generic mini usb wifi adapter

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generic mini usb wifi adapter

Post by Admin on Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:32 am




Ok, must been bored. Bought a generic usb wifi adapter $2.20 shipper off ebay while back. The slow boat from China came in and it was in my mailbox yesterday.

I had bought cheapest one I could find with 'buy it now' as I am not spending lot time to try and outbid some other cheapskate just to save 5cents or whatever. Let somebody even more bored than me play that game.

So being cheapest of cheap, it didnt come with a driver cd. Nor was a chipset mentioned in the listing. Yea, I like to live dangerously...

So in Puppy Linux, I bring up a terminal and type "lsusb" without the quotation marks. It has Realtek 8179 chipset. A google says it uses RTL8188EU driver. The EU being important as the more common driver is RTL8188CU.... Not interchangable. Thanks Realtek for not making things confusing..... LOL

There is a linux driver module, but my older version of Puppy doesnt have it compiled in the kernel. I dont feel like even trying to compile it, so opt for Ndiswrapper that lets one use the XP driver, actually the main inf file in the XP driver.

Boot into XP. It doesnt recognize it, when I let its new hardware wizard do internet search, nothing. So do a google for the XP driver. Nobody makes it easy, so I download a 32mb windows driver pkg for this thing. Nope. Download a 27mb pkg for this thing. Nope. Finally see a 7mb windows driver pkg for an ASUS motherboard. Open it, go to XP driver folder, open it, there is the 175kb XP inf file I need. Point XP installer to the inf file. It likes this one. And the wifi adapter is usable in XP. All this bullshite just to get a measley little 175kb file, but way its done anymore.

So copy the inf file over to Puppy partition. Start up Ndiswrapper, point it to the inf file. It wraps things up. And voila, Puppy can now connect with wifi adapter.

People on linux forums have gotten down on using Ndiswrapper as not being clean and pure enough way to do this. I say its simple and it works, simple generally always wins out over long and complicated. Well simple if you can find the right XP driver. I only wish Ndiswrapper supported other kinds of hardware....

If somebody really wants me to post a link to the ebay seller, I will, but frankly these cheap generic pieces of hardware change chipsets at drop of a hat. And doubt one is any better than another. I am mostly posting this to show how you can go from zero to sixty getting one of these to work.

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Re: generic mini usb wifi adapter

Post by Admin on Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:32 pm

Hmm, it goes through periods where its very slow. Not sure if its the wifi adapter itself or from using the Ndiswrapper + XPdriver, or just cause its July 4 and the system is busier than usual...

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Re: generic mini usb wifi adapter

Post by Admin on Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:32 pm

Ok, worked great this morning. This afternoon wouldnt communicate with wifi hub for love nor money using ndiswrapper. However I booted into Xp and it worked fine. I suspect its just ndiswrapper and this particular driver dont like each other much. I have heard of others with great luck using ndiswrapper. Was an interesting experiment.

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Re: generic mini usb wifi adapter

Post by Admin on Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:01 am

Ran across mention of a Community Edition derivative of Puppy called "Puppy Linux 6.0.2 tahrpup CE 3.14.20 kernel" with driver module built in for this wifi adapter.

So curious, downloaded TahrPup and burned it to cd. Sure enough it automagically saw and loaded driver module for wifi adapter and was able to use it. The wifi adapter works fine using this linux driver module.

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Re: generic mini usb wifi adapter

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:58 pm

Ok, saw another mini adapter that was supposed to use a chip that the Puppy Linux I am using had built in driver for.

Got it today. Damn it, same as the other one. Puppy used that Ndiswrapper and XP driver I had tried with the other one. However this one works perfect with Ndiswrapper. Go figure.

On the low end, seems always luck of the draw as to quality. Also Frisbee that detects wifi availability and allows connection, will immediately see and connect using this one.

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