Fix “Unsupported wireless network device detected. System Halted” Error

If you have an older HP computer, you may sometimes get the following error when booting up your computer:

Error Message: 104-Unsupported wireless network device detected. System Halted. Remove device and restart.

This is one of those really technical errors and it’s unfortunately not easy to fix. However, it’s worth a shot before sending your computer back to HP or dishing out lots of money to the Geek Squad.

There are a couple of steps you can take to try and fix this issue on HP laptops and notebooks. Good luck!

Method 1 – Update BIOS

Firstly, if you can get past the error and actually boot into the OS, then you want to try and download the latest version of the BIOS. If you can’t get past the error, make sure you try to load the computer in Safe Mode and see if the OS loads.

Another thing you can try is to enter the Setup and disable the wireless component on the laptop. Then try to restart the computer and see if you can get past the “unsupported wireless network device” error.

If so, go to the HP update site (http://www.hp.com/#Support) and type in the model number for your HP laptop. Download the latest version of the BIOS and install it!

Method 2 – Reset the BIOS

If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to try resetting the BIOS. In order to do this, you have to restart the HP computer and then press the F10 key while the HP logo is showing. Press it a couple of times during the initial boot up if you can’t get in immediately.

Now go to the Exit menu and select Load Setup Defaults. Finally choose Exit saving changes.

After resetting the BIOS, you’ll have to perform an OS repair install. This is a pretty long guide in itself, so I’ll direct you to a great post that walks through each step in performing the repair install. Not that it will NOT delete any of your data or programs.

Method 3 – Use Knoppix Linux

If the two methods above didn’t work, you’re kind of screwed now. There is one other thing you can do, which may or may not work, but it’s really really technical.

Basically, you have to download Knoppix Linux and burn it to a CD. Pop in the CD and wait until you see the boot: line. At this point, pop in the wireless card and press Enter. Knoppix will detect the card and it should load up fine.

Now, once Knoppix is booted up, you need to click on the Penguin in the taskbar and select Root Shell. Type in the following command:

#iwconfig

You’ll get a list of ethernet adapters and you should see one with a bunch of wireless parameters. Now type the following command where X is the index of the wireless adapter:

#ethtool -e ethX

Now type in the following commands, which will help write to your EEPROM. Note that now you can really mess up your computer, so be careful!

#mkdir /usr/tmp
#cd /usr/tmp
#wget http://www.geocities.com/sonyirclib/ipw2200.tar.gz

If that works ok, now type in the following commands:

#tar xvzf ipw2200.tar.gz
#cd ipw2200-1.0.3
#sh unload
#sh load

Almost done! If you’ve gotten this far, things are looking good. Type these commands if your card is from the US:

ethtool -E eth0 magic 0×2200 offset 0×8 value 0xf5
ethtool -E eth0 magic 0×2200 offset 0×9 value 0×12
ethtool -E eth0 magic 0×2200 offset 0xa value 0x3c
ethtool -E eth0 magic 0×2200 offset 0xb value 0×10

Now reboot the computer and hopefully your Error 104 is gone forever! Overall, this last method is really hardcore and should only be done if you know how to restore a computer from scratch or you’re not worried about losing all your data!

If you have any problems with any of the above methods, post a comment here and I’ll try to help! Enjoy!

Comments [16]

  1. [...] Unsupported wireless network device detected. System Halted [...]

  2. Brian says:

    Can this Knoppix fix be used with an HP Broadcom 54g MaxPerformance 802.11g card? If so what tweaks are needed?

  3. icemochalatte says:

    Thanks so much. It worked, but only after using the older Knoppix 3.8.

  4. bigxdubs says:

    Which version of Knoppix Linux am I supposed to download? Thanks.

  5. t_ski says:

    Does anyone know if the third option (reprogramming the EEPROM through Knoppix) will work on an Intel WiFi Link 5100 wireless N card (model # 512AN_MMW)?

  6. GEoDLeto says:

    Same problem with a Intel AGN 5100. Now, the geocities site does not seem to exist anymore?

  7. manan says:

    Sir , I have the same problem on compaq presario V3000 . But none of the above solutions working . In case of booting from CD/DVD it goes directly showing the error without detecting the CDROM .

    Please !!!!!!

  8. Manoj says:

    Dear sir, plzz help my problem is that i can not boot from cd rom i straight away get a message “Unsupported wireless network device detected. System Halted” I have a knoppix cd also but when i tried to boot up from knoppix it does not boot up, it still jump to the same error is their any other idea to boot up from knoppix plzzz reply im waiting for your reply thanks in advance.

  9. Francis Ghana says:

    I am also having the same problem as Manoj Said.

    Please come to my aid.

  10. Mahes says:

    Hi,

    I have HP Elite 8440p laptop. This laptop nowadays I get the message “Unsupported wireless network device detected”. Kindly help.

  11. martintxo says:

    Method 1 worked for me! Thanks a lot!!!

  12. Joe Tannenbaum says:

    It appears that this won’t work with Knoppix 6.4.3. Ethtools says unsupported. Also the geocities site is gone.

  13. Brandon KOzielec says:

    It says in the instructions put it in AFTER the wireless card is pluged in.

  14. Kim says:

    method 2 really help me out! thanks! :-)

  15. Benno says:

    The link no longer works… Is there a new link?

  16. shuaib says:

    new link of File is….

    download.uhulinux.hu/uhu/2.1/sources/ipw2200-fw_3.0-3.ub.tar.gz

    hope it will work…

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