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Old 08-20-2009, 04:20 AM   #1
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need Gateway wireless help

I'm worse than a newb since I don't even have Linux installed. I've never used it, but I'm naturally good with computers and I'm trying to help my friend. She has a Gateway laptop model mx6441. She installed the latest Ubuntu release after Windows XP got infected with a virus or something and pretty much became unusuable and she says she didn't have a recovery disk or anything, so she decided to install Ubuntu since it's free. But she's having trouble connecting to a wireless network. I'm trying to help her through text messages and it's a pain.

I looked up instructions on how to connect through Network Manager but I suspect her wireless isn't working at all and that she needs to install drivers for her wireless card. I need to know how to get her wireless working and if she needs special linux drivers and where to get them. I scoured google for an hour but didn't find anything helpful. Some of the sites made it sound like you could just use Windows drivers, but that doesn't sound right to me and plus it didn't specify XP or Vista and I don't trust driver information from random sources. As far as I know she has whatever comes standard with the Gateway MX6441 laptop.
Old 08-20-2009, 07:36 AM   #2
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There are two ways to get a wireless card working in linux.

1. Use a native linux driver. This is the best method, if one exists.

2. Use a windows driver, and use a linux program called ndiswrapper to load the windows driver. I have done both. This method can work, some cards it gives performance problems.

Once you have the correct driver loaded, you still have to configure the card. That can be done on some distros with a gui, or you can edit files directly.

Two commands to use, iwconfig configures and displays wireless configuration. ifconfig configures non-wireless configuration, and displays it.

The first thing to do is determine what wireless chip set the user has. Open a command prompt, and run the command 'lspci' ( without the quotes ) and post the results in this thread. This command lists the PCI bus devices. If it is a PCI device, ( it may not be ) it will show up, and tell us what the card is. Then we find out what driver you need. Many drivers come with ubuntu. Some may be available through installing them online from the repos. ( Its free as the original install ). Worst case, the drivre exists only as source code. Then you have to compile the module, and install.

If you use ndiswrapper, there are tutorials on using the windows driver.

Hope this helps. Post what you can find out.


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