Saturday, February 12, 2011

How to Enable 3G SIM CARD in Lenovo...

Once home, my setup began. I upgraded my RAM to 2GB and my Windows 7 from Starter edition to Home Premium. After everything is done, I got my unlocked Sierra Wireless MC8775 (HP HS2300) 3G modem. This by far is the easiest 3G install I've ever done. Surprisingly, the BIOS is not locked to specific hardware (no white list) so no need to hack it just to use the mini pci-e slot on a third party modules. And looking at the boot setup in the BIOS, it has an option to boot from SSD besides HDD, USB CD-ROM, SD Card Reader, and USB HDD. It means you can probably install a mini pci-e based SSD and have a HYBRID setup! Install your windows on the faster mini pci-e SSD and use the whole HDD as a storage device. However, in my case, I'd rather replace the HDD with an SSD so I can still use the mini pci-e slot for 3G purposes.

Here are some pics on how I installed a 3G modem on my newly-bought S10-3.

Loosening the 4 screws to open the back panel door. The screws are held in place in the panel cover by a washer. Make sure the battery is removed and the A.C. is not plugged in.

Cover removed to reveal the mini pci-e. The antenna is color coded unlike the one in the S10-3T. Red is MAIN and Blue is AUX. Memory has already been upgraded to 2GB too. 

A close up look at the mini pci-e slot. The slot didn't come with the screw that will hold the 3G modem in place so we're going to use the HDD screw adjacent to it. No need to worry as the HDD still has another screw to hold it in place.

Insert the module in a 45 degree angle. I inserted the screw already for easy mounting.

Tightening the screw. Just enough torque is applied to avoid a loose thread. Encircled in red is the SIM card already inserted in the slot.

Since the Sierra Wireless modem only has one antenna connector, just use the red colored cable and leave the plastic tube cover on the blue cable to avoid short circuit. Connecting the antenna is a bit tricky so take your time and wait until it snaps into place. Then while holding and pushing down the metal part, rotate the cable and slip it at the side for a clean look.

Here is how it looks like after the installation. The excess red antenna cable is cleanly routed at the side. The encircled part is where the screw that I used to hold the modem used to be.

After putting back the cover and the battery, boot the netbook normally. On some instances, windows would detect the modem and try installing a driver and then show that the driver is not installed successfully. Most of the time, it will not detect the modem right away. If that is the case, presss Fn-F5 to show the Lenovo Wireless Device Settings window. You will then see the 3G switch at the bottom. Click the circle beside the ON to enable the modem.
Once enabled, you will see the 3G symbol brights up. Windows will then see the modem and try to install the driver automatically. It will fail bacause for some reason the HP driver has to be installed manually.

Go to the Device Manager settings and you will see the unknown devices. Starting from the bottom (last serial port), right-click on it and select Update Driver Software. Then select "Browse My computer for driver software"and point it to the folder where the drivers are located. Once installed, repeat the process on the other devices going up.

Here is how it looks like after all the 3G modem drivers are installed.

Last step is just installing the Sierra Wireless 3G Watcher connection manager. After installation, run it and it will detect your SIM. Just check your profile settings and connect. Enjoy!



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