Cisco Aironet Wireless 802.11b

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Cisco Aironet Wireless 802.11b

This is a Mini-PCI WiFi Adapter that is installed in a Mini-PCI slot.


  • Chipset: Cisco
  • IEEE Standards: 802.11b
  • PCI ID: 14b9:a504

Mini-PCI WiFi Adapter

IBM Partnumbers

IBM Order PN (WW): 31P8301
IBM Order PN (Japan): 31P8302
IBM Order PN (EMEA): 31P8303
IBM Order PN (China): 31P8304
IBM FRU PN (WW): 26P8319, 26P8435, 26P8496
IBM FRU PN (Japan): 26P8323, 26P8369, 26P8500
IBM FRU PN (EMEA): 26P8321, 26P8367, 26P8498
IBM FRU PN (China): 26P8325, 26P8371, 26P8502
Other IBM FRU PN: 91P7406,91P7408,91P7410,26P7412

Only the IBM Parts will work, any other parts will give an 1802 error on Post because the sub-vendor PCI ID is different, see Problem with unauthorized MiniPCI network card for more details

Also known (in IBM literature) as....

  • Cisco Aironet Wireless 802.11b Mini PCI
  • 802.11b Cisco Wireless Card (Sherman III)

Linux Wi-Fi driver

A free Linux 'airo' driver is available, and included in recent 2.6 kernels.

There is a sourceforge project page for this driver, but it seems to have been abandoned.

One of the developers has his own project page here, but there have not been any updates since September 2004.

In addition there is a slightly dated 'mpi350' driver available from Cisco after jumping through a bunch of hoops, such as providing Cisco with your personal information. The current Cisco driver version is 2.1 and only supports select Linux 2.4 kernels. The Cisco driver does not support Linux commands such as iwconfig. However, one can use the Cisco ACU GUI with the Linux 'airo' driver for read-only status information.

OS/2 and eCS driver

This card should be supported by GenMAC 2.20 and above.

Known problems

Linux 2.4

The older airo or mpi350 drivers might not work with certain (more recent) Cisco firmware. Evidently there is a Windows tool allowing you to modify the firmware, but if you already nuked your win32 partition, you'll be in a pickle. For Linux 2.4, you would want an older firmware version 5b00.08 or 5.00.03, which is packaged with version 3.4.9 of the Cisco Windows drivers.

There also have been reports that the Window driver auto-magically updates the firmware, so if you dual boot between operating systems one day your linux wireless driver may stop working. Be careful about Windows Update or Microsoft Update. Never update the Cisco software in Windows - it also updates the firmware silently.

Linux 2.6

The above described problem does not apply to 2.6 kernels. Cisco updated its mpi350 driver and the fixes have been reverse-engineered and incorporated in the open-source airo driver for Linux 2.6. I.e. Cisco firmware version 5.60.17 and 5.20.17 work with Linux 2.6.11 and airo driver 0.6. The firmware is upgraded under WinXP automatically with Cisco driver updates. Older firmware also works with the Linux 2.6 driver

Get firmware information from /proc/driver/aironet/eth?/Status (eth0 or eth1) (airo driver) or /proc/driver/mpi350/Status (mpi350 driver).

ThinkPads this card may be found in

External Sources