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Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Installing Fedora Core 5 with D-Link DWL-520 Rev E1 Wireless Card

Somehow, in between all the other things going on in my life at this moment, I managed to get another box up and running at home. I used an old hard drive that had been configured for a dual boot with Windows 98 and RedHat 9 (yeah, it’s been sitting around for a while.) I wiped the RH9 and installed Fedora Core 4, and kept the Win98 because I had personal files on it that I’d been meaning to pull out. Besides, I’m not planning on putting Windows XP on this box, I’m going to install Windows 2000 Server, just like the local server at work. I want to learn enough about Windows Active Directory so that I can figure out how to easily and painlessly configure a Linux client to connect to an MS network – and that’s a tall order! I actually got my partitioning scheme all set up and implemented and FC4 installed before I realized that Fedora Core 5 was released last month, so I had to do it all over again.

Of course, I have a cheapo PCI wireless network card for this box – this time, it’s a D-Link DWL-520 revision E1, which has a Prism 2.5 chipset. Once again, as it turns out, not a Linux-friendly card, so I’ve been learning a lot as I stubbornly plug away at getting it to connect to my wireless network at home. I thought that this time, it would be a lot easier because I could put into good use everything I learned by setting up the Hawking HWP-54G with the Ralink rt2500 chipset on my FC4 box (soon to be upgraded), but that wasn’t the case. The DWL-520 has no firmware, so it has to be flashed every time you boot.

With FC5 out so recently, there’s a paucity of help available in the forums, but it seemed worth it because the best advice I was getting on the solution for FC4 involved recompiling the kernel, and I don’t really feel ready for that yet, especially with a brand-new install of a new distro. Hell, there’s a whole new system of mounting floppy and cdrom drives, and when you don’t have a network connection, those are vital for transfering drivers and whatnot.

I’ve tinkered with it whenever I’ve had the chance, and taken pretty of good notes on what I’ve tried so I can write this all up, but when stuff doesn’t work even when you’re trying to follow directions, you end up trying all kinds of things just to see what happens, and you lose track of what you’ve done and what actually might have made a difference. So, of course, when I was mucking about today, I did something – I’m not sure what – and now it works like a charm. I don’t know whether it’s going to last past my next logoff, so I’ve used the new software updater, pup, to upgrade all my packages, but it’s a real long shot that it will work again after a reboot. At least I know it can be done, but getting it working is not enough – I have to know why it works, and what it took to get it working.

Posted by Greg in Hardware & Drivers, Networking

1 Comment »

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 15th, 2006 at 18:26 PST and is filed under Hardware & Drivers, Networking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Installing Fedora Core 5 with D-Link DWL-520 Rev E1 Wireless Card”

  1. Ramblings » Blog Archive » FC5, Prism2.5 News says:

    […] Well, I was right. Once I rebooted, I could not get the D-Link DWL-520 rev E wireless network card running again. […]