Wireless cards and ar5211.sys

I have two Atheros(?)-manufactured wireless cards. One is a cheap PCI card that I have in an older desktop and the other is a PCMCIA card I have plugged into an alienware laptop that I bought used. Both of these PCs are getting the BSOD DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL errors referencing the AR5211.sys file.

I have done more work on the laptop, so I’ll focus on it. I uninstalled the card and deleted the driver files (both net5211.inf and ar5211.sys) and reinstalled using Alienware’s drivers, Driverguide’s ar5211.sys file with an Atheros client, Ekahau’s client and drivers, and finally, third-party updated drivers that I found here using Windows. No matter the configuration, I either can’t get the configuration utility to work with the card (it detects it, but won’t connect to the network) or it works great but eventually crashes with the same error, especially if I’m running high bandwidth applications. For what it’s worth, the card is either a CB9 netgate or a Wistron NeWeb, depending on where you look.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get this thing working, or am I honestly better off avoiding half of the wireless cards currently on the market?