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Old 06-18-2015, 10:31 AM   #1
Mr. Grey
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PA3489U-1MPC - MINI PCI PRO Wireless Notebook Card For Intel, Signal too low


Hello Community,

My wireless card is a PA3489U-1MPC - MINI PCI PRO Wireless Notebook Card For Intel. It is installed on a Toshiba Satellite A105-S4384 system.

The laptop came installed with Windows 7 and for the last few days I have been using UbuntuMATE off of the live CD. I liked it so I installed it to the hard drive in place of Windows.

All is fine except for the wireless signal. It seems to have cut in half since installing UbuntuMATE. It works if I am near my wireless (gigabit) router, but even then I am only getting two out of 6 available bars. What can I do?

I am not new to computers, but I AM new to Linux. Please be gentle.

Thanks in advance!
 
Old 06-18-2015, 10:36 AM   #2
JeremyBoden
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The number of bars is a bit arbitrary.

Try an internet speed test - this will give you a figure of merit.
Alternatively, download a large file from a fast server.
 
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:51 AM   #3
Mr. Grey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
The number of bars is a bit arbitrary.

Try an internet speed test - this will give you a figure of merit.
Alternatively, download a large file from a fast server.
Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for the quick reply! I am unable to run a speediest at the moment, due to the laptop saying it does not have Flash installed. I tried to install the 64bit Ubuntu version, but I have no clue what i am doing and can't figure out how to instal it.

I am 3 feet from my modem and it took 11 minutes to download Google Chrome. It normally takes less than 30 seconds..... Anything outside of 15 feet, signal is gone. It is definitely a wireless signal issue. I plugged into ethernet and speed is where it should be.

Last edited by Mr. Grey; 06-18-2015 at 10:54 AM.
 
Old 06-18-2015, 11:45 AM   #4
JeremyBoden
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I assume your wifi is not some ancient speed standard and that you are not trying to transmit through a brick wall?

Wireless troubleshooting can be very difficult.

To find out more info, post the output of
Code:
inxi -Nxx
You may need to install inxi from your repositories - but it is very small.
Similarly, post the relevant part of
Code:
lspci -v
You might find https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/...rivers/iwlwifi to be useful in conjunction with the wireless drivers identified by inxi & lspci.
 
Old 06-18-2015, 01:29 PM   #5
Mr. Grey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
I assume your wifi is not some ancient speed standard and that you are not trying to transmit through a brick wall?

Wireless troubleshooting can be very difficult.

To find out more info, post the output of
Code:
inxi -Nxx
You may need to install inxi from your repositories - but it is very small.
Similarly, post the relevant part of
Code:
lspci -v
You might find https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/...rivers/iwlwifi to be useful in conjunction with the wireless drivers identified by inxi & lspci.
inxi -NXX Results:
Network:
Card: Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG (GOLAN)
Network Connection Driver: iwl3945
ver: in-tree:s
bus ID: 05:00:0
chip ID: 8086:4222

lspci -v results:
05:00.0 Network Controller: Intel Corporation PPRO/wireless 3945ABG [GOLAN] Network Connection (rev 02)
Subsystem: Intel Corporation Device 1040
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 43
Memory at a000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4k]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: iwl3945

Single floor home, no walls separating currently. This card can receive 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, both are having the same signal issue.

Last edited by Mr. Grey; 06-18-2015 at 02:04 PM. Reason: Add Details
 
Old 06-18-2015, 04:25 PM   #6
ardvark71
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Hi Mr. Grey...

As mentioned in your other thread, now that you have flash, please run the speed test Jeremy requested. I think that will help with diagnosis.

Thanks!
 
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:57 PM   #7
Mr. Grey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
The number of bars is a bit arbitrary.

Try an internet speed test - this will give you a figure of merit.
Alternatively, download a large file from a fast server.
Speedtest.net

This computer:
Ping 92ms
Download: 14.65mbps
Upload: 15.05mbps

To compare:
Different laptop:
Ping:38ms
Download:41.39mbps
Upload:21.20mbps

Tablet:
Ping:49ms
Download: 27.40mbps
Upload:11.00mbps
 
Old 06-19-2015, 03:37 AM   #8
JeremyBoden
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I would say that is borderline grounds for complaint!
By this, I mean that all your devices suffer from excessive ping times,
although some are better than others.

Have you tried pinging devices on your local network?
Anything much more than 5ms indicates your LAN has troubles - which can include radio interference
from non-internet devices.

At least in the UK, it generally helps to leave the router switched on 24/7.

It can help the signal strength (slightly) if the router is placed high up;
similarly changing the orientation of the laptop may help slightly.
 
Old 06-19-2015, 10:30 AM   #9
Mr. Grey
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I deleted Ubuntu and reinstalled Windows 7. My signal is right back to where it should be.

Reinstalled Ubuntu, back to no signal unless I am right in front. I would say a fair conclusion is that it is an Ubuntu software/driver issue.

I was able to install Adobe Flash yesterday using a Sudo command. Is there a command line to install a driver?

Thanks everyone for your patience!
 
Old 06-19-2015, 11:02 AM   #10
Timothy Miller
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Drivers are included with the kernel. You could probably try installing an older kernel as the 3945, despite being a great card, is older and is probably NOT the focus of the developers, and so that may be why it's performance is suffering. Or possibly try a newer kernel as there might be a regression for that card in your particular kernel version.
 
Old 06-19-2015, 11:55 AM   #11
Mr. Grey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
Drivers are included with the kernel. You could probably try installing an older kernel as the 3945, despite being a great card, is older and is probably NOT the focus of the developers, and so that may be why it's performance is suffering. Or possibly try a newer kernel as there might be a regression for that card in your particular kernel version.
Hi Timothy, how do I go about finding and installing a new kernel?
 
Old 06-19-2015, 10:05 PM   #12
Mr. Grey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
You might find https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/...rivers/iwlwifi to be useful in conjunction with the wireless drivers identified by inxi & lspci.
From the above link, I go to https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/...ivers/iwlegacy

I downloaded iwlwifi-3945-ucode-15.32.2.9 and extracted the files.

I opened the README file and do not understand the directions. Can someone help?

Thanks!!
 
Old 06-19-2015, 10:54 PM   #13
allend
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Just curious. Have you tried adding the swcrypto=0 option to iwl3945 kernel module? http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2121599
 
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Old 06-20-2015, 08:49 PM   #14
Mr. Grey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allend View Post
Just curious. Have you tried adding the swcrypto=0 option to iwl3945 kernel module? http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2121599
After running code "lsmod | grep iwl" I get the following:

iwl3945 63639 0
iwlegacy 87977 1 iwl3945
mac80211 559100 2 iwl3945,iwlegacy
cfg80211 418839 3 iwl3945,iwlegacy,mac80211

I then enter code "sudo modprobe -r iwl3945" and I immediately get disconnected from my wireless.

I then enter code "sudo modprobe iwl3945 swcrypto=0" and the cursor moves down to the next row, waiting for a new command.

I then restart.

Upon restarting my wireless pops back on. I am now able to get a signal throughout my house!!!!!!!!!

Thank you so much allend!

Now that I have the signal issue dealt with, is there anything I can do to get the signal strength back to where it was with Windows?
 
Old 06-20-2015, 09:37 PM   #15
allend
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If that kernel module option is working for you, then I hope that you have made a file /etc/modprobe.d/iwl3945.conf to make it permanent.

That option was suggested as an improvement to the speeds, as it pushes the cryptographic processing to the firmware, which should be faster.

If you can get a signal throughout the house, do not worry about the bar display. Perceived signal strength does not affect speed until there is insufficient signal to get a connection at all.
 
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