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Transferred miniPCI Broadcom wifi card into Presario 2100

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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December 28, 2010 6:06:36 PM

I had an HP zv6000 with a Broadcom wifi miniPCI card. The HP began having problems to the point where the USB and DVD drive would not work.

I inherited a Compaq Presario 2100 a few months ago that is slightly older but had an empty miniPCI slot for a wifi card. I thought it would be simple enough to take the wifi card and antennae out of the HP and put them into the Compaq, when all is said and done I get TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE range. If I'm within 5-10 feet of the router its gets full signal strength/speed, but if I move 20 feet away, the speed drops to about 1 Mb/s (brings back memories of 56K). I've installed both XP and Ubuntu (now running Ubuntu) on the Compaq using the manufacturers XP drivers and the linux unofficial drivers and get the same results. I've configured the antennae multiple different ways (to mimic how they were when I removed them from the HP originally) and nothing seems to help. Is it simply a hardware incompatibility, or do I need to modify the BIOS? It seems to me if it was either of these two, the card would not work at all? Is this flawed logic? Any help is greatly appreciated
December 28, 2010 6:16:33 PM

If it's a mini PCI card out of a latpop then it should have had antennae cables attached to it. Unfortunately, in laptops these cables run all the way up through to the monitor, so removing those is an excruciating pain in the padded ass.
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December 28, 2010 7:36:27 PM

It was a pain, I had to disassemble the monitor/lid but I did remove the antennae from the HP and put them in the Compaq with the wifi card. Thats why I don't understand why my signal is so bad. All of the required hardware for the wifi card is now in the Compaq (wifi card + both antennae). And its no surprise that putting the antennae into the Compaq was as big a pain as it was to remove them from the HP. :p 
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December 29, 2010 5:26:47 PM

Are there any wifi or miniPCI options in bios usually?
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December 29, 2010 5:29:59 PM

solarpowertoast said:
Are there any wifi or miniPCI options in bios usually?


Not to my knowledge. Though one idea I just had was to check and see if there are any power savings features enabled and disable those.
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December 29, 2010 5:38:42 PM

I'll give that a try. I know that the BIOS has a password that possibly was set by the person that gave the Compaq to me so I'll have to figure out how to bypass that. I'm sure he wouldn't remember what the password was since I don't think he knows for sure what a BIOS is :p  I know I didn't set it and I tried a few of the default Compaq BIOS passwords I found online and none worked.
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December 29, 2010 5:48:42 PM

solarpowertoast said:
I'll give that a try. I know that the BIOS has a password that possibly was set by the person that gave the Compaq to me so I'll have to figure out how to bypass that. I'm sure he wouldn't remember what the password was since I don't think he knows for sure what a BIOS is :p  I know I didn't set it and I tried a few of the default Compaq BIOS passwords I found online and none worked.


If you open up the system there should be a watch battery somewhere on the motherboard. Remove this and boot the machine. BIOS password gone :D 
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December 29, 2010 5:55:27 PM

Awesome! That sounds easier than what I had intended to do. I'll give that shot tonight.
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December 30, 2010 2:19:57 PM

So I removed the battery on the mobo but the BIOS password is still there. I'm not sure what to do now
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December 30, 2010 2:36:09 PM

solarpowertoast said:
So I removed the battery on the mobo but the BIOS password is still there. I'm not sure what to do now


You may have to unplug the computer and let it sit for some time. After you unplug the computer, hold down the power button until all of the LEDs on the motherboard are off. This will discharge any residual power left in the computer. Keep the battery removed. Let the system sit for 10 minutes and try it again. If that doesn't work, do the same thing, except let it sit for 24 hrs. If that doesn't work, props to Compaq for making a good BIOS password protection system, because you ain't gettin' in :p 
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December 30, 2010 2:43:37 PM

Haha. Hopefully I'll have some time this weekend to take the laptop apart... again. Every time I do it I seem to have more screws in my hand than before I took it apart :p 
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December 30, 2010 2:46:39 PM

solarpowertoast said:
Haha. Hopefully I'll have some time this weekend to take the laptop apart... again. Every time I do it I seem to have more screws in my hand than before I took it apart :p 


Eh... Still computes the same, right? :p 
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December 30, 2010 2:57:30 PM

Yea... A little more portable though... looses a little weight each time!!
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