Install Dell Wireless Drivers/Utility On HP HardwareYou may be asking yourself what kind of crack I'm on. Well, it's the kind that makes me want to install Dell software on HP hardware. But seriously, what gives? Well, for a long time Dell has sold rebranded Broadcom wireless cards for laptops. Most non-Dell laptops, be default, come with Intel wireless cards. The problem though is that, for corporations, the Intel utility was harder to configure. With the Dell utility, you could create a binary "settings" file that can be dropped on a machine and that machine automatically configures itself on the fly. This is heaven for network administrators.
My company, however, does not have corporate wireless access, so I have no clue why they give out laptops with this wireless card. Stupidity aside, let's get to the reason I want to install the Dell software. My home wireless network is very secure; MAC filtering and WPA2. Therein lies the problem. The default Windows wireless utility can not do WPA2, thus I could not use my work laptop at home without plugging in an ethernet cable. That just doesn't cut it.
So just install the Dell drivers and the utility, right? Wrong. The super-nice folks at Dell put a check into their drivers to make sure they don't get installed on non-Dell hardware. Awesome. What now? Well, if you remember one of my older articles, this is where I could have started modifying the MSI file to remove the check, however there are none. So I need to find another way.
This is a generic WISE style installer, so there is a setup.ini file (along with other setup.* files). Opening up the setup.ini file revealed this:
[INSTALL_OPTIONS_NT] PLATFORM_SELECTOR=dellinst.exeInteresting. So it appears that there is an EXE file that will detect whether or not your hardware is Dell branded. It seems simple enough to comment out that line and everything will work. Wrong. Even after commenting out that line, setup.exe still errors that my hardware is incompatible. Well, if we can't tell it to not run the checking program, let's get rid of the checking program. Uh oh. dellinst.exe doesn't exist. However, there are 3 other files with "Dell" in the name.
DellInfo64.exe DellInfo.exe DellInst.encThe first two obviously read Dell specific information from your 64-bit or 32-bit system and the third program... I have no idea. But it doesn't matter, if it has Dell in the name, I'm making it non-executable. So I renamed those files to make sure that Windows couldn't run them.
DellInfo64.exe.old DellInfo.exe.old DellInst.enc.oldSo now that I think the Dell check is gone, it's time to run setup.exe again. Success! Instead of dying because it didn't receive the expected input from the Dell checkers, the setup continues on. It installs perfectly, and after a reboot, the Dell utility starts and WPA2 networks can now be used. Yay!