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-   -   TOSHIBA M115-S3094 --- tried most live distros (livecd) but.... wifi... (

moving2linux 03-16-2008 02:51 AM

TOSHIBA M115-S3094 --- tried most live distros (livecd) but.... wifi...

This is my first post and I am from the Philippines. Linux is not as popular as Windows XP/Vista over here but just recently, I've noticed that some laptop shops are selling laptops that only have DOS and you are given a choice whether or not to install Windows.

Anyway, I have this Toshiba Satellite M115-S3094:

* Intel Core Duo T2050 Mobile Processor
* 512MB PC2-4200 DDR2 Memory
* 80GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
* 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
* 14.1" WXGA (1280x800) Wide Screen LCD
* Intel GMA 950 Integrated Graphics with 128MB Shared Memory
* v.92 56Kbps Modem, 10/100 Ethernet and 802.11a/b/g Wireless
* Four USB 2.0, One FireWire One Type II PC Card Slot and 5-in-1 Reader

I tried many live-cds already like Ubuntu 7.10, Dreamlinux MMGL live, SimplyMEPIS 7.0, OpenSuse KDE live 10.3, Linux MINT, Xubuntu 7.1 and Mandriva One 2008.

Only one among those mentioned above works my wifi "out-of-the-box" without any tweaking = Mandriva One 2008.

With the Mandriva One 2008, I am able to surf right away without having to configure anything at all... even the wifi signal-strength icon appears right away.

Now, I am wondering how come the other distros do not work "out-of-the-box" in terms of wifi. As for openSUSE 10.3 KDE, it can detect the wifi networks that are available but I cannot connect to them.

Please note that I have zero-skills in terms of programming or configuring or those "line commands" that I see often here. All I know is how to use "point and click" instructions.

I wanted to use one of the top distros for my laptop... am I stuck with Mandriva?

Please help me configure my laptop to work the wifi for the other distros.

Thank you!

MoonMind 03-16-2008 06:06 AM

First we need to find out which chipset is used; from what I gather from a quick(!) online search, it's not 802.11a/b/g but 802.11b/g, which makes it pretty probable (at least in the light of other information available) that we're dealing with an Intel PROWireless2200BG. A way to make sure is to open a terminal (using a LiveCD or an installed version - if everything else fails, I recommend Finnix) and using lspci. Even if you don't know much about the command line, it's as easy as typing in a few characters and reading the output ;) You can also paste the output here.

I strongly suspect that the appropriate firmware is missing on the distributions you tried, so it's only a matter of going online (wired), getting the firmware and putting in the right place. If, of course, it's a different chipset, we'll be able to find out more as soon as it's specified.


moving2linux 03-16-2008 07:41 AM

Thank you for the helpful response.

Based on the computer specs, it is:
Intel PRO 100 VE Network Connection 10/100 Base-TX Ethernet, Integrated Wireless-LAN Intel PRO/Wireless Network Connection 3945ABG (802.11a/b/g).

I am just confused as to why Mandriva One 2008 was "wifi-ready" out of the box while the others were not?

But I've read somewhere (trying to search for it again), that someone else had the same experience (with another laptop) using Mandriva One 2008 too as the successful livecd but once the Mandriva One 2008 was installed, it was no longer "wifi ready". Is this possible? That the livecd was "wifi-ready" while the Install was not "wifi ready"? I just find it strange.

If Linux Distros want users to switch from Windows to Linux, I think being "wifi-ready out-of-the-box" (for laptops/notebooks) is something that should be prioritized. The "Switchers" want something that does not give any extra head-aches when migrating from Windows to Linux.

Furthermore, I've read that the latest Linux Kernel has a more thorough Wifi stack... I just hope that they got their bases covered.

Will be downloading FINNIX now, it may take an hour. Will post again the results here.

pixellany 03-16-2008 07:55 AM

Most distros will have the firmware and drivers for your wireless in the repositories. (A paradox is that Mandriva did NOT have it for one system I tried--they offered it only in the paid version).

I understand your comment about wanting Linux to be "turn-key" "just like Windows". However, keep in mind that most Windows installations come pre-installed on the computer. If you start from scratch with a random computer, installing Linux is typically faster and easier than Windows--assuming you have the same level of skill with both.

moving2linux 03-17-2008 09:34 AM

Another LiveCd works.... Fedora 8 Live

All I had to do was click on the "network icon" on the upper-right hand corner of the screen and then choose a network then click on connect... after a few seconds... it connected!

So far, Mandriva One 2008 and Fedora 8 Live works.

Will try the others again and do some experimenting.

Please note that this "study" is only to be able to use wifi and surf with firefox. I have not tried anything else. My first objective is just to be able to connect to the internet so that the rest would be easy.

moving2linux 03-17-2008 10:15 AM

Re-tried Ubuntu 7.10 LiveCd... still does not work.

Re-tried SimplyMEPIS 7.0... still does not work.

H_TeXMeX_H 03-17-2008 12:27 PM

For your card, here is the level of support:

The old drivers:

The new drivers:

This card WILL work if you set it up right.

oobist 03-17-2008 02:13 PM

Have you tried OpenSolaris?

I tried their livecd onto my Dell Inspiron 1420. The wifi worked out of the box.

They have a hardware test software that you might to download. It is a good way of finding out what is in your box, either for the purpose of your experiment with linux or other os. It will produce a report of your significant hardware components. Use this report to research which distro is fit for your computer.

You might want to try PCLinuxOS, which is a Mandriva derivative. It worked the first time for me.

I am using OpenSuse 10.3 with a little fiddling, but not with command line, I use its package manager Yast2. You have to have wired connection initially though to download, again without using the command line, the appropriate firmware for your wifi component.

Once you have done that configure through Yast2 your wifi. Disconnect wired network. Reboot and it should work, as in my case.

moving2linux 03-18-2008 06:03 AM

After trying for the 2nd time, OpenSUSE 10.3 LiveCd still did not work. It could see the available network but I still could not connect to it. Is this normal?

Ubuntu 7.10 totally could not see the available networks.

Now, which is a better all-around "user-friendly-newbie" distro: Mandriva or Fedora?

I think I should just wait for the latest releases with the latest Kernel due to the improved wifi support.

moving2linux 03-18-2008 09:22 AM

Update: OpenSolaris LiveCd works the wireless out-of-the-box without having to download any drivers. It detected the hardware automatically and was able to detect the available network automatically too.

But as I understood from their website, the LiveCd version is a very limited "preview" type of version.

I prefer Linux seems it seems to require less RAM and Harddisk space.

moving2linux 03-21-2008 05:55 AM

UPDATE: PCLinuxOS Mini-Me works out-of-the-box too. No downloading required. Just click on the utilities and easily set-up the internet connection. Congratulations to this great tiny distro.

So so far, the ones that work wifi out-of-the-box are:

1) Mandriva One 2008 LiveCD
2) Fedora 8 LiveCD
3) PCLinuxOS Mini Me LiveCD
4) OpenSolaris LiveCD

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