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Old 02-21-2007, 09:45 AM   #1
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Question Some advice needed for wireless configuration on dell inspiron 9100 using ndiswrapper

Hello all,
I have come back to Linux after a few years off. I have a dell inspiron 9100. I have installed slackware 11 on it . I am trying to get my in-built wireless to work under linux.

Steps I have taken so far:

I have compiled myself a 2.6.20-rc6 kernel. I made sure that I configured the kernel for using wireless_tools.28 and ndiswrapper-1.37 as per their README's.

Then I booted up my new kernel and installed wireless_tools.28. no errors were detected.
Next I installed ndiswrapper-1.37. Again no errors detected. So far so good.
Now, my in-built wireless adapter is dell 1350 model. This uses the broadcom driver bcmwl5.inf/sys in doze. I have the latest version of this driver from the dell site. So in command line:
"ndiswrapper -i /usr/local/wireless/bcmwl5.inf" installs the windows driver.
Then "ndiswrapper -l" this list my wireless device and says device/driver present.
Next "iwconfig" this lists the settings for my device: ESSID, channel, wep type/key etc.
Next I use iwconfig to configure the device settings.
"iwconfig wlan0 essid LanciaDleta"
"iwconfig wlan0 mode Managed"
"iwconfig wlan0 key open XXXXXXXXXX" Where XXXXXXXXXX is my 10 digit hex key.
"iwconfig wlan0 up" This in theory should bring up my wireless? I'm assuming. This does not seem to work tho.

After this I goto KDE control center. In internet-network/network settings I can see eth0 and wlan0. Now this is where strange things are happening. I use static IP's cause I like to run servers etc. My eth0 is configured (which i did when installing slack) now stupidly I gave eth0 the IP that I want wlan0 to have(during slack install). (note wlan0 is not configured in here despite all my iwconfig commands) So I click configure device on eth0 I change the ip to Next I click configure device for wlan0. I give it ip also add gateway Once I finished configuring both devices I click apply (i have to click this twice then it is greyed out"

Next I goto control center/internet-network/wireless settings. In here all is blank at first (again despite my iwconfig commands) So I fill everything out. Open wep key etc. I leave power management off and apply the settings. Then I click apply then activate. Still no joy no wireless. At least in wireless settings tho it will save my configuration.

Now when I go back to control center/internet-network/network settings it seems to have forgotten all the settings I entered first time. Basically eth0 has switched back to ip instaed of 5 as I set it. wlan0 is not configured at all. It does not seem to save settings. (another thing sometimes when I do iwconfig the output can vary from what is set in control center. It seems to change open to restricted in iwconfig. even though i have set it open with iwconfig and in control center/internet-network/wireless settings.)

I am tearing my hair by now. What is going on?

Anyway I find these config files "/etc/rc.d/rc.inet.conf" and "/etc/rc.d/rc.wireless.conf" I am at work doing this from memory so these paths might be slightly wrong. I hope you know the ones I mean! Any way in these files I have added settings for wlan0, and changed ip of eth0. Question? which of these should I add the wlan0 settings too? "rc.inet.conf" or "rc.wireless.conf" or both? I have tried putting setting in both or 1 at a time either way still no wiress and still control center will not save any settings I input for the network devices. What I enter into the files does not seem to affect any settings in control center.

Just to make things more complicated. The wireless did work briefly. Firefox loaded up and I was able to surf the net. This happened late one nite and I was like YES it works! Then I left my laptop on overnite and tried to load up firefox in the morning and internet had gone! I had not rebooted or anything. And now I cannot get it back no matter what I do...

Please has anyone got any advice for this subject?
I can post some info later once I am back from work should that be required.

Many thanks in advance,
Old 02-21-2007, 09:55 AM   #2
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Dallas, TX
Distribution: Slackware-current
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I am trying to crack the same nut, only with a Dell 1500 wireless card. I downloaded the driver [same driver], I ran ndiswrapper -i and got the driver. It is listed with the device present. When I run iwconfig, I just see the lo. How do I bring up my wireless interface?
Old 02-21-2007, 10:02 AM   #3
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Registered: Feb 2007
Location: Southampton
Distribution: Slackware 11 (2.6.20-rc6 kernel)
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hello spaceballs. Please stop following me around the forums!
Old 02-21-2007, 10:25 AM   #4
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Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Southern California
Distribution: Slackware
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I think your stepping on yourself a bit. Most (all?) GUIs are just a front-end to things like Wireless Tools or a script file. That is, I can set the wireless parameters with iwconfig blah blah, or with a UI. One will overwrite the other, though, so using both is potentially self-defeating.

You're potentially doing the same thing in the config files.

There are a couple of places to set up the wireless parameters. For me /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.conf has been the most successful place, especially since moving to WPA. AlienBob, who has contributed some of the wireless config files/scripts in Slackware, has posted several examples of how to set up that file. I suggest you browse through his posts.


Your problem is very different - you're not even seeing the interface, which indicates the module is not loaded, was built or installed incorrectly with the wrong drivers. I suggest you make a separate thread for yours.
Old 02-21-2007, 10:29 AM   #5
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the reply 2gnu, I will search for AlienBob

Many thanks.


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