Blacklist

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FreeGeek Notebooks - Broadcom Wifi Card Firmware Issue Solutions


From now on our default installation of Ubuntu 12.04 will blacklist the B43 Broadcom driver.

For notebooks with a Broadcom Card:

1. First try to replace the Broadcom card with an Intel card. If this works, skip the remainder of the steps listed below and proceed with Build and QC as you would normally.

2. Some models of HP and Dell will refuse to boot or even allow you into BIOS with an “incompatible” wifi card: these models insist on a specific Broadcom wifi card. For these:

3. Ensure the wifi card is installed and connected (the driver won't install properly unless it can “see” the card).

4. Boot. Once Ubuntu has booted:

5. Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and install the Broadcom firmware:

Type: sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer, and press Enter.

6. Then remove the B43 blacklist:

Type cd /etc/modprobe.d and press Enter. Type sudo rm blacklist-b43.conf and press Enter. Close the terminal (Alt+F4).

7. Wifi should work. If it does not work immediately, reboot.

8. In any case, reboot to test that it boots properly and does not stall in the middle of the boot.

--- OR ---

For any machines that are hanging on boot – HP and/or Dell models where we tried installing the Broadcom firmware using the Additional Drivers application, do this:


1. Boot into GRUB. (Hold down left shift key as soon as the laptop splash screen finishes.)

2. Open the Recovery Console.

3. Run fsck. This gets the system into Read/Write mode, allowing you to make modifications. Wait until prompted, then press Enter. The Recovery Console menu will come back.

4. Run root. This opens a terminal.

5. Blacklist the B43 firmware: Type cd /etc/modprobe.d, and press Enter Type echo “blacklist b43” > blacklist-b43.conf, and press Enter.

6. Type reboot and press Enter. The system will shut down.

7. Ensure the wifi card is installed and connected (the driver won't install properly unless it can “see” the card).

8. Boot. Once Ubuntu has booted:

9. Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and install the Broadcom firmware: Type: sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer, and press Enter.

10. Then remove the B43 blacklist: Type cd /etc/modprobe.d and press Enter. Type sudo rm blacklist-b43.conf and press Enter. Close the terminal (Alt+F4).

11. Wifi should work. If it does not work immediately, reboot.

12. In any case, reboot to test that it boots properly and does not stall in the middle of the boot.