Upgrade HP laptop to unsupported WiFi card

I’ve got a HP dv2500 I bought in late 2007, as standard practice I’m constantly updating hardware to see how long I can stretch its useful life…  A while ago on Newegg I found a Wireless N card for just under $30: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106061 (discontinued) – try http://amzn.to/1RQummf, perfect right?  This card is also a mini-PCIe card, so I ended up getting a metal adapter off ebay.

At round 1 of installation I discovered the “104 unsupported wireless network device detected”.  Long story short, OEM manufacturers certify a small number of wireless cards for your machine – and they ship the BIOS with a specific whitelist.  Apparently its due to some kind of FCC rule/regulation about radiation, or power or wireless signals.  So I put everything on the shelf for almost a year.

Today I decided to have another round.  There are plenty of posts about editing the BIOS to add your card, remove the whitelist etc…  What i discovered today is there is a store of updated BIOSes for many computers with the whitelist already removed for you.  Here are the steps I took to get this working:

  1. Buy better wifi card
  2. Get and adapter if you need it, some take the whole card, some are a metal piece that just extends it.  I used:Half to Full Height Mini PCI Express(PCI-E) Card Bracket Adapter
  3. Get your latest BIOS download – look at the ROM version number (usually the name of the download).  Mine was “sp41959”, so I googled for “sp41959 bios whitelist
  4. Run the BIOS upgrade.
  5. Install the card
  6. At this point the card wasn’t being recognized, so I downloaded the latest Intel PROSet Wireless drivers, or use their automatic device detection tool: http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/detect/wireless-display
  7. Everything started working as normal, except much faster!  This computer is a dual-boot with Ubuntu 10 as well, I didn’t have to do anything additional to get the new card working on my Ubuntu partition after getting it running in Windows 7.
  8. Speed! 

1 thought on “Upgrade HP laptop to unsupported WiFi card

  1. Hi
    You have googled for “sp41959 bios whitelist”
    I am in the same boat as you but all links are broken
    Can you find this mod in your archive and send via mail?
    Any help would be great!

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