05-02-2010 08:35 PM
So, the Realtek card that comes by default with the X100e kinda sucks. It sucks a little bit in Windows 7, and it sucks a lot in Linux. As I'm looking to spend most of my time in Linux as the development I do is a pain in the rear in Windows, I was hoping to swap the wireless card out for something with an Atheros or even an Intel chipset.
Now, I'm aware of the BIOS lock/1802 error that has been around in other IBM and Lenovo ThinkPads, so I would not be surprised if that's the case with the X100e. Has anyone attempted a switch on this? Am I limited to the Realtek or the Intel 5100 cards, or would any recent Lenovo-branded wireless card theoretically work? Is there a way to sniff for the allowed cards in the BIOS?
I may pull apart a T61 this week just to see if that card works in the X100e, but if anyone has immediate answers, that would be awesome.
05-02-2010 10:09 PM
The X100e uses a half-height Mini-PCIe card, so you will need a card that is in this smaller form-factor. Here's a list of half-height Mini-PCIe cards you might try:
Atheros AR5B95 (Atheros AR9285 chipset, 802.11b/g/n)
Broadcom BCM94312 (Broadcom 4312 chipset, 802.11a/b/g)
Broadcom BCM94322 (Broadcom 4322 chipset, 802.11a/g/n)
Dell Wireless 1397 (Broadcom 4312 chipset, 802.11b/g)
Dell Wireless 1510 (Broadcom chipset?, 802.11a/b/g/n)
GigaByte GN-WS32L (Ralink RT3090 1T1R chipset, 802.11b/g/n)
Intel WiFi Link 1000 (112BN_HMW chipset, 802.11b/g/n)
Intel WiFi Link 5100 (512AN_HMW chipset, 802.11a/b/g/n)
Intel WiFi Link 5150 (512ANX_HMW chipset, 801.11a/b/g/n, WiMAX)
Intel WiFi Link 5300 (533AN_HMW chipset, 802.11a/b/g/n)
This list was put together in large part by looking at seller's descriptions through eBay, so I am not 100% certain of the specifications. Be sure to verify as best as you can that the device will work in your X100e. Also, the Intel cards reportedly only work in notebooks with Intel CPUs and chipsets.
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05-03-2010 06:13 AM
Thanks for that list, Aryeh. Most of those may not work due to the BIOS whitelist forcing you to use Lenovo cards. I'm wondering if I can put a full height MiniPCIe card in the second slot, as I don't have the WWAN/GPS card.
05-03-2010 08:33 AM
05-03-2010 08:50 AM
Just so this is listed here before I go trying stuff out. The x100e HMM confirms that the BIOS is locked and will report the 1802 error if an invalid card is inserted.
The HMM also states that the applicable FRUs for the x100e are 43Y6553 (ThinkPad 11b/g/n Wireless LAN Mini-PCI Express Adapter II), 60Y3177 (ThinkPad 11b/g/n Wireless LAN Mini-PCI Express Adapter II), 60Y3195 (Intel Centrino Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250, WW SKU), and 60Y3209 (Intel Centrino Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250, Russia SKU)
05-03-2010 11:51 AM
05-04-2010 05:45 PM
Finally I got the notebook.
As supposed connectify was not functional (it won't see the wifi card at all)
After the driver update (winsows update, not the lenovo one) a new driver was found, and now I have my mobile access point.
So the problem is (at least) half solved.
I haven't tried linux atm, maybe tomorrow I'll take a look if the master mode works.
05-07-2010 06:37 PM
Since there's no way of patching the BIOS to remove the whitelist of allowed wifi cards, I tried some other options. One that worked was covering pin 20 of a Lenovo-branded Intel Wifi Link 5100 card into the WWAN slot and using the antenna cables for the WWAN device. This worked, but it's a kludge.
I did a search for Lenovo Wifi on ebay, and discovered that there were two options available for a half-length mini-PCI express card:
I know that a Centrino 6200 card does work - I swapped it in while the laptop was asleep and it worked. However, it's hard to find places that have it in stock for under $150 - it's a field replaceable unit from IBM with the part number 60Y3231. The cheapest price I found for it is $88, available here:
I personally have the Intel Wifi Link 5100 model mentioned above in my X100e, and it works flawlessly.
06-15-2010 10:56 AM
I ended up putting a Lenovo branded half height Intel 5100 from a T400s, and it worked without issue. Wireless no longer sucks on the X100e!
Thanks, Skawt, for the direction!
(btw, I found it on eBay for under $30. A bargain, if you ask me.)
06-16-2010 12:25 AM
The Lenovo branded Intel WiFi link 5100 card (FRU 43Y6517) does work in the X100e. However, the Lenovo branded Intel Centrino 6200 card (FRU 60Y3261) will report a BIOS error. It will not work. I've tried this on my X100e and am currently using the 5100.