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How to make your unsupported Wireless USB stick to work!

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This is the weirdest if not funniest setup I’ve made so far. So I can’t help it but to post this one up. It’s rare setup so I believe not many could use this tutorial, but of course you could still make use of the concept.



I’m using a desktop with all hardware working except for my USB WiFi. Thanks to this forum. I’m piggybacking my neighbor’s wireless for Internet connection. Since that’s is my main connectivity to Internet, I can’t afford not to get my USB WiFi. And since I’m such a cheapskate, I don’t want to buy a new supported USB WiFi.


Why I choose this setup?

I’ve post a tutorial on using Parallels and Windows XP to achieve this. See it here. But XP consumed my memory like crazy. Plus for some reason it crashed quite a lot too. So I went and install Backtrack Linux but Parallel won’t play nice with USB on Linux. Keep getting IRQ 9 disable. Parallels forum said Parallels still lacking in USB support. I don’t know the exact details but I’m sure enough I can’t get any USB to work properly.


So here goes.


1) OS X up and with Built-In Ethernet running

2) VMware Fusion http://www.vmware.com/beta/fusion/

3) BackTrack http://www.remote-exploit.org/backtrack.html

4) Unsupported USB WiFi

5) Windows Driver for your USB WiFi (if you want to use ndiswrapper to get it working)

6) A Switch

7) A UTP Cable (yeah…)


Step 1

Install VMware Fusion.


Step 2

Create new VM. In setting add second virtual cd-rom. Set first cd-rom to Backtrack’s iso, set second cdrom to physical cdrom. Then set network to Bridge


Note: It’s important to use bridge instead on Host-Only as previous setup with Parallels. VMware virtual Ethernet is really VIRTUAL. It won’t shows in Network Preferences Panes. Of course you could still use Host-Only and then user this command in terminal to change the gateway “gateway add default VMware_IP” but then you’ll have problem with DNS. In 10.4 you can’t edit /etc/resolv.conf directly. scutil command won’t do any good since it’ll set DNS only for physical Ethernet.


Step 3

Plug in UTP cable to you Ethernet socket and to switch (okay, you could also plug it into another computer). This is important to simulate an active Built-In Ethernet. If Built-In Ethernet not active, VMware will start with network disconnected.


Step 4

Go to System Preferences > Network. Then configure Built-In Ethernet. Use this setting

Configure IPv4 : Manually

IP Address :

Netmask :

Gateway : (this is VMware‘s IP)

DNS : Depends on your ISP. Mine is and

Click on Apply Now.


Step 5

Now start your VMware. Backtrack will load. Then login with username:root and password:toor.


Step 6

Insert your USB WiFi. If not automatically connected to VMware. Click on USB logo at bottom right of VMware window and enable you USB WiFi. Open terminal in Backtrack and type


Your USB WiFi should listed there.


Step 7

Only follow this if your USB need ndiswrapper to work on linux. I’m using Aztech WL230USB.

Insert driver’s disk and mount it. Locate your .inf file. For me it’ll be in /mnt/hdc_cdrom/INF/

Then in terminal run this

ndiswrapper –i /mnt/hdc_cdrom/INF/filename.inf
ndiswrapper –l (check if driver installed correctly)
ndiswrapper –m 
modprobe ndiswrapper

Read more at http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net


Step 8

In Backtrack, open WiFi Manager and connect to your favorite AP.


Step 9

In Backtrack, open Set IP, then set ip to, net mask for eth0. Ignore gateway and DNS.


Step 10

Run this command in Backtrack.

echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -o wlan0 -j MASQUERADE

these lines will basically make your Backtrack an internet gateway.


That’s it! As you can see.. weird setup. But it works!! And when I read again, I realized it’s seems hard for beginner to understand. So if you need help, just let me know.


Btw, you might want to do a real install for Backtrack to conserve memory and so your setting will be saved. Follow this instruction - http://garrett.reid.org/backtrack


And again, if you want to do this in XP and Parallels, read it here.



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  • 1 year later...

Interesting indeed!

I was wondering if something like this could be done to enable running my Asetek Xternal watercooling system from Mac OSX?? There is an open source driver for Linux around (the Asetek software only works under Windows). I have tried running WinXP under VMWare Fusion but the USB device was not recognized by the Asetek software. I suppose that as there is no support in OSX the USB vendor id etc did not transfer properly to WinXP...?

What are your thoughts on this??

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  • 1 year later...

Hello!! I can see it's a long time that anyone post in this topic...Btw i'll try to write something! XD

I tried to make backtrack run on my macbook 5.1.

I've installed vmware with ubuntu, and mounted backtrack 4.iso on it.

So now it's the problem!

I followed step by step the tutorial that you have wrote, but i can't connect wireless with my usb dongle (belkin).

I get stucked when i write on the terminal lsusb.

Belkin Components is shown in the list, but i don't know HOW download drivers...Or how to make it work.

Thank you, i hope someone will read my message =P =)

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  • 10 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Yes we are working on the AR9271 but it's still a rare adapter so I don't have all information I need so I am not able to make a kext for it. So that means you have to wait :)


hey dudes!


I know this post is is quite old, but could anyone report back whether this method works with Atheros AR9271 chip usb adapters?


beside this, has anybody made this work on virtualbox for mac os X?

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