The Legend Continues

Tuesday March 13, 2007

My saga of ndiswrapper on the macbook continues.

In fact, the dw102 drivers do cause crashes when associating with certain access points. Unfortunately the dw101 drivers don't work with certain (still other) access points, and the lenovo "abgn" drivers have some very peculiar problems with extremely bad UDP performance on the access points the dw101 don't work with.

It occurred to me after a few hours of trolling for better drivers that, in fact, there is a better way. Apple ships windows drivers specifically for this exact card! You don't need to use drivers for some other card with the same (or vaguely similar) chipset.

The Macintosh Drivers For Windows CD included with Boot Camp contains the driver. Obnoxiously, it's encapsulated within a MSI file, within an EXE installer, within a DMG image, inside the Boot Camp application. The only way I could discover to get at the wireless driver was to install the whole thing on a Real, Actual Windows Computer.

To access the driver CD if Boot Camp won't let you burn it, ctrl-click on "/Applications/Utilities/Boot Camp" and click on "Show Package Contents". Then, double-click on "Contents/Resources/DiskImage.dmg". Copy the files on the thing that shows up on your desktop onto a USB key or similar method of conveyance to a Windows machine, and run the installer.

Obnoxious as this process is, it thankfully doesn't make you install to a Windows installation on a Real Actual MacBook Core 2 Duo laptop. Any old Windows machine will do. The installer helpfully puts all the drivers into "C:\Program Files\Macintosh Drivers for Windows XP 1.1.2". The files for the network card are in the "net5416" folder.

Of course, they're also in a file called "net5416.tar.bz2" on my hard disk. I think Apple might take a dim view of me providing a public download site bereft of their unethical and legally dubious EULAs, but if you can't get at the drivers for some reason maybe I could let you have a copy.