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

Configuring and Using Dell TrueMobile Wireless cards in Linux

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

  1. ndiswrapper installation
    1. From a command line, run the following command:
sudo apt-get install ndiswrapper-common ndiswrapper-utils ndisgtk
  1. Disable the "bcm43xx" driver on your system
    1. Run the following command at a command prompt:
echo 'blacklist bcm43xx' | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
  1. Download the Windows driver for your card
    1. Go to and download the appropriate Windows driver for your TrueMobile card (should be something like R123456.EXE). Save this in the /tmp directory
    2. cd into the /tmp directory, and unzip the Windows driver package
cd /tmp
unzip R123456.EXE   (or whatever the name of the download is)
  1. Install the Windows driver with ndiswrapper
    1. Run the following command to load the driver
sudo ndiswrapper -i /tmp/DRIVER/bcmwl5.inf
    1. 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
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