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  1. #1

    Question Problem upgrading Mini-PCI-Express WIFI card, Please HELP!!!

    Hello all and thanks for taking the time to read this,

    Recently i bought a new laptop, an Acer Travelmate 4202WLMi, i was gonna post this in the Acer section, but its more of a general comment so i thought it was more appropriet here.

    The laptop comes with the Intel Pro Wireless 3945 a/b/g mini-pci-e card. its this super small wifi card, about the size of a stamp. I bought an upgrade to this card, so i would be able to use the wifi in linux, the Atheros AR5006EX chipset, in a card manufactured by PCD Global (only other company currently making pci-express wifi cards)

    When i installed this new card everything worked fine except for the RF/Radio kill switch, it remains permanently 'off' and the led never comes on. Other than this the driver installed fine, and i could even run the diagnostics tools which came with the driver, that had a troubleshooting section. When i run the troubleshooting it says that the card is detected and the driver is fine, and everything else is fine EXCEPT that the card is "Hardware Disabled", but the radio switch does not help me at all!!!!

    At first i found some crazier hacks like these ones, which were for pci mini and not pci-e mini, so i decided to read them, but not attempt any of them:
    this guy actualy added a normally closed switch in series with pin 48 to block the IDSEL messages during bootup and bipass the wireless whitelist.
    And this other dood hacked appart his bios untill he could edit the whitelist entries and add a new entry for his new card. And this third dood changed cards id by modifing the EEProm so the bios would like the card, but this has issues with driver recognition.
    The thing is i think none of these methods are necessary, because i dont get the 404 -unsupported device error, its just that i cant use my toggle on/off.

    So, i've done alot of research on this topic and found a few interesting things. The first thing was a guide for mini-pci cards having the same problem:
    Under an older acer model, the fix specifies to: "Get some tape to isolate pins 11 and 13 (these are right next to the antennas' contacts) which are really pins 6 and 7 because the pins' numbering is done alternating sides on the card."

    So i decided to lookup what these pins actually do, which is when i found this:
    Which specifies pins 11 and 13 as being:
    11- LED1_GRNP Interface for external LEDs
    13- LED1_GRNN RF Silent input
    Which makes a whole lot of sense! So i decided to lookup a pinnout for the newer wireless cards, namely the one i have, the PCI-Express mini card, and i found this document:
    which is the pci-sig definitions of how this card is supposed to opperate. I looked in this document and found the pinouts (page 31, section 3-3)... and this is where im stuck, theres now 3 pins that control the led, and others that perhaps control the RF, but im not sure. Theres nothing that directly says its for the RF kill switch, expect pin #1 which is WAKE#, presumeably takes the card out of sleep mode.

    The other problem is that this version of PCI-Sig is old, and the up to date version costs $150 on their website, its possible perhaps taht the pinout definitions have changed.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2


    Hello Adrian,

    I have same problem with AR5008 miniPCI express card. Did You solve this problem?


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