Thought this was worth a try, so I grabbed a $7 mini-pci card off ebay, and after waiting about a month for shipping from China, installed it into the laptop. Only then was I hit with the dreaded:
104 unsupported wireless network device detected, system halted, remove device and restart
Ack. OK, so a quick search brought up this thread from 2004 with many, many angry people trying to figure out how to make this cheap card work without having to buy the HP “version”. Turns out it’s pretty easy. A little bit risky, but easy.
Take the keyboard off the laptop, but don’t unplug it – you’ll need it.
Take the cover off the mini-pci slot.
Boot the computer off of a knoppix or whatever live CD. I used knoppix 3.8.2 (2005-05-05) as suggested. At the boot screen, HOT-PLUG THE MINI-PCI CARD before pressing <ENTER>. That is the risky part, although it seems to work OK. Now press <ENTER> and the system will boot into the default knoppix environment. Also, don’t forget to plug the regular network adapter into something, since you’ll need internet access.
Open a root terminal session.
Check to see that the wireless card was detected using
It’ll say that lo and eth1 have no wireless capabilities, and show you some mumbo-jumbo about eth0. It’s not important, just remember that eth0 is your wireless card. Or eth1 if that’s what it tells you. Either way, just remember.
You can also use “ethtool -e eth0” to dump the existing EEPROM configuration to the screen so you can write it down and revert back to it when the FCC comes knocking on your door. You may want to practice this entire procedure a few times in order to make sure you have enough time to finish before they break the door down and confiscate your laptop.
Now all we have to do is download a mystery driver that looks like it might have originally come from sony, and
is still (as of April 2008) available here: http://www.geocities.com/sonyirclib/ipw2200.tar.gz. now available from this site, until I get a complaint. I’ll keep a copy of it somewhere in case it disappears, so if you’re polite and have good acceptable grammar, I might make it available to you.
So, in your terminal session, do this:
# mkdir /usr/tmp
# cd /usr/tmp
# wget http://www.geocities.com/sonyirclib/ipw2200.tar.gz
# tar xvzf ipw2200.tar.gz
# cd ipw2200-1.0.3
# ethtool -E eth0 magic 0x2200 offset 0x8 value 0xf5
# ethtool -E eth0 magic 0x2200 offset 0x9 value 0x12
# ethtool -E eth0 magic 0x2200 offset 0xa value 0x3c
# ethtool -E eth0 magic 0x2200 offset 0xb value 0x10
You have just downloaded and extracted a new wireless driver, unloaded the default knoppix one, loaded the downloaded one, and re-programmed the EEPROM with values that the HP laptop will accept. At this point, you should be able to shut down the laptop, make sure the little antenna connectors are plugged into the mini-pci card, re-assemble everything, and boot normally. The new EEPROM values will fool the laptop into thinking that this is a real HP wireless card, so only you will know that it was only $7 and not $200!