How to make the Sprint Novatel u727 EVDO modem work in Snow Leopard

As expected, I upgraded my MacBook Pro to Snow Leopard and my Sprint Novatel u727 EVDO modem wouldn’t work. Basically the problem is you don’t need the SmartView software, but it fails to uninstall. So here is how you manually uninstall it.

Disconnect the u727 and open terminal and run these three commands then reboot — always be careful with sudo and especially rm -rf, they can destroy your data if you aren’t careful.

sudo mount -uw /
sudo rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions/NovatelWireless3G.kext/ 
sudo rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions/NovatelWirelessFilter.kext/ 

Now after you reboot, plug in the u727. At first it’ll pop up like a USB drive, eject it and eventually a Network dialog box will pop up, so hit preferences — not sure if there is a way to always prevent it from mounting. Now you should see it listed with the other network devices other system preferences. Hit “Apply” at the bottom right, and now hit connect.


The best part is now you don’t need SmartView and whenever you plug the modem in, the WWAN icon will show up on the menu bar which is much better and something that never worked with SmartView installed.


36 Responses to “How to make the Sprint Novatel u727 EVDO modem work in Snow Leopard”

  1. Many THANKS!!!

    I tried speaking with tech support at Sprint – what a mistake. None of the technicians had even used mac before. Three techs later – nothing.

    Keep up the great work,


  2. Interesting. I have the same modem with Verizon Wireless and needed to use it last night for our fantasy football draft. Instead of installing Verizon’s VZ Access Manager software, I decided to see how Snow Leopard would handle it natively. It was plug and play – worked like a charm all night long with no additional software.

    • Ben Drawbaugh says:

      You’re totally right Kevin, no software is needed with Snow Leopard. My problem was I did an upgrade and the old drivers were still there and the uninstaller failed. So this is basically a how to manually uninstall.

  3. […] interferes and isn’t really needed. However, the software isn’t easy to uninstall, so Ben offers three commands to make the U727 work natively, just like my USB727. I suspect that if Ben had done a clean install like I did, he wouldn’t […]

  4. Robin y smith says:

    Lifesaver!! Thanks for posting this. I’m on the road and failed to test my card after upgrading. I had to search for the fix on my phone. Many thanks!

  5. Al G. says:

    Thank you so very very much!!!
    This worked perfectly for me, using the Novatel U727 on the Bell Canada network and Snow Leopard. Fantastic!

  6. Alain Gauthier says:

    I did this and the light flashes when I connect the U727 but other than the USB Storage showing up, nothing works. Nothing shows up in the networking preferences either.
    Any idea?

    • Ben Drawbaugh says:

      It should show up after you eject the device, but you do have to wait a minute. If you’ve waited and it still didn’t show up, I’d look in the Console for any relative logs. You can post them here and I’ll try to take a look.

  7. Alain Gauthier says:

    BTW, I’m also on the Bell Canada network (which should not matter) and I am using a MacBook Pro that is 3 years old. The first MBP with the LCD screen.
    Furthermore, when I install the Novatel Mobile Utility V1.03, it does sees the network drive to run the activation and the diadnostic utility shows no errors after activation. It simply won’t connect, so I remove the utility and followed the instructions above.

  8. Randolph MItchell says:

    My Unibody MacBook Pro does not see the Sprint Aircard 597E so I appear to be SOL.

    • Ben Drawbaugh says:

      Did you look in the Console? There should be something logged every time you plug in a USB device.

  9. kevin says:

    ok i tried this and it didnt work. what did i do wrong? was i suppose to hit enter after each line? was i suppose to uninstall something? IDK what the hell is going on

  10. kevin says:

    ok i hit enter after i typed the 1st sudo line and it ask me for my password is it suppose to do that? what do i do to turn that off so it want ask for my password? I am truly lost HELP!!!!! HELP!!!!

    Last login: Fri Sep 4 01:58:55 on console
    kevin-williamss-macbook-pro-15:~ kevinwilliams$ sudo mount -uw/
    mount: illegal option — /
    usage: mount [-dfruvw] [-o options] [-t ufs | external_type] special node
    mount [-adfruvw] [-t ufs | external_type]
    mount [-dfruvw] special | node
    kevin-williamss-macbook-pro-15:~ kevinwilliams$

  11. kevin says:

    ok got the problem fixed i can connect to net. do i have to keep doing the same install every time i would like to use it?

  12. kevin says:

    guess i need to read the whole thing 1st before i ask ? i got the answer now that i read the whole thing. Thanks u r truly a life saver I was bout to loose my mind trying to figure it out all night long just got it done it’s 252am bout to go to bed now. Once again thanks A Trillion.

  13. John says:

    I am new to mac and just upgraded to leopard and have read your advice up top but I cannot find “the terminal” to type the command

    • Ben Drawbaugh says:

      You should get someone to help you then. You might want to go down to the Apple store for some training or help. But to find the terminal just hit the magnifying glass icon in the top right of the window and type terminal.

  14. gjjv says:

    many, many thanks; worked like you said; 3 sprint techs later, no help—(this does eliminate my excuse to upgrade to the mifi tho)
    thanks again

  15. David Bradford says:

    As others have said here already, thank you, thank you, thank you. On a business trip tomorrow, and decided, well, better check my Sprint card on the SL upgrade. Glad I did, and glad I found your instructions. You saved my trip!

  16. Harry Saddler says:

    Thanks, Ben, that did the trick for my Novatel EX720.

    I hope someone at Sprint is reading this… their software is lame.

  17. EVDOalex says:

    this article lists all the Sprint and Verizon EVDO devices that work using Snow Leopards built-in WWAN support:

  18. Robert says:

    Your the man bro! Seriously fantastic post… Only good one on the net regarding this issue. Thanks for the help.

  19. Ray Majoran says:

    This worked for my Bell XpressCard X720 as well — nice work!!!

  20. Tyler says:

    Works great, thanks so much!

  21. Mike Obispo says:

    You’re the man! I just spent more than an hour with Sprint’s support trying to figure out why my VPN connection wasn’t working, when all I needed to do was follow your directions. Now, it is working flawlessly.

  22. Mike Obispo says:

    Did you figure out a way to prevent the device from mounting (so you have to eject it each time)?

  23. Ben Drawbaugh says:

    No, I never did figure that out, but I did spend an hour on it the other day.

  24. Glen Spaulding says:

    I’ve been looking for this solution for 2 years. Thanks for the easy to follow guide!

  25. CKS says:

    Wow, thanks! Being non-technical in my capabilities, I was nervous that I’d have to buy another device. Thanks so much for your well-written, simple instructions. I had trouble at first, but was simply missing a space in the command string. That was easy to solve, and now I’m up and running. Thanks again.

  26. CKS says:

    one other note: on my MacBookAir, when I first plug in the u727, it shows up as a CD (not a drive). No biggie, just eject it and everything else works great.

  27. Nicko says:

    It’s worth noting that the only function of the NovatelWirelessFilter kernel extension is to suppress the mounting of the installer drive. If you remove the data driver but not the filter driver then it will not automount and the WWAN interface will just come up without you having to do anything (or at least it does for me).

  28. David Bradburn says:

    Ben, they should link to this page from Your suggested fix works great.

  29. Theodore Monk says:

    Works GREAT with my U720 using Bell Canada ( and not Sprint). Thank you SO..OO much.
    P.S. Using Copy from a your page and Paste into the Terminal window works well to avoid having to type the commands.

  30. Mac convert says:

    I can’t say a huge enough thank you — after being on the phone with bell for days, i followed these instructions and finally i got it to work.

    Thanks so much for this — i would have been euchred if this wasn’t here

  31. Roger says:

    Trying to get OS X 10.6.5 to recognize my U727 but even after deleting the 2 files, it doesn’t seem to want to see the card after I reboot. Is there something different with 10.6.5 or does this version of Snow Leopard even recognize the U727? Thanks, Roger

  32. NA03 says:

    WOW, this was SO HELPFUL. it seems so straightforward, but the sequence of actions is so critical. specifically (1) ejecting the mounted drive/CD made it finally appear in network pref and (2) hitting Apply before i hit Connect made it connect. this is a brand new mac and you SAVED ME FROM SPRINT SMARTVIEW. if i could i would pay you 5 bucks.