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Thread: Possible fix for wireless: BCM4313 (14e4:4727) on hp dm1 laptop with Ubuntu 11.10

  1. #1
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    Possible fix for wireless: BCM4313 (14e4:4727) on hp dm1 laptop with Ubuntu 11.10

    Originally, I posted this on another thread (an Acer user with same chipset) but it turned out that poster's issue with the wireless was entirely different. I know there is a mega-sticky about BCM43xxx drivers but there are so many pages with questions and answers about different Broadcom chipsets that I thought I'd bring this out as a separate thread. One caveat: I am new to Linux (10 days on this laptop, another 2 weeks on an old dell laptop) so please take everything I write with a grain of salt.

    My set-up: hp dm1 4010us with single-boot 11.10. Wireless did not work after the install so tried the following:

    1) Activated the Broadcom STA proprietary drivers through System Info -> Additional Drivers
    2) Tried the firmware-b43-installer and bwcutter through the Ubuntu Software Centre
    3) Tried the bcmwl-kernel-source through the software center

    The result I ended with after trying the three methods above:

    Device: wlan0
    Type: 802.11 WiFi
    Driver: brcmsmac
    State: disconnected
    Default: no


    configuration: broadcast=yes driver=brcmsmac driverversion=3.0.0-12-generic firmware=N/A latency=0 link=no multicast=yes


    Still no wireless, the little icon on the top panel would say "wireless disconnected" and would not show any wireless networks in the vicinity.

    I read around a little bit and found a solution that worked for my set-up:

    1) The b-43 installer does not support BCM4313 (4727)
    2) The bcmwl-kernel-source driver (found in the Ubuntu Software
    Center) supports it but first one needs to make sure that
    a) b43 and the option to activate the STA Broadcom drivers through System Settings -> Additional Drivers are uninstalled/disabled
    b)that those drivers (b43, bcma, brcsmac) are blacklisted and
    c) that the wl driver that works is NOT blacklisted

    This is the short answer The long answer, which is basically a copy/paste from my original post on another thread, with some edits, is below.
    Last edited by ts3; December 1st, 2011 at 02:56 AM. Reason: typos

  2. #2
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    Re: Possible fix for wireless: BCM4313 (14e4:4727) on hp dm1 laptop with Ubuntu 11.10

    [This is the long explanation which is written by a complete newbie and explains everything I did in as much detail as I could. I reckon other new users might find it useful. I had to work out how to do things from first principles so if more experienced users want to correct this / move the thread etc. please do so]

    For Broadcom wireless one can 1) use the b43 driver or 2) use the Broadcom proprietary drivers. Option 1) does not support BCM4313 so that's out. Trying 2) by going through System Info → Additional Drivers and activating the default doesn't work. My guess is that trying that step installs the brcmsmac driver, which does not work and messes up the wireless; the Broadcom driver for 4313 4727(based on Broadcom's website) is called wl.


    Broadcom has a good readme.txt on its website with the linux STA drivers (http://www.broadcom.com/support/802.11/linux_sta.php) that explains how to make the whole thing from scratch but I didn't feel quite up to this yet. The readme.txt also has a little subheading called Fresh Installation that explains how to remove conflicts with the b43 install and other artefacts that unfortunately do not work for BCM4313:

    Fresh installation: (from Broadcom's readme.txt)
    1: Remove any other drivers for the Broadcom wireless device. There are several other drivers (besides this one) that can drive Broadcom 802.11 chips such as b43, bcma and ssb. They will conflict with this driver and need to be uninstalled before this driver can be installed. Any previous revisions of the wl driver also need to be removed.

    Note: On some systems such as Ubuntu 9.10, the ssb module may load during boot even though it is blacklisted (see note under Common Issues on how to resolve this. Nevertheless, ssb still must be removed (by hand or script) before wl is loaded.

    The wl driver will not function properly if ssb the module is loaded.

    # lsmod | grep "b43\|ssb\|bcma\|wl"

    If any of these are installed, remove them:
    # rmmod b43
    # rmmod ssb
    # rmmod bcma
    # rmmod wl

    To blacklist these drivers and prevent them from loading in the future:
    # echo "blacklist ssb" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
    # echo "blacklist bcma" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
    # echo "blacklist b43" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf


    I did the lsmod and the rmmod commands but didn't start blacklisting through the terminal right away.

    Instead I went to the /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf file and looked around a bit, it's quite interesting. Plus it's a read-only so one can't mess up too much by just opening. It blacklists a BCM43xx b/c it has been replaced by b43 and ssb, something that's not true for people with BCM 4313. There is also a file called blacklist-local.conf which blacklists wl. I reckon that was created by attempts to install b43.

    I googled a bit more and found some helpful answers on the launchpad:

    https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu...uestion/174596

    https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu...uestion/178522

    Both strings explain how to resolve conflicts between bcma or brcmsmac and wl drivers: by blacklisting the conflicting drivers so that wl can run. I figured I'd also have to un-blacklist the wl driver if I want it to work

    I edited the files by opening them from the terminal (opening through the regular file manager does not work, the files are read-only for regular users so one needs sudo):

    gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

    which opens the text editor and added

    blacklist bcma
    blacklist brmcsmac


    Then:

    gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-local.conf

    and added a # in front of blacklist wl so the line became

    # blacklist wl

    which I gather makes it a mere comment

    I also went to System Info → Additional Drivers and removed the Broadcom STA driver, then went to Ubuntu Software Centre and removed the bcmwl-kernel-source. Ultimately I wanted it to run but I thought I'd re-install after re-booting.

    Then rebooted and reinstalled bcmwl-kernel-source and then broadcom-sta-source and broadcom-sta-common for good measure. All those packages come up in the Ubuntu Software Centre if one types “bcm” in the search box. Then rebooted again & the neighbourhood wireless networks popped up like a charm. Next day I went to the university and connected without any problems (don't actually have wireless at home).

    One last thing – trying to fiddle with the Bluetooth settings messes the newly-hatched wireless up (sigh). I'm keeping the Bluetooth off and will try to find a way to disable it permanently.

    Sorry for the long post: I am fairly new to Linux and had to work things out from scratch. When someone writes “blacklist the driver” this is rather meaningless to me. So I wrote out the steps with explanations hoping that it might help other users with the same blasted driver.

    Again, if more experienced users want to correct or add please do so.

    One last thing: the wireless troubleshooting guide (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wi...eShootingGuide) is really useful for trying out the commands related to hardware set-up.

  3. #3
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    Re: Possible fix for wireless: BCM4313 (14e4:4727) on hp dm1 laptop with Ubuntu 11.10

    Hello everybody,

    I have followed the instructions from broadcom (as presented by TS3) and the problems I had with BCM4313 are solved. In fact, I faced these problems after I downgrade from 11.10 to 10.10 due to several reasons. In 11.10 the wireless was not working OK, since at a distance less than 10cm from the router, the signal was around 60%. In 10.10 wireless was not working at all (i.e., no nets were detected). The solution was to download the driver from broadcom, make them and them insert it as a module to be used by the kernel. FYI: I tried every possible alternative posted in the forums, and this one was the one that solved the wireless problems.

    My laptop: HP g6 pavilion, 4GB RAM, 600GB HD, ATI RADEON Graphics, BCM4313 wireless.

    Good luck to all,

    Apostolos

  4. #4
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    Re: Possible fix for wireless: BCM4313 (14e4:4727) on hp dm1 laptop with Ubuntu 11.10

    Quote Originally Posted by papadopo View Post
    I have followed the instructions from broadcom (as presented by TS3) and the problems I had with BCM4313 are solved.
    Ah, the magic of readme.txt files. Glad it worked for someone else

  5. #5
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    Re: Possible fix for wireless: BCM4313 (14e4:4727) on hp dm1 laptop with Ubuntu 11.10

    UPDATE: Fix for BCM4313 (4727) when running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on same hp dm1 laptop

    OK, so I started fiddling with partitions on the laptop (which has a whole thread all to itself ) and ended up installing 10.04 on a small partition on the same laptop. Wireless, of course, did not work again.

    Using sudo lshw -C Network showed the network as UNCLAIMED which according to the 10.04 troubleshooting guide at https://help.ubuntu.com/10.04/intern...-wireless.html indicates there was no driver associated. The STA drivers did not turn up as an option to activate in the system preferences at all. Rather than using wired to download the bcmwl-kernel-source I decided to follow this guide

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wi...Driver/bcm43xx

    namely the option STA - No Internet Access. I followed the steps closely, with a few variations:

    1) stick in the install USB and navigate to the packages listed below, then double-clicking to install:

    ../pool/main/p/patch (the guide had this as second but patch was a dependency to dkms which would not install without patch being installed first)
    ../pool/main/d/dkms
    ../pool/main/f/fakeroot
    ../pool/restricted/b/bcmwl

    2) restart (the second step in the guide, to navigate to system administration -> drivers -> STA drivers did not work, the STA driver still did not show; it appeared only after I connected to the internet and installed a bunch of updates)

    3) Hit the hardware switch to make sure it is not blocking the connection

    4) The next day the wireless network was showing as UNMANAGED and did not work again; I googled around (on a different device, obviously ) and came up with the following:

    Code:
     gksudo gedit /var/lib/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.state
    and change NetworkingEnabled=false to NetworkingEnabled=true and also

    Code:
     gksudo gedit /etc/NetworkManager/nm-system-settings.conf
    and change managed=false to managed=true

    I took this from post #4 in this thread http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=9402242

    Wireless on the 10.04 partition has been working since then but it is noticeably slower than the wireless on the 11.10 partition. Oh, and it disappeared once by itself after suspend; the setting in one of the files listed in 4) above had reverted to false so had to change it back to true.

    All in all having lots of fun with the wireless Broadcom driver and seriously thinking about buying a USB wireless card just in case the internet disappears completely at some point. Using a wired connection or a mobile device to get to the internet to troubleshoot and search for answers may not always be an option

    Still, troubleshooting the wireless connection has helped me learn a lot about the system, where things are and how to use the terminal to do useful stuff. Very happy with Ubuntu and looking forward to 12.04
    Last edited by ts3; December 28th, 2011 at 04:49 AM. Reason: typos, as usual

  6. #6
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    Re: Possible fix for wireless: BCM4313 (14e4:4727) on hp dm1 laptop with Ubuntu 11.10

    Another Update: building the Broadcom driver from scratch without wireless on 10.04 (and mint 12)

    The STA driver on 10.04 (activation as described in the post above) turned out to be pretty useless (very weak wireless signal that kept disappearing completely) so I ended up going back to the broadcom drivers and installing without having internet access on the laptop (though I still needed another computer to download the driver).

    Short answer
    1) Go to http://www.broadcom.com/support/802.11/linux_sta.php
    2) Download the driver to USB
    3) Build driver

    Long answer

    1) On a computer with internet access (or on Ubuntu 11.10 with working wireless on same laptop) go to the broadcom website and download the correct (32-bit or 64-bit) version of the driver and the readme.txt
    2) Save the driver (and the readme, or even better, print the readme) on a USB
    3) Boot 10.04 (or Mint 12) and drag the driver on the desktop
    4) Follow the instructions from the readme fairly closely with some modifications:
    • mkdir hybrid_wl (makes the directory)
    • cd hybrid_wl (changes to that directory)
    • tar xzf /home/myusername/Desktop/hybrid-portsrc_x86_64-v5_100_82_112.tar.gz (make sure the name of the file is correct, it's changed since the readme was written and may change again)
    • make
    • follow instructions for fresh installations (see readme and earlier post above, make sure all unwanted broadcom drivers such as bcma and brcmsmac are blacklisted and that wl is NOT blacklisted)
    • sudo modprobe lib80211 (or try the other one, ieee80211_crypt_tkip and see which works, you get a "module not found" message for the one that doesn't)
    • sudo modprobe cfg80211
    • sudo insmod wl.ko (make sure you're still in hybrid_wl directory, if not type cd hybrid_wl, if there are errors check the readme for solutions) (at this point the wireless should be working, the next few steps are to load the driver at boot)
    • uname -r (to get the kernel version, make a note of it, the one for Mint 12 was 3.0.0-12-generic)
    • cp /boot/initrd.img-3.0.0-12-generic /home/username/Desktop (to back up the current boot ramfs onto the desktop, replace the kernel version with the results from previous command)
    • sudo update-initramfs -u (generates new one)
    • sudo reboot
    • load the driver again (sudo modprobe lib80211, sudo modprobe cfg80211, cd hyrbrid_wl, sudo insmod wl.ko)
    • sudo cp wl.ko /lib/modules/3.0.0-12-generic/kernel/drivers/net/wireless
    • sudo depmod -a


    The last two commands make the driver load at boot time and worked both for 10.04 and Mint 12, the readme describes some steps for Fedora/Suse as well).

    A few things to keep in mind:
    • It's important to get the correct version of the kernel (I have different ones for 11.10, 10.04 and Mint 12) to use in some of the commands above
    • When working with the wl.ko file it's important to be in the correct directory (cd hybrid_wl)
    • I got a lot of errors from mistyping the file names and the kernel version (pay attention to dots, dashes and _)
    • The "Permission denied" error is due to not using sudo when it's needed; it was a bit of a trial and error for me but it worked at the end


    The wireless with this driver on 10.04 is really strong, shows 4-5 bars where the STA driver showed one bar and kept dropping the connection. Building a driver from scratch is a bit daunting but I managed, with some trial and error, and it worked in both 10.04 and Mint 12. So I've decided to keep the driver on a USB and build every time I install something on this laptop and run into the same problem.

    Cheers
    Last edited by ts3; January 9th, 2012 at 03:28 AM. Reason: aargh, just saw a typo in an old post

  7. #7
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    Re: Possible fix for wireless: BCM4313 (14e4:4727) on hp dm1 laptop with Ubuntu 11.10

    This fix worked for me - I had wireless but very weak (unusable) compared to windows. Brand new HP dm1 4020 dual boot.

    If you have this problem (no wifi or very weak signal) on a laptop equipped with Broadcom 4313 wireless, seems the place to start is checking which drivers Ubuntu is running for it - so go straight to terminal
    (CTRL+ALT+T in Ubuntu) and type

    lshw -C network

    If the driver shown is something like “bcma” or “brmcsmac” Ubuntu isn't loading the right driver (sort this out please!)

    So what you need to do is blacklist the old drivers so Ubuntu does not load them when booting, as instructed by TS3 - I'll repeat so you don't need to find relevant section

    Firstly I disabled the proprietary driver (system/additional drivers). Checked in Ubuntu Software Centre that all drivers were removed (type "bcm" in the search window and if any Broadcom drivers are shown as installed – uninstall them). Then open terminal and type

    gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

    which opens the text editor for the blacklist file, and I added

    # poor wireless
    blacklist bcma

    # poor wireless 2
    blacklist brmcsmac

    Then save the file. Reboot, and then go into Ubuntu Software Centre again - search "bcm" and reinstall bcmwl-kernel-source and then broadcom-sta-source and broadcom-sta-common.

    You may need to go into "System settings/additional drivers" and ensure the broadcom driver is enabled.

    After this I rebooted and found wireless was at full strength
    Last edited by 23senick; January 19th, 2012 at 12:31 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Possible fix for wireless: BCM4313 (14e4:4727) on hp dm1 laptop with Ubuntu 11.10

    Quote Originally Posted by 23senick View Post
    After this I rebooted and found wireless was at full strength
    I am so glad this works for other people with the same chipset as well Thanks for sharing and thanks for summarising my posts (I tend to get a bit long-winded but as a newbie I'd rather over-explain than under-explain).

    Also thanks for pointing out that the specific chipset (BCM4313 (14e4:4727) is important: different drivers work for different chipsets and by trying out all at the beginning one can mess up the system.

    Again, glad it worked. Cheers

  9. #9
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    Re: Possible fix for wireless: BCM4313 (14e4:4727) on hp dm1 laptop with Ubuntu 11.10

    I should thank you - I was actually starting to wonder if I would have to use windows on the new laptop. Yuk!

    I still find the laptop sometimes takes time to access the router. Hangs for a while with repeated requests for password every couple of minutes. When it does connect, all is well - but frustrating.. Seems to work if I disable wireless for a few minutes then re-enable. Any ideas?

  10. #10
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    Re: Possible fix for wireless: BCM4313 (14e4:4727) on hp dm1 laptop with Ubuntu 11.10

    Quote Originally Posted by 23senick View Post
    Any ideas?
    Sorry, no Mine's been working without a hitch since I figured out how to install the driver. Try starting a new thread, there are a lot of experienced Ubuntu users around who may be able to help

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