Monday, 10 March 2008

Beware not all up to date wireless cards work

Enthused by the relative easy of configuring wireless on the 1 year old pc. I bought a new Belkin WiFi card for the 7 year old celeron PC. Big mistake! It seems the latest Belkin wireless card (F5D7000uk) has a chip set that is not currently supported even with the ndiswrapper. After burning a few fruitless hours on this card, I abandoned all hope for it. After all when all the search results on the internet come up with fraught posts about the card that remain unanswered, its time to take the hint.

So I ended up switching the card with the older Belkin card from my Daughter's XP machine. This card was based upon an earlier chipset so I thought I ought to have a better chance, the Linux community will have had a crack at it. This card reported as 'Belkin 54g Wireless Desktop Network Card (F5D7000) Rev 03', which has a BCM4306 chipset. This lead me into a false sense of hope as the standard wifi driver in Ubuntu is called bcm43xx. It didn't work though. So I followed the same instructions as previously to use the ndiswrapper with the windows driver from the supplied disk. Still with no success. So then I tried with the drivers from the chip manufacturer, again no joy. Eventually I found this post in the 'tutorials and tips' section of the Ubuntu forum, which leads you through building the correct version of the ndiswrapper from the source code, adding the correct windows driver and changing the configuration to use the new driver. This worked the first time. There are some dedicated people out there who put real effort into making Linux work.

In conclusion, if you don't already have a wireless card order one from a Linux specialist such as the guys at and save yourself the trouble.

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