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Installing a Dell TrueMobile 1400 Wireless Card on OpenSUSE 10.2

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Darko Gavrilovic

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Posted: 21 Dec 2006
 

Problem:

Dell TrueMobile 1400 wireless card is not working under OpenSUSE 10.2

Solution:

This HOWTO is based on a new & clean openSUSE installation.

Go into Yast --> Network Devices --> Network Card

You should find that your network card has actually been detected correctly. You should see a listing for "Dell True Mobile 1400". That's a good thing but it's not quite ready yet and probably does not work.

  1. Install Ndiswrapper.
  2. You can get the latest version or you can use the one that came with OpenSUSE 10.2. I used the one that came with the distro and it worked fine. You can read this tutorial to learn how to install ndiswrapper.

  3. Windows Driver for Dell Truemobile 1400
  4. You need to download the correct windows driver for this card.

    Below is a snip from the Ndiswrapper web site:

    -----------------------------------
    Card: Dell Truemobile 1400 minipci 802.11a/b/g 
    
    Chipset: Broadcom BCM4309 (rev 02) 
    pciid: 14e4:4324 
    Driver: ftp://ftp.dell.com/network/R74092us.EXE for US, 
    ftp://ftp.dell.com/network/R74091jp.EXE for Japan, 
    ftp://ftp.dell.com/network/R74090rw.EXE for rest of world 
    Other: (use bcmwl5a.inf in AR directory) 
    Works with WEP and WPA with either CCMP/AES or TKIP ciphers. 
    ------------------------------------

    Extract the windows exe file. You can just use unzip.

    Type mkdir /lib/windrivers to create a new directory.

    Open a terminal window. Type su and enter the root password and then navigate to the directory by typing cd /var/lib.

    Type ndiswrapper -v to make sure you have ndiswrapper installed.

    Type ndiswrapper -l (that's a lower case L not a number 1) to check if any other drivers are installed. There shouldn't be but it's good to check just in case. If there are driver, you can remove them by typing ndiswrapper -r <thedrivername>.

    You install the windows driver by using the correct .inf file. The file you need is bcmw15a.inf. When I did this, the file was located in a subdirectory of the extracted exe in a folder called AR. So if you followed the instructions above, your inf would be in /lib/windrivers/AR. Navigate to the directory that contains the .inf file.

    Type ndiswrapper -i bcmw15a.inf to install the driver.

    Type ndiswrapper -l to verify that the driver installed.

    Now go back to Yast --> Network Devices --> Network Card

    Select "Dell Truemobile 1400" and click "Edit"

    Click "Advanced" and then click "Hardware".

    In the box at the bottom that reads "Module Name" you will probably see "bcm43xx". Replace all that text with ndiswrapper and click "OK" to finish and close.

Your wireless network card should work now.

Hint:

I like to watch what's happening while I try to connect. Open a terminal and type su and the root password.

Type tail -f /var/log/messages to watch the messages as they scroll in real time.

Environment:

  • OpenSUSE 10.2
  • Dell Truemobile 1400 minipci 802.11a/b/g built in wirelss card based on chipset Broadcom BCM4309 (rev 02).


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