Something (actually quite a few things) have changed in the newer kernels. At the moment, I am running 2.6.15, but this problem also existed in 2.6.12. I can't get my wireless lan card working. On 2.6.8, I had a minimum of difficulty, and it worked great.
The card has an rt2500 chipset. Debian now has the source to compile the module on etch and sid, (maybe sarge as well for that matter). The README that comes with it says use module-assisant to build the module, but it didn't work for me. Using make / make install seemed to work fine. I went to http://rt2x00.serialmonkey.com
for their howtos which is what I used for guidance under 2.6.8, but things just aren't the same.
The build process created an /etc/modprobe.conf file to hold an alias for the rt2500 module (alias ra0 rt2500) With the older kernels this file existed permanently. Now it's evidently created on the fly during the boot process. Leaving it there messed up a bunch of other things. Even on 2.6.8, tho, that line in /etc/modprobe.conf wasn't really necessary. SerialMonkey's instructions said to create a file named /etc/modutils/rt2500 and put the alias line there. It also said the actual module (rt2500.ko) should be in the folder /lib/modules/(uname -r)/extra/ ... The build process put it there, and I put the alias statement in /etc/modutils/rt2500 and deleted the /etc/modprobe.conf file.
It doesn't work. lsmod shows the rt2500 module istalled, but 'modprobe ra0' returns 'Can't find module ra0' The alias is not recognized. I tried putting the alias line in the file /etc/modutils/aliases, but that didn't work either.
During the boot process I see messages suggesting that the system is looking for ra0, but can find no such device. I assume that the location of the module itself is ok since it's loading, so how can I convince Debian that ra0 and rt2500 are one and the same?