Wireless Not Recognised in Backtrack 3

Posted on 2008-10-17
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Hi. I'm trying to use Backtrack 3 on a Dell Latitude D830 which, according to the compatibility list in the offensive security website, runs BT3 without any problems. My wireless card is not recognised. I tried iwconfig, ifconfig and dmesg | grep (eth / ath / wlan).

How can I install the drivers manually?
Question by:ezgigurkan
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Expert Comment

by:Bradley Haynes
ID: 22746161
Use  -  "airmon-ng stop ath0"
            "airmon-ng start ath0"

This will put the wireless card into monitor mode. You can also try wifi0 if ath0 does not work.
Or wlan0 etc...
Once that is successful open the wlan manager find an AP and connect......

Expert Comment

ID: 22746761
First check which wifi chip you have and then follow instructions below:

The Intel 3945ABG wireless controller is found in the Centrino chipset and is quite common in Intel Core and Intel Core 2 systems.

The Intel 4965AGN wireless controller is found in the Santa Rosa chipset and is quite common in newer Intel Core 2 systems.

Author Comment

ID: 22749092
I dont have an ath0 or wifi0 or wlan0. It's not a configuration problem. I'm pretty sure it's a driver thing. How can I find out what the chipset is? And backtrack is not in the linux list in the guides. Which linux is the closest to backtrack?
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Expert Comment

ID: 22749117
It is a driver thing as I also confirmed on my earlier post.  Check your laptop's bottom for the model number (there should be sticker) and type it in google, or tell it for us here and we will check it out.

Author Comment

ID: 22749792
I think what you're looking for is 1505, not 3945ABG or 4965AGN.

Expert Comment

ID: 22749944
According to this site below there is atleast 6 different wifi chips used for the D830. Thats quite lot :-)

Note from the site I pasted earlier :

"If you haven't purchased the D830 yet try and get it with the Intel 3945ABG wireless controller. The versions with the 4965AGN and the Dell 1390/1490 are harder to get working."

Thought it doesnt mention 1505 at all.  Anyways I did more searching nd the driver can be downloaded from:

Installation instructions are found from here:

Thought this installation requires medium or good knowledge of Linux OS.  There is no easy way for this unfortunately :-(

While trying to search suitable solution for you we havent even asked about the most important matter, what Linux Distribution you are running at the moment? :-)

FINAL WORD: This driver is included in the Ubuntu 8.10 release and newer. AFAIK Ubuntu is at the moment one of the easiest Linux Desktop Distribution and it has quite good driver support. You could check it out.


Author Comment

ID: 22749999
I checked the link and in the connectivity section, under WLAN you can see Dell Wireless 1505 802.11a/g/Draft?

I have been using linux for a while so I think I can figure it out. Never installed drivers and that was the reason I never started using linux permanently, driver issues...

Last of all, the Linux Distribution, as I metioned in the message AND in the title:)), is BackTrack 3.0. I think it's built on Slackware. I dont want to use another distribution, I need this one for penetration testing.

Accepted Solution

ifreq earned 500 total points
ID: 22750076
Yes I did see the 1505 under the connectivity.  If youre  up to it then go fetch the fresh drivers and test them on your slackware :-)


Installation instructions are found from here:

I wish you a good luck on this one, if in any case you feel that you dont get the drivers working with slack you can always buy a 100% compatible usb wifi-dongle.

D-Link DWL-G122 seems to be compatible with Slack and runs via ndiswrapper driver. Here is basic howto  for enabling the D-Link usb-dongle:

# modprobe ndiswrapper
# ndiswrapper -l       ##check that device has loaded into memory
# ifconfig eth0 down
# ifconfig eth1 down
# iwconfig wlan0 essid yourSSID
# iwconfig wlan0 key "yourkey"
# iwconfig wlan0 mode managed
# ifconfig wlan0 netmask
# route add default gw netmask
# ifconfig wlan0 up

for 192.x you put your own wifi network.

There is lots of other  linux-compliant usb wifi dongles out there, this was just one example :-)


Assisted Solution

ifreq earned 500 total points
ID: 22750110
One solution more  is to run VMware on Windows and use the Backtrack3 provided Vmware image. Then you can leave Windows to handle wifi (which prob works just ok) and run Backtrack on top of the Windows.

Author Comment

ID: 22750118
So I wouldnt need drivers with VMWare? And can I do everything I could normally do with VMWare? Fake my mac address for example?

Expert Comment

ID: 22750145
You dont need drivers with VMware as the network is handled by the host system (which is Windows in this case). VMware supports  atleast following network settings:

Private NAT
Bridged (your VMware host gets own IP from the same network)
Shared IP

I assume that faking mac address with Bridged mode should be OK.  

You can run VMware OS as you run anything else OS on your system, just give it enought CPU,RAM, and HDD and it will run smoothly.

If you have spare HDD (or windows allready installed on some D830) you could install VMware workstation demo and try it out with BT3 image.

VMware Workstation can be downloaded from:

BT 3 VMware image from:

Happy hunting! :-)


Author Comment

ID: 22750152
You've been really helpful. Thanks a lot:)

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