Portege R500-125 - Vodafone 3G SIM Card - What to do !!!
I recently purchased a Portege R500 125. It is excellent size wise , performance wise , specs ,weight etc. But the most important feature for me was the 3G functionality.
On opening the box and the instructions (User Manual) there was no mention about the 3G card slot at all, i had a look around the laptop and could not find a slot . I then wondered if I had indeed purchased the right laptop , looked at the box and it defeinitely said 3G.
So I came onto the support forum and picked up a thread saying that the SIM card slot was behind the battery in the Portege and Tecra range. Hey presto there it was. I thought , excellent put sim card in and fire up the mobliink software.I launched the mobilink software and it said Vodafone UK on the application GUI. clicked connect and it would start saying "connecting" and then would just go back to "Ready".
Next Step was to call Toshiba support , they told me I had to download the Novatel Wireless driver update from the download site ver 10.9 I think. In addition they said that YOU SHOULD NOT USE THE MOBILINK SOFTWARE TO CONNECT ! , I was told to use the Vodafone VISTA software to connect. So got onto the Vodafone site and downloaded the 9.3.0 software , also looked at the read me document (do not usually do this and guess what it mentions that it supports Novatel V10.9) , therefore I was well on my way I thought !. Not yet !
Downloaded the Novatel wireless driver and then installed the Vodafone software. Fired up the Vodafone software and it said "mobile deveice detected" and that was it. It did not search for networks. So I thought lets try one last thing. I removed the SIM from the laptop and put the the SIM into the original PC card. Once i put the PC data card in , it installed some drivers and then said it was installed successfully. Then crunch time ! , launcehed the Vodafone software and hey presto we had a signal and a connection ! , SUCCESS.
Now for the acid test. Put the SIM card into the laptop launched the software , first message on the screen - "mobile device detected" then "searching for network" , then at last "Vodafone 3G" , pressed the conncect button and we had a connection.
It did seem a long drawn out process , but got there in the end.I suspect that by using the data card it installs some drivers that the Vodafone software and Portege needs to have to operate successfully. I suspect this would be the same approach for any 3G SIM card not just Vodafone. In summary
Update Novatel Wireless Drivers (V10.9) from Portege downloads
Install Vodafone Vista driver (V9.3.0) from Vodafone .co.uk
Insert data card with 3G SIM (Wait for drivers to be installed and message that states "drivers successfuly installed")
Launch Vodafone software and connect - wait for a successful connection
Remove data card and SIM
Install SIM into the Portege (behind battery and lock into position)
Launch Vodafone software and connect (DO NOT USE MOBILINK)
Re: Portege R500-125 - Vodafone 3G SIM Card - What to do !!!
in response to: Jimi
I have the same laptop and bought a 3 mobile internet package. This comes with a SIM card in a holder looking like a large datastick. In fact it acts as a flash disk as well and contains the software. It didn't install! After a bit of messing around, I realised that the flash disk had installed itself as drive D, which already existed. Once I sorted that out and assigned different drive letter, it installed OK and I had a 3 USB Modem folder with Huawei software, which worked.
Then I tried the SIM card in the proper slot, and of course it didn't work. I realised that the Mobilink software was probably intended to be used instead and tried to configure this. The instructions above would have saved me a few minutes, but I soon realised that the one and only profile had to be copied, not modified. Then the only problem was to find the APN. This turned out to be "3internet", and that's all that was needed.
I'm trying to use the laptop on train journeys, and the signal is very variable. I find the software is not good at re-establishing a lost connection, but otherwise it's fine. In areas of poor reception I had to set it to GPRS only (that's not in the profile, but in Connection/Device Setting). There's also a Device Properties, but that's just a popup.
So, after some initial problems, it works fine, and is much better than a USB stick that is very easy to dislodge. I haven't tried updating the Mobilink drivers.