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--Edit-- (in case I need to see this again)

After a clean install this worked: Your device uses the driver b43 and proprietary firmware. The Broadcom STA driver which provides wl is not appropriate. Please get a temporary wired ethernet connection and do:

sudo apt-get remove --purge bcmwl-kernel-source

If it isn't installed, just proceed.

sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree
sudo modprobe -r b43 && sudo modprobe b43

You should be all set.

--

Thank you guys!!

Tried using the Additional Drivers gui and that didn't work. Tried using jockey-text --list

kmod:wl - Broadcom STA proprietary wireless driver (Proprietary, Disabled, Not in use) [auto-install]

Tried using jockey-text --enable=kmod:wl this was the response

Sorry, the installation of this driver failed.
Please have a look at the log file for details: /var/log/jockey.log

From the log file:

2013-02-09 00:49:57,904 DEBUG: BroadcomWLHandler enabled(): kmod disabled, bcm43xx: blacklisted, b43: enabled, b43legacy: enabled
2013-02-09 00:50:05,572 WARNING: modinfo for module wl failed: ERROR: modinfo: could not find module wl
2013-02-09 00:50:05,572 WARNING: /sys/module/wl/drivers does not exist, cannot rebind wl driver
2013-02-09 00:50:05,600 DEBUG: BroadcomWLHandler enabled(): kmod disabled, bcm43xx: blacklisted, b43: enabled, b43legacy: enabled 

Now it looks and feels like I'm doing everything right and the similar searchs seemed to suggest doing what I've done, so what am I doing wrong and how does one enable this driver? second to last line of the log suggests the file or directory is missing, is there somewhere I can get a linux broadcom driver from to put in that directory? If it's missing why is it in the list?

Please help, while the graphics driver is only partially supported it has given me the right resolution, and everything runs without crashing (but the system information says it's an unknown graphics card, I can live with that) but without the wireless card working I have sit really close to the router thanks to a very short cable...

Hopefully I've given enough information, please send Linux.Ninjas to help.

--

OK, used.

lspci|grep Network 

not sure if that would give differentt results but I got

01:00.0 Network Controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g (rev 01) 

so then used

iwconfig 

and got

lo no wireless extensions. 
wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg ESSID:off/any 
mode:managed access point not-associated tx-power=0 dbm 
Retry long limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off power management:on 

eth0 no wireless extensions

--

After @Chili555 advice I did

sudo apt-get remove --purge bcmwl-kernel-source

But got

E: dpkg was interupted, you must manually run 'sudo dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem.

When I do it runs ok, but then crashes and freezes. Halway through it says that it's fixing recurrent problems but needs rebooting, then gets to a line "End of trace" and thats where it halts.

share|improve this question
1  
Let's double-check what device you have: lspci -nn | grep 0280 –  chili555 Feb 9 '13 at 1:25
    
@ chili555 OK, used. lspci|grep Network not sure if that would give differentt results but I got 01:00.0 Network Controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g (rev 01) so then used iwconfig and got lo no wireless extensions. wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg ESSID:off/any mode:managed access point not-associated tx-power=0 dbm Retry long limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off power management:on eth0 no wireless extensions can't seem to get my head around the system for adding line breaks. Sorry. –  Myranda Feb 9 '13 at 11:55
    
@Myranda Please edit your question to provide additional information. Comments are not fit for this. It's how this Q&A site works - it's not a discussion forum. –  gertvdijk Feb 9 '13 at 13:45
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Your device uses the driver b43 and proprietary firmware. The Broadcom STA driver which provides wl is not appropriate. Please get a temporary wired ethernet connection and do:

sudo apt-get remove --purge bcmwl-kernel-source

If it isn't installed, just proceed.

sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree
sudo modprobe -r b43 && sudo modprobe b43

You should be all set.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks chili, but I've encountered a new problem, as requested by gertvdijk I've added new info to the main text - probably explains why it was so hard to get the text to look right in the comment. –  Myranda Feb 9 '13 at 14:35
    
This is going to make me cry. –  Myranda Feb 9 '13 at 21:08
    
This is going to make me cry. the 'sudo apt-get remove --purge bcmwl-kernel-source' refuses to work because I need to run 'sudo dpkg..." if I do that it crashes. if I don't I can't get rid. The gui part of the OS crashes. Much frustration! –  Myranda Feb 9 '13 at 21:17
    
THANK YOU! After a clean install that worked so well I was actually shocked that my laptop had auto-detected my router. Thank you... You've saved my mind. –  Myranda Feb 10 '13 at 8:44
    
Glad it's working! –  chili555 Feb 10 '13 at 18:11
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