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T43 Wifi MiniPCI Replacement procedure

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briatx
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T43 Wifi MiniPCI Replacement procedure

#1 Post by briatx » Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:46 pm

Hi,

I have a fairly new (6 month old) 15" T43 with the fingerprint reader, and I'm getting tired of the intel wifi card. I'm seriously considering swapping out for an atheros card, mainly for compatibility: both with access points and with OS's (freebsd, linux, osx).

There are times when my intel 2200 BG just won't connect, or will drop connections and reconnect. Its annoying. And while I could buy an atheros usb adapter... that's also annoying. I think an internal atheros card is pretty much the way to go.

I've read up on the procedure, and it requires: removing battery, removing hard drive, removing keyboard, removing fingerprint reader, removing front bezel, and finally removing the minipci card.

I've performed a keyboard swap already with no misshaps, but the above procedure seems a bit daunting. But I trust myself more to do it than some techmonkey getting paid 10 bucks an hours to swap it for me. Shipping it off is out of the question.

Is there anyone here that has "been there, done this"? Any tips, pitfalls to know about? I know there are some special screws and I need to get some special screwdriver... I forget what its called though.

Comments? Please? :)

Thanks,

brian

dr. zoidberg
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#2 Post by dr. zoidberg » Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:08 pm

i swapped the card on my t42 and I found that getting at the minipci card involved only a bit more work than removing the keyboard. Just make sure to put the screws back in the same hole they came from, since they may be different sizes.

In my case, I found that removing the antenna leads from the card required more force than I anticipated. Just be careful not to break anything :)
IBM T42 2373-3uu
Dothan 1.7Ghz @ 1.9GHz
120Gb Samsung HM121HC 5400rpm
1.5GB DDR333
14.1" SXGA+
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briatx
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#3 Post by briatx » Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:13 pm

Thanks for the reply. :) Yeah I do plan to be extremely careful.

Oh, while we're at it, does anyone know the difference in the atheros cards? Model I and II, respectively?

http://www-131.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/store ... d=10000001

http://www-131.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/store ... lCurrId=73

Nevermind about this... seems like the only thing the I gives you is channels 12,13...

Puttagee
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#4 Post by Puttagee » Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:47 pm

Well, since you've replaced the keyboard before this will be a walk in the park for you. The only difficulty will be with the antenna leads they are very small and as Dr. Zoidberg mentioned will require abit more force than expected.

Good luck....

zinkpad
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#5 Post by zinkpad » Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:10 am

My teenage son changed a WiFi card for me on the X41T. Just take off one screw, a plastic cover, two snap-in wire connections on the WiFi module, and then remove and replace the WiFi module from the slot. Piece of cake. The X41T had a 2915abg. It was changed to and IBM Card II (with Atheros). The wireless connectivity now is noticeably better in the basement which is the farthest point from the radio access point.

My Z60m also has a 2915abg. It seems to have better connectivity at far place from access point than the X41T with the same radio card and it normally works quite nicely. The problem is that when I switch Access Connection profile when moving to a different place and wake up from hibernation, the radio is always off. One way for me to bring the radio back to on is to power cycle the system.

underclocker
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#6 Post by underclocker » Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:47 am

It's a very easy swap, a bunch of screws and then two tiny antenna clips.

My brother has a T43 with the same problem. IBM provided another Intel 2200BG card after complaining, but with only marignally better results.

He can't connect to my DLink DI-524 (yes, firmware is current) unless in the same room. All other laptops, and I mean many, can connect anywhere in or around the house. It drives him nuts, he uses an Ethernet cable for a hard wire connection in my house!

All of the Atheros cards work great. B/G or A/B/G.

Haven't enough people complained about the 2200BG card? Where's the new firmware?!
T510, i7-620m, NVidia, HD+, 8GB, 180GB Intel Pro 1500 SSD, Webcam, BT, FPR Home
T400s, C2D SP9400, Intel 4500MHD, WXGA+, 8GB, 160GB Intel X18-M G2 SSD, Webcam, BT, FPR Travel
Edge 14 Core i5 | Edge 15 Core i3 | Edge 15 Athlon II

underclocker
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#7 Post by underclocker » Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:48 am

And another thing...

The funny thing is that this does not affect all T43's, it seems that just some have this issue. Even stranger and more frustrating...
T510, i7-620m, NVidia, HD+, 8GB, 180GB Intel Pro 1500 SSD, Webcam, BT, FPR Home
T400s, C2D SP9400, Intel 4500MHD, WXGA+, 8GB, 160GB Intel X18-M G2 SSD, Webcam, BT, FPR Travel
Edge 14 Core i5 | Edge 15 Core i3 | Edge 15 Athlon II

bill bolton
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#8 Post by bill bolton » Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:05 pm

underclocker wrote:He can't connect to my DLink DI-524 (yes, firmware is current) unless in the same room.
The DLink DI-524 router is also a well known source of wireless connectivity issues.

Cheers,

Bill

briatx
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#9 Post by briatx » Fri Apr 21, 2006 4:28 pm

Thanks for the comments guys. Got a bit harrowing at times (hd a bit stuck, having to "unsnap" the bezel, removing itty bitty antenna leads) but I made it through it relatively smoothly.

Atheros card works nearly out of the box on OSX x86 10.4/5. Had to tell it to use en1 instead of en0 or some bs.

Also, it works great with my Dlink 624 router at home. No more dropped connections. No more 88% signal even though I'm just in the other room. In fact, it performs much much better at even the lower power settings. Rock! I also seem to get more range in that more AP's pop up on the list.

I'm running 4.1.102.133 Atheros drivers from IBM Software Update, and Access Connections 4.12. However I've run into a snag, which hopefully one of you may know the answer to.

There is a 802.11b network here at work running straight 128 bit wep. The AP is a Netgear ME 102, probably not the best. *cough* In Win XP, it sees it, it applies the wireless settings, but it does not get past the waiting for association part. However, in Mac OS... it just works (darn).

I've played with just about every parameter I can think of: power up, power down, Wireless mode B and auto, long preamble / long and short preamble, etc. I have not tried it without wep... with my luck that will be the problem. Disabling wep is pretty much out of the question. I fear the solution will probably be running a cable... which i have no problem with.

Well, except that its DEFEAT. Total utter FAILURE. :P

Ahem. Ok, enough rant. By the way, I have a very gently used and removed Intel 2200 BG minipci wifi card for sale. Mostly functional, or at least as functional as they get. Giving it away for cheap... takers? Anyone? Anyone?

Thought so. :)

In conclusion, hooray for Thinkpads.

briatx
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#10 Post by briatx » Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:00 pm

Just a little update fyi. While the atheros card performs tremendously better, its also noticably hotter than the intel card (the bottom of the computer under the touchpad is very very warm to the touch. Warmer than under the CPU when its at idle.)

Accordingly, my fan has gone from relatively quiet to relatively noisy. If I turn off the wifi adapter, it will go back to relatively quiet. Turn it back on... noisy. Not max like it would be when playing a game on max performance, but... noisy.

I've turned on the atheros power save mode to max, and the transmit power to lowest. Doesn't seem to help much. Anyone know if the IBM Model I runs cooler?

The heat and fan is annoying, but not as annoying as the network crapping out. :)

bill bolton
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#11 Post by bill bolton » Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:42 pm

briatx wrote:takers? Anyone? Anyone?

Thought so. :)
PM sent Saturday.... no response yet!

briatx
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#12 Post by briatx » Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:05 pm

Sorry Bill, I wasn't expecting a PM. I replied.

The offer was meant to be a joke. But just looking at the prices on ebay, its not really worth the bother to box it and ship it off. Sorry guys. :(

Maybe one day they'll write a driver that works! It really did run cooler than the atheros card.

Annecy
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Re: T43 Wifi MiniPCI Replacement procedure

#13 Post by Annecy » Sat May 19, 2018 3:11 pm

dr. zoidberg wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:08 pm
"i swapped the card on my t42 and
I found that getting at the minipci card involved only a bit more work
than removing the keyboard.
Just make sure to put the screws back in the same hole they came from,
since they may be different sizes.

In my case,
I found that removing the antenna leads from the card required more force than I anticipated.
Just be careful not to break anything :)
"
Fortunately I (also) was able to ...
delicately/forcefully snap off the leads ...

Snapping ON the leads was (doubly) tricky (for me) ...
The lead on the "left" side of my TP-Link replacement card
was WAY over at the far left edge ~
which required (sort of) stretching the antenna wire :eek:

I (also) found that I had to do the SnapON
BEFORE inserting the MiniPCI card ~
which I found required an extra PUSH ...
to firmly/completely insert the card :thumbs-UP:

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