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I'm running 11.10 on a Dell Inspiron N4010 (14R) and can't get my wireless settings to stick after a reboot. As the title states, the first thing I do when using a fresh install is to get synaptic running and install b43-fwcutter and firmware-b43-installer. So, upon rebooting, I am forced to use the wired connection which, strangely, will then detect my wireless network, and I can unplug the cable and use wireless until the next reboot. Btw- wireless works fine when booting from a live-usb.

The following is the output from sudo lshw -c network:

   description: Wireless interface
   product: BCM4313 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller
   vendor: Broadcom Corporation
   physical id: 0
   bus info: pci@0000:03:00.0
   logical name: wlan0
   version: 01
   serial: 1c:65:9d:99:10:2c
   width: 64 bits
   clock: 33MHz
   capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
   configuration: broadcast=yes driver=brcmsmac driverversion=3.0.0-12-generic firmware=N/A ip=192.168.1.2 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bgn
   resources: irq:17 memory:f0500000-f0503fff

Thanks in advance for any advice you all might have!

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1 Answer

You don't want to use b43-fwcutter for the BCM4313. That's not the right driver.

The right driver is the brcm80211 driver which (firmware aside) is completely open source and should be in the kernel. Just to confuse things, I think somebody changed the name of this driver after the 2.6.28 kernel (where it made its debut) so I'm not sure exactly what you should be looking for.

But this is why the live environment "just works". It's using the default out-the-box driver and it's working.

I'd recommend that you remove everything to do with fwcutter. I don't know what that driver does so you might have to scrape around in the blacklist files (in /etc/modprobe.d/). Running this might help:

grep -R 'brcm' /etc/modprobe.d/*

If it pulls anything up, comment out the line (stick a # at the beginning), save and restart. You'll obviously need to edit those files as root: sudoedit /etc/modprobe.d/...

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As a side note: In older versions of Ubuntu there was a STA driver available through Jockey (the Additional Drivers doobrie). This driver did work. It wasn't as stable as the brcm80211 driver (for me) but it did the job. If that's still available, that might be worth a go. –  Oli Oct 13 '11 at 23:46
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