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pajser92 Tutor
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Upgrading network wireless card - "whitelist" and compatible model?

Probook 450 G1
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Hello,

I want to upgrade wireless network card on my laptop, which is HP Probook 450 G1. I'm doing it for two main reasons:

  1. I upgraded my router to the one which supports AC standard (5GHz), while my card only supports 2.4GHz.
  2. I can't use WiFi and Bluetooth at the same time: Whenever I turn on Bluetooth to use with my wireless speaker, my WiFi just disconnects after minute or two. I believe this is either interference caused by the fact that both my WiFi and Bluetooth work on 2.4GHz band, or because my laptop only has one WLAN antenna ("Main" connector is used, while "Aux" is free).

After doing some research (and finding out that it's a pain in the a** with HP laptops and their BIOS whitelists), this is my current situation.

 

While reading my laptop's maintenance and service guide book (can be found here on page 3), I discovered which WLAN formats are supported by my model.

5ghzplus3.PNGPicture 1: Screenshot from HP Probook 450 G1 Maintenance and Service Guide, page 3

Out of all these cards, these four support 5GHz band, but I'm mostly considering 1 and 2, as they're the newest and seem to have most positive feedbacks.

 

However, later I found a post from this very forum regarding the same model of my laptop, and the HP expert that gave the answer claiming that my laptop is, quote, "too new to be affected by the whitelist problem" (it came out in 2013.), which, if true, is awesome thing to hear.

pct.PNGPicture 2: Screenshot of claim from another thread that my laptop doesn't have "whitelist" problem

Question: Is there any way I can confirm whether my laptop has "whitelist" problem before buying new card? I don't want to pay for card and insert it into my laptop just to find out that it can't work because of whitelist issue.

 

 

 

He also claims in the post below that the Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7260 is the best card for my model of laptop, but what confuses me is that card is not listed in the guide as supported card (see Picture 1 above). The most similar one listed is Intel Dual-Band Wireless-N 7260, which is also 7260, but the difference is it supports newer AC standard.

pct2.PNGPicture 3: Expert claiming this card is best for my model of laptop

 

Question: Will this card (Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7260) work on my laptop, even though it's technically not listed in my laptop's service guide as supported WLAN format (though very similar one is listed; Intel Dual-Band Wireless-N 7260), or I shouldn't be bothered with that if my laptop has no "whitelist" problem?

 

Thanks,

Dino

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Upgrading network wireless card - "whitelist" and compatible model?

Hi, Dino:

 

Unfortunately, if your notebook only has one antenna cable connected to the wifi card in there now, there are no dual band HMC form factor wifi adapters you can upgrade to.

 

They all require two antenna cables be connected to the main and aux antenna terminals.

 

So that drawback is almost as bad as having a BIOS whitelist.

 

That is unless you want to completely disassemble the notebook including the display panel area to properly route the 2nd antenna cable (you would have to order the antenna part listed in chapter 3).

 

No one here will be able to confirm or deny that your notebook has a BIOS whitelist.  HP does not release that info to the public.  We only find the info out when a forum member reports success or failure regarding a wifi card upgrade.

 

I have the HP 350 G1, same chipset and processor series as yours, but mine had two antenna cables connected to the Broadcom dual band N card in there, and I installed the Intel 7260 AC wifi card (not supported for the 350 G1), and it worked just fine.

 

If you want to go through the trouble of adding a second antenna, this is the card I used with the HP part number.

 

It is actually for the HP 850 G1...

 

Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 802.11 ac 2x2 WiFi + BT 4.0     HP Part # 710661-001

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Upgrading network wireless card - "whitelist" and compatible model?

Thank you for your response,

 

Yes, I thought about getting secondary antenna as well. In fact, fenvi store is offering it together with AC 7260 for 2 dollars more (link).

wew.PNG

My only concern is this:

 

Is the list of WLAN cards from my laptop's service guide (Picture 1 in main post) basically the "whitelist"? Meaning if, by some reason, my laptop has a "whitelist" problem, does that mean that:

a) I can only replace my NIC with the exact same card I currently have, or

b) I can replace my NIC with some of the cards listed in the guide as compatible (Picture 1 in main post).

Which one is correct, a or b?

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Upgrading network wireless card - "whitelist" and compatible model?

You're very welcome.

 

If your notebook has a BIOS whitelist, then you can only replace the wifi card with ones listed in the service manual, and not only that, it MUST have the HP part number on it or it will not work.

 

Because we have business class notebooks, they should accept any of the cards listed in the manual.  Specific model HP consumer class notebooks may be restricted to just having the one card offered unless it was a configured to order (CTO) model.

 

When I buy cards for HP notebooks with whitelists on eBay, I always buy one that actually shows a picture of the actual card for sale that shows the 'Replace with HP Spare' label on it showing the part number.

 

Personally, I don't think your notebook has a whitelist, but there is no 100% guarantee that it doesn't.

 

1 x 1, 2 x 2 refer to the number of data streams up and down the wifi card can handle.

 

I don't know of any 2 x 2 cards that don't require two antennas, but there are 1 x 1 cards that also have two antennas.

 

There are some such as maybe the 3160 AC 1 x 1 where the wifi portion will work with one antenna attached, but the BT will not work.

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Upgrading network wireless card - "whitelist" and compatible model?

Thank you very much, that was my other concern: Whether it's enough for card to just be the same model as listed in service guide, or it also needs to have the same part number and be from some official manufacturer. Because as far as I can tell, fenvi is 3rd party manufacturer and the cards it produces/sells are the same ones listed in my laptop's service guide, but because their cards probably don't have the exact same part number, they wouldn't work on my device?

 

Regarding single antenna, I thought 1x1 antenna would work normally with my current single antenna setup, while 2x2 needs additional one, but that's not true? The "dual band" in card's name implies that it needs dual antennas, not the 1x1 or 2x2 part?

Also, I've read on some other forums that people who upgraded their NIC ran their antenna cables down the bottom frame of the laptop to avoid opening the screen frame, and, quote "it's still better than no antenna at all", so it might be a solution as well.

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Upgrading network wireless card - "whitelist" and compatible model?

You're very welcome.

 

If the notebook does not have a BIOS whitelist, you can pretty much install any wifi card you want as long as it is the same form factor.

 

The single 1 x 1 antenna should work with the 3160 AC card, but I don't think the bluetooth will work.

 

For example, if you put the antenna on the main terminal, the Wifi will work.  If you put it on the Aux terminal, the BT will work.  But both will not work simultaneously.  Either that or the reception will be awful.

 

And yes, I have heard where folks have installed a second antenna elsewhere and had acceptable results.

 

 

 

 

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Upgrading network wireless card - "whitelist" and compatible model?

So that's the reason why I saw some people complain in the comments that their WiFi works great, but their Bluetooth doesn't work at all - it's that second antenna that's missing for them.

I understand now fully. Well to be honest, I currently can't use both of them at the same time anways, so I'll probably get secondary antenna and use the one that's already inside the screen for WiFi, and second one I'll try fitting it somewhere else (like through the bottom frame of the laptop) and use it for Bluetooth, since my Bluetooth device is much closer to my laptop than my router, so the signal doesn't need to be as strong.

 

Thank you for your help, very detailed and insightful answers!

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Anytime.

 

Glad to have been of assistance.

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Upgrading network wireless card - "whitelist" and compatible model?

Just wanted to give my additional feedback, as some people may find it useful in the future.

I ordered Dual Band Intel Wireless-AC 7260 and I mounted it inside my laptop.

- It works. I had no whitelist issue (Probook 450 G1 from ~2013.).

Note that I have only one antenna inside my laptop.

- When I connected antenna to connector 1 (on some cards "Main"), I had good Wi-Fi signal on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, however Bluetooth signal was awful: I tried connecting Bluetooth speaker to my laptop, but the sound quality was bad and it worked only within the radius of half a meter from laptop. Anything further and playback would just stop.

- When I connected antenna to connector 2 (on some cards "Aux" or "Alt"), I had good Wi-Fi signal on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz AND Bluetooth worked flawlessly. HOWEVER, when I connect laptop to my Bluetooth speaker, 2.4GHz signal drops instantly, but the 5GHz signal stays decent.

 

So in other words, if you want to be able to use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth at the same time, but you only have one antenna inside your laptop, you need to connect it to connector 2/Aux/Alt, and you need to be able to connect your Wi-Fi to network that works on 5GHz band (you need router which can emit 5GHz Wi-Fi), because Bluetooth works on 2.4GHz band, and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi +2.4GHz bluetooth connections interfere with each other and can't work at the same time (if you having only one antenna, that is).

† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation