Michael Altfield's gravatar

eHome — are you home?

Alright, this is bullshit.

I bought an eHome wireless NIC a while ago for really cheap. Haven’t heard of eHome? Neither had I, but it didn’t take me long to realize that it was actually part of D-Link Corporation when I sent my rebates to a DLink corporate address, and when I read the message:
“Copyright © D-Link Corporation/D-Link Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. eHome Networking and the eHome Networking logo are registered trademarks of D-Link Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries…”

So, I figured: D-Link is a popular company, they’re not going anywhere, they sell tons of devices, so my
chipset is probably well supported in Linux, right? Wrong.

I’ve finally had a chance to fool around with BackTrack3. I preformed a passive hack on a WEP test environment, but it took almost 4 days. I understand that you can inject packets with an active attack, but my internal laptop’s broadcom wireless NIC doesn’t support packet injection. Thankfully, I have a small USB dongle that does, but it’s too weak to be able to reach the access point to actually preform the active attack (and I can’t plug in an antenna [which I have] because it’s a USB dongle).
So, for the last week or so, I’ve been trying to get my PCI NIC working on my Gentoo desktop. Unfortunately, this is no easy task.


...
07:09.0 Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88w8335 [Libertas] 802.11b/g Wireless (rev 03)
...

I’ve tried compiling my kernel with the only Marvell wireless module, but no cigar. Instead I resorted to ndiswrapper (like so many other chipsets). Unfortunately, the only drivers that are included on the Windows Install CD are for 32-bit (and, of course, I run 64-bit). So, I did a google for ‘eHome’ to see if I could find the official eHome website where I might be able to download the latest 64-bit drivers (after all, there’s now a supported Windows OS on the market that runs 64-bit), but nothing poped out at me. Google suggested I search for ‘eHome networking’, so I did (thank you Mr. mind-reading Google engine). These results weren’t any more promising–just links to the resellers, mostly amazon.
Out of desperation, I whipped out the “eHome EH102 Quick Install Guide” leaflet that came with the NIC (you know, the one that tells you how to click “next” 5 times in Windows, but nothing actually useful–not even the chipset information [which is to say: it’s rubbish]). The back kindly stated:
“eHome provides free technical support for customers within the United States and within Canada for the duration of the warranty period on this product.

“U.S. and Canadian customers can contact eHome technical support at http://www.ehomeproducts.net.”

So, I typed it into my browser, and–wait. what? WHAT? I got a godaddy page saying:
“Notice: This domain name expired on 07/26/08 and is pending renewal or deletion”
They didn’t renew their domain name? Are you fucking serious? This is a company. It may be a bastard child of a major corporation, but it’s a child nonetheless. Seriously, do you commit infanticide when you find out that little Betty-Joe has 8 legs? No, you run to CNN and make millions. *sigh*..but I digress.

So, eHome must have tanked. Well, thank god that D-Link is still around. Out of more desperation, I headed to http://support.dlink.com, and called up their 24-hour support number. Now, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I’m not dumb. I’m aware of the fact that I will probably have just as much luck getting some moron in India to be able to redirect me to a 64-bit driver as I will be able to tame a lion, but I figured it was worth a shot; I like cats.

Anyway, we’ve all been here before. I wait 20min to talk to a woman with broken english who talks WAY too quiet just so that she can tell me I’ve reached the wrong department. I wait 40min to talk to some dude who tells me that he sees no record of model EH102 (EH for eHome–that is; naturally, he wants something with a D-Link prefix). After arguing with the dude for 20min, explaining my situation, and assuring him that eHome IS owned by D-Link, he eventually gave me a number to call: 949-313-4340. I made him say it like 3 times, and I made him clarify that I had the correct number thrice more because I knew that if there was a phonographic error, I would not be able to get him to repeat it. I thanked him (I don’t believe in yelling at support reps; they’re stupid, but it won’t help the situation) and blindly dialed the number with high hopes and low expectations.

After a few rings, I got a recorded female voice (it might have been synthesized) asking me to record my name after the beep so that I could be transferred to the correct number with Grand Central. Grand Central? God, this is sketchy. Some dude answered and ensured me that I had the wrong number. :'(

To sum it up: fuck D-Link. I guess I just have to wait for a linux driver to be written for this rare card, or I could plug-and-chug every wireless driver module available in the 2.6.25 kernel. *sigh* In the meantime, it takes me 4 days to crack WEP when it takes everyone else 4 minutes.

tl;dr: D-Link fucked me.

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