A while ago now there was a power-cut in our area, and this took my box down quite hard. The main effect of this was that my Belkin F5D7000UK PCI 802.11b/g card stopped working. This was at a time when I was supposed to be working on the wavelan plug-in for xfce as it is currently broken.

So I started banging around trying to fix it. Here are some of the things that I tried.

  • Booting in to Windows to check the card.
  • Changing PCI slots.
  • Recompiling kernel.
  • Recompiling rt2500 driver.
  • Buying a new card.
  • (Accidentally) reinstalling the whole system.

None of which solved the problem. I would have thought with a completely clean system running a brand new card that was verified to work in Windows would have solved it, but I was wrong.

The failure mode was quite odd as well. No matter what I did the lights wouldn't come on. The tools (i[fw]config) thought it was up ok, but not associated, and showed the system trying to push packets through it, but with no luck.

mmassonnet on #debian-xfce/freenode pointed me to a new card that uses a different chipset/driver, the MSI PC54G3, which is supposed to work with the rt61 driver. I have ordered one of these, and hopefully I can get it running and forget about all of this.

[UPDATE: Just to note that the card was great until this happened, and was far superior to what I had before (using ndiswrapper).]