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I have an old Compaq desktop that my children use to access the internet. The kids have repeatedly managed to severely infect the computer with viruses, and this latest round has been a doozy. A friend recently sold me on Ubuntu as a great windows replacement since it is not prone to viruses, so I decided to to give it a go.

I completely overwrote windows with Ubuntu 12.04 to get rid of the viruses, but I can not figure out how to make the wireless network dongle work. I have Googled the topic and tried to go through some of the solutions, but I don't know what I'm doing and I think I may be making things worse. Can someone help me with this? I know NOTHING about Linux and most of the instructions aren't written for someone like me.


lsusb gives the following:

Bus 001 Device 004: ID 050d:615a Belkin Components F7D4101 / F9L1101 802.11abgn Wireless Adapter [Broadcom BCM4323]
Bus 005 Device 002: ID 045e:0040 Microsoft Corp. Wheel Mouse Optical
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub

Thanks for helping me with this chili!

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The first step is to identify the exact device. Please open a terminal Ctrl+Alt+t and run: lsusb Next, edit your question to add details of the wireless device from the command. – chili555 Dec 22 '13 at 1:12
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The only known way to get this device working is ndiswrapper. ndiswrapper is a driver wrapper that only works with Windows XP drivers; Vista, 7 or 8 will not work. Please obtain a temporary wired ethernet connection and we'll install the ndiswrapper suite. Open a terminal and do:

sudo apt-get install ndiswrapper-common ndiswrapper-utils-1.9

Since yours is an older machine, I will assume it is a 32-bit machine; confirm:


If it returns 'i686,' then yours is a 32-bit install and we'll proceed. If not, stop and tell us and we'll change a thing or two. Download this file to your desktop: (from my personal Dropbox). Right-click it and select 'Extract Here.' Back to the terminal:

cd ~/Desktop/Broadcom

Press Tab and the remainder of the file name will fill in automagically; press Enter.

sudo ndiswrapper -i bcmn43xx32.inf

Now check the install:

ndiswrapper -l

It ought to report: bcmn43xx32 : driver installed device (050D:615A) present

sudo depmod -a
sudo modprobe ndiswrapper

If there are any errors, post them and we'll do our best to sort them out.

In some cases,even though you installed ndiswrapper from Ubuntu sources, it doesn't install properly; the remedy is to download and compile it yourself. Please get a temporary wired ethernet connection and do:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic build-essential

Now download this file to your desktop: Right-click it and select 'Extract Here.' Then do:

cd ~/Desktop/ndiswrapper-1.59
sudo make install
sudo modprobe ndiswrapper

If the device is not working as expected, look for clues here:

dmesg | grep ndis

If the output is extensive, post the result here and give us the link in your reply:

To get the module to load on boot, open a terminal and do:

sudo -i
echo ndiswrapper >> /etc/modules

You should be all set.

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I'm not sure if your wifi adapter uses the same driver as mine, but I have a belkin usb wifi adapter and I find blacklisting the rt2800usb driver gets my adapter working properly. If it doesn't work just repeat the steps except remove the line you previously added.

Step #1:

In terminal type sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

Step #2:

Add the line blacklist rt2800usb to the list, it doesn't matter where.

Step #3:

Save it & reboot.

share|improve this answer
Mango - I added rt2800usb to the blacklist. I copied and pasted so I don't think I screwed it up, but it didn't work. Thanks for the suggestion though. – user227699 Dec 22 '13 at 2:45
when searching for Belkin N600 USB Wifi Adapter the website lists it as as P-F9L1101 (don't know if that is correct), there are 2 revisions of P-F9L1101, v1 uses broadcom and sounds like it's unsupported in the linux kernel, version 2 uses realtek and works with driver 8192du which I believe is available in 13.10? |… | – mango Dec 22 '13 at 3:07
Yes, it is F9L1101v1. Does that mean there's no way to load the windows driver? – user227699 Dec 22 '13 at 3:35
There is a program called ndiswrapper (I've never used it, so I won't be able to help) but it is used for loading windows wifi device drivers on linux. The ndiswrapper website lists your device as known to work with ndiswrapper. Ndiswrapper Known Working List:… | Ndiswrapper F9L1101v1 Page:… | How To Use Ndiswrapper: – mango Dec 22 '13 at 4:49

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