Two of my PCs have TPLink cards with Realtek RTL8185 chips.
Strangely, whilst they see my network (but little else) they refuse utterly to connect (but the system repeatedly pop up connection prompts it always fails but keeps popping up even when cancelled).
I have scoured the Mint site and others for a solution but they are thin on the ground and those that report any kind of success, it is difficult to discern from the plethora of stumbling around, what they did right! Even more worrying is that this has been going on for at least 5 years. Has no one come up with a definitive solution yet - that doesn't involve changing the card...?
[Mint 13 Xfce 64bit but don't think that is significant because it is problem with other versions and distros - but fine in Windows]