Making Huawei E169 3G Modem be friends with Mac OS X Snow Leopard

I have spent the last 5 months trying to make a Huawei e169 modem work with MacOS X Snow Leopard and I can proudly say that I have finally got it working.. thanks to a excellent tutorial that I found on the web. You can find this original article here.

Unlike the usual ‘download the driver and install’ analogy that applies to any hardware you want to connect to your computer. The problem that I have faced in getting the 3G device to work is that:

  • The manufacturer(Heawei) doesn’t provide drivers. It expects carriers(like Optus, Telstra, 3, Vodafone, AT&T.. blah blah) to provide them.
  • Optus(my 3G card’s carrier) technical support is LAZY and downright horrible. From what i can gather, they havent provide the updated snow leopard drivers to their customers.
  • A lazy Google search didn’t get me very far into finding the drivers. I had to really narrow down my search.

Till i found the article that had what i needed! Specifically here is what you need to do to make your Huawei e169 3G Modem work with Mac OSX Snow Leopard on the Australian Optus network. You should be able to make it work with other carriers by just changing the APN settings(bit more on that later).

  • Move any existing Carrier applications to the trash.
  • Launch Terminal (Go to Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal).
  • Type the following…

sudo rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions/HuaweiDataCardDriver.kext

  • You will be asked for your current users password.
  • type the following…

sudo rm -rf “/Library/Modem Scripts/HUAWEI Mobile Connect – 3G Modem”

  • Bookmark this page(so you can come back here) and restart your computer.
  • Download the MobilePartner application that Kieran McIlwain has hosted. Incase he has taken his offline, here is a copy of the same file on my server.
  • Unzip it and install it(just keep clicking next).
  • Bookmark this page(if you didn’t do it earlier) and restart your computer.
  • Launch System Preferences
  • Go to Network
  • On the left, you (should) have 3 x 3G modems… remove them by clicking them one at a time and pressing the little minus(‘-’) button at the bottom. You might have to unlock the form by clicking the lock symbol in the bottom left and typing your password.
  • Click the plus(‘+’) button next to the lock/minus buttons and enter the following details and press create:

Interface: Huawei mobile modem (or something similar).

Service name: 3G modem (or whatever you want to)

  • Click the new item and provide the following settings:

Telephone number: *99#

Account name: null (or whatever your carrier gave you)

Passowrd: null (or whatever your carrier gave you)

  • Click the Advanced button and fill in the form with the following settings:

Vendor: Generic

Model: GPRS (GSM/3G)

APN: Connect (For optus customers only. Use whatever your carrier requires… a quick Google search should tell you what you need)

  • Your done!.. Click ‘OK’.. then ‘Apply’…. then ‘Connect’ (w00t!).
  • You might want to check the ‘Show modem status in the menu bar’ box to make it easier to connect.

Well there you have it, Huawei E169, Optus and Snow Leopard are finally working in harmony:) Gimme a shout in the comments below if your having problems or need my help :)

3 thoughts on “Making Huawei E169 3G Modem be friends with Mac OS X Snow Leopard

  1. I’ve tried this over and over. It still does not work. The modem does not show in the Interface menu. Stuffed if I know. I’ve tried averything.

  2. Do you know a way to force the modem to operate in 3G even if the 1G signal is stronger ?

    When I had this modem running on windows the software that came with it had an option to do so, but in OSX it’s now defaulting to the stronger carrier signal which is always going to be 1G (128kbps) slow instead of 7.2Mbps (fast)


  3. I just got a new MBP 15, and it’s back to this old problem… It’s running 10.6.8 and I haven’t been able to load the modem drivers. I’ve followed your beautifully written article to the letter ( a couple of times) but no dice. After the second restart, going to prefs to set up the dialing, still no modem listed in the drop down. As though the drivers are still unrecognized. In system profiler, under modems it simply states “No Information” but sees the stick as 2 usb volumes. The stick works on other machines… Any other ideas? Thanks!!

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