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Old 07-20-2009, 02:29 AM   #1
dflo404
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How do I get Debian Lenny to recognize my wireless card?


Before I state my question, I'd like to mention that I tried to look at a similar thread, but couldn't quite relate it to my exact issue (maybe because it's past 2 AM and I've been sitting at this computer for the last 6 hours).

I've spent the last few weeks messing around with Ubuntu, but after following some advice I decided to try a different build to suit my needs better. So, I recently installed Linux - Debian (Lenny) on my Dell Studio 15 laptop.

As of now, my biggest issue is that I can't set up my wireless connection. Through an ethernet connection I downloaded this "Wifi-Wiz" program, and when I run it, it says:

Sorry but we could not find a network card with
wireless extentions. Please make sure that you
have the correct modules loaded.

I looked at a thread similar to my issue (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...s-card-529811/) and did the whole lspci -v command that was proposed. This is what I got in terms of the network controller:

04:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11b/g (rev 01)
Subsystem: Dell Wireless 1397 WLAN Mini-Card
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 10
Memory at f8000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: <access denied>

After that I could not follow that thread for the life of me, mainly because the user had a completely different computer and wireless card that I do.

So, how do I go about doing this?

All help for this Linux noob is appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 
Old 07-20-2009, 02:46 AM   #2
sycamorex
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Quote:
04:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11b/g (rev 01)
You need to use ndiswrapper to get it work. For some reason I've never been able to get it work under debian. I've successfully configured it many times under centos, fedora, slackware.

This is a short tutorial I wrote when I installed it for centos so it's slightly centos-specific.

# cabextract sp36684.exe
Extracting cabinet: sp36684.exe
extracting bcm43xx.cat
extracting bcm43xx64.cat
extracting bcmwl5.inf
extracting bcmwl5.sys
extracting bcmwl564.sys
extracting Setup.exe
extracting sp36684.cva

All done, no errors.

Then:

# ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf
installing bcmwl5 ...
# ndiswrapper -l
bcmwl5 : driver installed
device (14E4:4328) present (alternate driver: ssb)
# modprobe ndiswrapper
# ndiswrapper -ma
module configuration information is stored in /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper

For Centos add:
alias wlan0 ndiswrapper

to /etc/modprobe.conf (or wherever your distro stores aliases)

make sure NetworkManager service is running.

It might work now, if not just reboot the computer and check your network manager.


good luck
 
Old 07-20-2009, 06:53 AM   #3
mmatt
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I don't know about Debian, but in other distros I've used ndiswrapper isn't needed for most broadcom cards thanks to the b43 (formerly bcm43xx) driver. The only snag in this is that you have to extract the firmware from the Windows driver using b43-fwcutter (usually in the repos). Once this is done the card usually works straight away. Check out http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/b43

You can check whether the system is expecting to use the b43 driver by running
Code:
lsmod | grep b43
or consulting your logs with dmesg and look for complaints about missing firmware

Last edited by mmatt; 07-20-2009 at 07:10 AM.
 
Old 07-20-2009, 01:07 PM   #4
dflo404
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
You need to use ndiswrapper to get it work. For some reason I've never been able to get it work under debian. I've successfully configured it many times under centos, fedora, slackware.
I actually just switched to Fedora, and have been trying to find tutorials on how to use ndiswrapper for this issue. I've been following this one:

http://www.fedoraguide.info/index.ph..._drivers_howto

But I'm stuck at the part where I have to install the drivers. I tried loading my CD that came with the computer, but Fedora can't even run it. I tried downloading the drivers from the wiki, but I get an error whenever I try to open the .exe file they give me.

You said you got it to work many times under Fedora, so how should I go about doing this?

Thanks
 
Old 07-20-2009, 01:13 PM   #5
mmatt
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I'd still recommend the b43 driver over ndiswrapper... Walkthrough for fedora
 
Old 07-20-2009, 01:16 PM   #6
sycamorex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmatt View Post
I'd still recommend the b43 driver over ndiswrapper... Walkthrough for fedora
It doesn't work properly with some chipsets - it didn't with mine.
 
Old 07-20-2009, 01:20 PM   #7
mmatt
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That's true, but bcm4312 chips should work. I used ndiswrapper with moderate success for years until the b43 driver supported my chipset, after which I noticed increased performance and reliability.
 
Old 07-20-2009, 01:21 PM   #8
sycamorex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dflo404 View Post
I actually just switched to Fedora, and have been trying to find tutorials on how to use ndiswrapper for this issue. I've been following this one:

http://www.fedoraguide.info/index.ph..._drivers_howto

But I'm stuck at the part where I have to install the drivers. I tried loading my CD that came with the computer, but Fedora can't even run it. I tried downloading the drivers from the wiki, but I get an error whenever I try to open the .exe file they give me.

You said you got it to work many times under Fedora, so how should I go about doing this?

Thanks
Go to the laptop's manufacturer's page and download the driver (XP drivers work usually better than Vista). Then you need to use 'cabextract' to extract the actual files (the extension .exe is only a windows wrapper for executable files). Then you could follow my steps above.

PS. you could try b43 driver as well (as suggested above) - it might work for you. It would obviously be better to run native linux drivers.
 
Old 07-20-2009, 01:25 PM   #9
sycamorex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmatt View Post
That's true, but bcm4312 chips should work. I used ndiswrapper with moderate success for years until the b43 driver supported my chipset, after which I noticed increased performance and reliability.
Although I haven't experienced any reliability/performance problems with ndiswrapper, you're right. It might be worth trying native linux drivers first - Why taint the system with windows elements?
 
Old 07-20-2009, 01:26 PM   #10
mmatt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
Why taint the system with windows elements?
As a last resort . The main reason I switched was because my manufacturer kindly refused to support 64-bit xp and, given ndiswrapper hates vista drivers, I was pleasantly surprised by b43.

Last edited by mmatt; 07-20-2009 at 01:29 PM.
 
Old 07-20-2009, 02:07 PM   #11
dflo404
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmatt View Post
I'd still recommend the b43 driver over ndiswrapper... Walkthrough for fedora
Alright I'm giving that tutorial a shot.

So far everything has been successful until I get to the part where it asks me to do:

dmesg|grep b43

in the terminal. When I try that, nothing happens. I hit enter and it just starts a new command prompt as if I didn't type anything in. Am I doing something wrong?
 
Old 07-20-2009, 02:09 PM   #12
mmatt
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That means it didn't find any messages in the log containing the text 'b43'... Try

Code:
sudo modprobe b43
first, followed by

Code:
dmesg | grep b43
 
Old 07-20-2009, 02:12 PM   #13
dflo404
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I tried sudo modprobe b43, was prompted for my password, and this was the result:

d-flo is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported.

??
 
Old 07-20-2009, 02:15 PM   #14
mmatt
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Alright, I guess fedora doesn't set you up with sudo straight away, I didn't know that. You can try

Code:
lsmod | grep b43
to see if the driver is currently loaded, which is doubtful. If it's not, then you'll have to do

Code:
$ su
# modprobe b43
# exit
you'll need to provide the root password for su

Last edited by mmatt; 07-20-2009 at 02:16 PM.
 
Old 07-20-2009, 02:19 PM   #15
dflo404
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Okay, here is the output for lsmod | grep b43

b43 111192 0
ssb 33504 1 b43
mac80211 164592 1 b43
cfg80211 30616 2 b43,mac80211
input_polldev 3076 1 b43

(quick question, how do I format my post to show this stuff in those handy code boxes?)

Last edited by dflo404; 07-20-2009 at 02:20 PM.
 
  


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