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Thread: Dell Mini 9 Ubuntu 8.04 - DWL-G122 Rev A1

  1. #1
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    Question Dell Mini 9 Ubuntu 8.04 - DWL-G122 Rev A1

    My problems and questions are several-fold. I have an old D-Link Wireless USB Adapter (DWL-G122 Rev A1) that no longer works under Windows XP Service Pack 3 due to Microsoft removing several key APIs and D-Link being dumb and not fixing the problems on their end as a result of using undocumented APIs in their drivers. Basically, for Windows, the device is a brick.

    I recently bought a Dell Mini 9 (sitting right next to me) and would like to give some new life to this old USB Wireless adapter. I've searched and the only things I come across are Rev B/C "guides" and lots of handwaving. Basically, I need some serious hand holding. I can use a terminal and know how to sudo and run apt-get, but none of the guides are geared for the Mini 9, nobody appears to have tried Rev A1 before, and, more importantly, no one seems to have very specific instructions that work with both.

    The Dell is running Ubuntu 8.04 (shipping version). The guides I've found that seemed the most promising are the ndiswrapper-related ones. I've read plenty on ndiswrapper having "issues". My problem is I can't get 'ndiswrapper-utils' nor 'ndisgtk' installed as the ndiswrapper guides I've read say needs to be done. Attempting to use the GUI-based Add/Remove... tool shows the "Windows Wireless Drivers" greyed out and says, "Windows Wireless Drivers cannot be installed on your computer type (lpia). Either the application requires special hardware features or the vendor decided to not support your computer type." After a bit of searching, I've discovered that LPIA means "Low Power Intel Architecture" and is some type of mutilated x86 processor.

    I should mention that I do have a wired connection for the Mini 9 that works fine. So, I can install, update/upgrade, and other apt-get oriented things (if necessary). I'd prefer to use GUI-based tools, if at all possible, to get this working. I hate fiddling around with the Linux command-line.

    So, after that background, my question is:

    What steps, precisely, do I need to take to get this device to work?

    I would prefer NOT upgrading to 8.10 as the computer will become a gift to someone who really needs it more than me and I don't want to mess up whatever support Dell might offer. Getting wireless access working with this computer is a bonus - the wireless adapter is useless to me. I only want to make minimal changes to the computer to add wireless support.

  2. #2
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Dell Mini 9 Ubuntu 8.04 - DWL-G122 Rev A1

    I'm confused. The built-in wireless should work out of the box on a dell install...

  3. #3
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    Kubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Dell Mini 9 Ubuntu 8.04 - DWL-G122 Rev A1

    I don't know anything about the wireless USB adapter that you have, but I am a little bit confused as to why you are not using the built-in wireless adapter that comes with the Mini 9.

    The Mini 9's come with mini-PCI Broadcom adapters (with the BCM4312 chipset), which can be a bit of a pain sometimes, but should have worked for you out of the box.

    If for some reason the built-in wireless is not working for you, you might try connecting it to a wired network, and running 'sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade'. Within a few minutes, you should see a pop-up asking you about proprietary drivers/firmware for your hardware. Click on that, and allow it to install firmware for the wireless adapter.

    I recently bought 3 Mini 9's, one for myself, and 2 that I sold to friends, and wireless has been working just fine on them.

  4. #4
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    Re: Dell Mini 9 Ubuntu 8.04 - DWL-G122 Rev A1

    Quote Originally Posted by james_xxx View Post
    I don't know anything about the wireless USB adapter that you have, but I am a little bit confused as to why you are not using the built-in wireless adapter that comes with the Mini 9.

    The Mini 9's come with mini-PCI Broadcom adapters (with the BCM4312 chipset), which can be a bit of a pain sometimes, but should have worked for you out of the box.

    If for some reason the built-in wireless is not working for you, you might try connecting it to a wired network, and running 'sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade'. Within a few minutes, you should see a pop-up asking you about proprietary drivers/firmware for your hardware. Click on that, and allow it to install firmware for the wireless adapter.

    I recently bought 3 Mini 9's, one for myself, and 2 that I sold to friends, and wireless has been working just fine on them.
    Hmm...I didn't realize that. I thought it didn't have wireless access for some reason.

    New problem: Won't connect to the network. WPA-PSK. Meh. Actually, this might be why I tried to use my DWL-G122 in the first place. (I've had it sitting in a corner for a few months - had planned on using it for something and then that idea sort of fell through).

  5. #5
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    Re: Dell Mini 9 Ubuntu 8.04 - DWL-G122 Rev A1

    Never mind. Just figured out what was wrong. Forgot about the MAC address filter on the access point. No wonder it didn't work.

  6. #6
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    Kubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Dell Mini 9 Ubuntu 8.04 - DWL-G122 Rev A1

    Hmmm, I would still recommend updating/upgrading and then allowing the restricted drivers manager to install the most current firmware from Dell's repositories.

    As far as I had been aware, WPA wireless should be working fine in the default Hardy install, but WPA is an issue if you upgrade to (the non-Dell) Ubuntu Intrepid.

    The first thing I did when I got my Mini 9, was wipe the drive, and install Intrepid. To get the wireless adapter to work with WPA/WPA2, I finally had to resort to using ndiswrapper. I wish I hadn't had to go that route, but all is working well at the moment.

  7. #7
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    Re: Dell Mini 9 Ubuntu 8.04 - DWL-G122 Rev A1

    Erk. New problem. The whole computer froze shortly after connecting to the access point. And by frozen, I mean the "mouse cursor refuses to budge" and "keyboard hosed" (i.e. completely unresponsive to even terminal switching keystrokes) frozen. Had to hold down the power button to get it to shut off.

  8. #8
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    Re: Dell Mini 9 Ubuntu 8.04 - DWL-G122 Rev A1

    I ran the Update Manager back when I first got this and re-ran it now. It says that the system is up to date. I haven't changed any of the sources (some of the guides for the DWL-G122 recommended doing that but I was a bit nervous about doing that).

  9. #9
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    Re: Dell Mini 9 Ubuntu 8.04 - DWL-G122 Rev A1

    Yeah, I would recommend leaving the sources as they are. In fact, I don't believe you will be able to use any non-Dell sources on this system, as long as you are using Dell's version of Ubuntu.

    I am sad to hear about it locking up on you. That is the issue I encountered in Intrepid when trying to connect to a WPA2 network. That is what prompted me to switch to using ndiswrapper with a Windows driver.

    However, since you plan to give this Mini 9 away, do you know what kind of encryption the person receiving this machine uses at home? I don't think that unencrypted or WEP encrypted networks will cause any problems at all.

  10. #10
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    Re: Dell Mini 9 Ubuntu 8.04 - DWL-G122 Rev A1

    I'm pretty sure it is WPA, but if WPA is going to be a problem, I can switch it to WEP.

    I just ran around with it for about a half hour with no problems. Could be a weird fluke from connecting with the network the first time. Could also be a weird fluke that happens randomly and I got lucky running into it (so I know how to deal with it).

    Thanks for your quick response.

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