Broadcom BCM4306 Wireless card + Linux Mint 13

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.