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Old 08-28-2010, 06:32 PM   #1
mtbracer1966
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Unable to connect to wireless network - Broadcom BCM4311


I was told by an experienced Linux user/IT professional that older Broadcom wireless cards had embedded code preventing access through non-Windows OS's. I was told that there were drivers that were basically "hacks" for skirting this issue. I've tried two different drivers and neither seems to be doing the trick. My current driver is the "Broadcom STA wireless driver".

Symptoms


  • Recognizes my network and others
  • Says it's connected
  • Won't load any web pages
  • Frequently asks for authentication
  • I've authenticated using my network password and my router's security key

Here's what the terminal says about my wireless card:


05:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN [14e4:4311] (rev 01)
Subsystem: AMBIT Microsystem Corp. Device [1468:0422]
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 19
Memory at d0000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: wl
Kernel modules: wl, ssb
 
Old 08-29-2010, 08:28 AM   #2
Hangdog42
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Welcome to LQ!

Quote:
I was told by an experienced Linux user/IT professional that older Broadcom wireless cards had embedded code preventing access through non-Windows OS's. I was told that there were drivers that were basically "hacks" for skirting this issue.
Your "experienced Linux user" is woefully misinformed. While Broadcom really doesn't support Linux, it certainly doesn't have any code to try an actively shut down OSes other than Windows. In fact the b43 driver in the kernel is the result of Broadcom chipsets being used in routers running Linux. By the way, I've got a 4311 in my netbook that I've been using successfully for years and it has never run anything but Linux. I'd find a new source for advice.

Quote:
My current driver is the "Broadcom STA wireless driver".
That is a decent choice for this chipset.

What we need at this point is some more information, particuarly:

-Distro your using
-The computer you're using
-How you installed the sta driver
-A brief description of how you're trying to connect and authenticate
-The outputs from ifconfig and iwconfig
 
Old 08-29-2010, 09:30 PM   #3
mtbracer1966
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Registered: Aug 2010
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Thank you for your help.

- I had to look up the term "distro"... I assume Ubuntu is what you're looking for.

- Acer Aspire 5610Z.

- I installed the driver through the Hardware Driver utility in Ubuntu.

- It's trying to connect automatically. I try and authenticate by entering my password in the box that pops up. I authenticate with my router/network password. I also tried using my router security key as well... just in case.

- Here are the outputs you asked for:

tim@tim-laptop:~$ ifconfig
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:1b:38:26:0a:89
UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:0 (0.0 B) TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
Interrupt:21

eth1 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:1c:26:0e:aa:f3
inet6 addr: fe80::21c:26ff:fe0e:aaf3/64 Scope:Link
UP BROADCAST MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:31 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:2707
TX packets:31 errors:6 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:3503 (3.5 KB) TX bytes:4495 (4.4 KB)
Interrupt:19

eth2 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:60:6e:6f:07:09
inet addr:192.168.0.103 Bcast:192.168.0.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
inet6 addr: fe80::260:6eff:fe6f:709/64 Scope:Link
UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:2440 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:1594 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:1146876 (1.1 MB) TX bytes:290618 (290.6 KB)

lo Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr:127.0.0.1 Mask:255.0.0.0
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
UP LOOPBACK RUNNING MTU:16436 Metric:1
RX packets:12 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:12 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:720 (720.0 B) TX bytes:720 (720.0 B)
**************************************************************

tim@tim-laptop:~$ iwconfig
lo no wireless extensions.

eth1 IEEE 802.11 Access Point: Not-Associated
Link Quality:5 Signal level:0 Noise level:199
Rx invalid nwid:0 invalid crypt:2 invalid misc:0

eth0 no wireless extensions.

eth2 no wireless extensions.

tim@tim-laptop:~$
 
Old 08-30-2010, 12:10 AM   #4
alan99
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Quote:
I was told by an experienced Linux user/IT professional that older Broadcom wireless cards had embedded code preventing access through non-Windows OS's. I was told that there were drivers that were basically "hacks" for skirting this issue. I've tried two different drivers and neither seems to be doing the trick. My current driver is the "Broadcom STA wireless driver".
That sounds like baloney to me. Yes the Broadcom STA driver is not open source licensed, but I have a 4312 running the STA driver on a debian system and it works fine. At first I had to use the windows version with Ndiswrapper, but when the STA driver came out I switched to that. My router (linksys) has a broadcom chip in it and has a embedded linux operating system, so why can't a broadcom work with linux?
 
Old 08-30-2010, 01:05 AM   #5
alan99
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Quote:
05:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN [14e4:4311] (rev 01)
Subsystem: AMBIT Microsystem Corp. Device [1468:0422]
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 19
Memory at d0000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: wl
Kernel modules: wl, ssb
Why does it say ssb? can you unload or blacklist this module and see what happens.
 
Old 08-30-2010, 07:55 AM   #6
Hangdog42
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In addition to what alan99 noted, this is odd:

Quote:
eth1 IEEE 802.11 Access Point: Not-Associated
Link Quality:5 Signal level:0 Noise level:199
Rx invalid nwid:0 invalid crypt:2 invalid misc:0
Basically, your wireless card hasn't been configured with the SSID and any security keys for your router.
Quote:
I also tried using my router security key as well... just in case.
OK, In NetworkManager, you should be able to find this card (eth1) identified as a wireless card and it should allow you to enter the SSID and security key for your router. That should be a "permanent" way to store this information so you don't have to enter it every time.

Also, please post the output of lsmod. Like alan99, I suspect there may be some driver conflicts going on that would require some blacklisting.
 
Old 08-30-2010, 11:51 AM   #7
mtbracer1966
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My SSID and Password are "permanently" saved. When the authentication window pops up those fields are already populated. There isn't a place to enter my security key. The edit window for my network shows:

-SSID-populated
-Mode-Infrastructure or Ad-Hoc
-BSSID-unpopulated
-MAC Address-unpopulated (when I enter the MAC ID from my router, I cannot exit the edit window... maybe not the right format (0024017B1C77))
-MTU-Automatic

How do I blacklist or unload the module?

Here's the lsmod output

tim@tim-laptop:~$ lsmod
Module Size Used by
binfmt_misc 6587 1
ppdev 5259 0
snd_hda_codec_realtek 203168 1
fbcon 35102 71
tileblit 2031 1 fbcon
font 7557 1 fbcon
bitblit 4707 1 fbcon
softcursor 1189 1 bitblit
vga16fb 11385 0
vgastate 8961 1 vga16fb
joydev 8708 0
b44 25542 0
ssb 37336 1 b44
pcmcia 33024 0
snd_hda_intel 21877 2
snd_hda_codec 74201 2 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel
snd_hwdep 5412 1 snd_hda_codec
snd_pcm_oss 35308 0
snd_mixer_oss 13746 1 snd_pcm_oss
snd_pcm 70662 3 snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_pcm_oss
asix 12131 0
snd_seq_dummy 1338 0
snd_seq_oss 26726 0
lib80211_crypt_tkip 7596 0
snd_seq_midi 4557 0
snd_rawmidi 19056 1 snd_seq_midi
snd_seq_midi_event 6003 2 snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi
snd_seq 47263 6 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi,snd_seq_midi_event
snd_timer 19098 2 snd_pcm,snd_seq
snd_seq_device 5700 5 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq
usbnet 14943 1 asix
i915 282354 3
wl 1959598 0
uvcvideo 56990 0
drm_kms_helper 29297 1 i915
snd 54148 16 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_hwdep,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_pcm,snd_se q_oss,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq,snd_timer,snd_seq_device
yenta_socket 20408 1
rsrc_nonstatic 10015 1 yenta_socket
mii 4381 3 b44,asix,usbnet
videodev 34361 1 uvcvideo
acer_wmi 13861 0
v4l1_compat 13251 2 uvcvideo,videodev
drm 162471 4 i915,drm_kms_helper
sdhci_pci 5470 0
sdhci 15462 1 sdhci_pci
lib80211 5046 2 lib80211_crypt_tkip,wl
pcmcia_core 32964 3 pcmcia,yenta_socket,rsrc_nonstatic
led_class 2864 2 acer_wmi,sdhci
psmouse 63245 0
serio_raw 3978 0
intel_agp 24177 2 i915
soundcore 6620 1 snd
snd_page_alloc 7076 2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm
agpgart 31724 2 drm,intel_agp
i2c_algo_bit 5028 1 i915
video 17375 1 i915
output 1871 1 video
lp 7028 0
parport 32635 2 ppdev,lp
tim@tim-laptop:~$
 
Old 08-30-2010, 12:54 PM   #8
Hangdog42
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Quote:
When the authentication window pops up those fields are already populated. There isn't a place to enter my security key.
Is the security key already entered into Network Manager? By the way, what security are you running? And as a test, it might be interesting to see what happens if you temporarily turn off security at your router and then try to connect.

The lsmod output looks pretty normal. The b43 driver is not loading, which is good because it would definitely conflict with the wl driver. Now that said, ssb is loading because of b44 (the driver for your wired connection) and that may be causing trouble. Try adding ssb to your blacklist (/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf) and then reboot and see if that helps. If you just want to unload it without rebooting, you could try this:

Code:
modprobe -r wl
modprobe -r ssb
modprobe wl
That unloads the wl, then the ssb modules and then reloads wl.
 
Old 08-30-2010, 01:16 PM   #9
alan99
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Are you using wpa on your router? Do you have WPA supplicant installed or configured on the laptop?
 
Old 09-15-2010, 04:57 PM   #10
mtbracer1966
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I wanted to thank everyone for their help. As it turns out, my wireless card is fine... I am able to connect to wireless networks that are not password protected.

Now I need to figure out how to connect to my own network.

I'll start another, appropriately titled thread if I need help.


Thanks again.
 
Old 11-27-2010, 03:25 PM   #11
mtbracer1966
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I've since purchased a new computer but I'm thankful that I finally figured out the issue with my wireless router.

Quite simply... the security key is case sensitive.
 
  


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