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Huawei HiLink UMTS USB modems - any chance to run on WinME?


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Several cellular operators sell those Huawei HiLink modems (for example Huawei E303) advertising them as "requiring no drivers". This is, of course, not true for very obvious reasons.

What really happens when such a modem is plugged into a Windows PC is its identification as a USB CD-ROM drive with a CD in it. After that this "CD" autoruns, the autorun program switches the modem state, the modem identifies itself as a virtual network adapter, for which the driver is then installed. The virtual network adapter shows as Windows Mobile-based Internet Sharing Device in the Device Manager. The driver it uses comes from the virtual CD mentioned earlier. It's in the MobileBrServ\data.bin ZIP archive, in the driver folder. Two files: wceis.cat and WceIS.inf. It seems to be made by Microsoft for one of their Windows Mobile based devices.

The modem installs and works on Windows XP SP3, but not on SP2. However, since it uses standart Microsoft drivers, I wonder if it can be made to work on OSes below XP SP3, particularly Windows ME. Maybe if we identified the device, for which the Microsoft-written driver that this modem uses was intended, we could find out more about it.

The driver file is attached to the post. The virtual CD image is uploaded to [url=]http://d01.megashares.com/dl/6uuqPbd/HiLink.ISO.

Anyone is welcome to share his thoughts on the subject.


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Betting the SIM card is set up as "CD" (or IS it?) since you speak of "Autorun" OR it loads the CD-Image which is the "CD" you speak of and the SIM card is simply an HDD with a "loader" embedded and you COULD copy/burn the CD ISO image and format the SIM card for other uses.

See link as to why I believe this to be true. Found this way - Google

Huawei HiLink modem

edit - ARRG! It's for ISP Connectivity (?)...


Embedded link -


AND appears to be ISP-locked? (like "smartphones")

What is the SPECIFIC model you're referring to?

hmmm -



What does Device Manager show as per Device Manager in Properties->Details->Device Instance in XP?

See this (DDK) -


Edited by submix8c
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submix8c, are you referring to the modem as "SIM card"? I suppose so, since I don't believe you would seriously think it's possible to burn the CD image to a SIM card. The virtual CD image is stored in the modem firmware, so it's contents can be changed when re-flashing the firmware. But that's not really important, the real problem is making the virtual network adapter work on OSes below XP SP3 (WinME in my case).

AND appears to be ISP-locked? (like "smartphones")

What is the SPECIFIC model you're referring to?

The modem I experimented with is a Huawei E303. It is probably SIM-locked, thought I didn't try using it with any SIM-card other than the one it came with.

What does Device Manager show as per Device Manager in Properties->Details->Device Instance in XP?

Can't tell, since I currently don't have the modem and didn't save the state of the virtual machine I installed it onto. But why would it matter?

Anyway, thanks for all the links. I think it's worth trying to make it work with the driver from Remote NDIS USB Driver Kit, although it's possible it will only work with newer versions that are only available for 2000 and XP.

These modems got an internal flash that holds the driver and client app. While you may get the driver work you still have to make the client app work...

HiLink modems are controlled via web interface (browser), like DSL modems, for example. The only "client app" is the one that autoruns from the virtual CD to switch the modem state.

Edited by naaloh
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  • 4 weeks later...

What does Device Manager show as per Device Manager in Properties->Details->Device Instance in XP?

I can answer that question now, as I found that I did save this information, it's USB\Vid_12d1&Pid_14db\5&1f8fd7d0&0&1

I have rewritten the INF file to the best of my abilities in order to make it work under WinME (and Win98, too).

I am attaching the rewritten INF to this message, if anyone with a substantial knowledge of Microsoft INF files can check it for mistakes, I would appreciate it, because soon I'm going to borrow the modem again and try to make it work under Windows Millenium Edition.

It's very frustrating that so few modern USB devices have drivers for the legacy OSes even when it doesn't cost anything for the manufacturer to provide them (all that's needed in case of this modem is a properly written INF, since the drivers themselves are from Microsoft). I imagine having a working WinME driver for such modems would help a lot of people, e. g. those who would like to use an old notebook that can't handle XP as a netbook.

In case anyone is interested, I used Microsoft INF template for USB Remote NDIS Device for Win98/ME, Microsoft INF template for USB Remote NDIS Device for Win2000/XP, ZyXEL USB ADSL Modem INF for Win98/ME and ZyXEL USB ADSL Modem INF for Win2000/XP as a reference. The Microsoft templates are in the packages submix8c much helpfully pointed me to: RNDIS-USB-Kit_05.exe and rndisusb1-1.exe.


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  • 2 months later...

Well, I tried it and, not surprisingly, it didn't work. There is an exclamation mark on top of the adapter sign in the device manager and a massage that says "This device is either not present, not working properly, or does not have all the drivers installed. (Code 10.)

Try upgrading the device drivers for this device."

The .inf is, probably, OK, but the modem needs newer versions of drivers, which are available only for Windows XP and above.

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