Installing an OEM Intel 2200bg Mini-PCI card into a BIOS-Locked HP/Compaq nc8000
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 # ./unload # ./load # 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!
Hi, I tried first with Knoppix 7.0.2. No chance to change EEPROM settings on a HP nc8000. With Knoppix 3.8.2 all worked fine. Thank you from Germany.
After all the commands in knoppix 3.8.2(and with last bios), my hp NC4010 is starting with that error again. What I am doing wrong?
Saved me lots of time and aggrevation. Thanks for writing this up.
You can find the specific Knoppix version here:
hi i can’t find no more copy of knoppix 3,8,2 i have try with knoppix 6,7 but i can’t load new driver for invalid module format can you help me?
Not sure if you still read this website 🙂 but just a quick thank you , worked perfectly on 5 different old machines , some funnies but the trick with the wavelan configuration worked for them all when they were showing all 0’s , thanks again for hosting the file
Unfortunately it seems that every copy of Knoppix 3.8.2 has been wiped off the face of the internet (KNOPPIX_V3.8.2-2005-05-05-EN.iso) Does anybody have a copy they would be willing to torrent or post somewhere? OR, alternatively does anybody know of any other Linux flavor(s) that might also work to run these patched wireless drivers?
Google “knoppix archive” and click on the first result, scroll down and click on “KNOPPIX_V3.8.2-2005-05-05-EN.iso”.
i try this but knoppix 3,8,2 but i can’t find a copy of this in the web. Have you a copy of the iso file?
Sorry – I checked my server, but the earliest version I have is 5.something. I’m sure it’s out there somewhere – have you tried all the mirrors?
i’ve tried all the mirrors but no one gone. If anyone have a torrent or a download site for knoppix 3,8,2 please post the url here it can be usefull for anyone 🙂
I found it at: http://ftp.swin.edu.au/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V3.8.2-2005-05-05-EN.iso
(googled for “KNOPPIX_V3.8.2-2005-05-05-EN.iso “)
and am downloading it now. Great page – hope it works for me! I have some old NC8000 that for now has to ‘settle’ with a nano-sized USB WLAN plug. 😛
Speaking of – is the top miniPCI slot WLAN only, or can I use both slots for non-wlan cards (such as plopping in gps and/or 3g or whatnot).
I think I saw somewhere – but can’t find it now of course.. – the possibility of patching the laptop BIOS itself to recognize any WLAN card. Didn’t say if the slot could be used for generic miniPCI use though.
Wow, I can’t believe people are still trying to get these old laptops going…
It’s been so long that I don’t even remember there being 2 mini-pci slots either. You’ll be able to tell pretty quickly if it’s locked though since it complains every time you boot…
Well, it’s a nice big screen to have for off-to-the-side stuff next to my ‘real’ monitors. And fun to get crap like this working, found thrown away. 😉 Yeah, two slots – the WLAN one and one underneath, which can be used for anything.
That’s true, and as I recall it had that cool 1400×1050 screen which is still kinda decent! Have fun!
Hello. I have tried with knoppix 6.7.1 on my Compaq CQ61-125EQ but no result. I want to change the Atheros Card AR5007 which came to my laptop with this card Broadcom BCM94321MC.
I get that stupid error. Waht i have done: I unpluged the wifi, power the pc and pass the bios check then plugin the wifi card BCM94321MC then boot with knoppix 6.7.1
In knoppix when i run the command iwconfig i get no wireless extensions.
If i boot with ubuntu the card is ok but when running the command ethtool -e eth1 i get: cannot get eeprom data operation not supported
Can someone please help me? i don’t have that money to by an HP wifi card.
Have you tried Knoppix 3.8.2?
Like several others, I too experienced all zeros in eeprom readout that could not be changed or rather, reverted back to zeros after switching off. After several hours and almost condemning the 2200BG, I stumbled across this which may work for you too.
Click on Penguin, move up to Network/Internet and select Wavelan configuration in drop menu. Just click OK to all settings it suggests. Hey presto, the eeprom is filled with lots of values. Proceed to adjust values as given in excellent post above and this might just solve your problem. I used 0xf6 instead of 0xf5 as first value as apparently this is European (extra 2 channels) as opposed to N. American setting.
Also, don’t forgot to try and insulate pin 13 of card with tape if it does not switch on and you cannot find out why. Also, Vista drivers will work in Win7.
Thanks for the update – there’s still a few of these machines kicking around I guess!
Hi, it’s me again.
I bought an used 2200BG from ebay. The first one was broken, but the second one gets detected which is good. Bad thing is that it was sold as compatible with HP laptops and my nx6110 BIOS says that 104 error.
I downloaded Sony driver and copied it to USB memory and I also burned the Knoppix 3.8.2 to disc.
Now when I boot the laptop as guided I got all zeroes in eeprom. After that I flashed new values, but after boot it was zeroed again.
I tried Tony’s tip, but it didn’t change anything.
Next I am going to try this card with nx9010.
Hmm, that computer didn’t complain anything and was ready to install driver in XP. I check next with Knoppix.
LOL, nx9010 is able to show eeprom.
Default values were
Offset: 0×0000 Values: 02 a5 00 80 20 42 86 80 01 27 86 80 18 00 01 03
Only one number differs from Fujitsu values.
Reboot kept all the changes.
Now nx6110 don’t complain, but knoppix cannot display eeprom.
I’ll check if Mini XP / Linux will detect this card.
Mini XP detects the card.
Thanks again Jeremy.
Just wanted to leave a note to you, that I have had success in updating my IBM 2200BG card and is now excepted by the HP nc6220 laptop.
Thanks for the information as well as hosting the driver.
Hey Jeremy. I followed your instruction and they worked perfectly. However all the settings are lost once the laptop loses power. I have already verified the cmos battery is working fine. Any ideas? I did all the changes using a newer version of Knoppix. I am about to try 3.8.
Not sure, but the CMOS battery doesn’t have anything to do with the values being flashed to the wireless card… Maybe the newer version of knoppix isn’t actually writing to the EEPROM on the card.
See GuineaPirate’s comments below about trying (and failing) with Ubuntu.
Let us know how it goes with 3.8…
3.8 Won’t work properly. I tried doing it with the newer version of Knoppix again. I noticed that when I #iwconfig that it displays my current wireless settings and info as wlan0 and not eth0. Should I replace “eth0” in the command lines with “wlan0” in order to resolve this?
Yes, whichever adapter shows the wireless info is the one you want to mess with…
I have tried this a million times and i am getting errors when i type anything has has to do with ethtool. For example, I do the ethtool -e wlan0 and it spits back “Cannot get EEPROM data: Operation not supported”
Anyone have a fix for this?
The network interface is probably not wlan0. It was eth0 on the machine that I worked on. What does iwconfig report? Are you using the knoppix 3.8 CD that I used?
I tried it first of all with the latest knoppix and I received the Invalid module format error, then I found a copy of 3.8 here: http://www.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V3.8.2-2005-05-05-EN.iso
I was able to make the changes as per the instructions, but the even though I successfully tried the whole process, it failed to produce the result and I still get the same old error message.
I used the values as stated then tried with the European values as suggested here too. The card was an ex-Dell 2200BG so perhaps it was not destined to work.
Thanks for putting this together. The instructions above worked perfectly for my nc4010.
However, I had some issues with KNOPPIX v3.8.2. That version (and ones prior) have a bug that prevents booting from USB CD/DVD.
Info about the bug can be found here:
Info about how to config the BIOS to boot USB CD/DVD is here:
Once you get to the knoppix line, be sure to use:
boot: knoppix fromhd=/dev/uba
Otherwise, you won’t be able to boot Knoppix!
Very cool. Thanks for the USB tip!
Help me. I have the same laptop and it is starting with that error again after all these commands
It sounds like whatever WiFi card you have is not being re-flashed by ethtool. Are you sure you have a generic Intel 2200bg card? What does your output look like?
Done! Thank you!!!
Compaq X1000. Followed your instructions exactly. All went fine. was able to confirm with instruction ethtool -e eth0 that new values were showing in EEPROM. Turn and re-start – same error message. Look at values in EEPROM again only to see they are all lost – only zeros showing for all offsets. It’s as if the values aren’t holding in the EEPROM after powerdown. Any ideas anyone?
$4 card, but I like a challenge, and also resent being restricted by HP from upgrading my old laptop.
Hi again Jeremy,
I managed to get v3 to work once I navigated my way around the menu system but couldn’t get the bios to update. I’m trying this on an HP ZT3000/NX7000/X1000 series computer, 2 different ones same result.
I bought 2 ‘refurbished 2200 cards from China. Both halt the boot process with dreaded error, so some part of the card must be functioning. I’ve followed your instructions , iwconfig gives the results as you suggest with eth0 as the wireless card but I typed ethtool -e eth0 to get a dump but only got a screen full of ‘0’s for all the offsets whereas the genuine cards produce the same offset values as GuineaPirate for the HP card.
Perhaps the cards are not working properly? Any ideas?
It shouldn’t be _all_ zeros. Most cards probably have a lot of zeros towards the end of the EEPROM though. The card in my server is zeros from 0x0200 onwards… try again with ‘ethtool -e eth0 | more’ and see if the start is normal.
Did the ./load command work properly?
What happens if you try to flash these addresses anyways?
# 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
Running ethtool -e eth0 should show these new values after you flash them…
Where can i GET kNOPPIX 3.8.2 as all sites now show later versions-will they work?
It’s still available on the kernel.org mirror:
OK, Knoppix did the work.
These were the final values
Fujitsu values are
Offset: 0x0000 Values: 02 a5 00 80 20 42 86 80 02 27 86 80 18 00 01 03
HP European values are
Offset: 0x0000 Values: 02 a5 00 80 20 42 86 80 f6 12 3c 10 18 00 01 03
Thank you Jeremy 🙂
No problem – you did all the work! 🙂
The newer kernel in Ubuntu likely doesn’t allow you to muck with the hardware the same way the older ones did…
ok, this time I tried with the default driver.
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get install ethtool
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo ethtool -e eth1
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo ethtool -E eth1 magic 0x2200 offset 0x8 value 0xf6
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo ethtool -E eth1 magic 0x2200 offset 0x9 value 0x12
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo ethtool -E eth1 magic 0x2200 offset 0xa value 0x3c
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo ethtool -E eth1 magic 0x2200 offset 0xb value 0x10
Now I saw that EEPROM info chaged but it still did not work.
I tried to get the intel 2200bg to work with nc6000. I wanted to try your guide on xubuntu 10.04.
All went well except one thig (at the end):
(eth0 = LAN and eth1 = WLAN)
“eth1 unassociated ESSID:off/any
Mode: Managed Channel=0 Access Point: Not-Associated
Bit Rate:0 kb/s Tx-Power=20 dBm Sensitivity=8/0
Retry limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Link Quality:0 Signal level:0 Noise level:0
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx inv crypt:0 Rx inv frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get install ethtool
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo ethtool -e eth1
(a list with Offset and Values info)
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo mkdir /usr/tmp
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ cd /usr/tmp
ubuntu@ubuntu:/usr/tmp$ sudo wget http://www.jeremycole.com/download/ipw2200.tar.gz
ubuntu@ubuntu:/usr/tmp$ sudo tar xvzf ipw2200.tar.gz
ubuntu@ubuntu:/usr/tmp$ cd ipw2200-1.0.3/
ubuntu@ubuntu:/usr/tmp/ipw2200-1.0.3$ sudo ./unload
Output: “Unloaded: ipw2200”
ubuntu@ubuntu:/usr/tmp/ipw2200-1.0.3$ sudo ./load
Output: “.: 10: unload: not found”
ubuntu@ubuntu:/usr/tmp/ipw2200-1.0.3$ sudo ethtool -E eth1 magic …
Output: “Cannot get driver information: No such device”
Main and Aux are not connected, but the mini PCI card is connected.
BTW, I see that the ipw2200 is already loaded (unloaded: ipw2200), but should the hack to be done with your tar-package instead?
Would you kindly give my an advice how to get this thing work, please.
Thank you in advance
Why don’t you try it with the Knoppix version I used. I know that works.
And update your BIOS as suggested by nc8ktest below….
Actually I have the latest BIOS F.15.
I just wanted to test this procedure with Ubuntu, because I have it burnt on cd, but ok I’ll try knoppix instead after I have downloaded it… in 8 minutes.
It looks like I was late to the party! The ipw2200.tar.gz file is no longer at the uri. Could you please post it somewhere or send a copy. It would be very much appreciated. I bought 4 of these BG cards off Ebay and I would hate to just throw them away.
Yep, Geocities is now just a memory of the frontier days of the internet…
Try this link instead: http://www.jeremycole.com/download/ipw2200.tar.gz 😉
I found the problem. I had to update the bios to the latest version. It work for me now. Thanks to you.
I tried with 3.8.2. Here are my results.
No modules unloaded.
Loaded: ieee80211_crypt ieee80211_crypt_wep ieee80211_crypt_tkip ieee80211_crypt_ccmp ieee80211 ipw2200
root@1[ipw2200-1.0.3]# ethtool -E eth0 magic 0×2200 offset 0×8 value 0xf5
Cannot set EEPROM data: Invalid argument
root@1[ipw2200-1.0.3]# ethtool -E eth0 magic 0×2200 offset 0×9 value 0×12
Cannot set EEPROM data: Invalid argument
I noticed that the x’s have been changed to fancy x’s (other than the 0xf5) – probably by WordPress… try changing them to normal x’s instead of copying and pasting from my post. I’ll see if I can edit the post to fix them.
[Edit] OK, they should be fixed now – feel free to copy and paste…
Hi, I tried your method and i get a Invalid module format, then no modules loaded. Is there an updated module?
I’m going to guess that you tried a newer version of Knoppix and that it didn’t like the Sony driver from ~2004. If so, try it again with the version of Knoppix that I used and see if the driver module will load.