Unlocking your Sony Ericsson's GC83 EDGE PC Card (PCMCIA)
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About this Article
In this article I intend to show you how I unlocked my Sony Ericsson's GC83 EDGE PC Card (PCMCIA) that I purchased from Ebay.
SKIP RIGHT TO THE SOLUTION
What happened to me
First allow me to explain what I purchase. April 17th 2006 I purchase a Sony Ericsson's GC83 EDGE PC Card (PCMCIA) from a wonderful seller on Ebay.com
After shipping it quickly to me I opened the package and noticed this was pretty much a brand new card from Cingular.
I have T-Mobile so I was hoping this would be an UNLOCKED card.
It wasn't, so hence my dilemma. (and probably yours if you're readying this)
I turned on the cingular manager software only to be shown a "Wireless Device is Locked" and no way to go on after that.
What I did to Unlock my Card
I looked around on Google only to find that everyone was having trouble finding anyone who did it (except for one person that suggested you send them a money order for $85 and they would do it, Yeah RIGHT!)
I thought I'd try with the most obvious path, which I was sure everyone else took:
Call Cingular! I did have a friend with a cingular phone, and I knew his phone number, but didn't know his Password, or Social Security (hint. I didn't need it)
After Talking to a number of people I discover that the group in Cingular that has access to the "Unlock Codes" are the "Data support group" (same people that would help it set it up.
They did ask me for the phone number associated with the card (I gave them my friends) and the IMEI (unique number in the back of the card. (I had those) Then they asked me for the password (or last four digits of the owners Social) I didn't have either these and after explaining to customer service rep. that I wasn't going to change anything they let me continue.
After giving him the IMEI he gave me the UNLOCK CODE: 52719344
"DONE", I thought, but unfortunately he told me that "Cingular doesn't have the instructions to unlock the card, and Sony Ericsson will not help you with this."
Google wasn't of any help with the instructions.
But the solution was staring me right in the face: Don't use the cingular software that came with the card.
Download the Software from: Sony Ericsson's GC83 Driver's Page
I used the Sony Ericsson Wireless Manager, Version 126.96.36.1998 - Americas drivers (direct link from above page)
After I installed the Software I had to reboot, and when I inserted my Sony Ericsson's GC83 card, it did discover the card, but required ONE MORE driver and I simply pointed it to the "Drivers" directory that is in the Zip file you download (in other words the sony software has ALL the drivers, you WON'T have to download any driver if you download their Software)
I then ran the program and was presented with a message saying "This wireless card is Locked" (Duh!)
But when I clicked on OK, I was pleasantly asked for the "UNLOCK CODE" I entered the number that I was given by Cingular, and the program continued, and I was able to setup my T-Mobile T-Zones APN (wap.voicestream.com)
And I clicked on "Connect" and shortly I was surfing using my T-Mobile T-Zones $5 Unlimited Internet using my Cingular GC83 EDGE Card. Short Version of the Solution:
- 1) Don't install the Wireless Carriers software that came with your card
- 2) Download the the driver from Sony Ericsson's GC83 Driver's Page
- 3) Call the wireless provider that this card is locked to (In my case it was a cingular Card so I called cingular)
- 4) Ask for the "Data support group" or tell them "I want to unlock my notebook data card"
- 5) Get the unlock code (by simply asking for it), you will need a phone number of a person with a contract with that company, and you can usually get away without knowing the password or social of the owner (But if you have it use it). The cards are NOT connected to a phone number unlike one rep. tried to explain, and they will help you unlock a card even though your account doesn't have a pc card on file.
- 6) Once you got the Unlock Code install the Sony Ericsson software.
- 7) Reboot (if asked to)
- 8) Insert your Sony GC83/GC82 Card and wait.
- 9) It will detect a lot of different things (the card actually has a"modem Interface" and a "network card" Interface) It might ask you where one of the drivers are and joint point it to the location where you unzipped the Sony Ericsson software (there's a "Drivers" directory there)
PLEASE NOTEI can't guarantee you will GET the unlock code for your GC83/GC82 card, but I can tell you I DID get it (on the second attempt and after a total of 30 minutes on the phone)
The hardest part for you now is getting the unlock code from your card's provider. (not YOUR provider)
It sounded impossible to get cingular to give me the code (at least by most comments in other forums) but I got it by asking enough times for it.
And I'm sure Cingular has all the old AT&T codes.
If you're lucky enough to have a T-Mobile Card you'll find they give you the code quite easily, and unlike cingular they ask that their customers only be with them for 2 months before they'll give you the code. (I believe cingular wants you to be with them for a year at least before they'll give them to you, but I could be wrong)
So you can ask a friend that has T-Mobile EVEN if they've been on them for only a couple of months.
My friend had been with Cingular for 2 years, and I had a friend get the unlock code by using his company's cingular phone number (just gave them that phone number, nothing more).
But seriously... if you're planning to leave T-Mobile (with their $6/month internet option) for cingular's $60/month service, then you DON'T need to unlock the Sony GC83 card you bought from ebay.