How to enable PC/SC support for Dell Contactless Reader

Finally I found the solution!

In a follow up to my post on the “Dell embedded contactless reader“, here is how you enable PC/SC support for this reader.

Select Dell Latitude and Precision systems comes with an embedded contactless smart card reader. Out of the box, this reader is not PC/SC enabled. The contactless reader is only available through the CV chipset (Dell Credentials Vault), meaning that it will only work in PBA (Pre Boot Authentication), and when enrolling a contactless card through the Dell supported software (EmbassySuite/ControlPoint).

PC/SC support means that you can use this reader in your own and third-party programs, by using the standard PC/SC smartcard API.
I have contacted Dell about PC/SC support for the contactless reader, but they could not provide me with any information (they barely knew what PC/SC was).
After some frustration, I started searching through the installed files (Broadcom/Wave Systems), and I finally found the solution.

There is a utility called “ushradiomode64.exe” in the folder “c:\Program Files\Broadcom Corporation\Broadcom USH Host Components\CV\bin”.

This utility takes 1 parameter, namely the operation mode of the Contactless Reader Radio:

Example to Enable CV Only Radio Mode:
  ushradiomode -c

Example to Enable Normal Radio Mode:
  ushradiomode -n

“CV Only Radio Mode” is the default mode, and in this mode the reader is only available to the CV/PBA. In “Normal Radio Mode”, the reader becomes visible in Device Manager, and can be found when enumerating the PC/SC terminals attached to the system.

Here is how you enable “normal” mode (meaning that the reader will now become listed under “Smart card readers” in Device Manager):

  1. Make sure you have installed the latest version of the “Dell ControlPoint Security Device Driver Pack” from http://support.dell.com. (Latest version as of 2009-10-09 is v1.1.30 A07)
  2. Open command prompt:
    Start -> Run -> cmd.exe
  3. Type the following 2 commands:
     cd c:\Program Files\Broadcom Corporation\Broadcom USH Host Components\CV\bin ushradiomode64.exe -n 
  4. reboot (to make windows load the PC/SC driver)

When the system starts up again, check Device Manager and confirm that there are now 2 entries under “Smart card readers”, both called “USB Smart Card Reader”. (1 for the Contactless and 1 for the Contacted smartcard reader).

I haven’t tested many cards yet, only retrieved the ATR* from a 1k Mifare Classic Card.

(* Note that contactless cards don’t have ATRs. The ATR is this case is generated by the reader or PC/SC driver for the reader. Using the ATR here is just a simple way to check that the reader at least can detect the contactless card.)

If you find time to play around with this reader through PC/SC, please let me know by posting a comment below. What cards did you test? Did everything work as expected?

About these ads

46 responses to “How to enable PC/SC support for Dell Contactless Reader

  • Sebastian

    My file was called: ushradiomode.exe, wild guess is because my 32-bit system :)

  • Sebastian

    Thanks for the great post btw.
    I’m all new to this, and before I order some test cards, could you tell me how I can detect the card?
    I have a few cards, and don’t know the model of them.. so how can I tell if the reader and card are communicating?

    Thanks!

    • ridrix

      You will need some kind of software that works with your reader and card. The most generic API is the PC/SC API (as described in my post above), but this requires that either your card supports APDU commands, or the reader has special support for translating APDU commands to the native commands used by your card. For example Mifare Classic (Standard) cards do no support APDU commands, so if you want to use PC/SC with MiFare Classic cards you will need a reader that natively supports MiFare low-level commands (translates from APDUs to native). Try to search for a simple smartcard PC/SC utility that lists the ATR (the ATR is constructed by the reader when it detects a 13.56MHz contactless card) and lets you construct APDUs. That might help you identify your card.

  • petrst

    You are my hero, man! I just suceeded to read my passport via the embedded reader. Thnaks.

  • KanG

    Hi .
    I’ve used CVFIPS201_Enable.exe to disable contactless card reader, and now i can’t undo it. It dissapeard from device manager, and after:

    cd c:\Program Files\Broadcom Corporation\Broadcom USH Host Components\CV\bin
    ushradiomode64.exe -n

    it returns:

    ushradiomode (USH Radio Mode Utility) v1.2

    Current Radio Mode Configuration: Normal Radio Mode
    Error: cv_set_cv_only_radio_mode returned 0×74
    Could not set Radio Mode configuration.

    any ideas?

    • ridrix

      According to the “readme” file for the FIPS tool:

      “This utility will set the RFID device as NOT present, thus disabling the RFID antenna.
      Once this feature is activated, the customer can not “undo” it.”

      So, unfortunately, it seems you have permanently disabled it. Try to contact Dell and see if they can help you. If you are lucky, they may have a solution.

      • Hellence

        I was crushed by the same problems too!
        I installed all softwares on DELL support of E6400 after i intalled win7, including CVFIPS201_Enable.exe, then i lost the card!
        even i re-installed the OS,twice, once win7 once xp, the contactless card could not work neither.

        I’m a chinese, i called China DELL support, they barely know this issue! now i really don’t know what to do…
        anybody can help?

  • Stigh Aarstein

    Hi Ridrix,

    As a newbie with a Dell E6400 with TPM, contacted and contactless smartcard system embedded, I want to make use of my system. From what I understand, I must use HID iClass 13.56 MHz RFID cards for contactless? What specific cards is supported by the contacted smartcard reader?

    As a default setting, the contacted and contactless reader will not work other than through Wave/Dell Controlpoint?

    Then, if I do a ‘ushradiomode64.exe -n’ it will then work BOTH with Wave/Controlpoint and other programs? Or have I misunderstood?

    Please, if possible, drop me an email.

    In advance, thx from Norway!

    /Stigh

    • ridrix

      By default, the contactless reader will only work with PBA (Pre Boot Authentication). This means that the reader will not be visible to Windows as a PC/SC device, and cannot be easily used by 3rd party applications.
      The contacted reader is by default available to both logon (windows and PBA) and any application that supports PC/SC (for example the “Norsk Tipping” Website). For logon with the contacted reader, the Dell smartcard should work (contact Dell). When using the contacted reader with 3rd party applications, any iso7816-4 smartcards should work (it just depends on what smarcards the 3rd party application supports).

      For PBA, the contactless reader supports Mifare cards as well (reads CSN only). I have tried generic iso14443-4 cards and Nokia 6212 NFC, but they do not seem to work properly. (Problem with reading the CSN for layer 4 cards I guess). The contactless reader has native support for iClass cards, which means it has the secret iClass keys built in to the reader. For iClass cards, the CSN is not used for authentication, but instead a number stored in the cards application memory area is used. This number is also know as the “encoded number”. HID claims that using this number is more secure that just reading the CSN.

      “ushradiomode64.exe -n” will enable the contactless reader to be used by 3rd party applications (become visible to Windows as a PC/SC device), and PBA (Wave/ControlPoint).

  • Andreas Fuhr

    Hi,

    I followed you instructions and the ushradiomode64 confirms, that it has changed mode to normal. However, I do not find a secon smartcard reader (neither under device manager, nor when using the OpenSC tools to list PCSC readers). I am using vista business 64 and have an E6500. I installed the latest drivers from Dell. Any ideas?

    Kind regards
    Andi

  • Carlos Gonzalez

    Hi, Great post!

    you nailed it!

    I just managed to activate the RFID reader. Both my passport and the city transports cards were recognized!

    However, they both said that no driver was found. Do you know how can i access the information inside in a read mode?

    • ridrix

      Hi,

      The RFID passport is standardized by ICAO. Weither you can read the information on your passport depends on what type of protection level it uses. You can download a java utility that you can experiment with here: http://jmrtd.org/
      The same goes for your transport card: weither you can read the information contained on the card depends on the type of card technology used. Most likely it is one of the Mifare standards, and I’m pretty sure both read-mode and write-mode is protected by keys only know to the transport company.

  • Dodot

    I followed your instructions and I have 2 “USB SmartCard Reader” in the hardware list.

    I am using Golden Reader Tool to read passports chips. I can see the “Broadcom Contactless SmartCard” in the devices list, but I cannot manage to detect the passports.

    Is there a little tool to check whether the antenna is working properly and the chip has been found?

  • QQ

    I enabled normal radio mode, and tool said it was fine. However, second reader does not appear in device manager :( Using Windows 7 here.. yes, I did reboot :(

  • aulia

    I have problem with Contactless RFID smart card on My Dell E6400, last time, accidentally, I download dell utility control vault CVFPIS_enable.exe, then I executed that program, and the result my contactless radio is off, and cannot undo it… and I have try to change the mode of radio, and the result is failed… Error cv_set_cv_only_radio_mode returned 0×74. I have done re-install and upgrade the driver, upgrade firmware, BIOS, and DCP, but still failed, Do you have any advice regrading this problem….? because I need this feature….

  • Oliver

    I had some problems first when I tried to install the Driver Pack for Vista 64. Dell’s site offered the 32 bit drivers in the Vista 64 section and they refused to install. I found the real 64 bit drivers in the XP 64 section. After a reboot and the following installation procedure I was able to locate ushradiomode64.exe.

    But I got this..
    ushradiomode (USH Radio Mode Utility) v1.3.0.0

    Current Radio Mode Configuration: CV Only Radio Mode
    RFID is not enabled
    Could not set Radio Mode configuration.

    Any ideas?
    Oliver

    • Andreas Fuhr

      Did you try to run the command line from where you execute the ushradiomode64.exe as administrator?

    • Alex

      Oliver, did you manage to start the RFID? I get the same “RFID is not enabled” message.

      Thanks
      Alex

      • Oliver

        D’oooh! I just phoned up the Dell support hotline and they told me that my model simply does not have the contactless option installed. How embarrassing, but he admitted that the embossed rfid symbol is always present on the palmrest wether if it’s installed or not and that this is very misleading.

        And right.. I digged out my acceptance of order and there is was “Standard Touchpad”. F…!!! For just a few bucks more (5€ to be precise) I would’ve been eternally happy.

        So this page here begins with “Select Dell Latitude and Precision systems comes with an embedded contactless smart card reader.”. The ‘selection’ is then in your hands and you should ask yourself first “Did I order this feature?” before asking dumb questions :-/

        “Am Benzin kann’s nicht liegen, ist keins drin…”

  • Andy

    I just purchased a blank Mifare 1k classic card to test out my reader, and I have it set up and working with the pre-boot authentication.

    My problem now putting a certificate on the card so that it will work with bitlocker. Any ideas about how to do this?

  • Tyler

    Hi, I have been able to enable the normal mode on the RFID chip (E6400) but am having difficulties finding any software to scan with. I am currently testing with my passport. I have also been unable to find the Golden Reader Tool that someone else mentioned.

    Any help would be very helpful.

    Thanks for the great tutorials.

  • Andre

    Where can I download the Golden Reader tool to test the Dell Smartcard reader?

    Thanks, Andre

  • Roney

    Searching the web i’ve found the Smart Card Explorer at http://www.primianotucci.com/default.php?view=112 it is a java program that allow send APDU commands to the smart cards. Work pretty well in my Latitude E6400 note.

  • Dinas

    Hi,

    I have problem with my Dell z600 cordless smart card reader. When I try to set device to the active radio mode message appears:

    C:\>”C:\Program Files\Broadcom Corporation\Broadcom USH Host Components\CV\bin\u
    shradiomode.exe” -n

    ushradiomode (USH Radio Mode Utility) v1.3.0.0

    Error: cv_open returned 0×100003
    Can not configure USH Radio Mode.

    Could You help me solve the problem be course I could not find any solution on internet.
    Thank You,

    Dinas
    Lithuania

  • Sebastien Michea

    I have a Latitude E6500 with winXP and cant find any Broadcom Corporation directory in Program Files. I didnt find this soft on Broadcom website… any idea how to get it ?

    I installed a bunch of drivers from dell support site and under “Credential Vault Device” , it replaced the Broadcom driver (that had a yellow exclamation mark) by an active “Dell ControlVault w/o Fingerprint Sensor”.

    I also see 2 drivers under “Smart Card Readers” :
    - Dell Wireless 5530 HSPA Mobile Broadband Minicard PC SC Port
    - USB Smart Card reader

    Is there a chance it is working as a PC SC port ? if yes what is the simplest way to test it ?
    Is there for instance a simple java program i could run to see if at least i can communicate with the reader ?

    Thanks,
    Sebastien

  • Sebastien Michea

    By displaying the page http://www.springcard.com/online/applet_pcsc/
    i see that i have one reader : “Broadcom Corp contacted smart card 0″

    looks like it detects a smarcard reader but not the contactless one

    • Matt

      When I go to that site I see “Broadcom Corp contacted smart card 0″ and “Broadcom Corp contacted smart card 1″.
      0=contact
      1=contactless

      Maybe you don’t have the contactless reader like Oliver up above.

  • Deemi

    I have now got two 2 entries under “Smart card readers”, both called “USB Smart Card Reader. BUT when i swipe my badge from work (HID iCLASS px E6L) the add new hardware wizard kicks in and tried to download drivers for the smart card (i think it’s for the smart card!). After a few seconds it comes back and says did not install.

    Im running windows 7 64 bit.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  • Matt

    Thanks for the instructions. I bought this software called Read-a-Card hoping to use it with my E6500 but it wasn’t working. I was about to email them for help but then I found your site. After switching to Normal mode it works great and I didn’t even have to wait for ‘support’.

    They offer a full featured trial that you can download from their website in case anybody is looking for something to test their reader with.
    http://www.read-a-card.com/
    All it does is read the card serial numbers, but in my case that’s all I needed.

  • Regis

    Hi,

    any idea of using it under linux ?

    thanks

  • Ufaa

    How to enable RFID on Dell E4300 with windows XP32

  • c t skinner

    I got some ACR 122U-A2 readers, and some thumb sized ACR122T-E2.
    The driver seems to be go for PC/SC.
    Question: ACR say they hava an ACR with a SAM slot.
    Anyone know what that looks like? ie is there an actual slot,or do you unscrew them?

  • Dmitry Eremin-Solenikov

    Tested on Dell Precision M2400. Had some trouble finding CV software, as initially dell support site won’t advertise them to me. Then after installing and switching CL reader to PC/SC state, got it to work with my Russian biometric passport. I didn’t yet run the real reading test (gonna do this in the night) but ATR is working and looks correct. Thanks for the information!

    • Martin

      It sounds very interesting for me that the contactless reader works at your M2400. I still have problems with it. The hardware is also installed in my device but it does not work and I tried everything. It is very conspicuous that I dont get a menu-point for the reader, there are only items for fingerprintreader and one for TPM status.
      Thanks for your Information

  • shailaja

    Hello sir,
    I have installed ACR120S sdk on my computer and i am using Linux OS. I want to program this card reader in c. But i am getting Segmentation Fault while selecting Mifare card. i.e while using ACR120_Select() method….can u plz help me…..thanks in advance…

  • Francois

    Did anybody found a solution for the :
    “Error: cv_open returned 0×100003
    Can not configure USH Radio Mode.”
    when issuing the -n argument ?

  • marisn

    It is possible to enable RFID reading also from DOS (i.e. bootable FreeDOS USB stick) thus bypassing Windows completely.
    It is necessary to obtain a BCM firmware update for Your laptop model (just browse Dell support page of Your laptop), download, unpack with wine. As a result should be bunch of folders in Your Wine home C disk (~/.wine/drive_c/dell/drivers/…)
    Copy contents of DOS folder into firmware folder (those BAT files are written by morons and don’t work out of the box).
    Copy firmware folder to Your bootable USB stick with FreeDOS, reboot.
    In DOS prompt execute ushfw….bat file to update firmware (see more here: http://natisbad.org/E4300/index.html )
    Reboot (no idea if it’s necessary but wouldn’t hurt)
    Boot again into DOS and execute following commands in firmware folder:
    ushdiag -u -stat (output should display RFID in CV only mode)
    ushdiag -u -de 4 (enable RFID)
    ushdiag -u -dt (and swipe Your RFID card over reader in meantime)
    Result should be PASS if Your RFID is working. Repeat test if necessary.
    ushdiag -u -dd 8 (this will disable CV only mode)
    ushdiag -u -dt (and swipe Your RFID card)
    ushdiag -u -stat (should display CV only: DISABLED)
    Reboot into Your GNU/Linux, start pcscd -a -f -d and swipe Your RFID card – it should show up as: Card inserted into Broadcom Corp 5880 [Contactless SmartCard]

    Cheers :)

  • Nicholas Hollander

    I’ve been looking for a Java API compatable with the contactless reader for a while, but I cant seem to find one anywhere. Does anyone have any idea where to find one?

  • thanatos

    Hello ridrix!
    Thank you for your great post! I was able to activate both smartcard readers on my last Laptop (a M4500) and today it also worked for my new M4600!

    Thanks a lot!
    Manuel
    Greetings from austria

  • FF

    Error: cv_open returned 0×100003

    * Means TPM (Trusted Platform Module) is DISABLED in BIOS, enable it! *

    *tips hat at the article* Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 34 other followers

%d bloggers like this: