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Linux Newbie trying to enable 3com wifi card


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#1 hupjack

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 12:17 AM

So I've got a Sony PCG-SR17K that I refurbed and I'm giving Linux a try for the first time.

I found http://www.shallowsk.../vaiolinux.html with plenty of info from folk putting linux on this hardware.

A trusty friend recommended Mandrake 10, so I've setup a dual boot with win 2k and Mandrake 10.

What's currently evading me is how to setup my 3Com 3CRSHPW196 WiFi card. A little web searching tells me these drivers will do the trick.
http://atmelwlandriv...e.net/news.html
But I've got no clue how to do that install in Mandrake.

Out of curiousity, I tried booting the system with the WiFi card installed instead of the CD-Rom. (the wifi card wasn't present when I installed mandrake originally becasue I've got one pcmcia slot on this ultra portable, and it was filled by the external cd rom drive that I used to do the install)

so, when I boot with the 3com card in the slot, it goes through some pretty impressive auto detect / configure / and is all set to grab the install package, but it then wants to look to the cd which I can't get to because I'm already using my only pcmcia slot for the 3com card. So I copied CD 1 over to my HD, but now I have no idea how to tell mandrake to look to the HD for the install packages.

For all I know, the drivers that are on the Mandrake distribution are the same Atmel ones that I grabbed off sourceforge.

So can a newbies get some help here? Either some pointers on installing those atmel drivers, or help with telling mandrake to look to the HD for the install packages.

Thanks in advance
-Ethan

#2 danleff

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 01:44 PM

The issue is will Mandrake just look for CD#1, or ask for another also? In this case, it get's more difficult, especially on hard drive space.

There is a way to allow Mandrake to use data on the hard drive, I will look this up. It may be a little tricky to set up, as Mamdrake also looks for the verification files on the cd (to verify the rpm files on the cd).

In terms of the atmel drivers, the instructions are daunting, if you are a new linux user. See the link on how to do it at the atmel forums.

If your up to it, I salute you!

#3 hupjack

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 01:57 AM

danleff,

Thanks so much for your reply. Glad to hear that the atmel install doesn't just look daunting to me. Sure I'm a newbie at Linux, but I'm pretty savvy with computers in general. Give me something to read and I'll figure it out. But after looking at the atmel, I had an alergic reaction and started trying to figure out another way (i.e. point mandrake to the hd for the driver package.)

Since I have another laptop with a built in cd-rom, I threw mandrake on that one with the 3com card installed in it's pcmcia slot, so that it setup the card as best it was automagically capable of. While I can see the card's MAC address in KDE computer setup, it seems thusfar not to have really got the card functioning. No data, it won't pick up an IP or accept one that I type in after selecting static.

So while I'm curious how to point mandrake to the HD, I fear that the packaged drivers won't get that WiFi card up and running regardless, and the atmel route might be the only way to go.. So don't bust your hump too much looking how to repoint mandrake for the install packages.

Another friend mentioned this as a possibility http://www.linuxant.com/driverloader/

Are not many people using linux on laptops and doing wifi? I gotta think there's a pretty simple way to do this, and I'm perhaps missing it despite all my usenet/webforum/google searching. Do I just have a difficult card to do this with? I thought 3com would be money in the bank in terms of linux support.

-Ethan

#4 danleff

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 02:58 AM

Yep, I use the Linuxant package in my laptop with a D-Link wireless PCMCIA. Worth the $30 USD I spent on the package, compared with the frustration and time spent on other free drivers. The Linuxant package works fine onmy system, usingthe standard windows drivers that came with the card.

Some hardcore Linux users have an aversion to using drivers that you pay for. However, each wifi card manufacturer generally produces a number of cards with different chipsets. So, even if you buy a specific brand, the card itself (and the chipset that it uses) is at issue.

Many Linux users are struggling with wifi, due to the varying chipsets in their cards. If you can determine the chipset, then finding the driver to fit is next.

Thing is, I looked at Mandrake's hardware compatibility index and your card is not listed as supported. So, third party drivers may be the way to go. Since most wifi companies do not directly support Linux, we need to rely on anyone who can design appropriate drivers.

The other problem is how you have wifi set up on the system...adhoc, access point et al. WEP, or what encription that you are using is the other stumbling block.

I use RoadRunner, so my connection is not static, it is dynamic. Ask me how I got my lappy up and running...I could not tell you setep by step. I did a lot of googling before it worked.

I am a relative newbie at this, but keep looking and report back your results.

Take a look at a detailed description of chipset issues here

#5 hupjack

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 11:57 AM

from what you said about mandrake not supporting my card, I still have the atmel driver hell or linuxant purchase as options right? I can try the linuxant option for 30 days to see if it works I suppose.

-Ethan




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