HOWTO: Realtek 8187b Wireless Networking

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Do you have a realtek 8187b wireless card and/or a Toshiba Satellite laptop? Having trouble getting wireless? Well here is a how to on how I got my wireless working.

Like many I am sure, I have spent much time reading through wiki's, searching forums, and desperately asking for help in the support chat room. However, after time, I finally figured it out, and now I want to share my process with you, hoping that it will help someone else out.

Please note that this is with a Realtek Wireless 8187B card. The Realtek Wireless 8187L is supposedly supported out of the box. Also please note that this is in Sabayon 3.5 lopp2 32 bit version. It may or may not work in other versions. One last thing to consider, this is on a Toshibia Satellite laptop. However this may also be the case with other laptops.

Now, onto the process...

Step 1: You need to sync your emerge list. Now I suggest going into root in your console from the get-go. Others may advise against this, but to me, this saves time. So go in your consol, type su to go root, and put in your password. Then do the following...

    # emerge sync

Step 2: You need ndiswrapper. Sure there is some modified driver out there, but my experiences have shown me that using ndiswrapper is better. The modified driver doesn't always work, and sometimes can give you a poor signal.

    # emerge ndiswrapper

Step 3: You need to get the driver.

Go to that page. Make sure you are getting the driver for 8187 B. There are several divverent drivers for different cards on that page.

Step 4: Unzip the driver. Navigate into the WIN98 folder. Go to tools, and open terminal. Sure you could go into the terminal first then navigate to the folder in the terminal, but this I think is faster.

Step 5: Now it is time to load the driver. Make sure you are in root by typing su. Then type the following into the consol...

    # ndiswrapper -i net8187b.inf

Step 6: Make sure the driver is loaded and listed by typing the following into the consol...

    # ndiswrapper -l

Step 7: Type the following into consol...

    # ndiswrapper -a 0bda:8197 net8187b

Now what that does is forces your card to be recognized. Without it, the driver will be loaded but will say the card don't exists. Odd huh...

Step 8: Time to do some modprobing. Type this in consol...

    # modprobe ndiswrapper

Step 9: Now go to /etc/modules.autoload.d/ in your file system, and put the following into your kernel 2.6 (or 2.5) config file...

    # ndiswrapper

What that does is makes sure that ndiswrapper loads automatically and thus your driver loads automatically next time you turn on your computer.

Now you should be able to select your wireless network and enjoy your wireless internet!

Kudos and credit goes to... The friendly guys in the support chatroom (they'd know me under angel.. my wife's id as I was working on her laptop) gentoo wikis and the like and the UBUNTU wiki which helped me realize why I could never get my laptop to realize why my wireless card wasn't being recognized, and gave me the steps that I had to gentoo-ize to get my wireless working. Might hate ubuntu, but at least they are good for one thing, that wiki.

Well I hope this helps someone. Take care, and have fun. mythus

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