Ubuntu 7.04 on a Dell Inspiron 710m

Well I got sometime today to reinstall my campus issued laptop with Feisty. Originally I had it dual booting with Windows XP and Ubuntu 6.10 (Beryl Desktop / Pain in the @$$ wi-fi setup). I have to admit, I really was dreading the thought of having problems setting up my on-board Wi-fi card like last time.

So I booted off the Ubuntu Desktop CD-Rom and started installing Ubuntu using the manual partition option and selecting the already existing linux partition which I wanted formated and had to set it as the root / (Note – this was in my case since I already had an linux install I wanted to overwrite). Once that was done the rest was fairly straight forward. Now the tricky part was the wi-fi adapter which seem be detected but failed to work. So after checking out a few posts from the Ubuntu Forum, I came up with the following solution.

Download and install Automatix

Use Automatix to load Ndisdriver support – I know it’s not listed on the picture but if you haven’t installed it – It will be listed here.

Automatix - Ndiswrapper

Use the Tutorial from the link –


Here is what basically written on the forum post – I’ve changed a few things such as the driver link. Great Thanks and props to nbound for the How-To.

Blacklist native bcm43xx drivers

* Edit Blacklist file
sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

* Add the line to the file blacklist:
blacklist bcm43xx

* After saving type at the terminal:

sudo rmmod bcm43xx

Get windows drivers and install them

* A) Download and extract windows drivers to a folder of your choice.

For Dell Inspiron 710m – Patched Drivers for Broadcom Wi-fi Vulnerability – Dell Wireless 1470 Dual-Band WLAN miniPCI Card Driver

I know it’s a different card – this driver covers the one for the 710m.

Updated 6/12/07 A list of supported Wifi devices with the driver mentioned above.

Dell Wireless 1470 Dual-Band WLAN miniPCI Card Driver

Network: Dell _Wireless (US) WLAN Card, Wireless 1350 WLAN MiniPCI Card, Wireless 1350 WLAN PC Card, Wireless 1370 WLAN MiniPCI Card, Wireless 1390 WLAN ExpressCard, Wireless 1390 WLAN MiniCard, Wireless 1450 WLAN miniPCI Card, Wireless 1470 Dual-Band WLAN miniPCI Card, Wireless 1490 Dual-Band WLAN MiniCard, Wireless 1500 Draft 802.11n WLAN mini Card, Driver

* Install the driver in ndiswrapper:
sudo ndiswrapper -i /location_of_your_wireless_driver/bcmwl5.inf

* Check to see if hardware found
sudo ndiswrapper -l

* If hardware not found and you are sure you followed the howto you have a different card and this howto will not work.

Setup ndiswrapper to load driver (and itself) at startup

* Edit the following file:

sudo gedit /etc/modules

* Add a line which says:


* Restart your laptop

During restart the “Wireless On” light for your laptop should turn on or flash depending on your setup ( Results may vary)

* If light does not show try pressing wireless button (incase left in off mode)

Setup Wireless Card in Networking (Manual setup is also fine)

* System -> Administration -> Networking
* Enable wireless connection and configure all the settings
* Disable wired connection (wireless and wired connections may not work simultaneously – your mileage may vary in this regard, if it doesnt work, it should after extra tinkering that isnt covered here)
* Use the internet/LAN!

Well my wi-fi is up and running now. Next I gotta get my Beryl desktop online and video player setup. Guess I’ll be covering that in a future post.

Edit Update 6/10/07: I forgot that we needed to use the synaptic packager manager to install the 915resolution fix for our screen resolution. It’s there in the list of packages without having to search for it – 915resolution – it will give you 1280 x 800 widescreen resolution without having all the fonts look so big. If you prefer the larger font – I guess you can hold off on installing this package.

We’ll need it for the Beryl install later.



9 Responses to “Ubuntu 7.04 on a Dell Inspiron 710m”

  1. odzangba Says:

    I followed your instructions and I have reboot to see if it worked… I’m still waiting automatix to finish doing its stuff. I’ll tell you if it worked. 🙂

  2. dhashi Says:

    Hi Odzangba,

    I’ll love to hear how things went – keep me posted!


  3. odzangba Says:

    Great how-to man, it worked like a charm. What beats me is why the Ubuntu developers shipped a driver that simply did not work… I guess these things do happen.


  4. dhashi Says:

    Hi Odzangba,

    Sorry about this late reply, it’s been a busy week, and I haven’t had time to even look at my blog. I agree with you about shipping a driver that doesn’t seem to work, I had a another co-worker with the same laptop trying to load Red Hat Fedora Core 6 which showed the proper Wlan hardware, but it simply didn’t work. I tried to use the ndiswrapper in his case – but man what a difference Ubuntu makes in setting things up in terms of comparison.

    I’ll try to post this week, I’m still trying to study up on my CCNA too.
    Take Care.


  5. Timmy Says:

    This was the third method I tried to get my 1450mini working on a E1705, and it worked right away.

    I used the March 22, 2007 driver though, R151519

  6. dhashi Says:

    Hi Timmy,

    Glad to hear you got it working! I too just realized that there was a more recent driver as well and did an update too.


  7. Abner Says:

    Hi dhashi.
    I am a newer user of Ubuntu. I have a Dell D520 instaled with Ubuntu 7.04. All work fine less than I can´t enable neither recognize my wireless interface and the wireless led stay off. All keyboards links are ok, sound, display bright and battery level short-cut. What can I do to fix this bug?

  8. dhashi Says:

    I apologize for the late reply, it might be that you need to toggle on your Wifi via your Laptop Function Key and the button that represents the Wifi card. It sometimes takes a little time to initialize too on my 710m. Hopefully you’ve discovered this by now.


  9. Christopher Says:

    I have a Inspiron 710m that I recently put Ubuntu 8.04 on. I had the wireless issue you mentioned and this resolved it.

    However, I also had a Standby/Hibernate issue which are both resolved now. Yet, I am still puzzled on an issue with ‘restart.’ When I try restart the machine it hangs on a black screen (blacklight still on but it is dark) no HD activity, just hangs there. I have to do a hard shut down by holding the power button down to get it moving.

    The other issue I am having is a similar freeze when attempting to play video (avi) files. the result is exactly the same. The player loads and then the screen goes dark.

    Any thoughts?

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