Welcome to the forums. Don't do any throwing away just yet.
ndiswrapper is largely superseded and you may have gotten that info from an old site. Avoid. If you installed that before doing an update with an ethernet cable then ndiswrapper could be preventing your card working! Let me assure you that it will almost definitely prevent you getting anything else to work and I would totally uninstall it before attempting anything else. Have you looked in Additional Drivers?
Post the results of these three commands (run one at a time) from a terminal (Applications>Accessories>Terminal) with the dongle plugged in:
You also don't provide any details on the USB dongle ... What is it???
sudo lshw -C network
PS: Save some sweat and if you can't find what your looking for elsewhere online or are confused or unsure about what you do find, make the forums your next resort! The forums and its users are here to help ...