LinuxQuestions.org
Latest LQ Deal: Linux Power User Bundle
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 11-04-2014, 10:39 AM   #1
Beren329
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2014
Posts: 6

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Very Strange Wireless Issue


Hello All:

Having a very strange wireless issue!

I'm running the most recent version of Xubuntu on an older Dll XPS400, Intel Pentium D processor, ath9k chipset NIC.

Here's the problem:

When I boot into Xubuntu from a powered-off state, the wireless will not connect. The system will detect the card and networks in range, but will not connect at all. I've tried various solutions related to the ath9k card (like turning off hardware encryption), to no avail.

Here's the odd part: I also have Windows 7 partition on the same computer. When I boot into Windows and allow it to fully boot (including logging in, etc.), and then RESTART the computer from Windows and boot into Xubuntu, the wireless connects flawlessly!

I can only assume that Windows does something with regard to the wirless NIC that Xubuntu doesn't, and that whatever Windows does holds if the computer is rebooted, but doesn't if the computer is powered off entirely.

Might anyone have any idea about:

1. What Windows is doing that Xubuntu isn't?
2. Why that's not changing during a reboot, but does change during a complete power-off/restart?
3. How to fix things so that wireless will connect in Xubuntu when booting from a powered-off state?

Luckily, I don't tend to reboot all that often, so it's not too terrible a workaround to boot into Windows and then immediately reboot into Xubuntu. On the other hand, that's annoying enough that I'd like to fix the core problem if I can.

I'd sure appreciate any advice!

Best,

Mark
 
Old 11-04-2014, 11:07 AM   #2
business_kid
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Ireland
Distribution: Slackware & Android
Posts: 7,565

Rep: Reputation: 696Reputation: 696Reputation: 696Reputation: 696Reputation: 696Reputation: 696
That is irritating. There are a few Dell specific modules - here's the list from my distro kernel which may be incomplete.
Code:
grep DELL /boot/config-huge-3.14.18
CONFIG_LEDS_DELL_NETBOOKS=m
CONFIG_DELL_LAPTOP=m
CONFIG_DELL_WMI=m
CONFIG_DELL_WMI_AIO=m
CONFIG_DELL_RBU=m
bash-4.3$
Let's try and find out what is actually wrong. Boot up try these commands, and post the results. If there's no output, just say so. I am making the guess that your wifi is wlan0. If it's something else, replace wlan0 with that.
Code:
ifconfig
iwconfig wlan0
ps -e |grep -e 'dhcpcd' -e 'dhclient' -e 'wpa_supplicant'
For yourself, try
Code:
iwlist wlan0 scan |less
, and look for your own station there. Let us know.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 11-04-2014, 11:21 AM   #3
JeremyBoden
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2011
Posts: 938

Rep: Reputation: 174Reputation: 174
Might be interesting to clean boot from a Linux live CD such as Ubuntu etc.
At least this would exclude any of your configuration files.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 11-04-2014, 11:31 AM   #4
kilgoretrout
Senior Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,474

Rep: Reputation: 189Reputation: 189
Does your Dell have a switch or key combination to turn your wireless card on and off? I've had problems in the past with laptops that use a key combination to activate/deactivate the wireless card. Often the key combination won't work in linux and if you deactivate in windows wireless won't come up, or not function properly on a restart to linux from windows. You might also want to look at your wireless settings in your bios setup. It looks like your wireless needs a specific signal from windows to properly activate from a cold boot and that once activated the state of the wireless card is saved on a restart to linux. There may be something in the bios setup which is triggering this behavior, either in the wireless settings or the power management.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 11-04-2014, 11:50 AM   #5
tredegar
LQ 5k Club
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: London, UK
Distribution: Debian "Jessie"
Posts: 6,085

Rep: Reputation: 398Reputation: 398Reputation: 398Reputation: 398
My guess is that windows is loading the firmware for the ath9k chipset. So then it works with linux.

When you power off, the firmware is lost. Rebooting does not power-down.

There is some open firmware : https://github.com/qca/open-ath9k-htc-firmware
or you could just copy the firmware from your windows partition to /lib/firmware/

My package manager has firmware-atheros "Binary firmware for atheros cards".

You may need to enable some "non-free" repositories befor it shows up in your package manager.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 12-20-2014, 02:22 PM   #6
Beren329
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2014
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Following up

Thanks everyone for all the advice on this. It did indeed turn out to be a firmware issue: Windows was loading the firmware, which stuck around for a reboot into linux, and of course didn't in a fully powered-off state. Installing the atheros firmware in linux seems to have solved the problem.

I really appreciate all the help and suggestions! Little problems like this can become major annoyances when they persist, so thanks for making that little corner of my life easier.

Mark
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 12-20-2014, 03:44 PM   #7
tredegar
LQ 5k Club
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: London, UK
Distribution: Debian "Jessie"
Posts: 6,085

Rep: Reputation: 398Reputation: 398Reputation: 398Reputation: 398
Thanks for the follow-up. It helps us help others.

Enjoy your linux.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[SOLVED] Strange issue MarcusWebb1966 Gentoo 2 04-10-2012 04:45 AM
Strange issue with wireless LAN adapter malloc Slackware 7 04-19-2011 01:12 PM
strange c issue exvor Programming 8 01-29-2005 03:23 PM
Strange Wireless DHCP issue Fozzle Linux - Wireless Networking 3 08-10-2004 01:14 PM
help me on a strange issue. newpenguin Linux - General 11 10-06-2002 04:42 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:12 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration