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Can't change MAC address of my wireless card on Windows XP

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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November 13, 2010 11:21:26 AM

Dear Forum Members,

I have recently bought a notebook, Lenovo IdeaPad G550L (I haven't found section for the G series here on the forum) and would like to use its WiFi adapter (BCM4310 according to Everest) with explicitly changed MAC address. I installed the recommended driver, available from Lenovo's website, version 5.10.38.14. I tried the common way to change the MAC address, went to Control Panel -> Network Interfaces -> Broadcom Wireless Network Adapter -> Configure... -> Advanced -> Locally administered MAC address, and changed it to a different address (without ":" or any separator characters). Unfortunately this common solution won't work at all. Although, no error messages are produced when changing it (so it seems successful) my wireless router shows me the original MAC address of my integrated wifi card. Tried to restart my computer, my router, everything.

* Tried different drivers, downloaded a driver from HP which had a separate wireless configurator, Broadcom Wireless Utility. It worked like the driver from Lenovo (except this one hasn't got the utility), but I was still unable to change my MAC address.

* Tried a different driver from SoftPedia, version 5.10.79.14 (this is newer than Lenovo's), it didn't work either.

* Tried Nathan True's MACShift utility. It seemed to change the MAC address, but my router showed the original, so it didn't.

* Tried to look for official Broadcom drivers on www.broadcom.com but found nothing for BCM4310.

* Finally, I booted my alternative OS, the latest Ubuntu Linux, and used the kernel driver b43 for my wireless adapter. I tried to change my MAC address using the command ifconfig wlan0 hw ether .... and connected to my network. It worked, my router showed the changed MAC so the hardware (or the firmware) is capable of doing this by the right driver/firmware.

I tried to address Broadcom with the issue, sent them a letter like this post they replied that they are not competent, they wrote the following (I guess this was an automatically generated message because it got back in 10 seconds ) from website_feedback@broadcom.com:

Quote:
As the chipset supplier, Broadcom provides driver support to our customers - the manufacturers of wireless devices - that ultimately provide products to end customers, such as wireless LAN vendors, cable modem vendors, and notebook providers. It is up to these manufacturers to provide product-specific drivers and software support to their end customers. Please contact the manufacturer of your wireless device for their current drivers



Then I addressed Lenovo with the problem, their answer:
Quote:
Dear ******,

Thank you for contacting Lenovo, the makers of ThinkPad and ThinkCentre products. As I understand, you have purchased a Lenovo IdeaPad G550L and would like to use its WiFi adapter (BCM4310 according to Everest) with explicitly change MAC address.and you would like to know is there an official driver for Windows XP that allows you this basic feature like b43 in Linux. We apologize,Please do speak with our Idea pad technical Team at 877-453-6686 Option 1-2-1-2 for further assistance.

If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at 866-42-THINK (84465) option number 2. We will be happy to assist at that time.

Once again, thank you for contacting Lenovo.

Sincerely,
************
Lenovo Websales/CustServe


So this means I should call them and spend extra money for phone bill of international calls because of their fault of providing a basic feature that is to be expected from every single wireless card in the market. Should I believe that a guide over the phone is more efficient than a step-by-step solution or a link to an alternative driver? I'm getting kind of disappointed. At least they have understood (or copy-pasted) my problem, dutch comfort though.

Any ideas? Anyone experienced the same problem and solved it? Is there an official (or even unofficial) driver for this device for Windows XP that allows me this basic feature (like b43 in Linux)?

Thanks in advance,
stringZ
November 13, 2010 7:56:12 PM

Tried it, unfortunately it does not work :(  I guess it's way too old.
Related resources
November 13, 2010 10:07:32 PM

I guess another reason to switch to Linux
November 19, 2010 8:00:29 AM

Well, this is not a fault of Windows XP but the driver provided by Broadcom or Leovo.
December 13, 2010 6:36:03 PM

Unfortunately I still haven't found any solution. Is there anyone who could help?
November 21, 2011 9:00:37 PM

The number you cited above is a toll-free (866) number, so it may not even work from a different country.
You should at least try it, though.
November 21, 2011 9:15:02 PM

This topic has been closed by Area51reopened
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