Change of wlan and kernel driver

I have an HP dv7 7250 laptop which uses an Intel Centrino N2230 wlan.The firmware is the iwlwifi driver with Kernel 3.4.11. This works ok but it is a single band device and I am getting interference,
so I want to change it to a dual band N-6230 wlan. I am using openSUSE 12.2.and I would appreciate some advice when I change the wlan.

Will it be as simple as doing a ‘modprobe’ to the new wlan driver, ( -the driver is still iwlwifi although the ucode is different), or would I have to reinstall the kernel?

Thank you
w.

On 02/09/2013 08:46 AM, wiilow wrote:
>
> I have an HP dv7 7250 laptop which uses an Intel Centrino N2230 wlan.The
> firmware is the iwlwifi driver with Kernel 3.4.11. This works ok but it
> is a single band device and I am getting interference,
> so I want to change it to a dual band N-6230 wlan. I am using openSUSE
> 12.2.and I would appreciate some advice when I change the wlan.
>
> Will it be as simple as doing a ‘modprobe’ to the new wlan driver, (
> -the driver is still iwlwifi although the ucode is different), or would
> I have to reinstall the kernel?

You touched one of my nerves here. FIRMWARE is the code that runs in the
microprocessor on the device. DRIVERS run in the host CPU, thus iwlwifi is a
DRIVER, not FIRMWARE.

Drivers are built with the kernel. Firmware files are external to the kernel,
and are usually found in the /lib/firmware/ tree. If you choose a device that is
supported, the kernel will find it when you boot, and install the correct
driver. When that driver loads, it will then read the firmware file for that
device. All of that is automatic and is based on the PCI ID or USB ID of the
device. You will not need to do anything but reboot as you should have the
machine off when changing the card.

One consideration/gotcha is that HP white lists the set of wifi cards that are
supported. If you install a card that is not in the OK list of the BIOS, the
machine will not boot. Do not buy a card that you cannot return.

Thank you for your (very) prompt help.
Although I have been using a Linux os for several years, I am still learning and I do appreciate your explanation of ‘Drivers’ vs ‘Firmware’.
(I should have known better but I didn’t)

Yes I am aware of the HP whitelist (danger) but I have assumed that because the dv7 manual shows the alternative wlans for the model, I am planning to use one of these!

Thanks for your help.

w.

On 02/09/2013 03:06 PM, wiilow wrote:
> Yes I am aware of the HP whitelist (danger) but I have assumed that
> because the dv7 manual shows the alternative wlans for the model, I am
> planning to use one of these!

If you use a model shown as OK for the dv7, you should be OK.