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Thread: (Hopefully) straightforward wireless problem

  1. #21
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    Default Re: (Hopefully) straightforward wireless problem

    On 11/05/2009 07:26 AM, Jimbo G wrote:
    >
    > Okay, thanks for your help.
    >
    > I tried a different version of WPA_supplicant (0.6.9-7.1) to replace
    > the original version (0.6.4-15.13.1).
    >
    > That didn't work either, so I'll wait for the driver gurus. I guess it
    > might be easier to just buy a new wireless card...
    >
    > I should probably change the thread title as well!


    I just reread the postings in this thread, I noticed that your AP is
    very weak with a signal of -70 dBm. That may be the problem. The
    reason is that the reverse engineering of the early devices is not
    that good and they can fail with weak signals. A revisit of that code
    has long been on my agenda, but it has lower priority than getting the
    newer devices (802.11n) implemented.

    Is it possible for you to get closer to the AP, at least for tests? I
    would like to see a signal higher than -50. Alternatively, you might
    try (choke..choke) ndiswrapper with the Windows XP driver. You have
    i386 architecture, which gives this option a chance. The 64-bit
    Windows drivers have all kinds of problems.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: (Hopefully) straightforward wireless problem

    I'm already right next to the router, so I'm not sure why the signal is weak. By moving the laptop around the best signal I've had so far is -42dBm, but it's very variable. My other laptop (an old Toshiba with a Belkin plug-in card) is fairly constant at -40dBm, so I don't think it's a router problem

    I will try ndiswrapper and see what happens (if I can work out how to use it).

  3. #23

    Default Re: (Hopefully) straightforward wireless problem

    Not too difficult, but I suggest to at least keep ndiswrapper packages at hand which come from this repo here:

    Index of /repositories/driver:/wireless

    Should be version 1.55 (ndiswrapper and ndiswrapper-kmp-$FLAVOR) but that is not the reason (ndiswrapper in oss-repo will be 1.54).

    Try version from oss repo first, but if you encounter similar problems, it might be good to use the upgraded packages from driver:wireless, 1.54 was sometimes buggy with wpa_supplicant (timing issues) and 1.55 had some hacks/fixes for that.

    Also don't forget to unload and blacklist the modules "ssb" and "b43legacy" to avoid driver conflicts.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: (Hopefully) straightforward wireless problem

    On 11/05/2009 08:56 AM, Jimbo G wrote:
    >
    > I'm already right next to the router, so I'm not sure why the signal is
    > weak. By moving the laptop around the best signal I've had so far is
    > -42dBm, but it's very variable. My other laptop (an old Toshiba with a
    > Belkin plug-in card) is fairly constant at -40dBm, so I don't think it's
    > a router problem
    >
    > I will try ndiswrapper and see what happens (if I can work out how to
    > use it).


    A strength of -42 dBm should work. In the scan data that you posted,
    it was much weaker.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: (Hopefully) straightforward wireless problem

    I'll have a go with ndiswrapper tomorrow and let you know what happens. Thanks for the help, it's much appreciated.

    I'm assuming if this doesn't work then my best option will be investing in a new wireless card for the laptop?

  6. #26
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    Default Re: (Hopefully) straightforward wireless problem

    Quote Originally Posted by lwfinger View Post
    On 11/05/2009 08:56 AM, Jimbo G wrote:
    >
    > I'm already right next to the router, so I'm not sure why the signal is
    > weak. By moving the laptop around the best signal I've had so far is
    > -42dBm, but it's very variable. My other laptop (an old Toshiba with a
    > Belkin plug-in card) is fairly constant at -40dBm, so I don't think it's
    > a router problem
    >
    > I will try ndiswrapper and see what happens (if I can work out how to
    > use it).


    A strength of -42 dBm should work. In the scan data that you posted,
    it was much weaker.
    It's not the strength. although you should have the computer 3-6 feet away from the modem/router, for reasons of electromagnetic interference.

    From my earlier post
    you're using WPA, then choose WPA personal and enter in the "shared key", which is again, whatever you have for the key. Now I do recommend you click on, for WPA, "expert settings" and tick the box "use a specific WPA version" and you'll probably want version 1. After that, it should be connect and save.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________
    Don't ask "if" something can be done, for it can always be done. Rather instead ask "How" can it be done.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: (Hopefully) straightforward wireless problem

    Well, I'm not sure this is what you guys want to hear, but I have finally succeeded by using ndiswrapper.

    For the benefit of anyone else who has this exact problem, here's what I did (based on Ndiswrapper - openSUSE)

    - Installed ndiswrapper from the normal repo using YaST
    - Attempted to find the Windows XP drivers in my Windows partition. Failed, and eventually downloaded a driver installation file called SP29361.exe from the Compaq website.
    - Ran this installation in Windows, and copied the new folder containing all drivers and .inf files into my openSUSE partition.
    - Blacklisted b43legacy and ssb in '/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist'
    - Unloaded b43legacy and ssb (see Kernel module configuration - openSUSE)
    - Installed the driver with ndiswrapper; I used bcmwl5a.inf
    - Checked driver installation then initialised ndiswrapper using the instructions in the HowTo.

    For info, here is the NWData script file with working WLAN: nopaste.info - free nopaste script and service

    The signal level is still quite poor but at least it's working!

    Thanks for all the help. Please let me know if anything looks wrong with the NWData information.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: (Hopefully) straightforward wireless problem

    @Jonathan_R Thanks for the reply, but I don't think the WPA key was the problem. Also, as I mentioned in my first post, I'm using Gnome and therefore NetworkManager. I think your screenshot is KNetworkManager - I may be wrong but I can't find any settings in NM that allow you to choose between WPA1 and WPA2.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: (Hopefully) straightforward wireless problem

    Apologies for the multiple postings, but I wanted to add that I have found it necessary to use ifup rather than NetworkManager. NM didn't work most of the time for some reason.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: (Hopefully) straightforward wireless problem

    For some reason I'm now back to the original problem, with no wireless access. I can't take any more punishment, so I'm going shopping tomorrow for a new wireless card.

    What is the best way to disable the existing internal wireless device?

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