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I'm trying to connect to my wireless network at home after "trying" Ubuntu 12.04 desktop 64-bit from a USB flash drive (without installing). Is this even possible? I can connect to the Internet through my ethernet port just fine but wireless is not working. I have checked my BIOS settings and my wireless switches are enabled. I have a Dell Latitude D830. Any help would be appreciated since my hard drive just crashed and I ordered a new one but for now the only way to connect to the Internet is through Ubuntu, booted from a USB device.

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You may need drivers, are called firmware in Linux lingo. Try connecting your laptop with Ethernet and using the Additional Drivers tool (just search it in the dash). It will most likely find a driver for your machine.

If not, you may want to visit the Ubuntu Wireless Troubleshooting Guide or even the site of the old Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Driver project.

This latter option may be quite difficult if you are not a power user (involving intricacies with the kernel and heavy use of the terminal), but may be tried as a last resort.

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Thanks for the quick reply. I tried the additional drivers tool and it finds a drive which I can activate. However, it then says that it requires a reboot which when I do it wipes out the settings when it boots again because settings are not saved when booting from a usb flash drive. Is there any way to activate the drivers/services from the command line without rebooting? I tried a couple of things but is telling me that it cannot make changes because is read only media. Here is what I've tried: 7 sudo make wlunload b43 8 sudo modprobe b43 – RZBoris May 23 '12 at 20:45
@RZBoris You do this once you install Ubuntu fully. You don't need WiFi to install it. The good news is that it has found a driver, which will operate properly and be kept after a reboot if you do it on a fully installed system. – hexafraction May 23 '12 at 20:48
If you want to use Ubuntu form a flash drive, you can burn the setup disk to a CD and then use advanced partition setup to install Ubuntu to your Flash drive or external HDD(I often do this, just be careful to install to the right place :-) – hexafraction May 23 '12 at 20:49
ok thanks for the tips. So looks like the only way to use wireless is by installing stuff, i was hoping to use wireless without much issues for a couple of days until I get my new hard drive. oh well :-)thanks for your help! – RZBoris May 23 '12 at 20:53
If you have multiple flash drives, you can use one as the installer and install to the other. – hexafraction May 23 '12 at 21:16

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