HP dv6253cl laptop fixed

It took me a while to fix the wireless problem on my HP dv6253cl.

As documented here, I tried various ways to make the wireless card work on this laptop, to no avail. I tried 3 different distros: Sabayon 3.4, Ubuntu 7.1, and Kubuntu 7.1, with different Broadcomm driver combinations I found at ndiswrapper’s wiki site. I even downloaded and compiled different ndiswrapper packages.

HP had asked me to send it back for repair in December last year. It sent me a box for packing with a prepaid FedEx label, since the laptop is still under warranty. I held on to it until late February. I got the box back 2 days ago. In all, I was pretty impressed with HP’s speed, considering the horror stories I’ve read on the web.

So I wiped everything out earlier, and installed Sabayon x86-64-3.4 MiniEdition (a flavor of Gentoo distro) on it. I am happy to report that I got wireless working on this Linux machine.

Here are the steps:

1. The first startup after Linux installation, the wireless indicator is blue;

2. I logged in as root and fired up WPA_Supplicant Administration GUI to see if I could scan and detect my wireless network. It didn’t work;

3. lspci command has this to say about the Broadcomm wireless card

03:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM94311MCG wlan mini-PCI (rev 01)

4. I pretty much followed documentation here. First I removed the existing Broadcom driver (as root). After this command, the indicator turned orange:

# rmmod bcm43xx

5. Google for dv6253cl, follow the HP link to download wireless driver. Run sp36684.exe to expand the installtion file on a Windows machine. By default, the expanded files are in C:\SWSetup\SP36684A

6. Grad bcmwl5.inf and BCMWL564.SYS and transfer them to your Linux. Make sure they are in the same directory. If you have 32-bit Linux, get bcmwl5.sys instead

7. Run the following:

# ndiswrapper -i /path/to/bcmwl5.inf

8. Verify the installation:
localhost haidong # ndiswrapper -l
bcmwl5 : driver installed
device (14E4:4311) present (alternate driver: bcm43xx)

9. Run this and the indicator turned blue:

# modprobe ndiswrapper

10. Set the WEP key:

# iwconfig wlan0 key restricted 123456789A

11. Set the SSID:

# iwconfig wlan0 essid MySsidName

12. Bring up the interface:

# dhclient wlan0

Update: This morning I installed Sabayon Professional 1.1. I got wireless working again, but the strange thing is that the indicator is orange.

The wireless scanning function is absolutely necessary. Anybody out there knows which program works to scan available wireless networks?

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