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#1 2008-06-05 20:54:33

skittlehawk
Member
Registered: 2006-12-25
Posts: 13

Dell Inspiron 1525 Problems

Hello.

I just purchased a Dell Inspiron 1525 with Vista Home Premium preinstalled. I wanted to know if there is a way to install a fully working Arch Linux system on it. I tried with 2007.08 CD only to fail at getting the wireless card to work. Dell Inspiron 1525 comes with a Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini Card. I tried installing both the latest vista and xp drivers for this card via ndiswrapper. I thought all was well since I got the message that said that the driver is installed and the device was present. However, when I checked iwconfig, the normal 'wlan0' was not in the list, just 'lo'. Can someone help me with this?

Also, I used a ZenWalk liveCD to test out if I have sound support. It seems like the sound doesn't work either, but that may be because I used an old liveCD. The 1525 comes with a 'SIGMATEL STAC 92XX C-MAJOR HD Audio' or also known as "High Definition Audio 2.0".

I have also learned that although Dell does offer this laptop with Ubuntu installed, they changed the wireless card on the ubuntu version. I don't know if that means anything. Also, I have heard of many who have gotten linux installed on this laptop. I have some experience with linux, but all of that is with a desktop pc. (Used Arch for the longest after trying out Gentoo ^^)

I checked the Ubuntu forums on this matter, and they seem to have a lot of documentation on it, but I am unsure if it will apply to Arch. Does Arch come with the bcm43xx drivers? If it does, then that means I have to blacklist it or something. I really need help.

- Dennis ^^

PS: Thanks in advance for any help!

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#2 2008-06-05 21:05:51

wonder
Developer
From: Bucharest, Romania
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 5,937
Website

Re: Dell Inspiron 1525 Problems

you don't need any ndiswrapper. i have dell 1520 which have same wireless card. i use b43 with networkmanager and works well.
b43 is in kernel you don't need to install any package
details on http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/b43
or http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Wireless#b43

you have to download the latest version of broadcom-wl because now in core is kernel 2.6.25 and the older version of firmware will be dropped in july.

after doing that just rmmod b43 and then modprobe b43.
also don't forget to ifconfig wlan0 up

don't forget to blacklist bcm43xx. you can't do that:
MODULES=(.... !bcm43xx ....)

sound is working well here.

Last edited by wonder (2008-06-05 21:16:16)


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#3 2008-06-06 03:25:35

Warper
Member
From: Quito, Ecuador
Registered: 2008-04-08
Posts: 33

Re: Dell Inspiron 1525 Problems

Remember to look at dmesg and post any network related message.
If your computer does have a broadcom based wireless card you will find lines referring to bcm43xx on it.
Did you follow the wiki for activating sound? remember that initially it is muted by default.

Warper

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#4 2008-06-06 13:30:44

anti-neutrino
Member
Registered: 2007-10-01
Posts: 3

Re: Dell Inspiron 1525 Problems

Hi skittlehawk,


like u i have experience of arch (not as long as urs.... as it seems tongue) on desktop only
I have same INSPIRON 1525, with vista home pre-installed

just want to know that
after installing arch or ne other linux..... what happens to dell media direct , as I guess dell media direct supports Windows support
can you tell me what happened to ur dell media direct .. n is there someway to retain it

I am installing arch on a partition of 20 GB  , made by shrink facility or VISTA simply ( I am not sure whether this is enough, or I have to flush off vista and install a fresh copy) .....  lemme know this is fine or I have to do ne thing else before finally gooin for installation

please help ... as I m very much afraid of getting my vista disturbed
I am new to all these things ... plz help

Thanking you in advance

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#5 2008-06-06 13:54:03

JeremyTheWicked
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2008-05-23
Posts: 193

Re: Dell Inspiron 1525 Problems

I have a Dell Inspiron 1505. It had Media Direct as well. I haven't used it for some time - in the meanwhile I repartitioned the HD, reinstalled WinXP and installed Linux. When I tried Media Direct later on it wasn't there. When I press the Media Direct button now I get to the grub menu. I'm not sure but I suspect that at least some part of Media Direct resides in the MBR.


arch(3) adj amused because you think you understand something better than other people ;P

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#6 2008-06-06 23:24:05

skittlehawk
Member
Registered: 2006-12-25
Posts: 13

Re: Dell Inspiron 1525 Problems

Thanks for all of the replies. I downloaded the newest ISO and tried to get it working again. Well, b43 did not really work as I hoped it would, so I went and used ndiswrapper. To my astonishment, it works. Apparantly, something changed from the 2.6.22 to 2.6.24 kernels that made it so that the ndiswrapper module won't be detected with a broadcom card with the 2.6.22 kernel. This is all a guess, but it kinda makes sense. Only one problem though, I did all of the usual steps to set up the wireless connection... and it can't seem to connect to the internet... I did:

iwconfig wlan0 essid ********
iwconfig wlan0 mode Managed
iwconfig wlan0 key restricted **********
ifconfig wlan0 up
dhcpcd wlan0

*I have tried this with other network cards, those on my desktop, and they worked fine.
When I do 'iwlist wlan0 scanning' , I detect all the networks that I expected to see, but it doesn't connect to any of them, which I think is really weird.

I don't really care much for vista, but I miss messing around with a decent CLI, and I will be majoring in Computer Science once I get into college, which would definately include classes on Bash scripting, so I wanted to get a linux install on my laptop since my desktop died. I have experience with Ubuntu, Gentoo (Stage 1 and Stage 3 installs.. Stage 1 was a giant pain and failed the first 4 times), ZenWalk, MEPIS, SuSE, Fedora, Arch, and some others. Of all of these, I liked Arch the best. So, I was really hoping I could get it installed.

Well, it seems I will be stuck with vista for a while... but I must say, it's not AS bad as I thought it would... still slow and all though ^^

@anti-neutrino:
Hello. Dual-booting is tricky stuff in my opinion. I have never done it myself, so I can't really help you there. But, there are plenty of documentation out there on it. According to http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/mediadirect.htm, DellMediaDirect is installed on a hidden partition. So, I'm guessing that as long as you don't touch that partition, it would still be there. What I think you would have problem with is where to put grub (or lilo). The safest thing to do, I would think, is to place it in a floppy, if you have an external floppy drive, or place grub into a USB Flash drive which you would be able to boot from. I have no idea how to do this in Arch, but I have done it before in SuSE. And as for Vista, as long as you don't touch the vista partition, it should stay the same. The booting is the only problem I can see for you. If the boot loader (grub or lilo) is installed in a separate medium (floppy/USB) then to boot into the linux partition, all you would have to do is boot from the medium, eitherwise, it would boot into Vista (or whatever you have that boots up first) automatically.. that is unless they changed something, and knowing how fast linux is developed, there are a lot of changes, so I'm not really sure if it still works this way.

@Warper:
I don't really mind the sound right now. If I can get internet to work, I know I can solve all the other problems later, as all I need to do is look up how to solve for it. But, yeah I know sound is muted by default in Arch. It's just that with my desktop, sound was automatically detected by other LiveCD's that I was confused when those same LiveCD's couldn't detect it. Again, this might just be that the LiveCD's use an older kernel.

- Dennis ^^

PS: I reinstalled vista and wrote this post in it. T_T

Last edited by skittlehawk (2008-06-06 23:30:16)

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#7 2008-06-07 09:26:13

wonder
Developer
From: Bucharest, Romania
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 5,937
Website

Re: Dell Inspiron 1525 Problems

b43 is only for kernel 2.6.24 and kernel 2.6.25.
the latest install iso use 2.6.24 and is a testing iso but it's working.

ndiswrapper didn't work because of a module.
read here http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=43904

but i suggest you to use b43.


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#8 2008-06-13 20:25:38

skittlehawk
Member
Registered: 2006-12-25
Posts: 13

Re: Dell Inspiron 1525 Problems

Hello wonder,

Are you 100% sure you got the same card working with b43? I checked the sites that you gave me, and it seems that the chipset of the Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini Card is not supported by b43. Maybe there is a way around it, but I haven't figured it out yet. Right now, I think I will just install the entire system using a wired connection. After that, I will worry about why I cannot get wireless to work.

Thanks for the replies everyone!

- Dennis ^^

PS: If you guys find/have any other useful hints/tips/tutorials/etc. that you think would be helpful, please inform me about them. Thanks!

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#9 2008-06-13 20:29:33

wonder
Developer
From: Bucharest, Romania
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 5,937
Website

Re: Dell Inspiron 1525 Problems

yes. i'm sure. lspci shows me:
0c:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM94311MCG wlan mini-PCI (rev 01)

b43 supported cards

    * bcm4303 (802.11b-only chips)
    * bcm4306
    * bcm4309 (only the 2.4GHz part)
    * bcm4311 rev 1 / bcm4312
    * bcm4311 rev 2 / bcm4312 (needs patches for 2.6.24)
    * bcm4318

Last edited by wonder (2008-06-13 20:35:11)


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