Some little technical blog

Sierra Wireless EM7455: how to make it work with an older Lenovo laptop

Lenovo and other manufacturers, namely Dell are starting to use the newest Quallcomm 9×30 based cellular modems. The only modem manufacturer so far is Sierra Wireless and the model is XX7455, where XX is the form factor code. We’ll be using an m.2 modem, so our model number is EM7455. For the older generation laptops that only have a mini-PCI slot there’s the MC7455 model. Currently, the EM7455 is available as Sierra Wireless generic version (the model is EM7455), Lenovo version (the model is EM7455 as well), and Dell version (the model is DW5811e). All three versions are the same hardware, the only difference is the firmware and there are no restrictions for cross-flashing too.

EM7455 is not intended for use with the previous generation Lenovo laptops, such as X240, X1 Carbon Gen2, etc, but we’re going to fix that!

But if we check the price online we can see that the Dell variant is the cheapest, it can be bought for about $90, while Lenovo costing about $160. So I bought a Dell DW5811e from Aliexpress, the only thing to care about here is the part number, which should be 1102424. The part number is printed on the device sticker.

There are other part numbers around, one of which is known to be a 3G only model, so it’s not recommended to buy any other part number.

So when I got the module, there is the following to be realized:

1. My laptop’s BIOS whitelist will accept only EM7345 and EM7355 modules. If any other device is installed, the laptop won’t boot with “1802 Unauthorized network card is installed” message. So in order to make it work, I need to change the ID to mimic the EM7355.

2. I’m using Windows 7, and it lacks the generic MBIM driver, so the EM7455 won’t work out from the box. It will require the drivers, but the problem is, that the drivers from Sierra Wireless, Lenovo and Dell will work only for the device with the stock ID, and I cannot use those ID because of the #1. The solution here is to use the MBIM driver for the EM7355. If you’re using Windows 8 or 10, then you don’t need to worry about the MBIM drivers, as the Windows will use its built in drivers for that.

Put your laptop to sleep, open the case and install the EM7455. Secure the screw and connect the antennas properly. Then wake up the laptop. You’ll see the following unrecognized devices in the Device Manager:

In this case there are 4 devices total: MBIM interfaces, AT command port, NMEA GPS port and diagnostics port, the last 3 all being COM ports. If you see less than 4 devices, that can be because some of them disabled, refer to this post to enable missing COM ports and change the compostion to MBIM.

As for now, we cannot use the device as it is, because on next reboot we will see the 1802 error from BIOS. We need to change the IDs of the device to those whitelisted in our Lenovo BIOS. For the X240, we change the IDs to those mimicking EM7355.

Download and unpack the following file to the following path for example: “D:\DRV

Open the properties window of the device that has the following ID: USB\VID_413C&PID_81B6&REV_0006&MI_03. Note the “MI_03” at the end, in case of a different ID, MI_03 always corresponds to the AT command COM port.

Then click “Update Driver”:

Click “Browse my computer for driver software”:

Click “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer”:

Select “Show All Devices” and click “Next”:

Click “Have Disk”:

Enter the path you extracted the drivers into: “D:\DRV\Driver\Driver\X64“. Use “D:\DRV\Driver\Driver\X86” if your Windows is 32 bit:

Click “OK”. You will see the following window. In the left list, select “Huawei Incorporated“, then in the right list, select “HUAWEI Mobile Broadband – Modem” and click “Next”:

You will see the following warning from Windows. Just click “Yes”:

The driver will be installed:

Click “Close” and check the device in the Device Manager:

Check the assigned COM port number in the “Modem” tab:

In our case, it is COM59. Now open that port COM59 in Putty or any terminal program. Type “ATI” and press Enter:

That means the device is working and we can change the device IDs now.

Enter the following commands and note the responses:

Let’s check the current device VID/PIDs:

Exactly the same IDs we see in the Device Manager. Let’s change the VID to Sierra Wireless:

And PIDs to those mimicking EM7355:

Note that we set the boot ID to be 9078, that’s the standard ID for Lenovo PID. We need this PID to be Lenovo in order to be able to install drivers necessary when you need to flash your EM7455.

Let’s check if our changes are successful:

All seems ok, let’s reboot the EM7455:

Your EM7455 will reboot and after a couple of minutes you’ll see it in the Device Manager. Note that device IDs will be changed now:

Download and unpack the following file (vanilla EM7355 drivers) into the following path: “D:\DRV\EM7355

Now, if you have Windows 8 or later, the EM7455 MBIM device will be automatically recognized and drivers will be installed for it automatically. Proceed with the following step only if you have Windows 7.

Only for Windows 7: Open the device properties for “USB\VID_1199&PID_901F&REV_0006&MI_0c” and click “Update Driver”:

Click “Browse my computer for driver software”:

Navigate to “D:\DRV\EM7355\Uncompressed_Drivers_Only\Drivers” and click “Next”:

The driver will be installed:

Click “Close” and proceed with the following step no matter what Windows version you have.

Now for each of the remaining 3 devices without drivers repeat the above procedure, open the device properties, click “Update Driver” and point Windows to “D:\DRV\EM7355\Uncompressed_Drivers_Only\Drivers” if you have Windows 7 or 8, or to “D:\DRV\EM7355\Uncompressed_Win10Drivers_Only” if you have Windows 10:

You’ll end up with all device drivers correctly installed:

Now you can safely reboot your laptop without worrying about the 1802 error. Unfortunately, with my X240 I see the following message every time I reboot the laptop:

For some odd reason, the X240 BIOS recognizes the EM7455 as an SSD disk. This can potentially be fixed by isolating some m.2 contacts on the EM7455 that are used for SSD signals by the X240 motherboard, but I didn’t investigate that. I press ESC every time I reboot to skip that error. I reboot rarely and use sleep all the time, anyways. With the newer Lenovo laptops, you won’t see this error as their motherboard is already aware of the EM7455.

Congratulations, your EM7455 is ready to use with your older Lenovo laptop!

13 Responses to Sierra Wireless EM7455: how to make it work with an older Lenovo laptop

  • Hi, I managed to get the card recognized in Win 10 on X240, but still not operational. I have two problems:
    1. Restart works with Esc as you wrote in your article but booting from shutdown does not. I have to remove the card because it throws the 1802 error every time when I boot from shutdown.
    2. I cannot connect to the network. For some strange reason, it just says searching for signal and then “contact your network operator”. The 3G ericsson card works fine.
    The card in question is a EM7455, Lenovo PN: SW10H24567, FRU PN: 00JT547 and under “product of Vietnam” it says: 1102782.
    Firmware is SWI9X30C_02.20.03.00_GENERIC_002.017_000.
    Any ideas?

    • Forgot to mention, I have 4G coverage, phone works fine. Checked and double checked antenna connectors, all fine. SIM card removed and returned.

      Thanks for your help.

    • The 1802 error will show the IDs of the blocked card. What are yours? If you changed the IDs, it cannot change anymore, no matter if you reboot or power cycle the laptop. One of a possible reason I can think of is something is wrong with the firmware so the card starts up in the boot mode when the BIOS is checking. In the boot mode the card has a different ID, which you can also change as shown in the article.

      Lenovo EM7455 require something called FCC Authentication in order to be able to see the signal. ModemAuthenticator software component is doing that on Windows. It is a part of standard Lenovo EM7455 drivers. Dell EM7455 doesn’t require that and Lenovo EM7455 can be configured to turn that FCC Authentication off by flashing some small configuration file into the card.

  • Hi, I bought a used X1C 3rd gen w/ windows 10 pro, and a separate EM7455 (00JT547) on it’s way from ebay. It seems like the price of dell em7455 is about the same as for lenovo now, em7455 was actually cheaper on the day I checked ebay.
    My plan is to install the modem and see if it works w/o doing anything like changing vid and pid.
    If my planc does not work, and since I have Windows 10 and a lenovo model of em7455, should I just change the pid to mimic em7345?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Does X1C 3rd gen include the EM7455 in the BIOS whitelist? If so, no need to change pids. If, however, it has a EM7355 in the whitelist then you need to change the id to mimic EM7355. EM7345 is based on another chipset and is not related to the pid changing in any way.

      • Lenovo x1c gen3 has Ericsson n5321 and Sierra em7345 (your previous “pet”, zukota) cards whitelisted. So, there are some difficulties as em7355′ IDs and drivers aren’t suitable for this trik. Especially under win7 as we need manufacturer’ MBIM drivers.

  • I see you’re doing this with Windows – but do you know if the same process is the case for Debian Linux? We have a ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2nd Gen that we’re trying to get to accept the EM7455 without giving us the 1802 error. Any help would be *greatly* appreciated!!

  • zukota,

    regarding your last picture about SSD related error: the cause might be the BIOS outdated despite there aren’t suitable statements in the BIOS changes list.

  • Hello Zukota.

    Commands at!usbvid?, at!usbpid?, at!usbvid=1199 are returning “ERROR”.

    Please help.

    I have following identifiers:
    Manufacturer: Sierra Wireless, Incorporated
    Model: EM7455
    Revision: SWI9X30C_00.08.02.00 r1706 carmd-fwbuild4 2015/03/10 08:07:02
    IMEI SV: 0
    +GCAP: +CGSM,+DS,+ES

    • Your firmware version is old.
      The commands you should use to change ID are: AT!UDPID, AT!UDVID
      If you update the firmware, then the commands will become AT!USBPID and AT!USBVID respectively

      • Thank you, I have been able to change VID&PID to ones from Sierra. And installed drivers.
        But I can’t update firmware.
        Revision: SWI9X30C_00.08.02.00 r1706 carmd-fwbuild4 2015/03/10 08:07:02

        When running 9999999_9904609_SWI9X30C_02.08.02.00_00_GENERIC_002.007_000.exe:
        FDT version: 5.1.1509.0
        Checking modem mode …
        Disabling selective suspend …
        Switching device to boot & hold mode …

        Firmware download failed.
        Primary error code: 51 – Failed to switch device to BOOT&HOLD mode.
        Secondary error code: 201 – Failed to switch device to QDL mode.
        Device error code: 0x0 – Unknown device error code.
        Total time elapsed: 1279 ms.
        Press Enter to continue …

  • Zukota, could you please help me with firmware upgrade.

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