in the HP whitelist. Here we are lucky: some HP notebooks have a broadcom 4311 based card. The subsystem vendor id is 0x103c (HP) and the subsystem product id is 0x1363. We just need to change these values in the dell card's SPROM.
the tool we need:
> wget http://linuxwireless...x-sprom.tar.bz2
> tar xvf bcm43xx-sprom.tar.bz2
> cd bcm43xx-sprom
> make
Now, hack
> sudo iwpriv eth1 read_sprom > card_sprom
(If eth1 is the dell card)
> ./ssb-sprom -i card_sprom --subv 0x103c --subp 0x1363 > new_sprom
> sudo iwpriv eth1 write_sprom $(cat new_sprom)
We check that's all good
> sudo iwpriv eth1 read_sprom > sprom_check
> ./ssb-sprom -i sprom_check -P
and look at the subsystem vendor/product ID.

6. Reboot and enjoy !

7. The card works for me OOB for my Vista, my Ubuntu and OSX Leopard. This guide Should be noob proof, reply if you run into problems, and I'll mod guide accordingly

#2 yanike

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 03:44 PM

I have the NC6000 and it doesn't work well with Leopard yet. Still it runs Vista perfect so I'm sticking with Vista in the laptop world.

#3 akersj

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 08:46 PM

This also works great on an NC2400. Procedure I followed is largely the same as the original post, just edited to include updated links and notes that Hardy Heron disk doesn't work, Feisty Fawn does.

1. Remove the miniPCI-e card. Laptop upside down with the Windows license writing upside down it's under the door to the right of the regulatory label

2. Start your notebook with a Feisty Fawn live disk in the drive (not Hardy Heron, it doesn't work, use Feisty Fawn). Booting from the live disk works absolutely fine, slow but fine!!

At this point press the key to prevent it booting. Put the Dell card in really carefully, it fits at a 45 degree angle and screw into place. At this point I didn't screw it all back together just in case you do something wrong and have to reboot starting at step 1 again.

3. Press the F4 key to use VGA mode and choose 640x480x16

4. Load the Terminal and Check that the bcm43xx linux module is present:
> sudo modprobe bcm43xx
Now, we need the chip firmware:
> wget http://downloads.ope...ta-3.130.20.0.o
We have to extract it to /lib/firmware with the tool bcm43xx-fwcutter
> wget http://download2.ber...ter-006.tar.bz2
> tar xvf bcm43xx-fwcutter-006.tar.bz2
> cd bcm43xx-fwcutter-006
> make
> sudo ./bcm43xx-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware wl_apsta-3.130.20.0.o (This file WILL need to be put in the bcm43xx-fwcutter-006 folder)

Then, reload the module
> sudo rmmod bcm43xx
> sudo modprobe bcm43xx
Now, turn on the card and try it:
> sudo ifconfig eth1 up
> sudo iwlist eth1 scan
(! the card may not be eth1)
If you get a list of available networks, the card works fine. Skip the next lines and begin Step 5. If not, check the next lines.

5. Time to hack the card SPROM.
The BIOS checks the subsystem vendor id and product id of the card. So they have to be in the HP whitelist. Here we are lucky: some HP notebooks have a broadcom 4311 based card. The subsystem vendor id is 0x103c (HP) and the subsystem product id is 0x1363. We just need to change these values in the dell card's SPROM.
the tool we need:
> wget http://linuxwireless...x-sprom.tar.bz2
> tar xvf bcm43xx-sprom.tar.bz2
> cd bcm43xx-sprom
> make
Now, hack
> sudo iwpriv eth1 read_sprom > card_sprom
(If eth1 is the dell card)
> ./ssb-sprom -i card_sprom --subv 0x103c --subp 0x1363 > new_sprom
> sudo iwpriv eth1 write_sprom $(cat new_sprom)
We check that's all good
> sudo iwpriv eth1 read_sprom > sprom_check
> ./ssb-sprom -i sprom_check -P
and look at the subsystem vendor/product ID.

#4 Elijah?

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 10:52 PM

Oh, the dreaded 3945... that thing is a pain. I have the same thing, I just settled on a USB Wireless card.
I remember the first time I got my Leopard/Seven/Ubuntu tri-boot working... it took some patience, but I did it. Congrats :) .

#5 PurplePeopleEater

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 11:13 PM

So I can get my Sony VGN-FW670G working with a wireless card swap out!
I have the pro/wireless 3945ABG

#6 InlineSkate

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 02:55 AM

All I know is it is to much f**king work.

Hackintoshing it defeats the purpose of OSX in the first place.

#7 Airflow

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 03:24 AM

3945ABG is a f**king bitch when trying to set it up lol.. I gave up after like.. uh.. 4 tries. I used it on one of my older laptops.

#8 MaximusAxis

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 12:57 PM

All I know is it is to much f**king work.

Hackintoshing it defeats the purpose of OSX in the first place.


No celebration without dedication!

#9 PurplePeopleEater

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 03:16 PM

Hackintoshes are entertaining. And when your done you get to enjoy OSX

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