Fix: Unauthorized network card is plugged in – Power off and remove the card

You haven’t gotten frustrated enough with your Lenovo if you haven’t come across this weird error. So I have this Lenovo ThinkPad E49 that I bought recently.

So I realized that I could not connect to any wireless connection. This seemed very easy for me to solve since I was familiar with all the troubleshooting steps of the Wi-Fi adaptor.

So started troubleshooting to discover the possible failures, downloaded new wireless drivers, reset the computer but all didn’t work. So I remembered about the BIOS setup. It definitely has something to do with the failure(thinking in mind as it almost the last resort ).

I jumped into my BIOS settings and landed on the network settings, just to realize that the wireless LAN radios and wireless access port were turned off. Who did this! Well it all didn’t matter, what mattered is that I had discovered the problem and so I turned on the wireless radios, saved settings and rebooted.

Now here is the big problem. On booting, all what the screen showed was: 1802: Unauthorized network card is plugged in – power off and remove the card. I realized I had to reverse all the settings I had made, so I rebooted in order to access the BIOS setup and reverse the settings.

As if the error alone was not enough, the BIOS setup could not load with the error displayed, an this is where the problem became bigger. So after some research, I discovered the cause and the solutions to the problem.

Cause of error 1802 : Unauthorized network card is plugged in – Power off and remove the card

Even though Lenovo takes the second largest market share. This error is most common with lenovo thinkpad laptops.

During the booting process, the BIOS software performs the power on self test (POST) which checks if the hardware components of the system are working as expected. This includes checking the keyboard, RAM, Hard disk and all the other components.

Unfortunately The Lenovo BIOS only accepts hardware manufactured by them and so it can not boot with an unauthorized adaptor plugged in . This accomplished by checking the network card PCI-ID with the white-list in the BIOS. Yes, even after buying your own laptop, Lenovo still governs it with their rules. Not cool.

How to fix the error

A wireless card is a small chip located on the motherboard that gives a computer wireless capabilities.

Removing the wireless card

This the safest and simplest fix for the error. You can the remove and replace the wireless card with the authorized one purchased from Lenovo or you can just remove it and use the computer without it in case you don’t want to spend extra money.

With the wireless card removed, the computer boots and works normally but without the wireless capabilities. This is better than having the error on screen all day.

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How to remove the remove the wireless card

Open the back of the computer. Since various computers have different designs, I can’t be specific on the exact location of the your wireless card. You can google for your specific model and get the exact location.

Locate the wireless network card and remove it. Replace it with a new one in case you’ve purchased it already. Then finally boot the computer with the error gone.

You can optionally boot normally while the unauthorized network card is plugged in but disabled through the BIOS. Turn off the using the following steps .

Since the BIOS setup can not be accessed with the error in place, you will need to first unplug the wireless card.

Boot the computer and open the BIOS setup and pressing the appropriate key, in most cases F1, F2, or Enter keys.

From the BIOS menu, click on the Config tab to open the configuration settings.

BIOS configuration settings

Click on Network and turn off the Wireless LAN radios.

Disable wireless LAN radios

We still need to disable the wireless port access.

Click on the security tab from the main menu and click on I/O port access.

port access settings

Disable the Wireless LAN from the list ports.

disable wireless LAN port

save the settings and exit.

At this point, you can plug back the wireless card and boot normally but note that this won’t make the card work, the computer will just work normally without wireless capabilities.

Using a modded BIOS to fix the error

Modding a BIOS system involves enhancing the original BIOS in order to support additional previously unsupported hard ware components.
This a risky procedure and I do not recommend any one to use it. This is because a simple mistake can make a system completely unbootable.

However, in case its necessary to use this procedure, a skilled person should be employed to perform the operation.


I hope with the above, you were able to get rid of error.

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