Laptop without radios (no wifi and no bluetooth)

My use case requires a framework laptop with no radios, meaning no wifi and no bluetooth - it needs to be completely air-gapped at the hardware level.

Can the radio hardware module(s) be easily removed from the framework main board? It won’t work to simply disable the radios with software - I need the actual radios to be removed.

If removing the hardware radios is possible, then can openbsd be installed via a flash drive? How about pre-installed Windows - would Windows come up without requiring a network handshake to a Microsoft server?

Don’t know about the OS installation questions, but the WiFi and Bluetooth reside on an M.2 2230 card in a socket. Remove that from the socket and there’s no more radio hardware.

You can even remove the antenna but without the card, it’s just a passive wire.


Yup, in fact at first the DIY edition Framework Laptops came without those installed (however they started having them pre-installed, likely because the antenna wires are very fragile and people were breaking them while attempting to install them).

I think both of those should work, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Windows starts complaining about things after some amount of time without any connection.

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I believe Windows now requires hacks to set it up without a connection, they want a connected microsoft account.

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Thank you for this great information!

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IIRC all you have to do is select a local account and “limited experience” in the win11 installer.

Looks like you have to jump through hoops. Dropping to command line twice, with a reboot in between. There is mention that it was easier on early versions of Win Pro.

Haven’t done it myself, since I don’t bother with windows.

I didn’t have to, but I probably checked that option in rufus.

I did the initial installation via thumbdrive on a framework 13 (12th gen) - but, of course, without removing the wifi card (I even had the ethernet expansion card plugged in). However, I don’t think that a working network connection would have been necessary (as long as the file sets are included in the installation image).