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Ubuntu / XUbuntu – Enabling Broadcom Wireless driver on Dell Latitude C540/C640 with built in wireless

I’ve recently installed Ubuntu and Xubuntu onto a Dell Latitude C640 with a mini-PCI wireless card. I’ve been unable to get the wireless working on this before, but I’ve now tried using ndiswrapper and the Windows drivers. There were a few hurdles, but I’ve now got it working.

This has been tested on Ubuntu 7.10 and xubuntu 7.10.

Disable existing wireless network driver

First the drivers included in Ubuntu have to be disabled. The broadcom drivers work for some version of the broadcom wireless card, but not all, and not mine.

sudo vi /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

add:
blacklist bcm43xx

Install the ndiswrapper software

Ndiswrapper is some software that provides the ability to run Windows wireless network drivers under Linux. Install as follows:

sudo apt-get install ndiswrapper-utils-1.9
(you will need the original install disk at this point)

Copy the windows driver files from the install disk to your current directory.

sudo ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf
ndiswrapper -l
sudo depmod -a
sudo modprobe ndiswrapper
sudo cp /etc/network/interfaces /etc/network/interfaces.orig
echo -e 'auto lo\niface lo inet loopback\n' | sudo tee /etc/network/interfaces
sudo ndiswrapper -m

sudo vi /etc/modules
Add:
ndiswrapper

sudo vi /etc/default/wpasupplicant
Add echo 'ENABLED=0'

Reboot

Configure the new wireless network

Now add the WEP key into the wireless network manager (icon in the top right of the screen on Xubuntu).

More information

Here are some sources that I found useful in getting this working:

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