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Old 08-19-2008, 07:34 PM   #1
phonebooth
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Registered: Jul 2006
Location: mariposa ca
Distribution: Fedora
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Exclamation ndiswrapper worked before


I have fedora 9 installed on my laptop and ndiswrapper worked. I was not having any problems, getting wireless to worked sucked but did not have any problems. I got a external hard drive for it, and trying to get it to work I did something bad and my laptop stopped booting. I reinstalled fedora and now cannot get ndiswrapper installed. Before I did the yum install ndiswrapper and that is what I did the second time. This time when installing it installed a new kernel and I don't remember that happening the first time.

After installing the drivers (the same ones as last time) when I would run ndiswrapper -l it would say using alternate driver ssb. After restarting my laptop the command ndiswrapper is not found. I have uninstalled and reinstalled, but to no avail.
 
Old 08-19-2008, 09:27 PM   #2
PTrenholme
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Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Distribution: Fedora, (K)Ubuntu
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You have also left us wondering. Can you tell us:

1) The wireless chip set you're using. (It should be in the output of /sbin/lspci or dmesg.)
2) Which kernel version you're now using (output of uname -r) and what you had before your "reinstall."
3) Which .sys file you used to provide the proprietary drive code to ndiswrapper.

The probable cause of your problem is that the newer kernels are including FOSS drivers for many wireless cards, and those driver are automatically loaded when a chip set they support is detected. (You can't, of course, have more than one driver attempting to control a single device unless the drivers share memory. And very few of them do. [I don't know of any, but I'm not a driver expert.])

Note: Question (1) refers to the actual chip set, not the company that sold the chips to you. For example, some, but not all, Linksys wireless cards use Broadcom chip sets, and -- another example -- this HP laptop I'm using claims nVidia chips, but the actual wireless card uses an Atheros 5007EG chip set. (And, as in aside, the ath5k driver loaded by the the 2.6.25 kernel for a x86_64 system will not work for the 5007 chip set. Fortunately, I'd saved a copy of the old ath_hal source code, which does work. A pain, but my wireless is working now.)
 
Old 08-20-2008, 12:37 AM   #3
phonebooth
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Registered: Jul 2006
Location: mariposa ca
Distribution: Fedora
Posts: 12

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1. The chipset is BCM4306
2. The kernel version was 2.6.25.14.fc9.i686 before upgrading and 6.25.14.fc9.i686 after wards I have booted to each kernel but to no avail.
3. The .sys file being used is bcml5.sys

I got the windows drivers from dell, as that is who made the laptop. The drivers work just last week before I reinstalled everything. But what I find really weird is that even though ndiswrapper is installed I can not run the ndiswrapper command.
 
Old 08-20-2008, 05:01 PM   #4
PTrenholme
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Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Distribution: Fedora, (K)Ubuntu
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OK, that's the problem I described. Your kernel is automatically installing one of the b43 drivers for you, so you need to:

1) Remove ndiswrapper from your system (or add it to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist and reboot.)
2) Use the b43_fwcutter to extract the microcode from the sys file. (Look at man b43_fwcutter for details.)
3) Reboot

and you should be "golden."

As an alternative, if you feel that you're more comfortable using the ndiswrapper approach, you could:

1) Do a ps -e | grep b43 to see which b43 driver is running
2) Add that driver to the blacklist
3) Reboot and see if ndiswrapper is working. (You may need to do a ndiswrapper -i again.)

Note, however, that any kernel upgrade is likely to break ndiswrapper again. And, as far as I know, the b43 drivers provide the same functionality as the ndiswrapper method, without the (trivial) DOS-simulation layer overhead.

Last edited by PTrenholme; 08-20-2008 at 05:02 PM.
 
Old 08-21-2008, 04:42 PM   #5
phonebooth
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Registered: Jul 2006
Location: mariposa ca
Distribution: Fedora
Posts: 12

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I was able to solve the problem. I ended up not using ndiswrapper and going with the b43_fwcutter method. Any ways I found a great guide here http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/b43 that walked me through the everything that needed to be done. I did not know which revision my wireless card was so I went did what the guide suggested and got the firmware for both b43 and b43legacy. So far no problems.
 
  


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