Every Distro has its own unique quirks about setting up wireless.
I have primarily used Red Hat Distros, such as Centos, Fedora.
However I have set up wireless on Open-suze, Mandriva, LinuxMint.
If you follow these instructions, you should avoid frustration and issues.
step 1. - enter terminal
# lspci -l
step 2. go to firefox, or your web browser of choice...sourceforge.net
ndiswrapper ( latest version is ndiswrapper-1.54)
download and save to file...
enter back to terminal
mv ndiswrapper-1.54.tar.gz /usr/src
tar -xzvf ndiswrapper-1.54.tar.gz
ln -s /lib/modules/uname -r/build
(uname -r) is your kernel...centos it is currently
mk dir AA
lspci --your driver...the best option is to go to your support site for maker of your laptop...such as HP, Dell, Toshiba...etc...
download and save as file the correct driver...generally this gets saved in your home file.
make sure to move the file to a safe place...
I would ; mv FILE NAME.EXE /usr/src/AA ( you created AA in step#3)
cd /usr/src/AA unzip
ndiswrapper -i /usr/src/AA/DRIVER/bcmwl5.inf
ndiswrapper -m alias "eth1" >> wlan0
iwconfig....it should then list wlan0
enter at the bottom of the list : blacklist bcm43xxx
If you have a wireless Hot Key--- make sure you watch to see it light up.
Linuxwireless.org has a great way to install. You need the information from lspci.
depending upon your driver...it will determine what you need for a driver for wireless.
tar xjf b43-fwcutter-011.tar.bz2
tar xjf broadcom-wl-126.96.36.199.tar.bz2
sudo ../../b43-fwcutter-011/b43-fwcutter -w "$FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR" wl_apsta.o
ifconfig...it should list wlan0....
reboot...and you should have wireless....
wpa_supplicant...you may need to go to services...and start this service...it will then enable you to connect to your wireless service...
again...each distro has its own hang up..but this should get your wirless working in almost all instances...