ndiswrapper and Linksys WPC54G ver 1.2 card

  • Jim Segrave
    Jim Segrave

    I have a Dell L400 laptop running Gentoo with a 2.6 kernel. I used ndiswrapper (ver 0.12, which is the current gentoo supported version) to try using this card on a wireless network with WEP enabled. The card comes up and does work, but I am finding that after anywhere between half an hour and perhaps 12 hours, the card appears to shut down and all network connectivity is lost. Sometimes it can be restored with nothing more than an ifconfig wlan0 down;iwconfig wlan0 ... ;ifconfig wlan0 up. Sometimes only a reboot restores normal connectivity. Failures are often preceded by increasing amounts of packet loss. I don't believe it's related to the wireless router, as I have another laptop (a Sony VAIO) running FreeBSD using the Sony's internal wireless card which runs without problems.

    Any suggestions welcome

    • Jim Segrave
      Jim Segrave

      Following up to myself.

      I downloaded ndiswrapper 1.1 and built it on my gentoo 2.6.9 kernel. I installed the drivers from the Linksys CD, lsbcmnds.inf

      It seemed not to want to associate to my wireless router, but following the suggestion in the Wiki guide, I now do an
      iwconfig <everything but the essid>, pause 3 seconds (probably not necessary, but allowed me to do an iwconfig and look at the results after each command), then an iwconfig wlan0 essid my-network-id, another 3 second pause and then repeat the first iwconfig.

      I found the card is very sensitive to things like: a cat5 cable from using a wired connection while setting things up passed within a few cm. of the end of the card and seemed to cause erratic reception, even when the Ethernet if was inactive.
      Simply sitting in the wrong place next to the machine could cause massive packet loss or failure to associate. Repositioning the router addressed this as well.

      I am running with 104 bit keys, ssid broadcast disabled at the router and MAC locking for wireless, all of which seem to work correctly. I'm not convinced that it will recover from loss of association without restarting the system though.

      Re. my other posting = I tried ndiswrapper 1.1 with my Sitecom card, but this produced an instant kernel freeze, so I didn't bother pursuing it further

      1) after getting it working, I discovered that the card was very sensitive to it's environment - a cat5 cable crossing over the card or even my sitting in the wrong place between the router and the card could cause massive signal loss, so perhaps it was me at the keyboard stopping it