I recently upgraded from Windows 7 to the CP of Windows 8 and was surprised how well everything seemed to work. I was however having some battery life issues so decided to do a fresh install to make sure it wasn’t some driver weirdness left over from Win7.

After downloading and install drivers for all my system devices i was a bit disappointed to find that the 3G card’s (Ericsson F5521GW in my X220T) driver had installed correctly but that Windows 8 did not want to treat it as a broadband connection device. I could manually start the “WWAN configuration service” and then from a command line if I ran “netsh mbn show interface” I’d just get a message back saying “There is no Mobile Broadband interface”. Not great.

I knew the card worked fine in Windows 8 because it had functioned correctly before I did the re-install and if I installed the Lenovo access connection software I could make it connect to the internet but I wanted to uses the built in Windows 8 connection logic (MS have done some pretty cool things to support 3G connections in Windows 8). After some playing about I figured out how to install the driver correctly so thought I’d share…


Uninstall all other WWAN / mobile broadband drivers

From “uninstall programs” make sure you remove any previous broadband drivers & if needs be open Device Manager and uninstall the broadband device components. When your done you should see something like this:



Download latest drivers

Next go to the Lenovo download site and get the latest WWAN card drivers – even though these are listed as “Windows 8” compatible they aren’t quite…

Lenovo Windows 8 beta driver site

Download and save the WWAN driver (83wo14ww.zip – Do not run it straight away!


Compatibility trick

Navigate to the folder where you saved the driver zip file and extract them.


Now open the “driver” subfolder and bring up the properties for “setup”


under the compatibility tab open “Change settings for all users” and set “Run this program” as “Windows 7” then apply


Now run a command prompt and navigate to the folder path for that Setup.exe file (make sure you get to the one in the “driver” subfolder, not the one in the level above!)


Now type in “setup.exe /wNOAUTOSENSING /wUSELASTKNOWNRADIOSTATE” and hit enter to start the installer

You might get the following security prompt:


Just hit “more info” and then “Run anyway”


You’ll then get a prompt for elevating the setup & click next and choose the default options unless you really want to store the files elsewhere


When it’s finished you should have the following devices listed in device manager:

  • Ports
    • F5521gw Mobile Broadband Device Management
    • F5521gw Mobile Broadband GPS Port
  • Smart card Readers
    • F5521gw Mobile Broadband USIM Port
  • USB controllers
    • F5521gw Mobile Broadband Device

imageAnd if you click on the “connect to network” icon you should now see your 3G provider listed..! (My connections show as limited because I was on a VPN at the time!)


That was the last of the drivers I had problems installing on Windows 8 and everything now seems fairly happy and well behaved (with no missing drivers or unknown devices). If it’s of interest I could post a guide for doing a clean install but that would mean starting over. Let you know if there’s interest below. Happy Windows 8’ing