FATAL: Module ndiswrapper not found – Installing Windows Wifi drivers for Ubuntu 12.10

If you’ve encountered this error and searched the web for a solution, you might have come across quite a few that only get you so far but fail right when you get your hopes up…

If, like me, you’ve installed a beautiful new copy of Ubuntu 12.10 or happily upgraded only to find connecting wirelessly is more frustrating than anticipated – this is the solution that worked on my system. I will try and make it as painless to follow as possible, even for complete Ubuntu newcomers.

To begin:  Have internet access…Unfortunately being connected to your modem or router is necessary – go dig around for a LAN cable. If you’re in my position and had to drag your entire desktop setup downstairs to the dorm living room to connect to the router, take solace in the fact that you’re not alone. – Onwards!

Installing Windows Wifi Drivers

1. Start by opening the ‘Ubuntu Software Centre’ by clicking the Icon on the taskbar if you have it pinned or searching for it via the Dash.

Screenshot from 2013-04-11 00:26:49

2. Search for and install ‘Synaptic Package Manager’.

Screenshot from 2013-04-11 00:06:23

3. Open Synaptic Package Manager and enter your password. Click the on the search icon (magnifying glass) and search the term “ndiswrapper”. You should get a list like this:

Screenshot from 2013-04-11 00:54:21

If you have any of these installed at present, right click to mark them for complete removal. Click apply and remove the software you have installed (just to be safe). Mark all of these for installation (do not forget to install ndiswrapper-dkms) – click apply and wait whilst the installation takes place. Now exit Synaptic Package Manager.

4. Next follow this link and download the package (ndiswrapper-1.58) and extract the files (you will need archive manager or similar for this). You should have a single file in your Downloads folder called “ndiswrapper-1.58” that contains another folder called “driver” :


If this link expires at any point, search google for: ‘ndiswrapper-1.58.tar.gz’.

Screenshot from 2013-04-11 01:06:56

NOTE: The paths in the following instructions will be based on this file being in your ‘Downloads’ directory – if you have saved it somewhere else, either move it to the Downloads folder or adjust the path descriptions.

5. Once again open the software center and install “wine” – it should automatically install important additional packages.

Screenshot from 2013-04-11 01:14:11

6. Go to your wireless adapter’s website and download the software drivers for your wireless adapter – mine is the WNA3100 by Netgear.

Screenshot from 2013-04-11 01:17:38

After downloading the driver software for your wireless adapter – extract the files for it if necessary in the downloads folder and right click the setup program for the adapter and select “Open with wine windows program loader”.

The installer should run and you should then be able to install your driver software.

7. Search the Dash for “Browse C:drive” and follow the path Program Files > ‘Your adapter folder – i,e: NETGEAR’ > ‘Your adapter i.e: WNA3100’ > driver (this contains your driver files)

The step above may vary depending on which adapter you have – but you are looking for a .inf file!

When you have found this file, copy it to your documents, downloads or a folder of your choice and remember where you put it, we’ll need it later.

8. Open a terminal (CTRL + ALT +T). You need to do this through the terminal as special permissions are required.

Enter the following:

cd ~

sudo mkdir /usr/src/ndiswrapper-1.58

(This will make a new directory within the ‘src’ folder called “ndiswrapper-1.58”)

sudo cp Downloads/ndiswrapper-1.58/driver/* /usr/src/ndiswrapper-1.58/

(This will copy all of the files in the ‘driver’ folder from the extracted file that we downloaded earlier and place them in the newly created file within the ‘src’ folder – if this isn’t working for you, make sure your path is correct! If you put the downloaded file somewhere else, then the path will need to be amended…also, when amending the path, make sure your driver file is in the ndiswrapper file and that you haven’t moved it).

sudo cp /usr/src/ndiswrapper-1.57/dkms.conf /usr/src/ndiswrapper-1.58/

(NOTE: Make sure you don’t type 1.58 – this command will copy the file from the previous version, to the new one).

Now, double check that within the /usr/src directory, you have a folder called ‘ndiswrapper-1.58’ and that it is full of files, including one called dkms.conf. You do? Great!

9. Next, enter the following commands into the terminal console.

sudo dkms add ndiswrapper/1.58
sudo dkms build ndiswrapper/1.58
sudo dkms install ndiswrapper/1.58

Sudo modprobe ndiswrapper

10. Search the dash for a program called ‘Windows Wireless Drivers’ – enter your password and load the program.

Click “install new driver” (ignore the one in the image).

Screenshot from 2013-04-11 02:03:10

In step 7, I asked you to copy the .inf file to a safe location that you would remember i.e: documents, downloads etc. Select that file and click enter.

11. Watch your wireless adapter come to life 🙂

Screenshot from 2013-04-11 02:07:57


Roger Olivé (bluemanro1991 – bugs.launchpad.net)


One response to “FATAL: Module ndiswrapper not found – Installing Windows Wifi drivers for Ubuntu 12.10

  1. Pingback: Dist-Upgrade Ubuntu 13.04 Wireless Issues – Netgear WNA3100 | Memphis' Coding Adventures·

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