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Old 02-19-2007, 11:56 AM   #1
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Wireless ethernet card problem: Ndiswrapper installs driver OK, but no internet

Please advise what might be the problem with my setup. My distro is DamnSmallLinux (DSL). I have an SMC2835W-V3 wireless card. This card does not support PRISM so I'm using the WinXP driver, under Ndiswrapper. It's definitely the right driver for this card.

Ndiswrapper reports that the driver is installed and the hardware is present, and Ndiswrapper is enabled with modprobe. However, there is no connection to my home LAN ethernet router, which should assign an IP address automatically by DHCP. Using the DSLpanel (a control/config utility under DSL), all attempts to obtain an IP address by DHCP fail. IWconfig also fails.

Naturally, I can't ping anything at all ("ping: sendto: Network is unreachable"). I can't login to my router either ("route: SIOC[ADD|DEL]RT: Network is unreachable").

Here's another odd thing. When I type "ifconfig" I only get the "lo" local loopback entry. However, if I type "ifconfig eth0" I get:

eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx: (numbers I replaced by 'x')
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:0 (0.0 B) TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

And if I type: ifup eth0, I get "ifup: ignoring unknown interface eth0"

If I type: iwconfig eth0, I get:

eth0 NOT READY! ESSID : off/any
Mode:Managed Channel:6 Access point:00:00:00:00:00:00
Tx-power=31 dBm Sensitivity=0/200
Retry min limit:0 RTS thr=0 B Fragment thr=0 B
Encryption key : off
Link quality:0 Signal level:0 Noise level:0
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0

I believe something is seriously wrong, because this should be working. Thanks for any advice.

Last edited by Confusedguy; 02-19-2007 at 12:04 PM.
Old 02-20-2007, 07:14 AM   #2
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Welcome to LQ!

Your iwconfig output suggests that you haven't configured the card. You need to enter the SSID and any encryption key. Have you entered that information anywhere else? If not, try this experiment. Turn off any encryption that the access point is using (this is just temporary until we figure out how your card is functioning). Also turn on SSID broadcast if it is turned off. Then on your computer set the SSID:

iwconfig eth0 essid YourSSID

You should see that set in the output of iwconfig and the Access Point field should then have a MAC address displayed. Once that is set, then run ifup eth0 and see what happens.
Old 02-21-2007, 09:40 AM   #3
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Thanks, but unfortunately it didn't work. I did exactly as you suggested, but still there seems to be no association between AP and my wireless card. When I tried the iwconfig line you suggested, giving the name of my SSID, it failed again. The router and my laptop are barely 2 feet away from each other. Iwconfig still shouts that the card is "NOT READY!".
Old 02-21-2007, 10:09 AM   #4
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Try these steps, in order:

Bring the interface up: ifconfig eth0 up
Configure the wireless parameters: iwconfig eth0 essid xxx, etc.
Obtain an IP address: dhcpcd eth0 or dhclient eth0

Sometimes, especially with Prism cards, I've had to goose the interface first, then configure it.
Old 02-21-2007, 10:23 AM   #5
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Thanks 2GNU but as I explained I have already taken these steps. The responses to your steps are as below:

Originally Posted by 2Gnu
ifconfig eth0 up
"SIOCSIFFLAGS: No such file or directory"

iwconfig eth0 essid xxx
Seems to work, but then checking with "iwconfig" gives me the same "NOT READY" blurb.

dhcpcd eth0 or dhclient eth0
"Netcardconfig" under DSLinux, gives the response:

"Sending DHCP broadcast from device eth0
Operation failed.
Old 02-21-2007, 10:31 AM   #6
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OK, I didn't see "ifconfig eth0 up" explicitly mentioned in your post.

The errors indicate no module - something went wrong in the process of compiling, installing or loading ndiswrapper or the driver isn't correct.

I'd retry the install, verifying the driver against the ndiswrapper wiki. Alternatively, the native Prism54 might be an option:
Old 02-24-2007, 06:50 PM   #7
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OK, I finally figured it out and fixed it.

I thought it was necessary to recompile the kernel and enable wireless extensions, but this turned out not to be necessary (luckily for me).

The problem is with this specific card. Apparently there are 3 versions of the card floating around, and Linux can detect it wrongly and when it does it tries to load it with isl3890. The solution is to rmmod the prism54 and firmware_class, and then ndiswrapper the XP driver for the card, and then modprobe the ndiswrapper. Then wireless config is very straightforward.

Thanks for your time to those who replied.


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