I've just installed elementary OS on to a HP Steam laptop which was extremely slow on Windows. elementary OS was installed as the primary OS, no dual boot, and I selected the option to completely wipe the hard drive.

I have absolutely no Internet connection and I also have no idea how to boot into the BIOS on this laptop. I tried following this guide, but the Terminal output told me that it can't find the Wi-Fi device.

That's as far as I've gotten. I'm not even sure I can reinstall Windows at this point as I don't know how to access the BIOS on this laptop so I'm in pretty dire need of some help. All I can think of to do is install a Wi-Fi driver from USB but I don't know the first thing about doing this.

  • If dsSTORM's answer doesn't help, you can buy/borrow a USB wifi adapter to get access till you can fix the problem.
    – etim sim
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 23:52
  • I suggest one of the inexpensive USB-Ethernet adapters. Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 12:55
  • You can download from other device and install on your computer in most cases. For example its easy to install Broadcom driver which is easily found by a little googling but finding a realtek one can be a little problematic. I think its best to have one usb adapter for ethernet in that case. I hope your problem is solved already.
    – Hasan
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 5:24
  • 1
    You can try tethering your phone with USB and using it to connect to the internet. That is the method I used to avoid using an ethernet port.
    – Lurch
    Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 13:27

3 Answers 3


Despite this one being a bit old already (see original question date) I'd like to point out something as someone else might stumble here looking for an answer. I just yesterday installed elementary the first time and fell in love. When you start the installation process, you are asked a couple of questions. One of them is whether you want some third party drivers and such installed as well. I suggest answering "yes" to that. The first reason I even took a look to elementary was simple - I googled for a distro that would support Broadcom wireless devices, and the first hit was something like "elementary OS did the trick for me!" so I picked it. And I'm happy I did.


Your laptop has one of the infamous broadcom wireless chips. You can try the answers here

  • Your contribution is much appreciated, Please try adding appropriate answer here and leave a source link.
    – Hasan
    Commented Sep 19, 2019 at 21:12

TRY using USB tethering from mobile phone

You can use your phone to share network connection to your laptop with USB Tethering mode

Plug your phone USB cable to a USB port on your laptop, then go to Settings -> Connection & Sharing(Depends on phone model) -> USB Tethering, then turn on USB tethering. You should be able to work on your laptop with internet access this way

  • Welcome! You are great addition to the community. Please try to make answer a little more informative with steps to do what you have suggested.
    – Hasan
    Commented Sep 19, 2019 at 21:11

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