View Full Version : How to install Broadcom Wireless Drivers

11-15-2008, 05:56 PM

I have HP Pavilion and has a broadcom wireless card (dont know version etc).

I was having problem installing the NDIS driver for this card, but after much efforts I have been able to install the NDIS drivers.

I write this post to help others who might be having the problem.

As PCBSD (FreeBSD)has no drivers for Broadcom cards, one has to install something called NDIS drivers.

Here is what I did to install the drivers:
1. In Windows, where the driver is already installed, Using device manager I found the name of the driver file.
a. Right click on My Computer, Select Manage
b. Select Device Manager
c. Select Network Adapters
d. Here you will find the Broadcom driver list
e. Right click the broadcom entry and select Properties
f. Select Drivers tab on the top
g. Click Driver Details button
h. Here you will find an entry for the XXX.sys file (eg BCMWL5.sys)
i. note down this filename

2. Go to HP website and download the latest driver exe. For other cards, probably download all the files required for the installation of the driver in windows.

3. extract the exe file into a separate folder

4. Here you will find the XXX.sys(eg BCMWL5.sys) file Windows uses for the wireless driver. This is the file you need to use for NDIS drivers.
a. copy this file into a separate folder. (BCMWL5.sys)
b. there is one more file XXX.inf, ie with same name but last part as .inf (eg BCMWL5.inf)
c. these two files make the ndis driver. These will help the card get recognized, but will not make your card work.
d. look for other .sys files to try to get the firmware files.
e. you might have other files like XXX64.sys (e.g BCMWL564.sys) which is 64 bit version, which is not required.
f. I found XXXnpf.sys (eg BCMWLnpf.sys) which is basically Winpcap Netgroup Packet Filter Driver.
g. I found this by right clicking this file, going to version tab and checking the Product Name field.

5. copy these 3 files to a folder and boot into PC-BSD

6. run ndisgen as root to generate the drivers.
a. select option 3
b. follow the prompts
c. For inf file, give the full location of inf file
d. for driver file, give the full location of sys file
e. it will now ask for extra firmware files, where you will specify the location of 3rd file (BCMWLnpf.sys)
f. once the the driver has been converted, it will do some compilations.
h. If you get error at this stage, probably source code is not installed. install the source code via Add-Remove Programs Menu and start ndisgen again to make the drivers.

7. Once the drivers has been created, it will output multiple .ko files.

8. Test the drivers using the command: kldload ./XXX.ko (all the .ko files generated)
a. run dmesg to see ndis0 entries
b. if it doesnt work you will see error entries.
c. if you see ndis0 entries, the driver is working

I am not sure whether you need to copy these files to other directories but as per the following article (last part)
you should copy the files to /boot/kernel or /boot/modules folder as well modify /boot/loader.conf files.

Well I did not do and it somehow works. If it doesnt then do as the above article says in the last part and the card should be working.

Hope this helps someone in installing drivers for this dreadful card !!!