Make ipw2200 works in BT5

Categories Backtrack, Linux

I like to use an old laptop in which I’ve installed BT5. From being an useless thing inside a closet it has become a wonderful tool for me nowadays. Although I’ve a neat Alpha AWUS036H card,  it was reasonable that I wanted that its internal ipw2200bg card worked too. That is something that doesn’t happen when you run BT5 with its default configuration.

If we run dmesg we’ll see that our internal card is detected but something is happening with its firmware.

ipw2200: Detected Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection
ipw2200: ipw2200-bss.fw request_firmware failed: Reason -2
ipw2200: Unable to load firmware: -2
ipw2200: failed to register network device

To solve this issue we have to download the latest firmware for the card. You can get it from the official site I’ve uploaded the latest version at present, 3.1, so you can get it directly from here:  ipw2200-fw-3.1.tgz (294 downloads)

Once you get it extract the firmware files:

tar xvfz ipw2200-fw-3.1.tgz

Copy the .fw files to /lib/firmware:

cp ipw2200-fw-3.1/*.fw /lib/firmware/

Reset the driver:

modprobe -r ipw2200

modprobe ipw2200




  • Sprew
    February 24, 2014

    Thanks alot!
    I’ve been struggling with this problem for a long time now =)

    • Samuel
      February 24, 2014

      You are very welcome :)

  • Bence
    June 19, 2013

    It isn’t work…. my output:

    root@bt:~# tar xvfz ipw2200-fw-3.1.tgz
    tar: ipw2200-fw-3.1.tgz: Cannot open: No such file or directory
    tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now
    tar: Child returned status 2
    tar: Exiting with failure status due to previous errors

    PLS HELP:!!!!!!!!!!

    • Samuel
      June 23, 2013

      Hi Bence,

      It seems that the tar command can’t find the file ipw2200-fw-3.1.tgz in the current directory in order to extract it. You have to be located at the same folder as the downloaded tgz file when you run the tar command. Just run “ls” to list the content of the current directory, be sure that the file ipw2200-fw-3.1.tgz is present and then run “tar xvfz ipw2200-fw-3.1.tgz”.

      I hope it helps.

  • NJ
    June 8, 2013

    I usually don’t reply when I stumble across a solution in a thread, but this one has had me stumbled for 1 week now after installing BT5 r3.

    Part of the issue is Soundforge links to FW are dead. ALL sites point to these link/s.

    OK, in short, YOU ARE A DEADSET LEGEND, and have made my weekend!! ;)

    I have bookmarked your page being a Linux nbe i might find some more useful info here!!

    Thanks once again!

  • chaz
    December 15, 2012

    AWESOME!, thanks for they tut, now its time for ap faking

  • dd
    October 1, 2012

    wow Thanks(²²²²²²²²²²²)

  • Samuel
    March 4, 2012

    This trick is just to be able to use the card (by the way, in the brand new BT5 R2 we, ipw2200 users, have the same problem :S). As you said it’s is possible to put it in monitor mode using iwconfig and then airodump-ng works fine. If you want to use this card for injection, it’s possible but tricky, and it has some limitations. For example the driver is not capable of transmiting deauthentication packets. I’ll try to find the time to write a post about how to inject traffic with this card in BT5 R1 or R2. Thank you very much for your comment’s guys :)

  • Melik
    February 26, 2012

    I have the same problem as Confuzzled above. This fix worked great, but I also still get the message “ERROR while getting interface flags: No such device”

    Any ideas why this is happening?

  • Confuzzled
    February 26, 2012

    This fix worked for me too, but I still can’t put the card in monitor mode with airmon-ng. I get the same error msg every time: ERROR while getting interface flags: No such device

    Any ideas? I can put it into monitor mode with iwconfig, but I need to use airmon..

  • -= Confused1 =-
    February 7, 2012

    Hey thanks for posting this. I’ve got an old laptop that has this chipset and your tutorial worked perfectly.

    -= Confused1 =-

    • Samuel
      February 8, 2012

      You’re welcome. Enjoy your old laptop rebirth :)

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