Home > ArticlesBroadcom BCM4306 Wireless card + Linux Mint 13

Broadcom BCM4306 Wireless card + Linux Mint 13

Posted by rion on May 27, 2012

Next month I will be in New York for a few days (Vacation). While I want to take a laptop with me I'd rather not take either of my development machines in case something 'bad' happens (either on the flight or while sightseeing).

My Brother in Law had an old Dell Latitude D600 he wasn't using so I bought it and set about installing linux on it. After some issue with various editions of Ubuntu (12.04 32-bit edition doesn't even install) I settled on Linux Mint 13. Unfortunately the wireless card wasn't supported right out of the box... Here's what I had to do to get it working.

Addendum 24-July-2013:

ndiswrapper didn't seem to work when I tried to get wireless running on another D600. Fortunately for me installing the firmware-b43-installer package from within the Software Manager tool solved the problem. Go figure. :/

Notes

 

Identify the Broadcom chip in your Dell D600

  • If you are in Linux, run this command to see what Broadcom Network cards you have on your system:

    lspci | grep Broadcom

    Sample output from my system:
    lspciOutput.png
    From this image you can see that I have a BCM4306 802.11a/b/g (rev 02) card

  • If you are in Windows you can get a more useful name from Device Manager:
    TrueMobile 1400 WLAN

    TrueMobile1400.PNG

 

Download & Extract the appropriate Broadcom driver from Dell's website

  • Go to the Dell Latitude D600 Drivers page (dell.com/support) and pull down the driver appropriate to your card. In my case I pulled down R143355.EXE (32bit XP) for the TrueMobile 1400
    DellDriverDownloadScreen.png

  •  Right-click on the EXE and select Extract Here to get at the inf/sys files
    ExtractDriver.png
     
  • You can find the Driver file under the DRIVER folder:
    LocationOfInfSysFiles.png

 

Install the Broadcom Driver using ndiswrapper GUI

  • Pull up the ndiswrapper GUI by clicking Menu and typing ndis
    ndiswrapperGUI.png 
    (You will be asked to authenticate in order to run this)
     
  • Click the Install New Driver button and Browse to the INF file you just downloaded
  • When activating the driver you may see an error that says:

    FATAL: Module ndiswrapper not found


    And when you run an ndiswrapper -l it looks like it is installed correctly:
    ndiswrapperDashLOutput.png
    bcmwl5 : driver installed
    device (14E4:4324) present (alternate driver: ssb)

  • If that is the case, pull up the Synaptic Package Manager and install ndiswrapper-dkms
    ndiswrapper-dkms.png

  • After ndiswrapper-dkms has been installed, reboot your laptop
  • At this point the WiFi Applet in the 'start bar' should be working correctly:
    WirelessAppletWorking.png

I was able to connect to my local wifi network. In fact I am writing this from the D600! Hopefully this works as well for you.

Comments:

Bravo and thanks to you for sorting this and posting this excellent fix -- that I was able to use today to get wifi with my cheapo Broadcom 4306 on an old Fujitsu laptop I have resurrected with an install of Mint 13 . Googled for hours before stumbling upon your blog and giving your clear instructions a go. Excellent screenshots helped as well! Up and running, and I am AMAZED. A big thanks, and a wish that you'd had more appreciative comments since last May!
Posted by reddharma on
You're welcome! Glad I could help. 8)
Posted by rion on
Dude, you are a legend! Thanks for the help :) Got a D610 here and thought I was screwed as I'm a Mint Virgin.
 
Posted by reservoirDOG on
You are awesome sir, got it working in less then 5 minutes, thanks heeps my friend!!
Posted by Domonique on
I have followed your steps exactly, and it still doesn't work. My laptopis an HP compaq nx9010, which uses the BCM4306 wireless card. It seems that the system doesn't recognize the newly installed driver. as running sudo lshw -C network gives the following results:
*-network DÉSACTIVÉ //disabled       description: Interface réseau sans fil //wireless network interface       identifiant matériel: 2 //material identifier       nom logique: wlan0 //logic name       numéro de série: 00:90:4b:4f:03:bc //serial numer       fonctionnalités: ethernet physical wireless //functionnalities       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=b43legacy driverversion=3.2.0-35-generic-pae firmware=N/A link=no multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bg
 
And the last line is the most important, it says that the driver is still b43legacy. Do you have any idea on what I should do? Could I uninstall b43legacy?
 
Posted by lewis82 on
I should add that I am running Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS, not Linux Mint (but I don't think it should make a difference).
Posted by lewis82 on
Thanky you for this excellent, clear and helpful instruction!
After working for decades on windows, I recently started first Mint steps (on an still working D600).The first big step has been finding a suitable linux for this laptop (w/o pae).The second step: Finding your wifi install instruction........ took only two days...
Posted by mint-less on
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Comments

Posted by PatDoc63 on
Thank you very much for this help ! 3 days losted (in part time) to search solutions across the web !

And then ! The light here ! =)
Posted by Buche on
As Windows XP is obsolete and I wanted a rather fast linux on my old X300 I could not manage to get the wireless working until I found your post. Thank you so much!
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