Dell Inspiron 1521 not detecting wireless card

Asked by Gavin McLendon

I'm new and just downloaded Ubuntu 11.04. It installed fine but at first it said the firmware was missing for my wireless card. I plugged it in with a LAN and used the "Additional Drivers" app to find the missing driver. It said I needed the "Broadcom STA Wireless Driver" so I downloaded and rebooted. Now when I go to network connections I don't even see an option for my wireless status and using nm-tool in the terminal window does not detect it either. It's like my wireless card no longer exists. Please help.

Question information

English Edit question
Ubuntu bcmwl Edit question
No assignee Edit question
Last query:
Last reply:
Revision history for this message
Massimo Forti (slackwarelife) said :

Hi can you do this comand in terminal and post the result:

lspci -mm


Revision history for this message
Gavin McLendon (theginchico) said :

gavin@ubuntu:~$ lspci -mm
00:00.0 "Host bridge" "ATI Technologies Inc" "RS690 Host Bridge" "Dell" "Device 01fc"
00:01.0 "PCI bridge" "ATI Technologies Inc" "RS690 PCI to PCI Bridge (Internal gfx)" "" ""
00:05.0 "PCI bridge" "ATI Technologies Inc" "RS690 PCI to PCI Bridge (PCI Express Port 1)" "" ""
00:07.0 "PCI bridge" "ATI Technologies Inc" "RS690 PCI to PCI Bridge (PCI Express Port 3)" "" ""
00:12.0 "SATA controller" "ATI Technologies Inc" "SB600 Non-Raid-5 SATA" -p01 "Dell" "Device 01fc"
00:13.0 "USB Controller" "ATI Technologies Inc" "SB600 USB (OHCI0)" -p10 "Dell" "Device 01fc"
00:13.1 "USB Controller" "ATI Technologies Inc" "SB600 USB (OHCI1)" -p10 "Dell" "Device 01fc"
00:13.2 "USB Controller" "ATI Technologies Inc" "SB600 USB (OHCI2)" -p10 "Dell" "Device 01fc"
00:13.3 "USB Controller" "ATI Technologies Inc" "SB600 USB (OHCI3)" -p10 "Dell" "Device 01fc"
00:13.4 "USB Controller" "ATI Technologies Inc" "SB600 USB (OHCI4)" -p10 "Dell" "Device 01fc"
00:13.5 "USB Controller" "ATI Technologies Inc" "SB600 USB Controller (EHCI)" -p20 "Dell" "Device 01fc"
00:14.0 "SMBus" "ATI Technologies Inc" "SBx00 SMBus Controller" -r14 "Dell" "Device 01fc"
00:14.1 "IDE interface" "ATI Technologies Inc" "SB600 IDE" -p8a "Dell" "Device 01fc"
00:14.2 "Audio device" "ATI Technologies Inc" "SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA)" "Dell" "Device 01fc"
00:14.3 "ISA bridge" "ATI Technologies Inc" "SB600 PCI to LPC Bridge" "Dell" "Device 01fc"
00:14.4 "PCI bridge" "ATI Technologies Inc" "SBx00 PCI to PCI Bridge" -p01 "" ""
00:18.0 "Host bridge" "Advanced Micro Devices [AMD]" "K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration" "" ""
00:18.1 "Host bridge" "Advanced Micro Devices [AMD]" "K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Address Map" "" ""
00:18.2 "Host bridge" "Advanced Micro Devices [AMD]" "K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] DRAM Controller" "" ""
00:18.3 "Host bridge" "Advanced Micro Devices [AMD]" "K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control" "" ""
01:05.0 "VGA compatible controller" "ATI Technologies Inc" "RS690M [Radeon X1200 Series]" "Dell" "Device 01fc"
03:00.0 "Ethernet controller" "Broadcom Corporation" "BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX" -r02 "Dell" "Device 01fc"
03:01.0 "FireWire (IEEE 1394)" "Ricoh Co Ltd" "R5C832 IEEE 1394 Controller" -r05 -p10 "Dell" "Device 01fc"
03:01.1 "SD Host controller" "Ricoh Co Ltd" "R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter" -r22 -p01 "Dell" "Device 01fc"
03:01.2 "System peripheral" "Ricoh Co Ltd" "R5C592 Memory Stick Bus Host Adapter" -r12 "Dell" "Device 01fc"
03:01.3 "System peripheral" "Ricoh Co Ltd" "xD-Picture Card Controller" -r12 "Dell" "Device 01fc"
0b:00.0 "Network controller" "Broadcom Corporation" "BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN" -r01 "Dell" "Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-Card"

Revision history for this message
Ubfan (ubfan1) said :

Your 4311 chip works fine with the open b43 driver, but the proprietary firmware cannot be distributed with the release,so you have to manually add it. The way is to use a wiredconnection, and
sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter
and accept the offer to download the Broadcom files, which will put the Broadcom firmware into /lib/firmware/b43.
You can even use the open firmware (which is what I use) by:
sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer
With the firmware in place, simply load the b43 driver module:
sudo modprobe b43
NetworkManager should start scanning and offer a list of possible connection points within a few seconds.
Select yours, select the correct encryption method, and enter your key. If you are not broadcasting, you might have to select from the left click NetworkManager menu "connect to hidden network", and enter your ssid.
To make this happen at boot time, you need to stop suppressing the load of the b43 driver (which you did when you activated the Broadcom STA driver):
sudo rm /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-bcm43.conf
Maybe deactivating the "additional driver" would delete that blacklist file too.
I haven't used the STA driver in years, but just spent 1/2 hr trying to start it in a 11.04 installation and failing. The b43 driver modprobe starts things right up on my system.

Revision history for this message
Mark Rijckenberg (markrijckenberg) said :


Please first connect your wired network adapter to the wireless router using an ethernet cable (also known as a LAN cable).

In order to gather essential troubleshooting information about your wireless card, please follow this procedure:

Step 1:

If you are using the Gnome interface, open the Terminal console via "Applications->Accessories->Terminal"

If you are using the Unity interface, the easiest way to open the Terminal is to use the 'search' function on the dash. Or you can click on the 'More Apps' button, click on the 'See more results' by the installed section, and find it in that list of applications. A third way, available after you click on the 'More Apps' button, is to go to the search bar, and see that the far right end of it says 'All Applications'. You then click on that, and you'll see the full list. Then you can go to Accessories > Terminal after that.

So the methods in Unity are:
Dash > Search for Terminal
Dash > More Apps > 'See More Results' > Terminal
Dash > More Apps > Accessories > Terminal

Step 2: Please copy-paste the following command from in Firefox into the Linux Terminal. Do NOT copy-paste from the Email message into the Terminal, as that will only copy PART of the command. The command STARTS with the word sudo and ENDS with the word lsmod. So please copy-paste the ENTIRE command below from Firefox into a Terminal, press <enter>, then enter password when sudo asks for password, then press enter again.

Tip: If you have a wheel mouse or 3 button mouse you do not need to type commands into the Terminal. Highlight the command written on the page. Move your cursor anywhere in the Terminal and press the wheel or middle button. Automatic Copy and paste! No spelling mistakes! No Typos! No other errors!

sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install hwinfo grep; sudo lshw -C network; rfkill list; sudo iwlist scanning; cat /etc/network/interfaces; cat /etc/lsb-release; lspci -nn; lsusb; sudo lshw -short; uname -a; dmesg | egrep 'acx|at76|ath|b43|bcm|brcm|CX|eth|ipw|ireless|irmware|isl|lbtf|orinoco|ndiswrapper|NPE|ound|p54|prism|rtl|rt2|rt3|rt5|rt6|rt7|usb|witch|wl';sudo dmidecode|egrep 'Manufact|Product'; iwconfig; cat /etc/modprobe.d/* | egrep 'acx|at76|ath|b43|bcm|brcm|CX|eth|ipw|irmware|isl|lbtf|orinoco|ndiswrapper|NPE|p54|prism|rtl|rt2|rt3|rt6|rt7|witch|wl'; cat /var/lib/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.state; sudo hwinfo --netcard ; ps -aux|egrep 'icd|etwork'; sudo lsmod

Step 3: Please post results (copy/paste terminal output) on this thread. The troubleshooters here need to see the full Terminal output from running the above command.



Can you help with this problem?

Provide an answer of your own, or ask Gavin McLendon for more information if necessary.

To post a message you must log in.