Need advice: whether to flash DLink DWL-520

James B. Hiller jhiller at
Tue Aug 12 23:01:13 EDT 2003

> > The DWL-520 in Machine A performing the host function has:
> > 
> > NIC ID=x8013 v1.0.0
> > PRI ID=x15 v1.0.5
> > STA ID=x1f v1.3.4
> > a.  Is there a good reason to upgrade the firmware on this card
> > serving as the host AP/router?  If so, to which versions, using
> > which tool, available where (firmware and tool)?  Should I do only
> > the volatile, and if so, would I need to do the non-volatile to get
> > to a version which supports non-volatile?
> Yes, you should consider upgrading the firmware. That combination of
> PRI/STA firmware is known to have a bug that causes corruption of data
> on PCI bus. This was fixed in PRI 1.0.7 / STA 1.3.5, so it or anything
> newer is probably better solution.

I'd seen that reference before, I think on
For my clarity:  is this something DLink themselves would be aware of,
or is it something they specifically would NOT be aware of (or would
disavow knowledge of) since it only happens in host ap mode, and they
don't market the card for that purpose?

Also, can you tell me anything about the likely observable behavior of
this bug happening?  Like, are we talking system crash, or slow card
throughput, or what?  (Not arguing; just learning).

> I would recommend first testing with volatile upgrade to make sure that
> the new firmware version actually works with your card and there are no
> unpleasant surprises waiting to happen. At least some people have
> reported dropped signal strength/quality with new firmware versions. It
> is possible that the PDA on the card does not include all new
> configuration values and the defaults in the firmware image are not
> optimal for that card, etc.


> If you are going to download firmware images with Host AP driver, please
> use the latest CVS snapshot of it.

Yep, been told that.  (CVS intimidates me - any thought on when next
release will be out?)
> > c.  Should I be compiling the Prism 2.5 kernel driver into the kernel
> > on the host ap machine as I've been doing, should I not be, or does
> > it not matter?
> What do you mean with "Prism 2.5 kernel driver"? orinoco_pci?

Kernel symbols are config_hermes and config_pci_hermes.

> hostap_pci? If you plan to use two different drivers for the same PCI
> card, I would not link them into the kernel image.. If it is only one
> driver, then it should be OK to link it in.

I have no particular desire/intent to use two different ones.  It had
just occurred to me that since I had at first been using the card just
in ad hoc mode, to get it running I compiled in these two items
above (config_hermes and config_pci_hermes); and then when I got
hostap (pci) and built it, I neglected to un-config these drivers, so
I was wondering if I should now go rebuild the kernel without them.


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