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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware » Networking » Wireless
No wifi -> ndis not wrapping -> TEW-421PC -> Pup 4.2.1
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themagni

Joined: 08 Nov 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun 08 Nov 2009, 19:50    Post subject:  No wifi -> ndis not wrapping -> TEW-421PC -> Pup 4.2.1
Subject description: Unable to recognize wireless device on PCMCIA port
 

Hello, everyone.

I've got an old Thinkpad 600E that I just installed Puppy on. I used 4.2.1 because 4.3.1 will not boot on the Thinkpad. (It's not the Windows issue as I use Ubuntu on my primary machine... for now.)

I have a PCMCIA wireless card -- a TrendNET TEW-421PC and I have the windows drivers available. ndiswrapper does not load the card correctly. The -l output is "tnet1130: driver enabled". Note the lack of a hardware issue. I have tried the 98, Me, 2000, and XP drivers under ndis using both the network wizard and the console; no dice.

I know that power is getting to the PCMCIA bus, since a wired Ethernet card is detected. The wireless card was working under Win98.

Note that I can't give full outputs since, obviously, the Thinkpad doesn't have Internet access. The listings under ifconfig are there, but I don't have anything under iwfconfig. (l0 & eth0 : no wireless extensions)

What command outputs would be required to get wireless up and running, and what suggestions do you have?

Thanks.
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rjbrewer


Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 4422
Location: merriam, kansas

PostPosted: Sun 08 Nov 2009, 21:28    Post subject:  

tew 421 pc seems to use rtl 818x drivers

http://linux-wless.passys.nl/query_part.php?brandname=TRENDware

These already exist in puppy I think.

Have you tried the connection wizard.?

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themagni

Joined: 08 Nov 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun 08 Nov 2009, 22:13    Post subject:  

Yes, I have tried the connection wizard, and repeatedly. I exhausted my options there before reverting to the console. Wink

Thanks for the link though; I now know it's not a compatibility issue.
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themagni

Joined: 08 Nov 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon 09 Nov 2009, 22:31    Post subject:  

Additional Info:

The card is known good. I went to my friendly local computer store, and they plugged it into a display laptop. Win7 detected the card (as a RealTek 8 something).

So it's not the card or the slot. What information can I supply to get this card working? I have wired access for the LT now, so I can supply command outputs.
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themagni

Joined: 08 Nov 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon 09 Nov 2009, 23:41    Post subject:  

More new info:

The card will get the ACT pulse under slackware; I can tell that there's some configuration issue with the laptop. It is also somewhat working under Debian; it powers up and will connect.

However, I'd prefer to use Puppy due to the smaller size and faster OS; what can I work on to get this card working in Puppy?

Thanks.
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themagni

Joined: 08 Nov 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed 11 Nov 2009, 22:43    Post subject:  

Yet more new info:

I tried a few other distros -- slax, debian, feather, and they are getting the ACK power pulse to the card. Puppy is not. If I could get power to the card, I would be able to get it up and running. (The aforementioned distros have serious issues between the live CDs and HDD install. Long story.)

I upgraded to the 4.3.1 retro kernel (the ThinkPad requires 2.6.21.7 kernel and no later) in the hopes that the newer network wizard would detect the card.

It does not. The drivers are not working and the card is not powering up.

The windows drivers, all four flavours, do not work with ndiswrapper.

However, the wired card does power up immediately upon insertion. Obviously, power to the PCMCIA slot is active, and Puppy can detect the slots and hardware inside. It cannot see the wireless card. (The TEW-421PC)

What can I do to get wireless working here? What command outputs would you like to see so I can get this working?

Thanks.
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1077
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Thu 12 Nov 2009, 00:16    Post subject:  

Companies like Trendnet often market a wireless card as a specific model number, but put completely different chipsets inside, and call the card a different revision number of the same model.

It's not only important to specify the model (TEW-421PC) but the actual card's revision or version number. Then go to Trendnets site and download the proper driver for that revision. (If you're going to use ndiswrapper). Try to find out what chipset you have, as well.

Native Linux kernel drivers are keyed to chipsets, not necessarily Mfg Model numbers for just this reason. So you may not have actually loaded the proper driver in the past.

If you can't find the proper Linux driver for you revision of the model, then you will have to go to the Trendnet site and download the win driver for the specific revision. Then try ndiswrapper for that. Apparently ndiswrapper has to be at least version 1.8 for this card's recent revisions (chip types).

Good luck!

(Or consider buying a different card -- I actually went that route in the past.)
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themagni

Joined: 08 Nov 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu 12 Nov 2009, 01:47    Post subject:  

Yes, that was the problem. I was using the generic version of the driver, and getting the version for revision C1.1 lets ndiswrapper load the driver.

I am using the wireless link on the ThinkPad to post this message. Setting up the WPA/TKIP connection was a piece of cake, far easier and user-friendly compared to having to load wpa_supplicant modules and muck about with editors. (Debian, I'm looking at you.)

All is well; thank you for the guidance. It was exactly the hint I required.
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wtall

Joined: 01 Feb 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri 13 Nov 2009, 06:38    Post subject:  

Good O. BTW, is Puppy remembering to load the windows driver (via ndiswrapper) when you re-boot your machine instead of the linux driver?
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