[QUOTE=BretShooter;2562759]Dell 1397 wireless card (broadcom) has a MAC that begins with C4. As I hope you know, (I didn’t) almost all MAC addresses start with 00. Unfortunately, the AP I have only allows MAC addresses with 00 for the first octet. [/QUOTE]
I’ve seen this issue with Netgear routers/APs, where I tried setting up static IP assignment in DHCP to a MAC and if the MAC did not start with ‘00’, it would say “Invalid MAC address!”.
As far as I’m aware of, one of the main reasons Wi-Fi manufacturers prevent forging the MAC address is due to abuse of this capability, such as doing this to get around MAC filtering or to hijack someone’s Internet connection at a public pay Wi-Fi spot, where the provider uses the customer’s MAC addresses to identify who has paid for access.
Here are some suggestions worth trying:
[li]Try finding another Wi-Fi driver such as an older version in a hope that an earlier version doesn’t have this restriction.[/li][li]See if you can get a firmware update for your AP that supports changing the first octet to a non-zero value. For the Netgear router I had issues with, an unofficial firmware gets around the issue as someone modified it to bypass the ‘00’ check.[/li][li]Consider using better security on the Wi-Fi, e.g. using WPA2 encryption and only letting those you trust have access to it. If someone manages to get around the encryption, MAC filtering is not going to prevent the hacker gaining access.[/li][li]Replace the Wi-Fi Access Point. If you’re using just an AP (not a combination router/AP or DSL AP), a plain Wi-Fi AP is relatively cheap to buy, especially if you’re using an 802.11g model. Some stores are selling out ‘g’ models to make way for the newer ‘n’ APs and routers. Just avoid Netgear or the brand you’re using to reduce the risk of ending up with another with the ‘00’ first octet issue.[/li][li]Alternatively, replace your Wi-Fi adapter. The internal adapter on most Dell laptops can be easily changed - just make sure the new one matches the interface type of the one installed (e.g. MiniPCI). Alternatively use an external USB Wi-Fi adapter. I’ve seen some USB Wi-Fi adapters have the MAC address printed on the cover of the retail packaging, so look out for this to make sure the new adapter has a MAC that starts with ‘00’.[/li][/ul]