Lately I worked on some personal projects and I was kind of busy… Anyway, last night I was exploring the option of upgrading my old mini-pci wireless a/b card in my old X31 laptop with a cheap one either b/g or a/b/g (Intel 2200BG or 2915ABG).
Well, sounds easy, but IBM don’t want to let you play with their hardware that much. Most of the IBM laptops have a wireless card whitelist defined in their BIOS, when you try to change an IBM card with a non-IBM card, your laptop will thrown an error right after IBM screen. Something like: “1802: Unauthorized network card is plugged in”. Seems that this is a very common issue and there are tons of discussions on the net related to this.
Anyway, after a short research, I narrow down my options: 1) modify laptop BIOS to add the card on the white list (pretty much risky), 2) modify the firmware card to use IBM’s VID rather then the original VID (less risky but Windows may use wrong drivers) and 3) change the BIOS not to use the whitelist… I chose to go with the last one.
I did another search looking for the this solution and I come along this page http://www.command-tab.com/2006/02/26/thinkpad-1802-error-fix/. I tried this and works perfect! Now I can even use HP Wireless cards (also “locked” on my laptop without issues).