I installed Gnome in one of my Debian boxes this week and after the next boot, my IPW2200 drivers stopped working. It complained about the absence of the firmware files with this error:

kernel: ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LNKG] enabled at IRQ 10
kernel: ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:06:02.0[A] -> Link [LNKG] -> GSI 10 (level, low) -> IRQ 10
kernel: ipw2200: Detected Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection
kernel: ipw2200: ipw-2.4-boot.fw load failed: Reason -2
kernel: ipw2200: Unable to load firmware: -2
kernel: ipw2200: failed to register network device
kernel: ACPI: PCI interrupt for device 0000:06:02.0 disabled
kernel: ipw2200: probe of 0000:06:02.0 failed with error -5

I tried reinstalling several versions of the drivers and firmware until I finally realized the problem was that hotplug was replaced by udev when I installed Gnome (I guess one is supposed to read the list of packages that are going to be replaced before saying YES).

I know nothing about udev, but I could see it was complaining about the filesystems not being mounted at boot up. Sure enough I see in my /etc/rcS.d the start up scripts in the following order:

S04udev -> ../init.d/udev
S35mountall.sh -> ../init.d/mountall.sh
S36mountvirtfs -> ../init.d/mountvirtfs

and I simply changed the order of execution by issuing:

mv /etc/rcS.d/S35mountall.sh /etc/rcS.d/S03mountall.sh
mv /etc/rcS.d/S36mountvirtfs /etc/rcS.d/S03mountvirtfs

Then, it complained about the lack of a tempfs, which I enabled in my kernel under File systems ---> Pseudo filesystems ---> Virtual memory file system support (former shm fs)

That did the trick and now it works great.

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