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ndiswrapper and wireless on Inspiron 5160 : installation and some questions

Okay, so I have reached the stage on the Dell laptop Inspiron 5160 where I am trying to get this wireless card working. It is Dell 1350 802.11g/b wireless mini-PCI card.

So I installed the ndiswrapper source package from:

1) Just added the source to the sources.list file and download the source, version 0.11.

2) Had an earlier verison of ndiswrapper, uninstalled that (deb --purge <packages>, then rmmod ndiswrapper).

3) Went into /usr/src and unpacked the source file as root:
#> tar zxf ndiswrapper-source.tar.gz

4) Went into /usr/src/modules/ndiswrapper and gave the command (as root, with fakeroot it gave some error and didn't work):
#> debian/rules binary

5) the resulting dep packages were in /usr/src/modules:
#> ls ../
ndiswrapper ndiswrapper-modules_0.11- ndiswrapper-utils_0.11_i386.deb nvidia-kernel

6) Installed these packages(while still in /usr/src/modules/ndiswrapper):
#> dpkg -i ../ndiswrapper*.deb
Selecting previously deselected package ndiswrapper-modules.
(Reading database ... 147721 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking ndiswrapper-modules (from .../ndiswrapper-modules_0.11- ...
Selecting previously deselected package ndiswrapper-utils.
Unpacking ndiswrapper-utils (from .../ndiswrapper-utils_0.11_i386.deb) ...
Setting up ndiswrapper-utils (0.11) ...
Setting up ndiswrapper-modules (0.11- ...

7) then loaded the module:
#> modprobe ndiswrapper
#> lsmod | grep ndiswr
ndiswrapper           118652  0
usbcore               117440  5 ndiswrapper,uhci_hcd,ehci_hcd

8) not sure about this, but
#> depmod -a

9) extracted the R83097.EXE (driver for WinXP download from Dell website) in a temporary directory /tmp/wl

10) made ndiswrapper see the inf file:
#>  ndiswrapper -e bcmwl5a.inf  <-- removed earlier instance of driver
#> ndiswrapper -l               <-- just making sure no driver is loaded
No drivers installed

#> ndiswrapper -i AR/bcmwl5a.inf     <--install this driver
Installing bcmwl5a

#> ndiswrapper -l                     <--verify driver was installed
Installed ndis drivers:
bcmwl5a driver present, hardware present   <--good, it is.

Okay, that is all fine, or so it seems to me. Then I listed the interfaces with iwconfig and it includes:
wlan0     IEEE 802.11g  ESSID:off/any
Mode:Managed Frequency:2.462 GHz Access Point: 00:00:00:00:00:00
          Bit Rate:54 Mb/s   Tx-Power:25 dBm
          RTS thr:2347 B   Fragment thr:2346 B
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality:100/100  Signal level:-10 dBm  Noise level:-256 dBm
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:15   Missed beacon:0

So looks like the wireless card is being seen. I don't have a wireless network here where I am trying to get the wireles card working, but I sometimes see this:
#> iwlist wlan0 scan
wlan0     Scan completed :
          Cell 01 - Address: 00:02:6F:08:51:22
                    Protocol:IEEE 802.11b
                    Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
Quality:0/100 Signal level:-86 dBm Noise level:-256 dBm
                    Encryption key:off
                    Bit Rate:1 Mb/s
                    Bit Rate:2 Mb/s
                    Bit Rate:5.5 Mb/s
                    Bit Rate:11 Mb/s

And dmesg says:
ndiswrapper version 0.11 loaded (preempt=yes,smp=yes)
ndiswrapper: using irq 18
wlan0: ndiswrapper ethernet device 00:0b:7d:08:25:9d using driver bcmwl5a
wlan0: encryption modes supported: WEP, WPA with TKIP, AES/CCMP
ndiswrapper: driver bcmwl5a (Broadcom,06/25/2004, added
ndiswrapper (iw_set_encr:685): key 1 is not set
wlan0: no IPv6 routers present

But I am not sure how to get the ESSID info into the card. I have tried this in /etc/network/interfaces:
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
        name Wireless LAN card
        wireless_essid Sunny
        wireless_channel 6
        wireless_key 0a1b2c3d4e

But iwconfig still does not show the ESSID of "Sunny"? What am I missing here?

In Windows, I remember I had to 'switch on the antenna' by by pressing Fn+F2. Is there a similar thing in Linux on this laptop also? This is a bit strage to me because usually I have seen a separate switch on laptops that switch on or off the wireless card.


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