Netgear WG511 Wireless PC Card

Here are the instructions I followed to get my old 1GHz Dell Inspiron laptop with Netgear WG511 (v1, I presume) working on my home WPA network. Most of my experience was fruitless trial and error from directions in the Ubuntu forums, but I owe the bulk of thanks for useful help to tl3000 and chili555, in these two forum topics.

This page is a light editing of the posts that worked for me.

  1. Completely remove network manager with the Synaptic Package Manager
  2. Install NDISwrapper with the Synaptic Package Manager
  3. Disable the installed Prism54 modules:
    • sudo modprobe -r prism54pci
      sudo modprobe -r prism54common
      sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

      …and append the following lines:

      blacklist prism54pci
      blacklist prism54common
  4. Get the WG511 Windows driver:
    • wget
      sudo apt-get install cabextract unshield
      cabextract WG511v300.exe
      cd Disk1
      unshield x
      cd Driver_xp_File_Group
  5. Wrap the driver and add to modules:
    • sudo ndiswrapper-1.9 -i netwg511.inf
      sudo modprobe ndiswrapper
      sudo ndiswrapper -m
      sudo gedit /etc/modules

      …and append the following line:

  6. Download and install WICD (“Wicd was started because of the lack of useful, functional wireless network connection managers in Linux.”) from
  7. Use WICD from the menu item in the Applications menu to configure for your wireless connection. The original posts mention that you might have to flip between wext and ndiswrapper drivers to get going, but I didn’t.
  8. If all else fails, restart the PC