Making USRobotics WiFi work with NDIS on FreeBSD 7.4 or 7.2

aurora

Well-Known Member

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Hello

I'm trying to make my USRobotics WiFi PCI card work with NDIS on FreeBSD 7.4. The chipset of the card is BCMWL5 and those 2 files necessary for ndisgen to form a kernel loadable driver are present:

bcmwl5.inf BCMWL5.SYS

ndisgen has successfully compiled them into kernel loadable file . The resulting kernel driver, BCMWL5_SYS.ko gets loaded by kldload under the name ndis0 without errors but with a warning. Here is the section of the dmesg relating to ndis0:

Bash:
kernel: ndis0: <Dell TrueMobile 1300 WLAN Mini-PCI Card> mem 0xf3ffe000-0xf3ffffff irq 11 at device 8.0 on pci0
kernel: ndis0: NDIS API version: 5.1
kernel: ndis0: Ethernet address: 00:14:c1:0c:b9:4f
ndis0: WARNING: using obsoleted if_watchdog interface

after loading the driver, when I try to scan the WiFi network with ifconfig ndis0 scan it just hangs on and doesn't return anything. This post suggests that dmesg should output these 2 lines:

Bash:
ndis0: 11b rates: 1Mbps 2Mbps 5.5Mbps 11Mbps
ndis0: 11g rates: 6Mbps 9Mbps 12Mbps 18Mbps 36Mbps 48Mbps 54Mbps

In my case, dmesg doesn't output them. Something is likely to be missing from my BCMWL5_SYS.ko which prevents it from scanning the WiFi network.

As I searched for this scanning problem, I've found a patch for the /sys/dev/if_ndis/if_ndis.c at fix the scanning problem of Marvell 88W8335 chipset This patch is said to be in effect after FreeBSD 8.0 and my version is FreeBSD 7.4 so I've applied the patch and recompiled the if_ndis kernel module and installed it. No change in situation. ndis0 still can't do the scan.

How to make this WiFi card work with NDIS and make it scan?
 
Last edited:

Alexander88207

Aspiring Daemon

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Messages: 754

Hello aurora72,

FreeBSD 7.4 and 8 are EoL, it is highly recommended to upgrade to a supported version (at the time of writing to 12.2 or 13-RC5) who knows maybe your card will work out of the box.
 
OP
aurora

aurora

Well-Known Member

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Messages: 250

Hello aurora,

FreeBSD 7.4 and 8 are EoL, it is highly recommended to upgrade to a supported version (at the time of writing to 12.2 or 13-RC5) who knows maybe your card will work out of the box.
Thank you for the reply. I might upgrade in the future but I'd still like to make the NDIS driver work because I'm in it for learning purposes, too.
 

Zirias

Son of Beastie

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You can do all the learning you want on e.g. 12.2-RELEASE.

Operating EOL software is dangerous. It can't be updated or patched in a sane way. Even updating ports (3rd-party software) will be troublesome or outright impossible. It's full of well-known and unpatched holes. It's shooting your own foot, and adding the risk to cause harm to other people as well (e.g. when used in some botnet for DDoS, spam sending, etc).

So, policy in these forums is to give no support about such ancient pieces of software. Upgrade now.
 
OP
aurora

aurora

Well-Known Member

Reaction score: 1
Messages: 250

You can do all the learning you want on e.g. 12.2-RELEASE.

Operating EOL software is dangerous. It can't be updated or patched in a sane way. Even updating ports (3rd-party software) will be troublesome or outright impossible. It's full of well-known and unpatched holes. It's shooting your own foot, and adding the risk to cause harm to other people as well (e.g. when used in some botnet for DDoS, spam sending, etc).
So, policy in these forums is to give no support about such ancient pieces of software. Upgrade now.
Thank you for the reply. As can be seen on the signature, the PC is a 2000 make i386 machine with limited storage & memory resources. I use it mainly to explore basic Unix applications, tools, etc.

FreeBSD 7.4 works perfectly on it. Other versions likely bring in issues not present on this version, so installing other versions may not justify the effort.

Initially I ran FreeBSD 7.2 on it but when the GNOME Desktop Environment was used, 7.2 had kernel stability issues (however unexpected this from a FreeBSD OS may be) Actually that is the sole reason I've updated it to 7.4 As long as csh was used, FreeBSD 7.2 ran very well on it and NDIS did a great job scanning the WiFi networks and connecting them. I'd just like to use that NDIS functionality on 7.4 too.
 
Last edited:

Zirias

Son of Beastie

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Well, even if people on here would be willing to help … it's unlikely anyone would be able to. Also, the only way to operate such software in a secure manner would be without network connectivity (and also being very careful with removable media), so, the quest to get some Wifi working already seems dangerous.

Did you actually test e.g. FreeBSD 12.2 on that machine? If you're running into RAM issues, there's a lot you can configure when building the system, see for example src.conf(5).
 
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