Primary Firmware Download

Foy, Patrick pfoy at
Mon Aug 4 09:14:10 EDT 2003

I've been pursing a few options in parallel.  One of the options is to use
your prism2dl utility to flash the primary and secondary images.  Is it
necessary to do anything with the PDA when loading the primary and secondary



-----Original Message-----
From: Pavel Roskin [mailto:proski at]
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 4:57 PM
To: Foy, Patrick
Cc: hostap at
Subject: RE: Primary Firmware Download

On Thu, 31 Jul 2003, Foy, Patrick wrote:

> We are shipping APs with Senao cards (2511CD-Plus), some with primary
> firmware 1.0.5 and others with 1.1.0.  We need secondary 1.7.4 for WDS,
> Enhanced security, scanning, etc which requires primary of 1.1.0 or
> newer.

I see.  That's indeed a good reason.

> The reason that I need to upgrade the primary with hostap (either into
> RAM or flash) is because we have shipped 100s of units and they need
> upgraded "in the field" (and we don't want to open the cases to re-flash
> the cards using winupdate).  I've read that updating the primary into
> flash isn't reliable, so I wanted to take the least risky route, which
> is uploading to RAM.

I don't know why you think that flashing primary firmware is not reliable.
It has always worked for me.  The problem is that HostAP cannot flash the
secondary firmware after that, so it was disabled in prism2_srec.

prism2dl with linux-wlan-ng flashes primary and secondary firmware just
fine.  On the other hand, loading primary firmware into the RAM has newer
worked for me with any driver, including linux-wlan-ng.

Here are your options:

1) Figure out how to load primary firmware into the RAM.  I have no idea
how.  Try setting genesis mode.  You may need to ask Intersil, but it may
be very expensive and not very helpful.

2) Fix HostAP to support flashing when only primary firmware is in the
card (note that flashing primary firmware disables secondary firmware).
That's the most realistic option and really needs to be done.  It's being
asked all the time, but nobody seems to be working on it.

3) Combine primary and secondary firmware into one image and flash it in
one operation.  This gives you the easiest procedure, but requires a lot
of work to be done to create the image.

4) Install linux-wlan-ng temporarily and flash primary and secondary
firmware, then replace it with the new HostAP driver.  This gives you the
hardest procedure in the field, but it's something that is working now and
requires no coding or firmware hacking.

Pavel Roskin

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