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Old 05-03-2007, 05:26 AM   #1
meglamanaic
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Wifi connection keeps dropping - please help!


Hi everyone.
I'm running Ubuntu 7.04, and I have an Atheros based wi-fi card hence all
the ath0-ing going on below. My situation is that the wireless network I need to connect to requires me to use the second key index, which I can do, but then the connection keeps dying.

Here is how I've got it running on the command line:

ifconfig ath0 down
iwconfig ath0 essid <my network name>
iwconfig ath0 ap <my access point's mac address>
iwconfig ath0 key [2] <my WEP key>
iwconfig ath0 key [2]
iwconfig ath0 key open
iwconfig ath0 key on
ifconfig ath0 up
dhclient ath0
ping www.google.com (pings are returned)


The problem: the connection drops after about 10 seconds unless I keep it alive by pinging somewhere.

Have I done something wrong, or is it something to do with the access point? It's not a signal strength problem - iwconfig lists near perfect signal quality and I'm right next to the AP.

Thanks.
 
Old 05-03-2007, 10:55 AM   #2
2Gnu
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Anything in /var/log/syslog or /var/log/messages?

If this were Windows, I'd tell you to check the power management settings to keep the driver from putting the device into a power-saving sleep mode. I've Googled for something similar with MadWiFi and Atheros, but found nothing definitive.
 
Old 05-03-2007, 11:07 AM   #3
meglamanaic
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Thanks for the response.

I've checked with iwconfig and power management on the card is disabled.
Also, I've found something odd.

If I go through the steps above in a terminal without gnome loaded (GDM is running on tty7 displaying the login screen but nothing else) then it holds the connection fine.

It's only when gnome is loaded that the problems start. I did wonder if NetworkManager was interfering so I killed both its processes but that didn't seem to fix it.

It definately looks like something in gnome is causing the issue. Could it be because the network doesn't broadcast its SSID?
 
Old 05-03-2007, 04:08 PM   #4
2Gnu
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Disabling SSID broadcast is a bad idea. It can cause connection problems with some setups. It does nothing to deter someone who is actually a threat, but keeps honest people from seeing that you're on channel 3 and moving theirs to 9.

GNOME is a pig. I use XFCE4.

Now that I have those two opinionated statements out of the way, I don't see any connection (no pun intended) between GNOME and your network dropping. I believe you, I just don't know why one would have an effect on the other.
 
Old 05-03-2007, 05:02 PM   #5
meglamanaic
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Don't worry, I can understand that it seems strange.
I didn't believe it myself at first, I thought it was co-incidence. But I systematically tested it by typing the exact same commands in the exact same order in the terminal and waiting 10 minutes to see if it dropped (without pinging or any other keep-alive attempt) and then doing the same but in Gnome. I did this three times and the result was the same every time.

I'm glad I'm not along in being very confused about it!

Regarding your "opinionated" statements, my laptop is a bit old for Ubuntu 7.04 anyway (Celeron 500, 192MB ram) so I might give Xfce a try by overwriting the install with Xubuntu. I only installed Ubuntu just because I could and now i've got it, well, I'm one of those people who likes to find out why things don't work and fix them.

*sigh*
 
Old 05-03-2007, 05:32 PM   #6
meglamanaic
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Oh my god!

I got it working... by completely uninstalling NetworkManager using Synaptic.

Next question: does anyone happen to know where Ubuntu keeps its startup commands so I can reinstall NetworkManager but only run it when I want it?

That would make me pretty happy!
 
Old 05-03-2007, 05:32 PM   #7
2Gnu
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Writing over your install with Xubuntu would get the job done, but removing GNOME and installing XFCE4 using Synaptic would be less destructive.
 
Old 05-17-2007, 10:40 PM   #8
wayno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meglamanaic
Oh my god!

I got it working... by completely uninstalling NetworkManager using Synaptic.

Next question: does anyone happen to know where Ubuntu keeps its startup commands so I can reinstall NetworkManager but only run it when I want it?

That would make me pretty happy!
NetworkManager caused me similar problems in Fedora. I removed it completely and config the wi-fi through the text file /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth1. As for startup, NetworkManager installs as a service so just go into services and tell it not to auto-start at boot.
 
  


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