[ltp] Re: T430i ac wireless card

D. Hugh Redelmeier linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org
Sun, 29 Jun 2014 03:02:53 -0400 (EDT)

This subject is very interesting to me at the moment since I just got a 
T530i without a WiFi or Bluetooth card.

| From: Robin Becker <robin@reportlab.com>

| I use Arch linux on my T430i and it works well, but the wireless card is not
| terribly good.

I imagine that the t430, t430i, t530, and t530i support the same WiFi

| Having bought a new router I though of getting a card that supports AC eg
| Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260, but that doesn't have an FRU number. An
| equivalent (nearly) BM Intel Dual Band Wireless 7260 7260HMW AC 802.11b/g/n
| Mini PCI-E Wifi + Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter 04W3814 has an FRU, but doesn't claim
| to do AC.
| What does the FRU actually mean? I'm not using EFI, but can the bios refuse to
| use a card that doesn't have an FRU?

As mentioned before, FRU means Field Replaceable Unit.  In other
words, something that one might reasonably replace without sending the
computer in to IBM.

A disk drive is an FRU and you can put any reasonable drive in your

WiFi cards are considered by Lenovo to be different.  If you put a
random WiFi card in your machine, Lenovo thinks that the result is not
certified for RF emission compliance of various kinds.

So Lenovo has a "whitelist" of WiFi cards that they will support.
Only those are FRUs.  Kind of a different sense of the term.

| Also all the newer cards semm to come with bluetooth, I'm not sure if the
| T430i has a separate blutooth module or if it's actually part of the wireless.
| What would happen if I add a second bluetooth?

It seems that the [tw][45]30 and t[45]30i models don't support
integrated WiFi and Bluetooth modules.  There is a separate
"daughtercard" for Bluetooth.  I imagine that this limitation is
mostly created by whitelisting.

There are hacked BIOSes that have the whitelisting removed.
Unfortunately, I think that this approach won't work with systems like
the t530 that have signed BIOSes (kind of needed for TPM / secure
boot, I think).

I had trouble finding what the FRUs are for the t530i.  This used
to be listed in the Hardware Maintenance Manual for each machine, but
not for the t530 family.  A very helpful Lenovo support person got me
to the information.
Go to support.lenovol.com;
select "think Laptops, Desktops and servers";
select "Guides and Manuals";
select product, using Quick Path: type the "type number" of your
machine (that's a 4-digit number);
click the blue "See Prodcut Detail" link (actually a button);
[notice that there is a Linux row!  Ignore that.]
click on the tab "parts detail";
click on the line "System service parts (near bottom);
click on "System service parts and Recovery DVD part number - ThinkPad
T530, T530i, W530";
the result is a large page of info about these machines.
Below the parts explosion there are two rows with a link to a PDF with
FRUs for the correspoinding models.

Here the one for the T530 and T530i:

Here are the ones that look like WiFi cards.  I don't actually know
what the last two are, so I included them.

FRU PN 	CRU ID	Description
60Y3233 2	6300 WLAN
60Y3247 2	FXC 11WLAN
60Y3249 2	LTN 11WLAN
60Y3253 2	TP 22 WLAN
60Y3295 2	Marble Peak [seems to be an Intel Wireless N 2200]

I'm also having trouble getting a clear answer whether an ordinary
retail device with the same model number as an FRU will work.  It is
quite possible that Lenovo gets custom PCI IDs on the devices they get
from OEMs like Intel.  A usually reliable source suggests that this is
the case.  Very inconvenient.  See

Even if we cannot hack the BIOS, it should be possible to read the
whitelist.  I don't know how to do this and don't have the time to
figure it out.

Request for anyone with a t530-family computer:

Can you do a "sudo lspci -vnn" and send me the part dealing with your
wireless card?  I'll try to summarize for the list.  If you wish,
redact the Device Serial Number.

Here's an example from my ThinkPad x61t:

03:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 4965 AG or AGN [Kedron] Network Connection [8086:4230] (rev 61)
	Subsystem: Intel Corporation Device [8086:1010]
	Physical Slot: 3
	Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 46
	Memory at f7f00000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8K]
	Capabilities: [c8] Power Management version 3
	Capabilities: [d0] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
	Capabilities: [e0] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
	Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting
	Capabilities: [140] Device Serial Number 00-1f-3b-ff-ff-69-c8-67
	Kernel driver in use: iwl4965
	Kernel modules: iwl4965

Notice that the vendor part of the PCI code seems to be Intel, not