Intel Wi-Fi: Unsupported (too Old) EEPROM

Updated about 5 yrs, 9 mths ago (August 11, 2011). Know a better answer? Let me know!

Intel Wi-Fi: Unsupported (too old) EEPROM

How to determine that you have bought an “engineering sample” version of an Intel Wi-Fi card.

I bought a “new” Intel Wi-Fi wireless card on eBay. It appeared physically normal when it arrived. The first unusual thing was that normal Intel drivers in Windows failed to install… without any failure, they just didn’t work. Using the drivers that shipped with the card did, however, work.

Then it also failed to work in Linux (Ubuntu in this case). After some digging around, I discovered that the “new” card I had was not a production Intel Wi-Fi card. It was an “engineering sample”, and ships with an EEPROM/firmware version that pre-dates production firmware, and this is checked in the Intel drivers.

There’s horribly complex workarounds, but the best thing is probably to complain to eBay and see if you can get your money back.

In case anyone else has this problem, here’s how you tell you have an “engineering sample” rather than a normal production card.

Issue the command “dmesg | grep iwl” to your hard-core geeky Unix-based machine in your favourite, no-doubt nerdy way, and note the depressing Unsupported EEPROM error, as such:

root@root:~# dmesg | grep iwl
[   27.044059] iwlagn: Intel(R) Wireless WiFi Link AGN driver for Linux, in-tree:
[   27.044069] iwlagn: Copyright(c) 2003-2010 Intel Corporation
[   27.044220] iwlagn 0000:01:00.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 16 (level, low) -> IRQ 16
[   27.044264] iwlagn 0000:01:00.0: setting latency timer to 64
[   27.044361] iwlagn 0000:01:00.0: Detected Intel(R) Centrino(R) Advanced-N 6200 AGN, REV=0x74
[   27.061867] iwlagn 0000:01:00.0: Unsupported (too old) EEPROM VER=0x423 < 0x434 CALIB=0x5 < 0x4
[   27.070315] iwlagn 0000:01:00.0: PCI INT A disabled
[   27.070358] iwlagn: probe of 0000:01:00.0 failed with error -22
root@root:~#

While this may very well apply to other wireless cards as well, it seems to specifically apply to Intel Centrino wireless cards bought from unreliable places like eBay:

More Information

Information gathered from the following forum threads:

 

Updated about 5 yrs, 9 mths ago (August 11, 2011). Know a better answer? Let me know!

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