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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 05-18-2013, 09:48 AM   #16
EDDY1
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Did you install the atheros firmware?
 
Old 05-18-2013, 02:25 PM   #17
jlinkels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDDY1 View Post
Did you install the atheros firmware?
I admit I did not think about it, but yes, it is installed.

jlinkels
 
Old 05-19-2013, 09:09 AM   #18
jlinkels
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Some more update.

Many Google posts indicate that these problems are related with the kernel version. So I installed Debian, in order to be able to install the latest kernel from Unstable (3.8.12). Running Debian Wheezy (current Stable) with this kernel showed exactly the same behaviour.

jlinkels
 
Old 05-19-2013, 04:07 PM   #19
EDDY1
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I don't understand because now that I've checked my acer system which has the exact same wireless card & it just works.
I didn't have to do anything extra to get it running.

Quote:
topgun@debianperfectionplus:~$ lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/PM/GMS/910GML Express Processor to DRAM Controller (rev 03)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #1 (rev 03)
00:1d.1 USB controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #2 (rev 03)
00:1d.2 USB controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #3 (rev 03)
00:1d.3 USB controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB UHCI #4 (rev 03)
00:1d.7 USB controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 03)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev d3)
00:1e.2 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 03)
00:1e.3 Modem: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) AC'97 Modem Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801FBM (ICH6M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 03)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) IDE Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 03)
06:05.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR2413/AR2414 Wireless Network Adapter [AR5005G(S) 802.11bg] (rev 01)
06:07.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)
06:09.0 CardBus bridge: ENE Technology Inc CB1410 Cardbus Controller (rev 01)
During the install I chose "Advanced Options>>Expert Install"
 
Old 05-19-2013, 05:48 PM   #20
jlinkels
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I plugged in a wireless USB adapter I borrowed somewhere and it worked immediately as well. Although it is the very last thing to consider I begin to suspect a hardware error.

See, when pressing the radio kill button repeatedly the soft block toggled nicely as expected, but the hardware block became asserted when the soft block was negated, and stayed there. That is another indication.

The only thing I haven't tried yet is to install Windows so I know for sure it is a hardware error. Too bad I don't have another Wifi module lying around. If I am lucky I can't find a Windows CD either

jlinkels
 
Old 05-19-2013, 06:31 PM   #21
EDDY1
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How much space do you have on your hdd?
If you have free space then reinstall to it & try expert mode to see if you just have config problems, or try live-cd.
 
Old 05-20-2013, 09:33 AM   #22
jlinkels
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The laptop is not in production so I can easily reinstall. What settings should I look for in expert mode? During the installation of Debian the installer was aware of the wlan0 but did not see any network. That was before any configuration.

jlinkels
 
Old 05-20-2013, 09:51 AM   #23
cynwulf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
During the installation of Debian the installer was aware of the wlan0 but did not see any network.
Be aware that the Debian installer only supports WEP.
 
Old 05-20-2013, 10:56 AM   #24
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I don't know if it's related. But on a vintage laptop I acquired, I have to ifconfig the wireless device and set an ip and such before I can set the essid and extras with iwconfig to use dhclient and friends. As best as I can figure, it's in a powered down state until I ifconfig up. I can sometimes skip that step if the laptop has been booted for 5-ish minutes before I try to use the network.

In terms of disabling, you might check the /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf and the /etc/udev/rules.d/ path for things that might exist and get in the way of having a working configuration. When I boot from a usb stick and move around to different machines udev adds a new wlan# which can get annoying. Purging those entries and restarting udev (/etc/init.d/udev restart) can give a little sanity back into a constantly moving target.
 
Old 05-20-2013, 11:16 AM   #25
EDDY1
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During installaton setting up wireless should ask for firmware,which you can provide on cd or usb, but it's just easier to enable the non-free repos, reboot & then install atheros firmware, NM should just work.

Last edited by EDDY1; 05-20-2013 at 12:03 PM.
 
Old 05-26-2013, 08:45 AM   #26
jlinkels
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@Shadow7: I know those udev woes. It is not something like that, I checked on it.

@EDDY1: the correct modules are loaded, none too many, and the firmware is installed.

Anyway, I gave up on the Atheros assuming a hardware failure. After all the Atheros is not the most complicated WiFi chips to activate in Linux. I have ordered a new $4.99 WiFi module XX2200 something which is known to work in Linux. And a thumbnail size wireless USB stick.

In the mean time, I have inserted an ancient Orinoco PCMCIA WiFi card in the laptop, which worked without problems in Debian after I installed the Agere firmware. (package firmware-linux-nonfree)

At a certain moment I was not sure whether I could do WPA2 with this card, as the access point it was harvested from only supported WEP. I was not sure where the encryption layer was executed, in the PCMCIA card, or in the driver. Now that this card (from 2001 or so) handles WPA2 correctly I have to assume it is the driver.

In Debian Sid it was easy to make the card work. It is assigned eth1 (not wlan1). The networkmanager immediately connected this interface with the access point and used it.

Strangely enough, I Mint it was much more difficult. The networkmanager there kept insisting on using the non-functional Atheros, no matter that I told to use the Orinoco. That is weird, the Atheros did not see any access points, the Orinoco did. And the networkmanager tries over and over again to use the wrong card.

Now after unloading the ath5 modules I could make the connection. (Will remove the WiFi card and blacklist the ath5). But I find it striking again and again that "beginner" distros simply do not do what is most obvious. As a matter of fact, getting the thing right in Mint was much more difficult than in Debian which is often still considered a geeky distro.

jlinkels
 
Old 06-02-2013, 02:22 PM   #27
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I guess I'm an oddball out. Buy a $40 or less standalone wireless router and ethernet to it in repeater mode. Takes all the hassle out of the process, since ethernet almost always works out of the box in linux. And you can get the standalone router up higher or closer to the signal for a better connection. This is basically what I did for my mom that tucks her desktop into a piece of furniture and proceeds to bury it more with other stuff. While wondering why the wireless network doesn't always work. Ultimately un-burrying the origin of the signal was the only way to go. And it frees up a PCI or USB slot for other things.
 
Old 06-02-2013, 08:04 PM   #28
jlinkels
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Thanks for the suggestion Shadow 7, but the intended use I have for the laptop is as a tools which I can physically drop somewhere and do something. Like an emergency server, firewall, logging system, replacement for one or another. Carrying around an additional AP doesn't fit in that picture.

jlinkels
 
Old 06-04-2013, 09:04 AM   #29
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I wasn't really suggesting the AP as a permanent fix, but it could be. At a minimum it is an alternative network option to download drivers and research the driver you intend to use issues. My old laptop is basically setup as an AP. With bridge-utils and ebtables, although that only seems functional on 2.6.x kernels for the time being.
 
  


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