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I am using an Alienware M11xR2 with i5 processor. My wifi stopped working after update. Its broadcom BCM43224. Pci id is [14e4:4353]. I don't have a wired network connection to use nor do I have a cd of Ubuntu 12.10. Please provide links for packages. Also instructions to install it from home directory. I have tried myself for the past week looking at other questions but the process in other questions goes to the internet. Also I am too tired to search more. I m currently using internet through windows and so can access this page only via this. please help..

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1 Answer 1

Here's what you want to do:

  1. Boot into Windows - that's the only OS you have with internet access - and open your browser. Use it to download the following file: http://mirror.pnl.gov/ubuntu//pool/restricted/b/bcmwl/bcmwl-kernel-source_5.100.82.112+bdcom-0ubuntu3_amd64.deb (or see any of the mirrors here).
  2. Reboot into Ubuntu and Move the downloaded .deb file into you home directory. Double-click it to install.
  3. Reboot, and connect to the internet. Install the drivers properly using the Additional Drivers tab in the Software Sources program.

The package file installs the kernel module (that is, the device driver) into the kernel, so that the core system can recognize and use the device. What I think happened is that when you updated your kernel (the kernel-related packages, by default, are linux-image-generic, linux-headers-generic, linux-headers-X.X.X-YY, linux-headers-X.X.X-YY-generic, linux-image-X.X.X-YY-generic, and linux-image-extra-X.X.X-YY-generic), the driver was not carried over into the new kernel. The kernel uses a program called "dkms" (stands for Dynamic Kernel Module Support) to ensure that all the appropriate kernel modules, which include device drivers such as for your wireless card, are built for each new kernel. If a kernel module, particularly one that comes from somewhere other than the kernel itself, is not "registered" with dkms, it will not be carried over and built into the new kernel, and the device it is responsible for will fail. For your wireless card, a kernel module was built externally and was not originally part of your kernel, and it wasn't registered with dkms. Step 3 will ensure that it is.

There's a very handy document here (if you haven't seen it already) that has a lot of helpful details about Broadcom chips and Linux.

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Thank You. Can you also tell me the names of the updates that affected this wifi driver? :) Just for knowledge sake. –  Anooj Feb 12 '13 at 15:32
    
Yup, I have added some more details to my answer. –  Richard Feb 12 '13 at 18:17
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