Marvell MC85 with NdisWrapper on Ubuntu 9.10

Last week I updated my Gateway M-6750 from Ubuntu 9.04 to Ubuntu 9.10 (“Karmic Koala”) and managed to get myself into a right mess, as I lost access to both my wired and wireless internet connections. I then burnt an Ubuntu 9.10 live CD from an ISO image dowloaded with uTorrent and reinstalled from there. That got the wired connection working, but the wireless was still gone. Before I fixed that problem I upgraded my notebook hard disk drive, complete with dual-boot Vista and Ubuntu partitions, to a new 500 GB drive (see yesterday’s blog post).

The Marvell MC85 doesn’t have a native Ubuntu driver yet. Therefore you have to use a Windows XP driver for it as described here. You can download the Netgear wn311t_setup_4_1.exe driver set and extract its content on either XP or Wine. You’ll end up with NetMW14x.inf, netmw143.sys and netmw145.sys. Only NetMW14x.inf and netmw145.sys are actually needed.

See my instructions in my earlier blog post for the initial steps (look for a section labeled “Update, 2008-03-18”).

Installing the driver with ndiswrapper does almost everything. The magic ingredient that was missing when I tried to get it working this time was to ensure that ndiswrapper loads every time, before using the Network Manager or when booting up. Without ndiswrapper the Windows driver won’t be loaded and Ubuntu simply won’t see the wireless adapter. It will show up as unclaimed on this command:

lshw -C network

*-network UNCLAIMED
description: Ethernet controller
product: Marvell Technology Group Ltd.
vendor: Marvell Technology Group Ltd.
physical id: 0
bus info: pci@0000:02:00.0
version: 03
width: 32 bits
clock: 33MHz
capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list
configuration: latency=0
resources: memory:f6000000-f600ffff memory:f4000000-f400ffff
*-network
description: Ethernet interface
product: RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast Ethernet controller
vendor: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd.
physical id: 0
bus info: pci@0000:06:00.0
logical name: eth0
version: 01
serial: 00:e0:b8:XX:XX:XX
size: 10MB/s
capacity: 100MB/s
width: 64 bits
clock: 33MHz
capabilities: pm vpd msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list rom ethernet physical tp mii 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd autonegotiation
configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=r8169 driverversion=2.3LK-NAPI duplex=half latency=0 link=no multicast=yes port=MII speed=10MB/s
resources: irq:28 ioport:4000(size=256) memory:fa200000-fa200fff memory:c0000000-c001ffff(prefetchable)

Ubuntu uses file /etc/modules to enumerate extra drivers and kernel modules that need to be loaded at boot time. Therefore I needed to add a line in /etc/modules using gedit:

gksudo gedit /etc/modules

Add

ndiswrapper

in a line of its own at the bottom of the file and save it, then restart your machine. After the reboot you should be able to use the Network Manager to manage wireless connections, including looking for available networks and configuring security parameters (for WPA, WPA2 / RSN) to be able to connect.

I found many other threads and blog postings that discussed manually editing configuration files and configuring wpa_supplicant, but none of that is required if you just configure Ndiswrapper for NetMW14x.inf, tell NDiswrapper about the device ID and then ensure that Ndiswrapper is always laoded. Here is the lshw output with Ndiswrapper having claimed the wireless adapter:

*-network
description: Wireless interface
product: Marvell Technology Group Ltd.
vendor: Marvell Technology Group Ltd.
physical id: 0
bus info: pci@0000:02:00.0
logical name: wlan0
version: 03
serial: 00:16:44:XX:XX:XX
width: 32 bits
clock: 33MHz
capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
configuration: broadcast=yes driver=ndiswrapper+netmw14x driverversion=1.55+NETGEAR,10/04/2006, 2.1.4.3 ip=192.168.42.122 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11g
resources: irq:16 memory:f6000000-f600ffff memory:f4000000-f400ffff
*-network
description: Ethernet interface
product: RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast Ethernet controller
vendor: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd.
physical id: 0
bus info: pci@0000:06:00.0
logical name: eth0
version: 01
serial: 00:e0:b8:XX:XX:XX
size: 10MB/s
capacity: 100MB/s
width: 64 bits
clock: 33MHz
capabilities: pm vpd msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list rom ethernet physical tp mii 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd autonegotiation
configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=r8169 driverversion=2.3LK-NAPI duplex=half latency=0 link=no multicast=yes port=MII speed=10MB/s
resources: irq:28 ioport:4000(size=256) memory:fa200000-fa200fff memory:c0000000-c001ffff(prefetchable)

Notice the driver=ndiswrapper+netmw14x after configuration:. If you get that you should be in business! 🙂

1 thought on “Marvell MC85 with NdisWrapper on Ubuntu 9.10

  1. Pingback: Mint 14 + Wireless? - Page 2 - Tech & Computer Forums

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *