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Old 02-13-2005, 04:17 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Dec 2004
Posts: 5

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PCMCIA 3COM Wireless network card: Set Encode - Operation not supported error

Hi folks,

I'm trying to get a 3Com AirConnect PCMCIA network card to work on my Toshiba Tecra 8000 notebook. I just installed SUSE 9.2 and prior to this I had Mandrake 10.0. I had managed to get everything working under Mandrake, but now when I try and connect I get the following message during boot up:

ERROR: command 'iwconfig eth0 key off' returned
Error for wireless request "Set Encode" (8B2A) "
Set failed on device eth0 ; Operation no supported.

ERROR: command 'iwconfig eth0 key open xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx' returned
Error for wireless request "Set Encode" (8B2A) "
Set failed on device eth0 ; Operation no supported.

I've searched using google and have seen that many others have had this message, but there has been nothing that tells me what I have configured incorrectly, and how I should fix it.

I suspect that the system sees eth0 as a wired card, and hence why it doesn't recognise the wireless extensions. However, I don't know how to solve this. I have configured it all under YaST, and have selected wireless and pcmcia, but this has been to know avail. I am trying to connect to a billion modem 743GE and using DHCP.

Please, any suggestions here would be really appreciated.....

Running ifconfig and iwconfig gives:
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
inet6 addr: XXXX::XXX:XXXX:XXXX:XXXX/XX Scope:Link
RX packets:4 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:14 errors:1 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:497 (497.0 b) TX bytes:5936 (5.7 Kb)
Interrupt:3 Base address:0x100

lo Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr: Mask:
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
RX packets:50 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:50 errors:1 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:3260 (3.1 Kb) TX bytes:3260 (3.1 Kb)

lo no wireless extensions

eth0 IEEE 802.11-DS ESSID:"wireless" Nickname:"notebook"
Mode:Managed Frequency:2.427 Ghz Access Point: XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
Bit Rate:11 Mb/s Tx-Power=15 dBm Sensitivity:1/3
Retry limit:16 RTS thrff Fragment thr=0 B
Power Managementff
Link Quality=31/92 Signal level=138/153 Noise level=107/153
x invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0

sit0 no wireless extensions

# cardctl ident
Socket 0:
no product info available
Socket 1:
Product info: "3Com", "3CRWE737A AirConnect Wireless LAN PC Card", "1.00"
manfid: 0x0101, 0x0001
function: 6 (network)

Also, I notice that when I shutdown, it fails on shutting down the PCMCIA _core module, it reports it is in use. It seems it the ds module (whatever that is) is running.

Help..... please...

Many thanks,


Last edited by notmetoo; 02-13-2005 at 03:55 PM.
Old 02-13-2005, 04:03 PM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: Bedford, Texas
Distribution: Fedora, CentOS
Posts: 11

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I am having the same problem. I have not been able to connect a wireless adapter to my router yet.

I have used a Linksys WPC11 and a Compaq HWN-100 with the same results on both.

Fedora Core 3 is what I have installed on my laptop.


Last edited by sirclown82; 02-13-2005 at 04:04 PM.
Old 02-16-2005, 02:56 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Dec 2004
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Hi All,

Well it has taken me a few days of pure frustration and investigation, but I now have it working. The answer, it seems, is that the 3COM AirConnect card wasn't supporting WEP. Thus, when the iwconfig eth0 key off command was sent, it didn't recognise the parameter key, and the "Operation not supported" message was posted.

The solution was to upgrade the firmware on the wireless card so that it supported WEP. My suggestion (for what that is worth) check whether your network card supports the command that it is failing (especially if it is an old card), it most likely needs a firmware upgrade, or it is, as a long shot, thinking the wireless card is wired!!!!

Old 02-16-2005, 05:50 AM   #4
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: UK/West Yorkshire/Huddersfield
Distribution: Fedora 7
Posts: 982

Rep: Reputation: 30
Good to know Ray. Can I suggest you update the HCL on this site with this info if you have a moment to let others know.


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