Friday, August 22, 2008

How to activate your HP UMTS card

After starting last week (only) one time Windows on my HP Compaq 2710p the internal UMTS card (HP HS2300 HSDPA Broadband Wireless module) stopped working under Linux again. And as Seife already pointed out: there is no way to activate the card from Linux (at least with kernel version 2.6.26) or the bios. I found today some time to search for a solution since several people asked me how to reactivate the card and since there are also bugreports with this problem.

Seife gave me the hint that may the hp-wmi kernel module, which will be part of 2.6.27, could provide a way to enable/disable the card. And it does. Currently the module don't get loaded automatically, you have to load it manually (modprobe hp-wmi). As soon as you load the module the UMTS card gets enabled, also if deactivated under windows before. Since the module handle the card as WWAN I assume also CDMA cards from HP would be handled the same way.

With hp-wmi the killswitch now enable/disable the WLAN, Bluetooth and the WWAN module automatically. But the user can switch the state also via sysfs. To disable for example the WWAN device you have to do this:
  1. go to /sys/class/rf-kill
  2. find the rfkill device of the WWAN module (grep wwan */name)
  3. use 'echo 1 > rfkill3/state' to activate or 'echo 0 > rfkill3/state' to deactivate the device
I've added a kmp package (hp-wmi-kmp) for openSUSE 11.0 to my buildservice repo. Currently there is no kmp for factory but I guess a 2.6.27 kernel will be available soon (or use the kernel from here).
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