[OFFTOPIC] prism RAM 'flashing' from w2k (or from linux to USB device)?

Frank Horowitz frank at horow.net
Sun May 9 04:52:12 EDT 2004

Apologies for the offtopic question, but I'm hoping that some of the 
experts on this list might know an answer to my dilemma. Basically I'm 
trying to get WPA running on my home LAN.


I've got a home WLAN with a WPA capable AP (WRT54G from Linksys, if it 
matters), a linux box running hostAP in client mode on a D-link DWL500 
(which should be able to run wpa_supplicant; thanks to Junni et al. for 
the great work, BTW!), and a couple of windows 2000 boxes running D-Link 
DWL120-d USB 802.11b (Prism2.5) devices.

I've found the freely available w2k WPA thingy, but believe that the 
secondary  firmware version I'm running in my DWL120-Ds (1.5.6)  is too 
early to support WPA, since it's mentioned somewhere that versions later 
than 1.7.0 are required. I've also found the ru010704 secondary firmware 
from either Pavel Roskin's or JunSun's site.

My problem is that the "R" version of that 1.7.4 firmware is for RAM, 
not flash, and that there doesn't seem to be a flash version of the 
firmware available.

I've contemplated booting into linux, "flashing" the ram to the 1.7.4 
version of the firmware, and then rebooting into W2K with the power 
still on to the cards (hopefully keeping the RAM version of the firmware 
alive). However, as I understand it, prism2_srec won't communicate with 
USB devices, and I'm unclear whether or not the wlan-ng firmware 
flashing utility can deal with RAM versions of firmware.  Even if all of 
that works, I've still got the problem that the dlink w2k driver might 
very well reset the RAM when initializing the card.

Barring a later-than-1.7.0-flash-version of the "u" class firmware 
hiding somewhere on the net (I've looked, and not been able to find 
one), I think that my best bet might be to somehow hack the ram version 
of the firmware into the W2K driver. It's almost the inverse operation 
of the "split_combined_hex" shell script in hostAP utils, and that to me 
implies that someone on this list might have some expertise in the file 
formats involved with the windows drivers.


So, I guess my questions comes in two parts:

A) does anyone know of a flash version of "u" class 1.7.x or later 
secondary  firmware hiding somewhere on the net? (Fingers crossed, but 
I'm not holding my breath...)

B) Does anyone have any pointers on the filestructures of the windows 
drivers for these devices? Where might the RAM version of the firmware 
be stashed for the w2k drivers to actually load and use them? What about 
things like checksums in those files?  Is there some equivalent of 
prism2_srec (i.e. a firmware flasher that can deal with RAM images, but 
also with USB devices) living in windows-land that might let me flash 
the cards from that side?

Any pointer you might be able to provide would be greatly appreciated!

       Frank Horowitz

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