torsdag 31 maj 2012

Problems upgrading WiFi + BlueTooth on HP laptop

My mission: Upgrade the Broadcom 54mbps WiFi in my old HP 530 laptop to something faster, "Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230" (300mbit N-card with Bluetooth). It was not as easy as I first thought :(

First problem: Full-length vs half-length PCI Express Mini. The newer card was (like most other cards) half-length, to fit that in the older computer I needed an adapter which was about €1 on eBay.

Second problem: "104-Unsupported wireless network device detected". The BIOS of most HP/Compaq laptops whitelist only a few specific wifi cards and will not boot if they detect any other card. This is f*cked up and this alone makes me never buy an HP laptop again (or a Lenovo, which appearantly does the same). I bought the laptop, let me do what I want with it!
Fortunatelly, some very skilled people have found ways to disable the lock-out in the BIOS and have published these hacked BIOSes. See links below.

Just make sure you don't accidentally downgrade your BIOS. And of course, do this at your own risk, etc :)

Third problem: No Bluetooth device detected by Windows. The wifi device was found in device manager and worked fine after I downloaded the appropriate drivers. However, no Bluetooth devices were found or listed in the device manager - like the Bluetooth didn't even exist. Unfortunatelly, after reading a bit about the PCI Express Mini standard, I realize that it has two interfaces: PCI-e and USB. I think that the Bluetooth portion of the card works over the USB interface, while the wifi use the PCI-e interface, and that none of my two computers implement the USB interface, only the PCI-e interface. Either that or only the BT component of my card is broken, but I think that is less likely. So... Pity, I'll have to get a Bluetooth USB dongle I guess. But at least the wireless is a lot faster now :)

Please let me know if this helped you! Also please share any additional findings about this if you can!

Links I learned stuff from:!-HP-COMPAQ-bioses-how-to-modify-the-bios/page111?p=333358#post333358

2 kommentarer:

FireSword sa...

Thank you very much for the information. I also thought about upgrading my hp530 with smth faster and with bluetooth. After reading your blog, may be this is not a good idea. I need the bluetooth because, I plug a USB speaker, which has a 3.5 mm jack, and I get a lot of noise on it. If I unplug either the USB powering from the port, or the 3.5mm jack the noise goes away. I thought if I use it in bluetooth mode, it will solve the problem since I won't have the 3.5mm connection. I have to say my machine works well even with 3GB of memory, although it was written in the documentation that 2GB is the upper limit.

Jan sa...

Glad to help!
You could still get a Bluetooth USB dongle, I guess it could fix your noise issue and would be much easier to install!