Wireless card setup in Linux

I am a newbie in Linux…havent used it much other than for the curriculum projects… I had to set up wireless network on my laptop since I wanted to access Internet from Linux… I had found an alternative for this by using the Ethernet cable from the modem.. But it was very inconvenient since I had to sit in the vicinity of that cable in order to have internet access while working in Linux.. I googled a lot and read through lot of articles in the linux forums and finally did the following in order to set it up:

  • I installed ndiswrapper and then downloaded the windows driver for my wireless card and then gave the .inf file of the driver to ndiswrapper command to install the driver
  • Then when I tried bringing ndiswrapper up, it gave a weird error message..The driver was installed properly but ndiswrapper was throwing error.. Then I disabled the alternate driver and added it into the blacklist also..But still the same error!
  • I read in some forum that ndiswrapper doesnt work well with kernel versions less than 2.6.20.. Mine was 2.6.15 (you can find out your kernel version using #uname -a command) and hence I had to download the latest kernel version
  • Once done I tried loading ndiswrapper again but kept getting the same error message.. Now I realized that I need to restart my machine.. Upon restarting, I found that instead of two options while booting (Linux and Windows), it displayed 3 options now (kernel 2.6.20, kernel 2.6.15 and windows).. I booted using 2.6.20 and yooo! the ndiswrapper started working!!! Additional benefit was that my sound card was detected by the linux kernel and hence I was able to play music on my linux machine now…
  • Now I downloaded a software called wire-trap and tried connecting to the internet.. I was able to see a list of all the available wireless networks but when I tried connecting, it said “Could not get IP address” 😦 I restarted the machine.. Did every possible thing but no use!
  • Then I realized that blacklisting the old driver alone wont prevent it from getting loaded when I restart the machine.. Every time I restart, I need to unload it manually and then bring ndiswrapper up… Once I did this, my machine got connected to the Internet.. But the connection was very slow.. It took almost 10 mins to open one webpage…
  • After trying all possible things, I again went to the Dell website and searched for the driver… I found a newer version of the driver (the one I had installed was released in 2006 and this was a 2007 version that I found).. I downloaded the latest driver and installed it.. Now when I tried connecting, I got a very fast internet access..Hurray!! task accomplished 😀 🙂

Accomplishment : My familiarity with the Linux system increased 😀

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