1. You may have noticed things look a little different around here - we've switched to a new platform (XenForo) and have some new forum styles and features. This how-to guide will help you find your way around. If you find anything that looks strange, post it in this thread.

CF-52 WiFi BIOS whitelist

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by Rezurok, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Rezurok

    Rezurok Newbie

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Hello,

    I've been reading these forums for a while trying to get around the wifi whitelist on my CF-52, but at this point I seem to be stuck. A few details:

    1) I have a CF-52 that was shipped with wifi disabled and no wifi card included.

    2) I have a Gigabyte wifi card that works fine, but the pin 20 trick will not enable the card on the CF-52, nor will plugging in the card after booting

    3) I've followed instructions referred to in these forums using "Andy's Tool" to modify the whitelist in the BIOS itself, to no avail

    The port seems live, as in 3.3v is available on the pins, but neither the OS nor the BIOS ever acknowledge the wifi card's existence. At this point I'm figuring it goes beyond a whitelist, and somewhere in the BIOS is some code disabling wifi completely for this model. So, to get to the point, is there anywhere I can download a BIOS for a CF-52 model that comes with wifi? I've not been too successful finding one. Failing that, is there anybody out there feeling generous enough to dump their current BIOS from a wifi enabled CF-52 using the AMIBIOS Flash Utility? Or maybe there exists a model considered "close enough" to a CF-52 that I could apply its BIOS and not brick my computer?

    Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. toughasnails

    toughasnails Toughbook Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    4,264
    Likes Received:
    154
    Trophy Points:
    131
    Do you have your wifi switch turned on ... also what is your full model nunber
     
  3. Shawn

    Shawn Waiting 4 sanity 2 return

    Messages:
    3,879
    Likes Received:
    349
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Yes, we need your full model number. You may need to flash the bios. You will definitely NOT be able to use the Gigabyte card. I have been down this road for quite a while. You need to use an Intel card. A mark1 will need a Intel 4965. Mark2 uses an Intel 5100. I managed to get an Intel 5300 to work in my mk2 cf52g. Easiest route is to stick with the original model card. DO NOT get a used card from a HP or IBM.
    If you get a 4965 or a 5300, Hook up a third antenna. It will double your speed. I have a post about it somewhere.
    I have tried Intel 1030, Intel 6250, Atheros something( 9xxx series I think) Intel 4965. ALL met with total FAIL except the Intel 5300. I am glad wifi cards are less than $10.00 each.
    Read these threads.

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/panasonic/702867-cf-19-mk2-wlan-upgrade.html

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/panasonic/702877-cant-backup-bios-write-protected.html

    From another post of mine in one of the linked threads. It needs to be posted in full in this thread.
    Just to follow. I just put an Intel 5300 card in my cf52 to replace the Intel5100. Direct swap, everything including the switch works. No mod to pin 20. The 5300 was originally for a Dell. The 5100 was for a Toshiba. The 5300 can use 3 antennas. I am going to add a third antenna and see if it performs any better than the 5100. Currently with 2 antennas it is identical. The 5300 shows up in the bios.

    Wow...I just attached a third antenna to the Intel 5300. Connection went from 72mbps to 130 mbps. Still not as good as a 2 antenna Intel 6250 (it gives me 140mbps)but very impressive mod that requires no pin 20 work.

    For the third antenna, I used a Tyco flag. I stuck the flag inside the plastic dummy filler on the far right of the palm rest. I think it's the space for the fingerprint reader.

    Maybe the OP can add a third antenna and get a decent performance increase? Although the 4965 is 801.11G and not draft N like the 5100/5300.
     
  4. Rezurok

    Rezurok Newbie

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Yes, the wireless switch is on...and off, and on, disabled in bios, enabled in bios, etc, etc...been down that road ;p

    Unfortunately, I don't have the laptop with me right this moment, but I will post the model number when I get home. I didn't expect the gigabyte to work without modifying the whitelist or doing the pin 20 mod, but are you saying it won't work regardless of those in ANY CF-52? That's the whole reason I think I need a different BIOS, the fact that it doesn't work even with pin 20 taped over. I actually have ordered an intel 5100 to give that a go, but I don't have high hopes given what I've read in other threads. Also, after reviewing the thread linked (CF-19), my problem sounds identical to the OP, except his is actually an intel card and my computer may very well have a special BIOS; it was a gov purchase and no wireless was one of the hardware requirements.
     
  5. onirakkiss

    onirakkiss Notebook Evangelist

    Messages:
    689
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ur BIOS will not activate the USB-port for ur mini PCI express card, even if u use a white listed card. But if u want to solder 2 cables from an free USB port to ur card socket, only white listed cards will work. But on the other hand, we are waiting for ur model numbr for an other option...
     
  6. Shawn

    Shawn Waiting 4 sanity 2 return

    Messages:
    3,879
    Likes Received:
    349
    Trophy Points:
    151
    It "may" have a special bios. Until you get the correct card for that model, we can't be sure. I spent a couple weeks attempting to mod the whitelist, but I am much more of a hardware guy. There is a member on the forum who is scary smart in both hardware and software. He made a brick out of his cf52 mk4. Luckily he is tech savy enough to eventually bring it back. Once I found out how well the 5300 worked, I gave up my total fail on any bios mod. I had been trying to upgrade my wifi card for 6 months. My opinion on wifi in a cf52 mk2 and above is they are whitelisted or worse. The stock series card is all that will work without a lot of work. I have found that it probably goes by series of card. If it came with a 5100, any 5XXX may work. If it came with a 6200 then any 6xxx may work. Mine has a standard bios and that's my experience.

    My recommendation is first try the exact card for that machine. If that does not work, then flash the bios to a standard one. Hacking the bios would be a last resort for me at this point. You should not have to mess with the whitelist to get a stock card to work. Either the correct card or a bios flash will solve the problem.
    Toughbooks are not easy to work on. The bios and software are no exception. The durability and reliability of a Toughbook comes from more than just a metal housing. It is a way of thinking from the engineering of the whole product. They purposely design them to be next to impossible to "adjust" the bios in any way. The members of this forum may make it "look" easy to mod these laptops, but there are several scary smart members here. I feel the majority of the members have above average "skills". I don't want to discourage you or anyone else from exploring new paths. I just see a lot of first time Toughbook owners who mistakenly think these are the same as a Dell, HP, or Asus in a "tough" metal case. I see the frustration in their posts after a short period. Except for the cf51 you CAN NOT hot rod or speed up a Toughbook. They are designed to prevent it. They are not gaming or the fastest machines. They are big heavy and comparatively slow. BUT I can probably drive over my cf30 with an ATV and it will still work.

    This "rant" is not aimed at you. It's something that comes from being a member of this forum for a long time. I try to help the newcomers with my small amount of knowledge. I sometimes get tired of being a broken record to deaf ears and it begins to show in all of my posts.
     
  7. Rezurok

    Rezurok Newbie

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    OK, the model number of the laptop is CF-52HIB003 on the sticker, CF-52NLB842M as reported by the BIOS.

    As to the bios modifications, it's not that it was particularly difficult to modify the whitelist in the BIOS, once I had the right tools; it's that the procedure didn't work for this laptop, even though I was successful in modifying the firmware according to the instructions and reflashing (programmer here, so I know my way around a hex editor :)). I'm not too concerned with bricking it, since it's fairly easy to recover if you have a copy of the original BIOS, but I've exhausted every workaround that seems to be available and the card still stubbornly refuses to work. Admittedly, I haven't tried to run data lines from another usb port to the pci-e slot, but I'd rather avoid soldering the motherboard for now ;)

    The prevailing advice at this point seems to be to try an intel card which already appears on the whitelist, so I'll go ahead with that. I'll report back when it shows up in a day or two!
     
  8. Shawn

    Shawn Waiting 4 sanity 2 return

    Messages:
    3,879
    Likes Received:
    349
    Trophy Points:
    151
    With the 842 in the middle of the model number, Its a pretty good bet that you have a "special" bios. Can you post the bios version as reported on the main bios screen?. I wonder if cf52p v 3.00L14 is close enough? With a couple more posts, you can get and receive PM's.

    CF-52NLB842M
    Family CF-52
    Description "No Wireless, WinXP (Win7 COA), Intel Core i5-540M 2.53GHz, AMT, 15.4"" WUXGA, 250GB, 2GB, No WLAN, No Bluetooth, ATI Discrete Graphics, Smartcard, Multi-drive, Toughbook Preferred"
    Suggested Retail Price $ 3051
    Status DISCONTINUED
    CPU Intel Core i5-540M 2.53GHz
    Screen "15.4"" WUXGA"
    RAM 2GB
    HDD 250GB
    WLAN/WWLAN No WLAN
    Drive SATA Multi-drive
    OS WinXP (Win7 COA)
    Wireless Carrier No WLAN
    Other "No Bluetooth, ATI Discrete Graphics, Smartcard"

    From what Onakriss said in his post, I think the "special" bios's turn off the usb signal to the mini pcie WLAN slot. If you have the special bios, then there are 2 choices, reflash the bios with a standard one or get the usb signal from another port.
    I am sorry that your programming did not solve the problem, but it makes me feel better. I thought maybe following instructions to edit a whitelist was above me. (It still may be). I am glad we are not all alike. I am intimidated by editing a bios, but will solder on a motherboard in a heartbeat.:D
    Panasonic puts some information on a chip other than the bios. That maybe why reprogramming did not solve the problem.
     
  9. Rezurok

    Rezurok Newbie

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    You're too fast ;p

    The BIOS version is reported as V3.00L11 M50
     
  10. Shawn

    Shawn Waiting 4 sanity 2 return

    Messages:
    3,879
    Likes Received:
    349
    Trophy Points:
    151
    I am pretty sure the M50 on the end indicates a special bios.
     
  11. Rezurok

    Rezurok Newbie

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Is there anywhere I can download a regular old bios for a CF-52? The panasonic site is a little less than helpful, they provide no BIOS updates whatsoever, but you mentioned there being other versions (3.00L14)? Did I miss them? :confused:
     
  12. onirakkiss

    onirakkiss Notebook Evangelist

    Messages:
    689
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Yep, there is a version in the net, which will probably help u :) Just answer to this post, and I can tell YOU where it is.
     
  13. Shawn

    Shawn Waiting 4 sanity 2 return

    Messages:
    3,879
    Likes Received:
    349
    Trophy Points:
    151
    PM sent..... ..
     
  14. onirakkiss

    onirakkiss Notebook Evangelist

    Messages:
    689
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    31
    (...oh, half an hour ago it was not possible to sent an pm, so I thought he had to have more than 5 posts....sorry )
     
  15. Rezurok

    Rezurok Newbie

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Thank you! I haven't had a chance to test it yet, but saw this file mentioned in other threads (even though it's no longer available there). I'll be sure to report back once I get everything together over here :D
     
  16. zonku

    zonku Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    no comment
     
  17. cherpann

    cherpann Newbie

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    I have the same questions ,I need a bios for Panasonic cf-52 mk2 and Panasonic website don´t provide´it
     
  18. Shawn

    Shawn Waiting 4 sanity 2 return

    Messages:
    3,879
    Likes Received:
    349
    Trophy Points:
    151
    What version do you have and what version are you looking for?
    What is your full model number? CF52*******?
     
  19. cherpann

    cherpann Newbie

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    My full model number is CF-52GDNBVAG ,I think is a MK2 ,any version of Bios help me.Thanks
     
  20. Shawn

    Shawn Waiting 4 sanity 2 return

    Messages:
    3,879
    Likes Received:
    349
    Trophy Points:
    151
    What's up with the existing bios?
     

Share This Page