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Rebranding Broadcom based 802.11b/g/n cards.


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#1
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I had my first report yesterday of someone here successfully rebranding their WMP300N using the linux tools and thus removing the instabilities of the AirPort "Third Party Wireless" adapter or having the adapter recognized without having to hack any extensions.

Of course I've seen some of the Install DVD's that provide modified Info.plist files where some ID's are substituted for another so if you are using one of these installers you may need to restore the contents of the Info.plist for it to work properly.

If you're using the magic-boot (swap CD) method and the retail Apple Installer then you wont have any issues with the wireless adapter.

The Bufallo Technology WLI-PCI-G300N is the same adapter and you should be able to rebrand this card using the same process.

I have asked the person who performed the rebrand to put together a little how-to to help those less experienced achieve the task so hopefully something will be posted in the near future.

However, I would like to note, the software used to perform the modifications to the sprom data file SHOULD ONLY BE USED TO MODIFY THE REGDOMAIN AND SUBSYSTEM ID'S since it is not an entirely polished application where all features work properly.

#2
chrand

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Let me start out by thanking BuildSmart. Without his patience and direction I would not have been able to get this to work.

Basically I purchased the Linksys WMP300N wireless card with the hopes that it would work seamlessly in OSX. After fiddling with it for a while I was able to get it to work, but not at N speeds. I started doing some research and found that it would not work because its vendor and product IDs were not on Apple's whitelist. One way to get it to work is to change the card's IDs so that is on the whitelist.

Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee that this process will work, and if something goes wrong, you can very well brick your wireless card. I am writing this from memory, so there may be an error or two, and there is probably a quicker/shorter way to accomplish this. Please post what worked/didn't work for you and I'll try to update this post.

Note: This procedure requires that the machine you are using have a working Internet connection to download some of the bits. This means you need to have another _functioning_ network card in the machine you are using besides the WMP300N.

Procedure:
1) Install Ubuntu - I used Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron but it wouldn't recognize the WMP300N. I may have been able to just upgrade the kernel, but I updated the whole distribution to 8.10 Intrepid Ibex Alpha 3. You can probably just do a clean install of 8.10 Alpha 3 or later: http://www.ubuntu.com/testing

2) Install prerequisites - In a terminal window execute the following commands (you can skip remark likes which start with #):
# Install packages that are required
  sudo apt-get update
  sudo apt-get install build-essential
  sudo apt-get install curl
  sudo apt-get install git-core
  
# Install b43 driver and firmware
# The next command will ask if you'd like to fetch and extract firmware - say YES
  sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter  
  sudo modprobe b43

# Get, compile, and install the latest ssb-sprom tool
  git clone http://git.bu3sch.de/git/b43-tools.git
  cd b43-tools/ssb_sprom
  make
  sudo cp ssb-sprom /usr/sbin/
  sudo chmod 755 /usr/sbin/ssb-sprom
  sudo chown root:root /usr/sbin/ssb-sprom

3) Update the sprom - Open up a terminal window and execute the following commands (you can skip remark likes which start with #):
# Set an environment variable for your sprom
  SSB_SPROM=$(find /sys/devices -name ssb_sprom)
	
# Check the value of the variable
# If this returns more than 1 instance of "/sys/..." then
# refer to http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/b43#relatedtools
# for additional steps.  Otherwise you can can continue with this process
  echo $SSB_SPROM
	
# Get a copy of your sprom into your home directory to work with
  cd ~
  sudo cat $SSB_SPROM > ssb_sprom_copy

# Examine the contents of the sprom.  Note that some of this information is incorrect,
# but the vendor and product ID are what we care about, and they are correct
  ssb-sprom -i ssb_sprom_copy -P

# The next command will update the vendor and product IDs and create a new sprom file
  ssb-sprom -i ssb_sprom_copy --subv 0x106b --subp 0x0087 -o new_ssb_sprom_copy

# Examine the contents of the new sprom file.  Verify the vendor and product IDs.
# I have attached a copy of my sprom below as an example
  ssb-sprom -i new_ssb_sprom_copy -P

# Ensure that this variable still has the path to your sprom
  echo $SSB_SPROM

# write the new sprom to your card
  sudo cp new_ssb_sprom_copy $SSB_SPROM

4) [Optional] Update the Broadcom kext info.plist - Depending on the method you used to install OSX, your machine may not recognize the card. This is because the PCI Product ID (14e4,4329) may not be in the list of IDs configured to use the Broadcom driver. There are various methods for modifying this file. One method is outlined in this post. The line you add should look like the one below. I have attached a copy of my info.plist as an example.
<string>pci14e4,4329</string>

References:
Original post on modifying sprom: http://forum.insanel...mp;#entry776755
Linux Wireless b43 homepage: http://linuxwireless...ers/Drivers/b43
bcm43xx Development mailing list archives: http://lists.berlios...nfo/bcm43xx-dev
One method of updating info.plist: http://forum.insanel...showtopic=23684


That's it! I hope this works for you!

Attached Files



#3
small cat

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Thanks for Chrand and BuildSmart
Hey, It works. I rebrand my WMP300n. Now my OSX see WMP300N as Airport Extream card.

Question: my wireless still show at 130mbps instead of 300mbps. Do i need to reaplce or add any kext file.(my install DVD is kalyway 10.5.2)

edit: I think I found why wmp300n won't show 300mbps becouse this card doesn't support 40mhz band which require for 300mbps. (sigh, it says on the data sheet on Linksys website)

#4
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Thanks for Chrand and BuildSmart
Hey, It works. I rebrand my WMP300n. Now my OSX see WMP300N as Airport Extream card.

Question: my wireless still show at 130mbps instead of 300mbps. Do i need to reaplce or add any kext file.(my install DVD is kalyway 10.5.2)

edit: I think I found why wmp300n won't show 300mbps becouse this card doesn't support 40mhz band which require for 300mbps. (sigh, it says on the data sheet on Linksys website)

Really, boot into windows and make a connection and tell me it doesn't connect at 270mbps or better?

Rebranding corrects connection dropping and other stability issues, even real apple airport devices only connect at 130mbps on b/g/n networks, I've never seen anything higher myself.

#5
MasterYous

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Let me start out by thanking BuildSmart. Without his patience and direction I would not have been able to get this to work.

...<snip>...

That's it! I hope this works for you!

My thanks to chrand and BuildSmart - this is one heck of a tutorial and made extra easy by the fact that everything you need can be obtained with apt

I did it with an Ubuntu 9.04 Live CD by following these steps exactly - didn't even have to write anything to hard disk. :D

I successfully rebranded an HP-branded BCM94321 to an Apple Airport Extreme.

Nice job guys.

#6
Monkey D. Luffy

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Re-edit my whole message:

I managed to rebrand my Asus WL-138G v2 to Airport Extreme. Right after rebranding, at first, it can't even detect any wireless network. I did reinstall OSX and now it detects but I can't connect. It always gives an "Connection timeout" error when connecting. Tried WEP, Unsecure, WPA, WPA2 all of them are the same. It can connect to Windows 7 though. Just OSX, it doesn't.

I tried device IDs like

--subv 0x106b --subp 0x0087
--subv 0x106b --subp 0x4318
--subv 0x106b --subp 0x004e

All of them doesn't work.

I checked the Info.plist of Broadcom kext it still doesn't work.

Help please!

UPDATE:

I tried different combination with the IDs. I even tried changing the Manufacturer name to a random name and it works. It only doesn't work if I change the Device ID of the manufacturer to Apple. It is just the Apple ID that doesnt work.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

#7
sk1nhead

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Perfect!!! Thanks to Prasys blog entry for pointing me to this post.. works on my Linksys WMP300N Rev1..

Before:

Attached File  Screen_shot_2009_12_10_at_1.16.06_PM.png   52.99KB   816 downloads
Attached File  Screen_shot_2009_12_10_at_1.00.42_PM.png   75.1KB   820 downloads


After:

Attached File  Screen_shot_2009_12_10_at_1.54.46_PM.png   98.73KB   854 downloads
Attached File  Screen_shot_2009_12_10_at_1.55.12_PM.png   53.22KB   622 downloads

4) [Optional] Update the Broadcom kext info.plist - Depending on the method you used to install OSX, your machine may not recognize the card. This is because the PCI Product ID (14e4,4329) may not be in the list of IDs configured to use the Broadcom driver. There are various methods for modifying this file. One method is outlined in this post. The line you add should look like the one below. I have attached a copy of my info.plist as an example.


question, why step #4 is optional? will my card work if i remove 4329? if not is it possible to keep the plist vanilla? DSDT injection perhaps? my card works only if I added 14e4,4329 on broadcom plist but haven't tried removing it after the rebrand.

BTW AFAIR my WLAN works OOTB on 10.5.0 (first leopard DVD) without any plist editing or hack.


scratch that, working now.. stupid me :-)

#8
stopka razin

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BuildSmart very thanks for your "how-to" procedure. I have successful changed subsystem Vendor and product ID on my Dell Wireless card 1505abgn, vendor ID (14e4:4328), subsystem IDs (1028:000A)
After change, it has subsystem IDs 106B:0087 and it is recoignized under MacOSX 10.6.2 as Apple Extreme Wireless Card and it works fine too.

But it doesn't work under Windows. I tried to change subsystem IDs in installator files, use this files to install the card, it seems to be installed properly, but I see no networks and no wireless icons.

Could you help me, how to use this card under windows 7, or I must changed subsystem IDs of card back???

THANKS!

#9
stopka razin

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My thanks to chrand and BuildSmart - this is one heck of a tutorial and made extra easy by the fact that everything you need can be obtained with apt

I did it with an Ubuntu 9.04 Live CD by following these steps exactly - didn't even have to write anything to hard disk. :blink:

I successfully rebranded an HP-branded BCM94321 to an Apple Airport Extreme.

Nice job guys.



Hi, I would like to ask you, if your BCM94321 wifi card with changed SUBS..IDs still working under Windows.

Thanks

#10
kazumotokun

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I have a BCM94321 that I rebranded using this technique. It shows up as airport extreme, but I can only squeeze wireless B speeds out of it (10Mb/s). I tried the 0x0087 and 0x008B values and they both show up in network utility as apple airport 130Mb/s ABGN connection, but they just can't even get G level speeds. Windows gets connected fine 216Mb/s running smoothly. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Switched the antennas. Fixed!

#11
dino7777

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Hi,

sound great to make a pci card a native airport express. no need for two cards, like airport and pci mini adapter.

the LinkSys WMP300N appears to be shipped in at least two versions ?!

can any one please conform which version of the card is working/can be rebranded?

thanks

#12
ARMAGEDDON

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Almost successful rebranding Netgear WN311B-110ISS PCI (BCM4321LKFBG). But didn't understand how to activate 802.11a mode. Also switched to Japan region for additional 12,13,14 channels on 2.4 GHz diapason. Is any one can upload ssb_sprom config of BCM94321MC or BCM94322MC for details ??

#13
LaiMac

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I was trying to follow the post to rebrand my Broadcom card

after running
git clone http://git.bu3sch.de/git/b43-tools.git

I found the following error
Initialized empty Git repository in /home/ubuntu/b43-tools/.git/
fatal: http://git.bu3sch.de...s.git/info/refs not found: did you run git update-server-info on the server?


after some investigation, here is the updated URL for b43-tools

git clone git://git.bu3sch.de/b43-tools.git

just in case someone else runs into the same problem.

#14
eujene

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And what if i'm getting such error on the last step? What am i doing wrong?
'cp: writing `/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1c.5/0000:08:00.0/ssb_sprom': Operation not supported'

#15
Tobicool

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# Get a copy of your sprom into your home directory to work with
cd ~
sudo cat $SSB_SPROM > ssb_sprom_copy

At this point my lap starts to freeze..

i use Ubuntu 10.04 with a compaq 615

#16
candykane

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in sted of rebranding could we do a fix in de dsdt via dtgp? (device id changing in the dsdt)
essentualy giving it the correct device ID in the dsdt file so the driver picks it up natively?

#17
LatinMcG

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in sted of rebranding could we do a fix in de dsdt via dtgp? (device id changing in the dsdt)
essentualy giving it the correct device ID in the dsdt file so the driver picks it up natively?


yes device id and subven id can be injected.. if u have an apple airport subvendors .. u can try to change.. or leave same.
in dsdtse the pci information hack is for broadcom.
theking has one for Atheros Ar5008 ar5bxb72 but i have pcibridge issues.

(edit apparently it works fine in dsdt with atheros.. not BCM wifi.. way the driver works)

#18
ARMAGEDDON

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Is it possible to rebrand Linksys WPC600N PCMCIA ?? This card has native Dual-Band Broadcom chipset. On OS X it recognized as Third Party.

#19
hell1134

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Hi, newbie here.

Sorry if this problem has already been solved (appreciate it if anyone could point out the solution to me), but on the very last step, I get the error :-

'cp: writing `/sys/devices/pci0000:00/<numbers>/<numbers>/ssb_sprom': Operation not supported'

Any solution?

Thanks in advance :wacko:

#20
hell1134

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Ok Found the reason for the 'operation not supported' error! And its not good.

Seems, HP has 'locked' the wifi through its bios and there is no way one can bypass this. :(

Also, one cannot upgrade to 'any' wifi card 'cause only wifi cards whitelisted by HP's bios will be recognized. So no swapping cards. ;)

Only viable way seems to be the method mentioned by candykane - changing the deviceid in dsdt.

ohwell....... (glares at his HP laptop :wacko: )





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