Last night I decided to continue digging around the problems I had with my spanking new Mandriva 2008 installation. Booting my laptop shows that the wlan0 device is still missing during network initialization. This is going to be a problem so I lug my laptop and power brick to the living room so I can have a wired connection to help solve the problem.

I am assuming that the problem is somehow related to the way the wireless connection is being brought up. I read some information about ndiswrapper and iwconfig and decided to do some tinkering. I decided to shutoff the wired connection to better know when I finally get my wireless connection working. This is when the proverbial s#17 hits the proverbial fan.

Shocker of the night #1.

After clicking the system tray network utility to close down eth0 the processor then starts to do something. And then somewhere between something and nothing. Ten minutes and I still haven’t got anything and the menu windows has started to be rendered as blank squares.

Mouse works. I can move my pointer but the keyboard is dead. The capslock, numlock and scroll lock keys are not inducing any reaction. Since the mouse is still usable and I am in KDE then there is still a way out. I clicked on the K button, and proceeded to restart the laptop.

Shocker of the night #2.

Shutdown seems to work but stopped during the shutdown of the mandi service. My only option at this point is push the hard reset button with a toothpick. Exasperated and since the night is still early I decided to perform another clean install over my new Mandriva 2008 installation.

Installation #2.

Same drill. I just selected to reuse my partitions since I don’t want to mess with the partitioning. During the package selection I checked the manual package selection option (like always) and then proceeded to the next screen.

Shocker of the night #3.

The installer proceeded with the installation. What!?! Where did the manual selection screen go? I was thinking when I saw that the installation will take around an hour. I don’t want this selection as the default selection will consume about 90% of my root partition where my /usr resides. I think streamlining the packages afterwards is going to be far difficult than starting all over again. Out cames the toothpick to press the hard reset and restart the installation process.

Installation #3.

Same drill except the installer now hanged after the license screen. I waited 15 minutes before taking out the magic toothpick. Man, this toothpick is my McGyver’s all-around magic utility tonight.

Installation #4.

Same installation drill. I am beginning to hate the Mandriva 2008 installation background. No fiasco on the package selection and I would only need to wait 26 minutes for all selected packages to be installed. Neat. I think I spent more time than that during the past few attempts.

At the configuration page I decided to skip the configuration of the network. I figure to do it once the system is functioning. Restarted the Linux system twice just to be sure (I think I am developing an OC identity 😀 ).

Booted into KDE and then installed ndiswrapper which prompted the installation of other packages. I also installed the prism54 firmware that I have saved in /storage/packages/NoArch. After this I tried configuring the wireless connection first by using the Intersil Javelin drivers (prism54). At the end of the configuration wizard I still don’t have any wireless connection. The system can’t even list the wireless routers in the vicinity.

I fired up the network connection wizard again and selected the ndiswrapper option. This time the system is able to list the connections found in the apartment. I configured the parameters for our router that uses a WPA PSK. I still can’t get any connection. Just for the heck of it, I rebooted the machine and LO AND BEHOLD the dreaded error message is back informing me that the wlan0 driver is back.

Hell. I give up for now. If I don’t get my wireless connection up within the week then I am ditching Mandriva for now since my 2007.1 installer is in Manila. I will take this as a sign for me to try other distributions in this laptop.

Time to sleep.