64 Bit rtl8185 Driver for Linux Issues

While I’ve written previously about some trouble I’ve had with the RealTek 8185 wireless card, there are some additional ones that I came across this past weekend.

This past weekend I installed the newest version of Ubuntu – 10.04 Lucid onto the laptop.  The previous install of 9.10 Karmic was getting pretty sluggish and slow.  I’m a bit surprised that Ubuntu seems to slow down over time – because there isn’t a registry like there is in Windows.  But, it did and it was time to upgrade to the LTS (Long Term Support) version of Ubuntu anyways.

So I first downloaded the 64-bit version of Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid and installed it.  Immediately Ubuntu used the rtl8180 driver on the laptop – and it was stuck in an operating mode of 1 mbps.  Even if I was right next to the router, it still was only at 1 mbps.

I tried three different versions of the RealTek 8185 driver – none of them worked.  I had to look at the /var/log/messages log to find out that there was a lot of “unknown symbol” errors.  I tried both the Vista and XP driver on RealTek’s site – and another one I found at a place like driverguide.  None of them worked.  I also tried the 32-bit version, and of course – I was then greeted with the “bad magic” error in the messages log.

Defeated, I moved back to 32-bit Ubuntu on the Gateway MT3422 laptop.  I had to install the Windows Wireless Drivers (ndiswrapper) GUI (because it makes it easier).

The Windows Wireless Drivers (ndiswrapper) can be installed by opening the Ubuntu Software Center from the menu and then typing in “ndis” in the search box.

After installed, it will appear under the menu – System – Administration –  Windows Wireless Drivers.

Once there, click to install the driver – which is the rtl8185.inf file.  As with my previous post on this issue,  you can find the 32-bit drivers here .

After I installed the drivers, networks were being detected and I joined the wireless network, everything was working fine.  After I began installing updates, I noticed that the wireless kept disconnecting. I checked the /var/log/messages log and found:

ndiswrapper (iw_set_auth:1602): invalid cmd 12

I started doing a search on it and wasn’t happy with what I saw.  Folks were indicating that there may have been some compilation issues with ndiswrapper causing this.  Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 comes with ndiswrapper 1.55.

Trying over and over again, the wireless card kept trying to reconnect to the wireless network.  Every now and then it would re-prompt me to enter the key, try again, and fail.  Sometimes it would connect – but just for only a few moments – and then disconnect again.

I thought – this was just working without any problem for a few hours before I began installing updates – what could have caused it?  I didn’t want to go back to Karmic 9.10.

I took a long shot and just did a reboot on the wireless router.  Amazing – problem fixed.  I just rebooted the wireless router and now the RealTek 8185 wireless card with the appropriate rtl8185 32-bit driver is working just fine.

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