Should I instal Ubuntu?

OP
swee'pea99

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
Ok, it runs, but.....no connection. No wee green lights on my Belkin PCMCIA wirless card. I've ben thru' the help files and got as far as 'Check for device recognition'. Followed the instructions, got a readout 'Disabled'. Help pointed me to 'Check the device is on', which offers only:

Many wireless network devics can be turned on or off. Check to see if there is a hardware switch (there isn't), some devices can be switched off from Windows and may need to be turned back on from Windows.

So I'm a bit stumped. I can't go to Windows and turn it on, then come back here, because thr only way I can get back here from Windows is by rebooting...at which point the wee green lights go out, and it's device is off time again.

Any thoughts appreciated. HJ - if you read this - did you have to set up your card in some way, or did it just work from the off?
 
OP
swee'pea99

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
A bit of googling just led me to an extensive discussion, of which this is just a small part:

"Dannt, I got my card working properly with ndiswrapper last night. Here's what I recommend you do;

open a terminal and login as root using 'su -'

unload the broadcom driver module because it interferes with ndiswrapper

modprobe -r bcm43xx

install ndiswrapper if you don't have it installed already

yum -y install ndiswrapper

now find the windows drivers for your card (the ndiswrapper website has a list of compatible cards where you can find info on this), you want the .inf file I think, mine was bcmwl5a.inf.
Navigate to the directory where you have the driver and type

ndiswrapper -i driverfile.inf

(using my example it was ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5a.inf)

then type

ndiswrapper -l

and you should hopefully see a message saying that your driver is installed and the hardware is present (obviously your card should be in the slot
)

Now you just type

modprobe ndiswrapper

and this will hopefully fire up the lights on your card and if you type

iwconfig

you should see the info on your card. On my system it picked up the settings I had stored using Network Device Control when I was trying to get the card working with the bcm43xx module.

If all is well at this point, check the output of iwconfig to see whether your card is wlan0 or eth1 or whatever and then edit the /etc/modprobe.conf file and add this line at the bottom

alias wlan0 ndiswrapper

(change the wlan0 to suit your settings). You can do this with 'ndiswrapper -m' but it didn't work properly for me (I had to change the wlan0 part manually anyway).

Now you need to make sure that bcm43xx doesn't keep giving you grief so add the following section at the end of /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

# Prevent bcm43xx interfering with ndiswrapper
blacklist bcm43xx

Now you should be all set when you reboot, you should also be able to use Network Device Control to activate/deactivate/change settings.

Let me know if this doesn't work for you."

Given that I was lost by "open a terminal and login as root using 'su -'", I suspect I'm in over my head, and am pretty convinced this would be a good time to reconcile myself to ME flakiness...unfortunate, but...

Incidentally, it didn't. Work for him, I mean...

Thanks anyway folks. It's always worth a try with these things.
 

MrGrumpy

Huge Member
Location
Fly Fifer
ahh the broadcom driver, what i`ve found with my laptop and its quite modern, is that use the ethernet network connection rather than wireless first of all. Ubuntu and most of the modern distribtions will auto download the drivers required to get wireless working. ( due to non propriety drivers ) ie the manufacturer never released the code, so reverse engineered.
 

HJ

Cycling in Scotland
Location
Auld Reekie
I found it just worked, but on some older hardware it doesn't always but you can often get it to with a wee bit of hacking around.

Yep the command line can be a wee bit scary, I assume you are using Ubuntu (other versions maybe different when looking for a terminal),

first off open a terminal - go to the "Applications" menu, then "Accessories" an you should find an icon called "Terminal".

Click on "Terminal" to open it, this should bring up a thing which looks like the old window dos box.

Type in "su - " and then your user name (the one you set when you loaded Ubuntu) and hit return.

It should then ask you for your password, type in and hit return.

This means that you are loggin as a supper user (su) and can do what you like to the software, so best to copy and paste the instructions. To paste into the Terminal either use the "Edit" menu or press Ctrl + Shift + V (rather than Ctrl + V as you would normally do).

Hope that helps.
 

HJ

Cycling in Scotland
Location
Auld Reekie
MrGrumpy said:
ahh the broadcom driver, what i`ve found with my laptop and its quite modern, is that use the ethernet network connection rather than wireless. Ubuntu and most of the modern distribtions will auto download the drivers required to get it working.
That is a good idea, use a cable to get a connection until you get the wireless working, that way you can get direct access to the instructions over the internet.
 
OP
swee'pea99

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
Thanks all. Must admit, I like the idea of cabling up to get online, especially with 'auto download the drivers required to get it working'. The idea of getting access to instructions is less appealing...I really am in over my head when I get to stuff like I posted above.
 

MrGrumpy

Huge Member
Location
Fly Fifer
use the live cd and boot whilst connected via ethernet, linux normally likes older tech except for non propriety drivers. You may find it runs fine, certainly come on leaps and bounds since the late 90`s :tongue:
 
OP
swee'pea99

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
I'll definitely try that, but it's ultimately no use to me unless I can get the card working. I can't run it on ethernet full time - the router's in the attic and I'm down here.
 
If you have a broadcom chipset based wifi card it can be a bit of a 'mare tbh. Although Ubuntu can find mine if I have connected to 'tinternet with a cable at first.

It should tell you that there is a propriety driver available and install it...IF that doesn't then work, try http://blog.gunbladeiv.com/2008/05/hardy-heron-b43-broadcom-driver-setup.html

which is only a small hoop to jump through, but it worked for me. Keep that cable to hand though...
 
OP
swee'pea99

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
Thanks - I'll give it a go. Is there anything I have to do specifically once (assuming I can) I've got online via cable? Do I do a google search on 'Belkin M card drivers for Xbuntu' or something?
 
OP
swee'pea99

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
Don't think so. There's an F5D7011 listed there; mine's an F5D7011B, which I'm guessing is a different beastie altogether.
 

HJ

Cycling in Scotland
Location
Auld Reekie
Interesting, if you google "F5D7011B ubuntu" ever hit in the first 20 says "Don't get the F5D7011B, or the Version 2000, they do not work with Ubuntu". Although the F5D7011 works straight out of the box apparently, so I think you are out of luck, sorry about that.
 
OP
swee'pea99

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
Believe it or not, this message comes to you from ubuntu-land. Ho yus. I suddenly remembered that I had an old Belkin card lying around upstairs somewhere, plugged it in very much on a what have I got to lose basis, and bugger me if it didn't work 'right out of the box'! Hai carumba. Also arriba arriba. Now I have a bit of poking around to do....checking out this new landscape 'n that...

Many thanks to everyone for your help and encouragement. I'll report back anon...

PS It's awful slow at the moment - booting up takes 3x as long as Windows, eg...is this because I'm running from CD, and will go away if I install it? Oh, one more - if I do decide to uninstall WinME, is that easy? Thanks again.
 

Debian

New Member
Location
West Midlands
Ubuntu should boot far quicker than WinME. Once you have it on the HD you'll be fine.

Don't worry about uninstalling Windows, once you do a full Ubuntu install it will automatically lose windows for you.

It's a great OS, I'm just starting to set up Ubuntu based servers, firewalls and caches at work and I'm really impressed with how easy it all comes together and talks to the Windows servers and PCs.

Let us know how you get on.
 
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