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dell ispiron 1545 wireless problems

:woohoo: Well I finally did it. Im free!!! I installed Ubuntu 9.10 over my rotting windows 7 on my computer, after yet again windows was giving me more problems. Don't get me wrong I am very savvy with computers and can deal with all the bull Microsoft throws at me, but frankly im just tired of it. Tired of the virus scans, tired of the crashes, tired of the same OS with a different name. Thats right Microsoft 7 isn't so great, I even gave it a try to see. I always new Linux was the best but I was afraid to write over Windows merely because of the high cost of the software ( windows 7 home cost like 119 dollars or something ). Look im done Microsoft the only thing your good for is contributing to my business of computer repair (my website: www.computersupport.viviti.com ).

Well anyway I have a dell inspiron 1545 with a Broadcom's BCM4311 and the final reason I decided to install Linux over my winBILLdows is because of the fact for some reason my wireless connectivity stopped working. I though of why I should be subject to all this torture at the hands of Gates, I also was aware that because of my skills in computer science I had one of the best configured versions of windows 7 around ( security and performance ) and yet I still had to deal bombardment of user access control pop-ups and McAfee eating up half of my duel core processor while viruses eat the other half. So I decided to try to try to recover windows by doing a complete recovery and of course an error message popped up saying that the image was corrupt... And indeed it was. So I installed Ubuntu 9.10 over the whole darn thing I said goodbye to programming in visual basic ( who needs a it! It makes me feel like child that doesn't know how to program! ) I got everything the way I wanted it in about 10 minutes flat. However I do have one problem I still cant connect to WIFI! It will circle for a min but then will say im disconnected. I'm not new to working with computers but I am still new to Linux. Well even if you guys cant help me get hooked up to wifi I still am 100 steps ahead of any windows user. All my friends want to have a set up just like mine, but they don't seem to be smart enough yet to use Linux which is a damn shame. I really wish Linux was more simple to use so that my friends could see what its like to be free. Well im kind of glad its a little complicated though, thats one of the things that attracted me to it. I guess Linux does have a economical value to me at least , because I just installed it over my very expensive Windows 7 which means Ubuntu > $119 to me. I have no regrets installing Linux over Windows 7. I could have course bought a 17 dollar hard drive and installed Linux on that or duel booted but I figure why waste the money on a hard drive and why waste the space Ubuntu could be using. :laugh:


  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    It is good seeing that you made the move, unfortunately since you will still use windows as a technician to fix problems you will start to hate it even more seeing everyone else's problems and experiencing none of them yourself. So you will start to look very biased. First off go ahead and install you version on windows as a virtual machine in virtualbox on you computer so you can still use it for diagnostics and to have some of the tools you have become used to, this will help you to slowly switch over to free software without feeling like you lost anything.

    As for your wireless card, the broadcom corporation does not work with the Linux community, so the drivers are reverse-engineered and not perfect, personally when I reviewed the code for a broadcom card I had to work with in the past I noticed some issues with the interactions that may account for instability, the community has been working to fix those, but when a device is engineered badly it takes a while to build a work-around to make it work correctly.

    The driver information with some setup tips is located at http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/b43, please review that site because it will give you some information that may help the stability.

    My general recommendation if someone is using a broadcom or realtek wireless card is to replace it with a card that is using an atheros chipset because the atheros card have been worked on heavily. Or you can use what is available and hope that those companies eventually work with the community to make their devices work correctly and fix the fundamental flaws in the design.
  • Yes that is what I figured, after a few Google searches. Well do you think I may be able to purchase an external wireless NIC for example a USB wireless NIC and have that work? yea like I say im more willing to pay 20 dollars or w/e for a new NIC rather then pay $100+ for windows :laugh: ya know the funniest part is I could have bought this laptop for allot cheaper if I would have had it sent to me with Linux already on the thing, we live and learn I guess. Yes I already have windows set up in two virtual machines. 1. is windows xp and the other is 2. windows 7 beta . My question is can you do most diagnosis with the beta version of windows 7? What I mean by this is can I help someone over the phone and when I am describing the process they need to take, also be performing an identical action using the beta version of windows on the virtual machine? And yes it is annoying to see everyone else have problems with their computer but they never take my advice about Linux! Every other week my friends are coming to me to remove their viruses and other problems, if I charged each time time like I do for other people I would already be rich. It is kind of odd still to have a windows VM inside of Linux instead of having Linux inside of VM's in windows, but im not complaining B) Linux is the best thing to happen for me. Sure Windows has its advantages too, for example some people say game performance, But I tell them thats why I have a xbox360.
    Linux separates the men from the boys and frankly the serious from the jokers. For example I could tell myself my data is secure using windows ( a joke ) or I could be safe using Linux. Sorry I talk so much :silly:
  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    Yes, you can purchase a usb wireless adapter and it should work as long as it has a dependable wireless chipset, do your research first and check google for the chipset type and reports of errors or success on your chosen distro. As always I recommend using adapters using the atheros chipset, but they hay be hard to find in a usb adapter.
    Maybe others in here can recommend dependable usb wireless adapters, I am still using an old d-link PCI adapter from 2001 (using atheros) because it has never failed me.

    As for the diagnostics, ideally it should be possible, but MS in infamous for changing things in patches and updates, there may be features present in their full version or 7 that are not in the beta and it can only get worse over time. The best bet is to install rdesktop inside Linux and use that to connect to their computers over the net and fix the problems yourself, playing puppet with the user in many cases just makes things worse.

    Running full installations in the VM can allow you most of the functionality, but it adds the benefit of being able to use snapshots to freeze the state of your windows system so any infections that sneak in while using it to diagnose will not be saved. Additionally don't use mcafee or norton in windows, in my experience they lack abilities, I recommend checking out antivir, AVG and kapersky for more reliable scanning and resolution.

    Also as for the potential of converting people to Linux based distros, I have personally converted many basic users, what they have to accept is that it is best if they do not have admin abilities, if you setup their systems will all functions and programs that you believe they need then the only time that administration should be done is for system updates and reinforcement when you have better methods, both of which can be done remotely through ssh or vnc. My friends love hearing about their computer once a year or so when I say I need to tap into it to reinforce their firewall or update versions, compared to the calls that they made with windows that resulted in me having to take the comp for a night once every 3 or so months to clean it up.

    As a side note, in future posts can you please break down the contents into paragraphs to make it easier to read?
  • OMG this the stupidest thing ever happened!!! I waited a while, then I was finally intrested in getting my wifi connection to work. So I went to best buy, and their is a guy that knows what he is talking about when it comes to linux so I asked him about which Wireless USB NIC he recommended that was compatible with Linux. Well I ended up getting a Linksys WUSB54GC which I guess was supposed to work... IT DIDN'T!

    In fact In a very hard effort of getting it to work by downloading things like ndiswrapper and a whole bunch of junk, and typing sudo so many time I started to hate Linux a little, for some totally weird and unexplained reason out of no where at all the Internal wireless NIC that wasn't supposed to work.... Works fine now!!! I saw my computer trying to connect and when it established a connection I figured it was the linksys card but the indicator lights showed no network activity. After pulling the linkysys NIC out I found to my absolute befuddlement the Broadcom card was working flawlessly?!!?

    Will I ever figure out why?, probably not. The story doesn't end here guys. My brothers laptop was having trouble connecting wirelessly to my network ( windows 7 ), I tried everything from ipconfig /release and /renew to messing with the DCHP settings on my router. Finally I tryed installing the linksys NIC and of course it failed again ( and it was certified or w/e for 7 :dry: ) But again the internal NIC started up and works fine now... I think im going to keep the linksys card around, it seems to be magic B)
  • So I mark this thread as solved.
  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    maybe the ndiswrapper drivers you installed for the usb card were the correct drivers for you onboard adapter.


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