Unofficial Austrumi Linux for English users forum golf & dvd

A Latvian and english Linux tiny operating system. used by golf & dvd lovers

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#1 2011-09-11 08:38:57

atang1
Administrator
Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2705

Warning! Linux wifi drivers destroys the unit after use.

As we shake down SliTaz wifi drivers, so far only dwa642 can be used repeatedly. The taiwan made orinoco prism 2.5 was destroyed in use.This happens because of the chipset has ability to change firmware inside the circuit. You can install firmware into flash memory inside. this happens on certain vintage of wifi design.

On Orinoco silver, SliTaz autodetected it to be ath9k drivers. But it had to be orinoco_cs(prism I) loaded first(5v 16 bit driver to replace yenta driver), then load ath8k drivers to work Wifi.

So, you are warned not to install firmware on some orinoco wifi chipsets.

The wifi drivers in general used by Linux are not up to date with chipsets. So, many people used ndiswrapper to work their wifi chipsets. This maybe safer, but more time consuming to install.

Anyway, this confirmed many reports that many distros have wifi drivers from kernels that only work a few times. what they don't know is that once inside firmware is changed, you might as well throw the wifi unit in the trash.

Footnote:
kernel 2.6.30 can not unload drivers itself, before you install the second driver;. this is also how wifi unit are destroyed. Linux is very time consuming to make it work for yourself free. Many people live with it for a while then move on to another distro but had to live with kernel defects. You have to lock Linux down to simple dhcp servers to have it working for long. Livecd even had to have exact install process to avoid destroying wifi hardware.

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2011-09-11 08:38:57

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#2 2011-09-23 08:36:59

atang1
Administrator
Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2705

Re: Warning! Linux wifi drivers destroys the unit after use.

WiFi drivers are now like assembly of features. First the buses the Wifi units are mounted. Second, the transmission method used, DSSS, OFDM, and multi data channels. Anything the WiFi hardware missed, can be added by installing firmware in software files hooked into hardware memory address ports.

This concept is going thru tests on older WiFi card. Many older drivers are no longer usable. so far, Groadcom(mini pci), atheros(pcmcia ath9k includes /n) and orinoco_cs drivers are usable. In supported cards, orinoco drivers are the only one that supports many cards. See list in sourceforge.net?

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#3 2011-09-26 07:03:35

atang1
Administrator
Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2705

Re: Warning! Linux wifi drivers destroys the unit after use.

Some older wifi cards had problems with lack of memory. When you do site survey of all the hotspots,(I have upto 17 at times), the wifi card only shows a maximum of three hotspots. sometimes only one with strong signal strength.

The trouble could be many to be analyzed. But the card may also die after using for a while.

If capacitors needed curing, keep the wifi card working continuously for a week. If circuit had condensation, same treatment. If semiconductor had been zapped, do low temperature annealing which is hot for two weeks.

There is wisdom in 'if you don't use it, you lose it'.

When wifi card improves with use, the number of wifi hotspots listed went upto 5 from 1 or 3.

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#4 2011-09-27 12:36:18

atang1
Administrator
Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2705

Re: Warning! Linux wifi drivers destroys the unit after use.

WiFi cards have memory to list hotspots, which maybe inadequate. It will add hotspots when you are not using the card for transmission. So, in general, you should leave wifi manager on the screen to see any changes in time. It shows the health of the wifi card.

Interesting discovery of how to fix lcd defects of color lines on the screen. The cause os contact to the lcd ihas resistance. You can put pressure on the metal edge and see if the color line goes away. Using pliers on the metal frame can fix the display to perfection. This condition of defect is caused by the contacts between flexible circuit and LCD thin film contacts.

We never know how any defects will happen and how easy it is to fix something without taking any part. LCD screens of tablets are generally defective in flexible circuit contacts.

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#5 2011-12-13 11:06:25

atang1
Administrator
Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2705

Re: Warning! Linux wifi drivers destroys the unit after use.

If you are unlucky and downloaded drivers which writes firmware into the wifi cards, you could permanently destroy the wifi card with corrupted firmware inside.

This happens more on orinoco cards of many chipsets such ad hermesI and II, prism 2, 2,5, 3, etc. Windows drivers may be more damaging. Linux wifi drivers do not write firmware into wifi cards as much. But it takes linux orinoco_cs to turn on the power on the wifi card.

So, you are warned here.

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#6 2011-12-30 06:33:18

atang1
Administrator
Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2705

Re: Warning! Linux wifi drivers destroys the unit after use.

Overheating Wifi units by data transfer speed happens often on /g/n circuits. you need temerature sensing limits in the drivers so that wifi did not get destroyed. Happen to me on 12/29/2011 when Microsoft up the speed to 350kBps a few minutes on forced DSSS mode(11 mbps). It(Ehome101) got overheated and data errors galore. Microsoft did have error RMON(remote monitoring), so they slow down to less erroring speeds.

Fortunately I can do low temperature annealing to get back some functionality to be restored. Low temperature annealing is done by using the wifi for weeks at normal pace of cloud computing, no long software downloads, only short webpages. this technique was use on overheated transistors on NASA satellites back in 1950s.

But wifi drivers now all had to be redone to prevent damages to the silicon circuits.

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#7 2012-01-28 12:44:43

atang1
Administrator
Registered: 2006-03-30
Posts: 2705

Re: Warning! Linux wifi drivers destroys the unit after use.

Many older wifi pc-cards have flash memory that drivers can rewrite the firmware. This distriys the wifi card, so that the firmware no longer worked for any drivers.

Often, you will notice, the name of the wifi card changed from the previous name that worked for the previous drivers. Avoid IEEE drivers that has new firmware loading.

The other problem is from chipset over heating. Thermal runaway makes the circuit not usable anymore.

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