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Thread: New User Dell Inspiron 4100 w/Motorola WN825G

  1. #1
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    New User Dell Inspiron 4100 w/Motorola WN825G

    I did a search and didn't find anything, but am new here, so please redirect me if I've missed something.

    I have never used Linux before - total noob. :-/

    I have just installed Ubuntu 10.10 on my old Dell Inspiron 4100 (PIII-1Ghz, 512MB, 30GB) which has a Motorola WN825G PCMCIA network card. I've searched and tried to fumble my way through several online guides to using this card, but fear I may have missed something (obviously, since it still doesn't work) out of sheer noobitude and could use some guidance.

    What I have done (I think!):
    - Found and installed ndiswrapper-common-1.56, ndiswrapper utils-1.9 and extracted the windows driver package for the NIC. Extracted ndis packages and did "make install"
    - Copied all the files (except the .exe files) that came with the driver to the laptop
    - Ran (via Terminal) #sudo ndiswrapper -i <path/to/driver>/bcmwl5.inf (also tried bcmwl5a.inf)
    - Edited /etc/network/interfaces as described in this post http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=132703

    What is happening now:
    - Umm..not too much. I can go into System>Administration>Network Tools and configure the Wireless Interface (wlan0), but now I have two items in the wireless tab - Wireless connection 1 and WRTG54G (the name I assigned to the connection at some point)
    - The wireless router is configured with WPA/PSK and works with my Windows box

    Points of concern:
    - I had to assign the MAC address (which I kinda found when I was doing one of the commands in Terminal - not sure which one) for the NIC myself. Shouldn't it have determined that automatically?
    - Is the PCMCIA slot even active? The power and link lights are not illuminated on the NIC
    - I also entered the MAC address of the wireless router - not sure why, but it seemed to be recommended in the post referenced above, so I did it.


    I may have missed a few steps or done something incorrectly, so any help that could be provided to a fresh-from-windows user would be greatly appreciated. I am even willing to do a completely fresh install, if required, since I have not got much invested in this machine at this point, and would love to get it working so I can get used to linux and dump the MS Monkey.

    TIA

    Mark

  2. #2
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    Re: New User Dell Inspiron 4100 w/Motorola WN825G

    The bcmwl is for a Broadcom card so the best thing is to find out if the chipset is supported by either the b43 or STA drivers before trying to install the driver outside the repos. Have you already taken those steps by trying to go to System>Administration>Hardware?

    I have not used a PCMCIA adapter so I'm not sure it'll work but do you get anything for your wireless device using
    Code:
    lspci
    in a terminal? If so, paste back the whole line for your network adapter.

  3. #3
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    Re: New User Dell Inspiron 4100 w/Motorola WN825G

    Thanks for your reply, Bill. Here's what I got with lspci:

    Code:
    07:00.0 Network Controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN controller (rev 03)
    I can't copy/paste since these are different machines, but I typed what it said on that line. Just to clarify, the bcmwl5.inf is what came from the Motorola driver package on their site. Can I assume that the chipset in there is by Broadcom?

  4. #4
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    Re: New User Dell Inspiron 4100 w/Motorola WN825G

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wi...Driver/bcm43xx
    Here's how to do it. Looks like you need the b43 driver. Have you gone to the top menu items SYSTEM>ADMINISTRATION>HARDWARE (or Additional Drivers in 10.10)? That's the preferred method.

  5. #5
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    Re: New User Dell Inspiron 4100 w/Motorola WN825G

    Oh boy. Ok, I'm going to go through that and see how I make out. I tried the Additional drivers, but since there's no network, it doesn't seem like it does much right now. It should be great for other drivers, though, once I get the network running, right? Also, do I need to "undo" anything that I've done so far before I take the steps listed in the link you provided?

  6. #6
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    Re: New User Dell Inspiron 4100 w/Motorola WN825G

    Ok, here's an experiment from my post http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...7#post10189927 This worked for me on the STA Broadcom driver. Perhaps you can try it on your device?

    If you have no ethernet access you will need to get the driver from the LiveCD. I have never done so after the install, but just last night I got mine to work without ever plugging into a network. Just make sure you select the right driver. And this will ONLY work if you are reinstalling so if you do not want to do that at this time, disregard the rest of this message.

    Boot from the LiveCD again. Once the system is fully up, go back to System>Administration>Hardware and select the b43 driver and tell it to activate it. Once it does you may just be able to click the network manager (top right) and connect. If you cannot, go to a terminal and
    Code:
    sudo modprobe b43
    and then try to connect again. If that still does not work, just stop trying and wait till you can get to an ethernet connection or search for how to activate the LiveCD as one of your repositories and install from there. I tried last night but ran out of time so I gave up searching for making that work.

    Anyway, if you get connected, then just double click "install Ubuntu 10.xx" from the desktop and install like you did before. Once it is done you should have your driver still installed if the system acts like mine did. Mine was just an experiment that worked since I have never seen a post suggesting to do it, but it worked.

    Thoughts?

  7. #7
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    Re: New User Dell Inspiron 4100 w/Motorola WN825G

    I have no problem re-installing at all, but just to be clear - the LiveCD you're referring to is the CD I made from the ISO that I downloaded from the Ubuntu site, right?

  8. #8
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    Re: New User Dell Inspiron 4100 w/Motorola WN825G

    Yes that's the one. Good luck and post back if you get stuck along the way.

  9. #9
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    Re: New User Dell Inspiron 4100 w/Motorola WN825G

    Ok, booted from the LiveCD. Should I choose "Try Ubuntu" or "Install Ubuntu"? (Sorry - noob, remember? )

  10. #10
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    Re: New User Dell Inspiron 4100 w/Motorola WN825G

    Yes try Ubuntu. That boots you into a live session.

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