I think that the version of ndiswrapper that comes from the SuSE 10.1 rpm package ( program or kernel module package ) has a problem. My laptop has a built-in wireless device. It uses a broadcom controller, as do many linksys devices. I had ndiswrapper working using SuSE 10.0. But after a fresh install to SuSE 10.1, I had the same error. I uninstalled ndiswrapper, and reinstalled it from a source tarball I retrieved from an earlier backup.
Since the source has an ndiswrapper.spec file, I found it convenient to use rpmbuild to build the pair of RPM files.
Here is how I did it:
I downloaded ndiswrapper-1.8.tar.gz previously. If you download a different version, change the version number appropriately.
sudo cp ndiswrapper-1.8.tar.gz /usr/src/packages/SOURCE/
tar xvzf ndiswrapper-1.8.tar.gz ndiswrapper-1.8/ndiswrapper.spec
cp ndiswrapper-1.8/ndiswrapper.spec ../SPECS/
sudo rpmbuild -ba ndiswrapper.spec
This will produce a pair of RPM files that you can use "sudo /sbin/yast -i <name>.rpm" to install. Or you can use "rpm -Uhv <name>.rpm". The RPM files are in the /usr/src/packages/RPMS/ directory. Look in the subdirectory that matches your architecture. Mine were in /usr/src/packages/RPMS/x86_64/.
I find it especially convenient doing it this way after a kernel security update. You need a new ndiswrapper.ko module installed in that case, before wireless will work after a reboot. The ndiswrapper-<version>.RPM will be OK, you will just need to install the ndiswrapper-kernel-<version>.rpm package.