Make a ThinkPad accept any MiniPCI Card - avoid 1802 error

If after installing your new miniPCI card into your ThinkPad laptop you get an 1802 error at boot, here is the solution.

Disclaimer: This worked for me, but I am unable to make any guarantee that it will work for you. Furthermore, if you really care about IBM's warranty, you may want to pass this one and buy your miniPCI card from IBM directly.

After getting my ThinkPad R40 from eBay, I got a wireless miniPCI card from there as well. I bought an Intel card, to avoid any compatibility issues. Little did I know... All recent ThinkPads have an internal list of miniPCI cards they will accept. Note that this is not only based on the model number, but also some internal numbers which are different for different batches of the exact same card.

Here is a detailed explanation. The simplest solution is:

  1. download
  2. boot into DOS mode
  3. run

If nothing happens - you should be able to finally install your card.

If your laptop came without a floppy drive, you may need to create or find a boot CD. I found some free boot-CD-generating program and created a CD with an option to boot into Windows 98. If you have Easy CD Creator, Nero, or some such software, they all let you create boot CDs, but you may need to obtain an image of a bootable floppy disk first (which means you have to create the CD on another computer that does have a floppy.)

This Command-Tab post has links to CD ISO image and a floppy image you can use.

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© Svemir Brkic 2019.


  • Doon says:

    This thread is old and pretty much dead, BUT... If you are having trouble getting the computer to boot from the bootable no-1802 CD or Floppy because the 1802 Error stops the boot process... First, Remove the affected WiFi card before you try to run the program... After the program has run successfully, shut down the laptop and re-install the wifi card and things should be fine.

    The no-1802 program does not reflash or actually repair the problem, it is simply a work-around that changes a BIOS setting which is inaccessible from within the user accessible BIOS settings. If the CMOS battery dies or if your BIOS is reset, your BIOS will again give the 1802 Error. If the CMOS battery dies, Replace the CMOS battery first, then Run the no-1802 program again and you should be fine for more years until the CMOS battery dies again.

    I don't remember where it was that I had found it, but at one point I had found a site (might have been think-wiki) with modified BIOS downloads for numerous Thinkpad models which completely eliminates the problem from ever re-occurring (like by your CMOS battery dying or by the BIOS being reset) by re-flashing the BIOS with a version with the 1802 error completely removed. If you can find it, that is definitely the best way to go because you'll never need to worry about it again.

  • Krasimir from Bulgaria says:

    Worked and tested on IBM ThinkPad T42 with intel 2200BG Wireless card! Just download CD image from this site
    and burn it.
    Required disable network adapter from bios before boot CD,after boot from CD and type no-1802 enable card from bios ,thats it.

  • DiCoR says:

    Hey i have a problem
    i have a lenovo thinkpad x230 and i want to use my buyed Ericsson F5521gw WWan card

    i followed tutorials but it dont works....
    error 1802

    pls help me
    i speak german
    i say sorry for my bad english 😀

  • Stephen Fox says:

    Thank you for this! I just upgraded a ThinkPad T41 from a 2100 to a 2200. It complained about the 1802. After booting to the CD I made and typing "no-1802" at the DOS prompt, the computer accepted the card after rebooting and I was able to install the driver.

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