[CentOS] 3.2 kernel with C5? Or ndiswrapper?

Wed Apr 4 16:51:57 UTC 2012
Stephen Harris <lists at spuddy.org>

I know, I know... don't use the non-standard kernels unless you have to...

BUT: I have a D-Link N150 USB card.

Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0846:9030 NetGear, Inc. WNA1100 Wireless-N 150 [Atheros AR9271]

This isn't supported in C5, but it is supported in newer kernels (ath9k_htc).

So let's try NDISwrapper:

  # rpm -i kmod\-ndiswrapper\-1.56\-1.el5.elrepo.i686.rpm ndiswrapper\-utils\-1.56\-1.el5.elrepo.i386.rpm
  warning: kmod-ndiswrapper-1.56-1.el5.elrepo.i686.rpm: Header V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID baadae52
  Working. This may take some time ...
  # cd WLAN/
  # ls
  athuw.sys*  netathuw.cat*  netathuw.inf*
  # ndiswrapper -i netathuw.inf
  installing netathuw ...
  forcing parameter MapRegisters from 256 to 64
  forcing parameter MapRegisters from 256 to 64
  [repeated multiple times]
  # ndiswrapper -l
  netathuw : driver installed
          device (0846:9030) present
  # modprobe ndiswrapper
  # dmesg | tail -5
  ndiswrapper: driver netathuw (,09/30/2010, loaded
  wlan0: ethernet device c4:3d:c7:bc:ea:89 using NDIS driver: netathuw, version: 0x70007, NDIS version: 0x501, vendor: 'NDIS Network Adapter', 0846:9030.F.conf
  wlan0: encryption modes supported: WEP; TKIP with WPA, WPA2, WPA2PSK; AES/CCMP with WPA, WPA2, WPA2PSK
  usbcore: registered new driver ndiswrapper
  ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready
  # ifconfig wlan0
  wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr C4:3D:C7:BC:EA:89
            UP BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
            RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
            TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
            collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
            RX bytes:0 (0.0 b)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)

  # /sbin/iwlist wlan0 scan | grep ESSID.*sweh

So far, so good!

  # iwconfig wlan0 nickname fred
  # iwconfig wlan0 essid sweh
  # iwconfig wlan0
  wlan0     IEEE 802.11g  ESSID:off/any  Nickname:"fred"
            Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.412 GHz  Access Point: Not-Associated
            Bit Rate=150 Mb/s
            Encryption key:off
            Power Management:off
            Link Quality:0  Signal level:0  Noise level:0
            Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
            Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

Hmm, ESSID isn't being set.  If I try to configure wpa_supplicant
then it never associates properly.

So I'm not totally convinced ndiswrapper is working for me.

So I figured... dammit; let's try a generic kernel.  Not good, but...

I compile 3.2.9, install the modules and then try an boot...  and
it fails to find my root disk and panics.  I can see from the boot
messages that the kernel is seeing them, but it's failing to mount and

(of course I can't get useful information 'cos you can't do anything
useful after a panic!)

Looking at the initrd, it seems to have all the right drivers and
modules, and the init script _looks_ correct... but it's just not

Has anyone else tried to get 3.2.9 to work with C5.8?

Or has anyone any advice for getting ndiswrapper to work for me (or 
other ways of running the N150 card)?