WiFi on Dell Latitude D600

Michael_E_Brown at Dell.com Michael_E_Brown at Dell.com
Thu May 4 17:17:05 CDT 2006

There is probably a way to do this at runtime, but I looked at it for 10
mins and couldn't figure it out. There is a way to enable the radio, but
it requires a reboot. There is also a way to poll to see if the radio is

These should work to change BIOS setting, but will not take effect until
	0x0114 == disable wireless
	0x0115 == enable wireless
	0x0116 == wireless control by hotkey/smi

These enable/disable radio transmission, but they require reboot to take
effect. They are only present if token 0x116 (above) is set:
	0x010C == Enable Radio Transmission
	0x010D == Disable Radio Transmission

Libsmbios (http://linux.dell.com/libsmbios/main) contains the tokenCtl
(experimental) utility that can be used to set tokens. It has some
warnings when you run it about being experimental, but should work ok
for this. (hopefully...)

For example, to set the system so wireless is controlled by hotkey:
	# tokenCtl --token 0x116 --activate      #  <reboot system to
take effect>

Then, to see if wireless is turned on:
	# tokenCtl --token 0x10C --is_active
	Token ID: 0x10c
	Is Active: yes

I suppose you could write a script that puts up a big message saying
"Please press <FN>-<F2>" or something...


> -----Original Message-----
> From: linux-poweredge-bounces at dell.com 
> [mailto:linux-poweredge-bounces at dell.com] On Behalf Of Eric Belhomme
> Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2006 8:30 AM
> To: linux-poweredge-Lists
> Subject: WiFi on Dell Latitude D600
> Hi,
> I know this post is not really in charter, but as there's not 
> specific list for Linux on Dell laptops...
> So I own a Dell D600 running Debian Etch and Ms Windows XP Pro (dual
> boot) There is a mini-PCI WiFi card (Dell Truemobile 1400) 
> based on broadcom BCM4306. This chipset is not directly 
> supported on Linux, but works fine with the ndiswrapper module.
> The problem is if I launch Linux while the WiFi card was 
> previously desactivated under Windows by pressing [Fn]=[F2], 
> I can't use the WiFi card :
> ndiswrapper goes up correctly but when I try to use it I get 
> a message "receive_packet failed on wlan0: Network is down". 
> Of course pressing [Fn]+[F2] keys seems to do nothing...
> I have to reboot on Windows, reactivate the card by pressing 
> [Fn]+[F2] again, and then rebbot on Linux...
> So I'd like to know if there is a workaround to 
> activate/desactivate the wifi card under Linux ?
> Regards,
> --
> Rico
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