Friday, 20 April 2007

Linksys WPC11 ver.3 firmware upgrade for dummies

In order to get WPA working with this card you'll need to upgrade the firmware.
I've found Jun Sun's Mini-howto on Flashing Intersil Prism Chipsets to be the best guide around to do it.

These are the steps I've followed:

1. Make sure that the driver for this card (hostap) is loaded when the card is inserted. This should be pretty easy to do. Most modern distributions will do it for you automatically (I've tried with Debian testing and Fedora and it's fine).

2. (Using Fedora) I couldn't find a package containing the hostap utils, so I had to compile the sources (available at the hostap homepage). I tried 0.4.7 and it worked fine (I guess I could have tried a more recent version but I remember someone recommending this version in particular... this needs confirmation).

3. hostap_diag wlan0

Host AP driver diagnostics information for 'wlan0'

NICID: id=0x801b v1.0.0 (PRISM III PCMCIA (SST parallel flash))
PRIID: id=0x0015 v1.1.0
STAID: id=0x001f v1.4.2 (station firmware)

According to this we have to use pk* and sf* for our Linksys.

4. Get the latest prism firmwares and extract pk010101.hex and sf010804.hex

5. Test the update process first, avoid nasty surprises:

prism2_srec -v wlan0 pk010101.hex sf010804.hex

It should end up saying something like:

"...blah...blah...Total data length: 66628 OK."

6. Now write the files onto the card:

prism2_srec -v -f wlan0 pk010101.hex sf010804.hex

7. And we're done!

hostap_diag wlan0

Host AP driver diagnostics information for 'wlan0'

NICID: id=0x801b v1.0.0 (PRISM III PCMCIA (SST parallel flash))
PRIID: id=0x0015 v1.1.1
STAID: id=0x001f v1.8.4 (station firmware)

AFTERMATH: WPA is now possible with this Linksys WPC11 v3. Jun Sun warns that "there are reports of packet loss with this version" but I haven't noticed any weird behavior... yet. I'll post something if I find problems.

Enjoy!

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