The Atheros AR5523 dongle that muungwana fixed for me has enjoyed varied success. But above all, the main problem has been extremely limited range of operation away from the server. At a distance of 10 yards, the connection strength indicates typically 10-20% on start-up, and the connection is lost if anything heavy-duty is asked of it.
I have a Realtek dongle purchased on the expectation of a 300 yard range as advertised. It had been installed as Wlan0 previously through Configure Your Computer>Wireless>> and it worked, but like the Atheros had a limited range and slowly got worse. I suspected that it wasn't properly installed.
Using muungwana's process to make the Atheros dongle go, I started with:
ndiswrapper-1.58rc1.tar.gz, unpacking and doing make and make install. It was already installed, of course. Then I did:
modprobe ndiswrapper and tail -n 20 /var/log/syslog. The results of that are very, very similar to the published Atheros return in that thread. I did:
ndiswrapper -m, replugged the device, and did iwconfig. No result. So I did:
ndiswrapper -a 0dba:8176 net8192.inf (found that on Google), then:
modprobe -r ndiswrapper, then:
No activity, so I did:
ifconfig wlan0 up
Nothing. So I shut it down. Next boot, the wifi came up showing 85% signal at 10 yards all on its own, and identified itself as this:
Wlan1:Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI RS100 ACP Bridge [IGP 320M]
And it performed flawlessly while I checked the Forum, watched Flash video, and got my emails. Too good to be true? Yes. It didn't survive reboot.
[mdm@localhost ~]$ su root
[root@localhost mdm]# lsusb
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0bda:8176 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8188CUS 802.11n WLAN
[root@localhost mdm]# ndiswrapper -l
airforceone : driver installed
airplus : driver installed
athfmwdl : driver installed
bcmwl5 : driver installed
bcmwl5a : driver installed
lstinds : driver installed
net5211 : driver installed
net5523 : driver installed
net8185 : driver installed
net8192cu : invalid driver!
netathw : invalid driver!
netr33x : driver installed
netrtwlanu : driver installed
device (0BDA:8176) present (alternate driver: rtl8192cu)
prismnic : driver installed
wlannic : driver installed
wlipnds : driver installed
netrtwlanu is present in both a Windows and Linux version of a driver package from I think AMD (the memory isn't that accurate, I've done a lot of hunter-gathering on this), and the Linux driver has the rtl8192cu file. This evening on boot the wifi came up but dropped after a few seconds.
Could anyone direct me please in getting either ndiswrapper to drive this thing since when it is working it has way better reception than the Atheros item? Or might it be better driven by the native Linux driver to eliminate the possibility that ndiswrapper has a fault. I have to say that I don't remember the Atheros dongle being a problem in previous installs and it could see a neighbour's router across a street after we first got it going in KDE 2007.
Compaq NX9005 with 2011.06 LXDE fully up to date, and kernel 3.2.18-pclos2.bfs