So I had two slightly annoying upgrades to Natty Narwhal, one I rolled back (i.e. clean install of 10.10) the other I persevered with. The roll back was because it killed Boxee and other things which was the only reason I was running the machine (i.e. as a media PC).
The second was just infuriating, it was installed on an old Dell Insorion 1501 which has an awkward Broadcom wireless card and up to this point used the proprietary drivers provided by the manufacturers. So when the “Additional Drivers” window popped telling me to activate these drivers I did just that.
However the laptop would not connect to the network and didn’t even have a MAC address or any real proof there was even a wireless network. After looking into the issue online by using a wired connection I gave up. The next time I turned on the machine to try again the wired connection had died too which makes working on the problem a little difficult.
I eventually worked this out before killing someone or bursting into tears. The following is how to make it work but is not the order I worked it out in or even this quick.
First it seems that the “Additional Drivers” were causing issues for the wireless so I just deactivated them. Then worked out this simple command typed into a terminal window activates the wireless:
sudo modprobe b43
This now allowed the the computer to at least now know there was a wireless card. However it was turned off by a hardware switch. Pressing Fn+F2 turned it back on and ta-da connected to the internet. Now to fix the wired was even easier just run from a terminal window:
sudo modprobe b44
Again Ta-Da the wired just works 🙂
Of course this is not perfect and this should be automatic as currently these need to be run every time and then press Fn+F2. The solution is quite easy:
- Create a file wifi.
- Add these three lines:
- modrobe b43
- modprobe b44
- rmmod -f dell-laptop
Boom the wired and wireless should just work when Ubuntu launches. the new line “rmmod -f dell-laptop” kills a malfunctioning process which then switches on the wireless card. This might be a bit overkill but it works for me.