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Beginner
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Why is Intel ONLY allowing wireless NICs to work on specific platforms?

Hello there.

To my disappointment, I find that several wireless cards that have been manufactured by Intel for OEMs, and in this case, Lenovo, are disregarded by the Intel Wireless drivers for Windows (https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27989/Intel-PROSet-Wireless-Software-and-Drivers-for-Windo... example). These cards are parts that are given FRU numbers by Lenovo. They work fine on Linux systems, supported by the iwlwifi kernel driver.

The issue comes in Windows, where Intel actually has checks in place for specific PCI DEVICE IDs in the .sys files of the drivers and prohibits them from working unless the whole system is from Lenovo.

I can confirm some IDs that will show a Code 10 error in Device Manager on such systems.

  • 08B2
  • 08B4
  • 095B
  • 24F4
  • 3166

These devices, which actually work perfectly fine with the current drivers are explicitly blocked from operation on non-Lenovo systems. I would like to ask WHY that is. Why not let them work, like in Linux systems? I am honestly disappointed with this practice.

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Community Manager
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Hello jpegxguy,

 

 

Thank you for posting your inquiry in our Intel ® communities.

 

We are currently investigating and gathering information regarding your inquiry.

 

We will reach you back soon.

 

 

I hope this helps.

 

 

 

Regards,

 

Diego S.

 

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Community Manager
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Hello jpegxguy,

 

Thank you for patience.

 

Please consider that the installation or use of Intel® Wireless Adapters is subject to country-specific legal regulations. In certain countries, the products can only be installed in systems that have a system-level regulatory approval. The Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or Original Design Manufacturer (OEM/ODM) or the installer of the device must obtain approval.

 

Before you install the device in a system, you must contact the manufacturer to determine if the product is approved for use in a specific system and country. You are required to follow the manufacturer's post-approval requirements.

 

If the manufacturer does not have the necessary approvals, the party installing the device is responsible for approvals. Installing adapters in an unauthorized system may be illegal. The end user is not authorized to install the wireless adapters. Only the manufacturer or its authorized representative can install the adapters.

 

If you have already performed the integration, it is important to understand that it may not work due to hardware or software compatibility issues or dependencies.

 

Intel ® is a supplier of laptop components and does not manufacture or sell complete laptop systems. Each OEM/ODM may have altered the features, incorporated customizations, or made other changes to the software or hardware packaging they provide.

 

The only retail wireless adapters currently supported by Intel® are the Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 + Bluetooth® for Desktop, and the Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 Desktop Kit.

 

 

I hope this helps.

 

Regards,

 

Diego S.

 

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Beginner
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The 7260 AC with device ID 08B1 which is the generic (non-Lenovo) card and it works fine on every system. The one with device id 08B2 is the same chip and yest Intel blacklists it in their own driver (not the OEMs!) The actual official Intel drivers deliberately cause a code 10 on that id. Since its the same chip, it can't be regulation. Ok, so Lenovo just wants to get people to buy specific hardware on their own platform.

What I cannot get behind is why Intel blacklists those IDs on non-Lenovo systems on their own generic (non-OEM modified) driver. Let the OEMs lock down equipment if they want, why is Intel doing it on the official drivers? (The binary .sys files) I would appreciate if you removed that restriction. Do you have a contract with Lenovo that requires you to lock down hardware?

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Community Manager
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Hello jpegxguy,

 

Thank you for response.

 

Let us take a deeper look into this; we will reach you back as soon as possible.

 

 

I hope this helps.

 

Regards,

 

Diego S.

 

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Community Manager
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Hello jpegxguy,

 

Thank you for patience.

 

I regret to inform you that in this case, there is no such thing as a blacklist from Intel® where we lock hardware in our drivers.

 

We strongly recommend you as shared before, to contact your computer manufacturer since they customize drivers and software to enable or alter features, or provide improved operation on their computers.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Regards,

 

Diego S.

 

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Beginner
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I can prove it to you: http://www.karosium.com/2013/01/intel-4965agn-brand-check-patch.html This interesting post is from some years ago, and I also found this picture online

This is apparently from the NETwbw02.sys file of the official Intel drivers (just the file, nothing was done to it) and I suspect the same is true of other files. The stuff being mov'ed are pci device ids and if the 'je 0x1400d43ab' command is noped out the driver works flawlessly. So the development team knows about this. These ids are all from Lenovo. The function in 0x1400d43ab is blacklisting them, restricting them only to Lenovo systems. If the development team changed that, it would be awesome

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Community Manager
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Hello jpegxguy,

 

Thank you for your response.

 

We'll send your feedback to the appropriate team, we really appreciate it.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Regards,

 

Diego S.

 

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Beginner
17 Views

I don't have my hopes up but at least you were very helpful, thanks

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Beginner
17 Views

As expected Intel did not even consider the idea of stopping the crippling of their cards. They saw the 7260 in the request and never looked further. The list of the blacklisted PCI IDs even includes the newer 8260... Shame. I know where I'm buying my parts from in the future.

Thanks Diego S. for answering at least.

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Super User
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One point, in my opinion, that is important, is that these are NOT Intel products. If Lenovo had Intel make these cards for Lenovo, then they are Lenovo's products.

Doc

Doc (not an Intel employee or contractor)
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Beginner
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I can totally see that point of view. (Though I disagree, I personally think that since Intel made them, they should hold responsibility)

Anyhow the policy of blacklisting those cards that otherwise work fine in the official (generic) Intel drivers, I find appalling. I won't be buying Lenovo anytime soon (They also have bios blacklists and other sketchy tactics - remember that whole Superfish thing?)

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Super User
17 Views

I cannot agree with you more regarding Lenovo.

Just my opinion. Also, I am not an Intel employee or contractor.

Doc

Doc (not an Intel employee or contractor)
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Super User Retired Employee
17 Views

Could be worse; it could be Dell, who whitelists. Whitelists allow them to ensure that everything is bought through them...

As a former (now retired) employee of Intel, I am not happy seeing them implement a blacklist like this, but you can't blame them for doing so; it was Lenovo that (obviously insisted) on this blacklist being put in place for "their" products.

Just saying,

...S

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Beginner
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That's what I figure too, yeah

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