Tech/Wireless/Truemobile ndiswrapper

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Basic Information

Dell TrueMobile wireless cards are based on Broadcom Wireless chipsets. This includes the following wireless cards:

  • 1350 WLAN MiniPCI/PC Card
  • Wireless 1370 WLAN MiniPCI Card
  • Wireless 1390 WLAN ExpressCard/MiniCard
  • Wireless 1450 WLAN miniPCI Card
  • Wireless 1470 Dual-Band WLAN miniPCI Card
  • Wireless 1490 Dual-Band WLAN MiniCard
  • Wireless 1500 Draft 802.11n WLAN mini Card

Dell recommends using the ndiswrapper driver framework for TrueMobile wireless cards. While not officially tested or supported by Dell, we have received feedback from many customers that this does indeed work.

Configuration/installation of ndiswrapper under Ubuntu 7.04

NOTE:' More general information about ndiswrapper on Ubuntu can be found [here].

1. ndiswrapper installation

From a command line, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install ndiswrapper-common ndiswrapper-utils ndisgtk

2. Disable the "bcm43xx" driver on your system

Run the following command at a command prompt:

echo 'blacklist bcm43xx' | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

3. Download the Windows driver for your card

Go to and download the appropriate Windows driver for your TrueMobile card (should be something like R123456.EXE). Save this in the /tmp directory
cd into the /tmp directory, and unzip the Windows driver package

cd /tmp
unzip R123456.EXE   (or whatever the name of the download is)

4. Install the Windows driver with ndiswrapper

Run the following command to load the driver

sudo ndiswrapper -i /tmp/DRIVER/bcmwl5.inf

Verify that the driver has been loaded

ndiswrapper -l

The output of this command should look like the following if it is loaded correctly

Installed ndis drivers:
{name of driver}  driver present, hardware present


{name of driver} : driver installed
 device ({Chipset ID}) present

5. Load the ndiswrapper module

You now need to load the ndiswrapper module. Complete the following steps at a command prompt:

sudo depmod -a
sudo modprobe ndiswrapper

You may also want to check for error messages:

tail /var/log/messages

Assuming there are no errors, you should then try to bring up the network connection.

6. Configure network manager to use your wireless card

  1. Open the Networking Admin tool (System | Administration | Networking), select the Wireless connection and click Properties, ensure the Enable roaming mode checkbox is ticked.
  2. Click the Network Manager icon (computers icon in the top right corner of system tray), your network ESSID should be shown in the drop-down list. Select your network by clicking on it.
  3. If the Network requires any further configuration (eg WEP key), a dialog should appear, select the correct settings and paste in your key.

7. Set the ndiswrapper module to automatically load at boot

If you are using the network manager applet to configure Wireless Network, ndiswrapper will not be started by the network manager alias setting. You must configure your system to load the ndiswrapper module at system startup. To do this, edit /etc/modules file to add an entry for ndiswrapper at the end of the file.

gksudo gedit /etc/modules

then add the word ndiswrapper to the end of this file and save it.

Your wireless should now work on subsequent reboots.

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