HP dv9920us, F.32, 104 Unsupported Wireless Device BIOS Modification

DISCLAIMER:

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* Though this worked for us, you may have different results. YOU USE THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK! *
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Problem:

BIOS white-listing caused the "104 Unsupported Wireless Device" message to be displayed and boot to halt when the GN-WS50G-RH card was inserted.

Background:

Purchased HP laptop, but wanted to use Atheros-based Mini-PCI-E card (GN-WS50G-RH), not Intel. The HP dv9920us is dual-boot with Ubuntu and WIn Vista. I was using the janky method of booting the HP Laptop with the Intel card, pausing the system at my bootloader menu (GRUB), swapping the Intel card for the Atheros card, then continuing boot Ubuntu. This just got annoying and the Intel card continually disconnected and reconnected from the AP so frequently it was unusable. I tried several suggested solutions regarding the Broadcom drivers which did not work.

Helpful References:


DISCLAIMER:

*********************************************************************************************
* Though this worked for us, you may have different results. YOU USE THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK! *
*********************************************************************************************

Tools Used:

  • Phoenix BIOS Editor Pro Release 2.2.0.1 (you are on your own for acquiring this, other versions may work just fine. This is the one we used)
  • Notepad++ (http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/) w/ Hex Editor plug-in
  • Win XP or Vista - based host OS (HP BIOS Updater is Win-centric :( )
  • Bootable Linux CD or Linux distro installed on laptop for the use of lspci for card information.
  • dv9920us latest WinFlash and BIOS (F.32, as of 31 Jan 2010) from: ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp42501-43000/sp42853.exe
  • WinRAR

Prep:

Download and install all tools listed above.

DISCLAIMER:

*********************************************************************************************
* Though this worked for us, you may have different results. YOU USE THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK! *
*********************************************************************************************

Procedure:

  1. Use WinRAR to extract all the files within sp42853.exe. Keep track of the directory name you use. For the purposes of this document, we will use c:\temp\sp42853_mod 
  2. Start Phoenix BIOS Editor and open c:\temp\sp42852_mod\30CFF32A.WPH . NOTE: Error/warning messages appear to not affect the rebuilding of the BIOS nor the functionality... so far as we have noticed anyway. Once the BIOS Editor has been started you should see something similar to the following:

  3. The BIOS Editor window is ignored for now. Minimize if you want. The Editor needs to be opened so you can access the temporary files it creates.  These temporary files are the uncompressed contents of the .WPH file. With Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\Program Files\Phoenix Technologies Ltd\BIOS Editor\TEMP. Find BIOSCOD2.ROM and right-click and select "Edit with Notepad++" (or any other method you prefer to open the file with Notepad++). Then activate the Hex Editor Notepad++ Plugin (Plugins --> HEX-Editor --> View in HEX)