what is the best way to download the bcm cutter and the bcm wireless adaptor

Asked by Cary Devlin on 2011-07-31

I upgraded 10.10 to 11.04.
I have a Dell Inspiron 1520 with a broadcom wireless internal wireless adaptor.
  When I upgraded, I no longer had a wireless connection.
I was told, if I wanted to re-download previous software versions which were deleted or disabled I should go to software properties tool or the package manager.
  I was never able to find these things and through dumb luck I was able to renable a wireless by first removing the latest sta wireless drivers and installing the bcm fw cutter and bcm 43 wireless adaptor.
   This headache took over a week to figure out.
I inadverently removed 11.04 and i am running 10.10 and I do not want to go through what I did before.
  If I upgrade again, and the wireless still does not work, I want to know what the best and easiest way to download the cutter and wireless adaptor is.
  There are several ways mentioned in the documentation.
I want the connection to work and if it is disabled, how to reinstall the bcm 43 and correct procedure.
  i would also like directions for installation just in case I lose both ethernet and wireless connection.
  Thank You.
 Cary Devlin

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Ubuntu b43-fwcutter Edit question
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Grab a wired connection and use the driver app. It will just be offered to you.

Alternatively use this:

It even shows how you can use the liveCD to do it but getting the app off the web is far easier, the system is a laptop so you can easily move near the router and connect via ethernet for an easy life

Ubfan (ubfan1) said : #2

If you do a fresh 11.04install, all you need to do is supply the firmware, and for your chip, there is open source firmware available.
sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

If you have an internet connection (wired), you could get the proprietary Broadcom firmware by installing the b43-fwcutter and accept the download offer. This firmware may run faster, but I couldn't tell, so I use the open souce firmware myself.

That's it. The default b43 should then be working for you. Do NOT "activate" any additional drivers, or you will have the messy conflicts to resolve that you have already been through.

Cary Devlin (crdevlin1) said : #3

When I originally upgraded to Natty, even though I lost my wireless networking capabilities, I could still connect via ethernet.
  I eventually lost that connection also.
I re-downloaded 10.10 and then 11.04 on another partition which left me with 1 Natty installation with no connections and 1 with ethernet and still no wireless.
  I submitted my “no wireless connection” question and I was told the bcm 1390 wireless card installed in my Dell Inspiron 1520 had some known problems connecting wirelessly with the updated Natty Kernel and there was not a solution yet.
This was about 2 months ago.
   It was suggested I uninstall the STA wireless upgrade and then install the bcm fw cutter and the bcm 43 adaptor/card/drivers, whatever.
  I was given numerous ways to do this and the best way, I was told, was to install from my 10.04 or 10.10 disk.
  As I mentioned in my question, by sheer dumb luck, I was able to get the 10.10 disc to boot, it would not boot the first time.
It booted, I do not know the sequence of events and I ended up being able to install the drivers via synaptic.
   Maybe the issue with the 1390 card is fixed in Natty and I am still reticent about upgrading and possibly not having a wireless connection and maybe not having ethernet either.
  I am submitting this reply offline, I do not have access to who said what about installing.
   One response was the wireless drivers would update themselves when upgrading to Natty.
Wouldn't that be great.
That is what I expected when I upgraded the first time to Natty and no dice.
  I have never have had a problem with a wireless driver in any Ubuntu upgrade until Natty.
  I was also given 2 sites to get the cutter and drivers from, 1 site for downloading from the internet, the 2nd for downloading without a connection.
  I do not have a 2nd computer at this time and because of electrical problems at the house I am renting, I have no connection until tomorrow when I get a wireless mobile card.
  My connection is going to be strictly wireless.
   Is it true that I still need to uninstall the Natty wireless kernel after upgrading and then install the bcm 43 cutter and drivers?
  Since I have a good install disc, my understanding is I can press F6 then escape and then I am given an option to boot from disc.
  Then I find the files and install them.
To finish up: I know if the apps appear in synaptic, I can download them from there after I do the upgrade.
  Can I burn the drivers to disc in 10.10 before I do the upgrade and then install them like I did before and to how do I burn what I need the cutter, and drivers and is anything else I will need like the kernel that works with the b43 cutter and drivers.
Finally, if I upgrade to Natty and I have no internet connection, can I remove the wireless kernel offline and then insert the drivers' disc, press F6 then escape then boot from disc and download the applications?
   To clarify.
I have had good luck installing programs and apps in terminal using sudo apt.
  Again, in 1 a response I got back to my wireless question, I believe there were instructions on how to install the cutter, drivers and any driver updates, bcm kernels etc and the sequence of doing each step.
  If the terminal command is an option, can you provide me with the commands, the sequence of installing them and if the commands can be installed with or without a connection, keeping in mind, at this point, I have access to only public networks until 8-1 when I get my mobile wireless card.
   Sorry, that brings up another brief question.
The mobile hot spot I am receiving is made by Clear.
  It operates on a CDMA encrypted network and I was told I just set it by my laptop, make sure the computer is in wireless mode, enter the WEP key and I am good to go.
  This Clear Spot is a wireless modem obviously.
I am going to be connecting only wirelessly through it.
  I want to know if the mobile hot spot will become my default wireless connection and possibly disable my bcm 1390.
  Or does my 1390 remain the default adaptor?
I do not want to create any more problems.
  I just want to make sure I do this right or I will stick with 10.10 right now.Thank you for the information and I am enclosing some further information on the experience I had when I first ran into this issue with my card about 2 months ago.
  It ended up being quite a nightmare, partially my fault and maybe my experience will be of help to someone.+

Ubfan (ubfan1) said : #4

If you are using the b43 driver, the upgrade from 10.10 to 11.04 should leave the three firmware files in /lib/firmware/b43-open (or several files in .../b43), so your wireless should still work with the b43 driver. If you are using the Broadcom STA driver (also known as the wl driver) on 10.10, the upgrade to 11.04 will produce a non working wireless. Click on the network-manager icon and select "Connection information" to see which driver you are using.
  To repeat, the ONLY thing you need to do to get a working wireless on a fresh 11.04 install is to provide the three firmware files which are in /lib/firmware/b43-open. If getting a wired connection is hard, just copy them from a working system onto a usb and copy them back on the new system -- that's what I do myself, since my workspace is far from the router.
If you have a wired connection, then just:

sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

That's it.

The b43-fwcutter install would install the alternative Broadcom firmware files, which work too, but are not needed if you do the firmware-b43-installer install.
Any other installs of Broadcom drivers, bmc kernels, etc. will only interfere with getting your wireless working in 11.04.

  The failure of the Broadcom STA driver on 11.04 (for your chip) took many people by surprise (had been working for years), so unfortunately you went through the painful discovery that it didn't work. The b43 driver may not work on the newest Broadcom chips, so both are still needed. Ubuntu has the b43 driver available by default, and no action on your part is needed to change drivers.

To copy the firmware files:
  The protections on the firmware directory prevent an easy drag and drop copy so here's a sample of the terminal commands to copy the firmware onto a usb mounted at /media/sdc1 (change to suite your situation) (use /lib/firmware/b43 if that's what you have)):
sudo tar -cf /media/sdc1/b43-open.tar /lib/firmware/b43-open

And to copy back onto a new system:
cd /
sudo tar -xf /media/sdc1/b43-open.tar

Not sure about your mobile hot-spot, but sounds like you connect to it through your existing wireless, so it will look like another access point.
Good Luck.

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