Broadcom (STA or BCM43xx) driver problem

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Broadcom (STA or BCM43xx) driver problem

Postby PussyCat on Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:00 pm

In the last few days I have been giving Mint 8 x64 a drive and have so far been impressed but...

On my Toshiba Satellite it installed perfectly and wifi set up (notwithstanding "Keyring" idiosyncracies).

However, on my Packard Bell Dot-Ma - which, so far as I can determine, has a Broadcom 802.11b/g (BCM43xx (?)) chip - I was encouraged by the livecd experience though had to "activate" the driver being given a choice of BCM43 (free) or STA (proprietary). I chose the latter and, presto, it worked.

Encouraged, I installed but the wifi doesn't work. I am now only offered the STA driver which refuses to activate. (Why can't some distros carry through personal configurations on install?).

Help!
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Re: Broadcom (STA or BCM43xx) driver problem

Postby Jay514 on Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:15 am

Welcome To Linux Mint
In my previous experience with the Broadcom Drivers, I also had the same issue many times with many distros.
In order to install the Brodcom STA Driver you must be hardwired to the Internet ( unless it is included on the Distro Disk ) & or have the driver package on/in an accessible place to install, like download & place the package on USB,Ect.

I hope this will resolve your issue, Have a Good Day.
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Re: Broadcom (STA or BCM43xx) driver problem

Postby PussyCat on Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:59 am

Thanks for the reply Jay514.

The driver must be somewhere since it worked perfectly from the livecd - it just "disappeared" (although still offered but won't activate) after installation! It works fine in Mandriva 2010.

Perhaps I should try re-intalling but select the "free" driver this time?

PS Can't locate driver for WinXP either (the Vista driver won't do) and ads like the above (oops it's changed!) don't help. Even if I were to risk allowing a third party with a vested (financial) interest to ferret about my pc it's not possible without the required driver nor am I keen on hard wiring to the router just to resolve this issue. I'll just remember not to buy or recommend anything Broadcom in the future.
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Re: Broadcom (STA or BCM43xx) driver problem

Postby PussyCat on Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:59 am

PPS Tried re-installing, this time without initialising the connection/driver. Afterwards both the B43 and STA were "available" - but, perversely, it wanted to get onto the internet to activate either! Why are they both also described as "restricted drivers"?

Just running the livecd again and once again connection established with STA driver working perfectly. So what happens after install?

Since it won't transfer this configuration on install, is there anyway it can be forced to look on cd for the driver since it is obviously there?

[A "restricted drivers" icon appears on the taskbar during the livecd session but disappears after activation. It does not show after install and I have to go via MCC and Hardware Drivers?]
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Re: Broadcom (STA or BCM43xx) driver problem

Postby Jay514 on Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:21 pm

Cat,
I think you misinterpreted my instructions before. :?
When I say hard wired to the internet, = I mean, as in Line type connection like ( phone line if you use a dial up modem ), or ( Ethernet cable straight to your router.)
Therefore, if the system is asking to download the driver, it means it is not on the disk, & or not recognised.You must have a source to install from.
It is completely safe to download the non free "restricted" driver, it is only a choice. but, If the other free driver does not work, you may have no other option :( but to try the restricted driver.
If you have no other way to get a connection to the internet, yo could download the package on another system & put it on some type of Media, such as floppy,USB,Flash Card,SD. Then place it in your machine & install it there. You can try to look around in the Live Disk in the folders & find the restricted drivers Folder & see if it will install from there.

I would hate to estimate the number, but I am sure there are quite a few million users who use the restricted video drivers & or Wireless drivers, because the alternative free drivers just does not work on their systems. I do not think restricted means that you are using a driver that the FBI will come & hunt you down just because you are using it in the manner in which it was designed for. The way I understand the restricted driver thing is that Said Company owns the rights for the driver & does not wish for said driver to be reverse engineered,Ect,Ect. :shock:

BTW = Broadcom is not only the driver & or the Hardware in the computer, they differ vastly, from model to model, MFG to MFG.
After installing the Brodcom STA Wireless Driver on My HP, (They are not installed on my 2 Toshiba's = they have an Intel based card ) I noticed that I have a better connection , with fewer issues than my other two laptops, so I must defend Broadcom There. :)
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Re: Broadcom (STA or BCM43xx) driver problem

Postby PussyCat on Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:41 am

Hi, Jay

I'm not sure where to begin...

Anyway, I wasn't criticising the quality of the Broadcom drivers but install/availabilty issues (can't find them at all for WinXP!).

I said I was reluctant to go to the trouble of hardwiring (ie ethernet cable) to my router just to resolve what shouldn't be a problem. Furthermore the messages and system do not give me an option of from where or by what mechanism it is to be installed/activited. Clearly it is on the livecd - somewhere. Also the Package Manager says the drivers are installed!

I believe the linux driver is available from the Broadcom site but am intrigued by the anomaly - or is it deliberate?

What happens between purring on the livecd and installation? Is there some kind of legal issue between the two situations?

[PS Googling suggests that the propriety STA driver is much more effective - speed/range - than the free B43]
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Re: Broadcom (STA or BCM43xx) driver problem

Postby Jay514 on Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:15 pm

PussyCat wrote:Hi, Jay

I'm not sure where to begin...

Anyway, I wasn't criticising the quality of the Broadcom drivers but install/availabilty issues (can't find them at all for WinXP!).
Thats Cool, BTW they are for Linux Not win or XP 8)
I said I was reluctant to go to the trouble of hardwiring (ie ethernet cable) to my router just to resolve what shouldn't be a problem. Furthermore the messages and system do not give me an option of from where or by what mechanism it is to be installed/activited. Clearly it is on the livecd - somewhere. Also the Package Manager says the drivers are installed!
You should have a Hardware Drivers Tool in your Menu under System, look around, find it , click on it, Let it scan your system, Find the STA Driver in the list, Hit enable,(make sure you are plugged up to the Internet) It will Download & install Automatically, You may have to reboot, Done.

I believe the linux driver is available from the Broadcom site but am intrigued by the anomaly - or is it deliberate?
No, See Instructions Above :!:
What happens between purring on the livecd and installation? Is there some kind of legal issue between the two situations?
No, you just do not see it , & or it is hidden.
[PS Googling suggests that the propriety STA driver is much more effective - speed/range - than the free B43]

I think I recommended that you try & install the STA Driver previously.
I hope this resolves your issues :D
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Re: Broadcom (STA or BCM43xx) driver problem

Postby bobcollard on Mon May 03, 2010 3:28 pm

It depends on which Distro you are using. PC/OS has the driver installed at installation and on the live dvd.
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Re: Broadcom (STA or BCM43xx) driver problem

Postby PussyCat on Sun May 09, 2010 3:39 pm

Sorry I haven't responded earlier but for some reason was having difficulty logging in, fired off several complaining emails and even requested a change of password. All to no apparent avail but on reflection it was my own aberration (ie temporary insanity), typing in my email address (as demanded by most forums and login procedures) as my username!

Jay, I think you missed almost every point.

Bob, this is the first time that I have had any distro (including Mint) fail to properly install the drivers having correctly identified and "activated" at the livecd stage - though "activation" is a new departure.

Anyway, I finally bit the bullet and took Jay's earlier suggestion, taking the netbook close enough to my router to (successfully) hard wire a temporary connection. As previously stated SPM showed the drivers as installed but nevertheless marked them for re-installation and a few seconds later all was well! But thank you both for your contributuions.

PS Finally got wifi working in XP too - and that was even more problematical than Mint on this netbook!
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Re: Broadcom (STA or BCM43xx) driver problem

Postby MrD on Sun May 09, 2010 6:59 pm

Did you get the original question answered about why the drivers are not on the computer when you install? I don't think you did. It is because the Ubuntu community demands a clear conscience with software and thus will not put anything on that bugs them in that respect. The broadcom drivers as I believe are not totally free and open source.

This means a user like yourself and myself when Ubuntu is installed, will have free ethernet drivers available, but not wifi with our Broadcom wifi chipset. We have to connect via ethernet, then click to recognise the wifi chipset, accept one of the options and have them downloaded and installed. It is just the way of things really. As an end user, a lot of us couldn't care about the open source issue where there is no other viable option, but we have to live with it. It is good that the hardware is recognised and there is a way to voluntarily download them and I thank the developers of Mint for allowing that. It is the least of our problems really in the whole grand scheme of things:)
Dell Inspiron 1520 - T6570 2.1ghz C2D, 4 gigs ram, integrated Intel 965 GPU, Intel replacement wifi card.
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Re: Broadcom (STA or BCM43xx) driver problem

Postby PussyCat on Sun May 09, 2010 7:33 pm

Yes, you're right. I didn't get an explanation though pointers to solutions were offered.

But it's a bit of a tease if we are not given a warning and the drivers are shown as installed within SPM and the same problem occurs if we select the B43 "free" driver. And I implied earlier that, in the case of wifi, it seems peculiar to Broadcom (and it's not too easy getting them for XP either).

I have encountered issues with graphics drivers (I can't remember whether ATI or nVidia) but one is given the option whether to install a proprietary driver without having to ferret around to resolve it - which is not problematical if we already have a wifi connection!!
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