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Old 10-30-2010, 09:22 PM   #1
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I can't establish a wireless connection

After some time, I've finally managed to get a distro that works for me. Specifically, I'm running Linux Mint 9, the live version from a USB flash drive (mostly because the wife refuses to let me install on the hard drive). I'm on a Dell Inspiron 1420 trying to connect to a Siemens Gigaset SE587 wireless router. I connect just fine with a wired connection, but I can't get it to connect to the wireless network. It's not a serious issue, but it'd be nice to connect in other rooms than just the den.

I tried running the installation CD that came with the router, but that wouldn't run at all (I'm guessing it was designed for use on Windows only). I tried the manual setup instructions as well, but that didn't help. Am I missing something?

I'll admit that networking is not my forte; if there's any details that would help to solve this, let me know what you need and I'll do my best to provide the information.
Old 10-30-2010, 09:30 PM   #2
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Hi there,

the router itself is not really a factor in the equation yet -- it's the wireless device in your computer most likely where the problem currently is. To be specific, whether or not you have the right driver for it. Can you tell us exactly what make & model is the wireless NIC? The commands given here will help:

If it's USB device, please post output from:
If it's built-in into the machine, it's probably on the PCI bus. Therefore you';ll find a block of info about it in the output from this command:
lspci -vnn
May as well show us the outputs of these too, as it may come in handy. One or more of these commands may be asked of you again too as things progress:
ifconfig -a
So, all the above info requests are assuming you're going to be needing a driver. On the chance that you actually have the driver already, and something else is amiss, can you tell us exactly what tool(s) you've been using to try activating the wireless connection, and what evidence you have (or not) that the device is actually alive, or symptoms of the problem that may give a clue as to the problem, if it isn't drivers?

And, you're right - most CD's that come with hardware, only contain stuff for Windows. Occasionally there's something for us, but not usually.
Old 10-31-2010, 06:47 AM   #3
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Thank you for the specific instructions. Here's what I've got so far.

First, the results of lspci. I've included both the WLAN and Ethernet sections, just in case they're both relevant:

09:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Broadcom Corporation NetLink BCM5906M Fast Ethernet PCI Express [14e4:1713] (rev 02)
Subsystem: Dell Device [1028:01f3]
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 30
Memory at fe5f0000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
Expansion ROM at <ignored> [disabled]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: tg3
Kernel modules: tg3

0c:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN [14e4:4311] (rev 01)
Subsystem: Dell Device [1028:0007]
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 17
Memory at fe8fc000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: b43-pci-bridge
Kernel modules: ssb
The lsmod gives me:

Module Size Used by
binfmt_misc 6587 1
ppdev 5259 0
lp 7028 0
parport 32635 2 ppdev,lp
dm_crypt 11331 0
snd_hda_codec_idt 51914 1
snd_hda_intel 21877 4
snd_hda_codec 74201 2 snd_hda_codec_idt,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 4 snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_pcm_oss
snd_seq_dummy 1338 0
snd_seq_oss 26726 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
arc4 1153 2
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
joydev 8708 0
snd 54148 19 snd_hda_codec_idt,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_hwdep,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_pcm,snd_seq_os s,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq,snd_timer,snd_seq_device
b43 157218 0
uvcvideo 56990 0
dell_wmi 1793 0
videodev 34361 1 uvcvideo
mac80211 204922 1 b43
v4l1_compat 13251 2 uvcvideo,videodev
sdhci_pci 5470 0
dell_laptop 6856 0
sdhci 15462 1 sdhci_pci
cfg80211 126485 2 b43,mac80211
psmouse 63245 0
ricoh_mmc 2923 0
dcdbas 5422 1 dell_laptop
soundcore 6620 1 snd
serio_raw 3978 0
led_class 2864 2 b43,sdhci
snd_page_alloc 7076 2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm
squashfs 20680 1
aufs 149050 1
nls_iso8859_1 3249 1
nls_cp437 4919 1
vfat 8901 1
fat 47767 1 vfat
dm_raid45 81647 0
xor 15028 1 dm_raid45
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
i915 282354 3
drm_kms_helper 29297 1 i915
usbhid 36110 0
drm 162471 4 i915,drm_kms_helper
ohci1394 26950 0
hid 67032 1 usbhid
usb_storage 39425 1
i2c_algo_bit 5028 1 i915
intel_agp 24177 2 i915
ieee1394 81181 1 ohci1394
ssb 37336 1 b43
ahci 32008 1
video 17375 1 i915
output 1871 1 video
tg3 109292 0
agpgart 31724 2 drm,intel_agp
The ifconfig gives me:

eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:1a:a0:fe:ef:69
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
inet6 addr: fe80::21a:a0ff:fefe:ef69/64 Scope:Link
RX packets:2189 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:2212 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:2065532 (2.0 MB) TX bytes:413153 (413.1 KB)

lo Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr: Mask:
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
RX packets:8 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:8 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:480 (480.0 B) TX bytes:480 (480.0 B)

wlan0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:1c:26:2c:7f:e7
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)
And finally, iwconfig:

lo no wireless extensions.

eth0 no wireless extensions.

wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg ESSID:off/any
Mode:Managed Access Point: Not-Associated Tx-Power=0 dBm
Retry long limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Power Management:off
As far as what I've done so far, I know that the router is working, because when I switch back to Windows, the machine connects wirelessly with no problems. I've been selecting both the 'connect to hidden wireless network' and 'create new wireless network' options from the connections icon in the taskbar. In both cases, I enter all the information I have available, including making sure that I am remembering the password correctly. Also, in following the manual setup instructions, I connect to the router with the standard ethernet cable, point Firefox to, and fill out the forms as instructed by the instruction leaflet (setting PVC to data PPPoA and entering username and password).

In all cases, immediately after I attempt the connection, I get a notice informing me that I've been disconnected from the wireless connection.

I hope this helps. Thanks again for the assistance.
Old 10-31-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
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OK, so based on the stuff you've provided above, you're having trouble with the Broadcom Wireless gadget.

The good part is that you're using Mint, which makes it relatively painless process to fix the situation (usually). The driver currently associated with your device (the b43 driver), is the wrong one (or put a better way: there's another one that may work better).

I don't use Mint myself, so my instructions are generic, and based on information I have found by searching Google for "Linux Mint STA driver BCM4311" -- knowing what to search for is usually the most important part of finding driver information for Linux.

Mint does come with the "Broadcom STA Driver", and may have even offered to install it for you when you first booted the Mint LiveCD or installed the Mint onto your machine. My roommate uses Mint, and hers did that very thing - detected that a restricted driver is available for some hardware in the machine, and offered to install it for her. But the first time around, she did not select the driver and was never asked again. Mint chose the b43 driver instead, and her wireless didn't work. Once she learned she needed the STA driver, she decided to reinstall the OS and select "Yes" to the offer of the STA driver upon reboot. Wireless has worked perfectly ever since.

You probably don't want to reinstall, and should not need to, so... Here are some instructions from another forum, which may help you locate the STA driver in your menu system or Synaptic package manager:
You should have a Hardware Drivers Tool in your Menu under System, look around, find it , click on it, Let it scan your system, Find the STA Driver in the list, Hit enable,(make sure you are plugged up to the Internet) It will Download & install Automatically, You may have to reboot, Done.
So, connect to the internet using the wired connection, and follow the above advice. That advice is from here:

If you cannot find this "Hardware Driver Tool" in your menu, try using Synaptic, your package manager. Search inside it using the search bar, and enter "broadcom" or "sta driver" and see what appears. If you see the STA driver, select it for installation and activation.

You can read about the Broadcom STA driver and supported devices here:

If the advice above does not work, and/or you are still unable to get the wireless to work, do one of three things:

1) Look through the "Mint" forum here on LQ. You can use the LQ "Search" page to search the Mint forum for Broadcom threads (I just did and the results were not promising, so read on..).

2) show us any output or error messages you're getting, or describe what you've tried and what's happening now.

3) Google a bit more and see if you can locate very specific instructions on the steps to take to replace the b43 driver with the STA driver. Basically, google for "Linux Mint install broadcom STA driver" or things like this.

If you run into problems, let us know - we'll get you hooked up sooner or later. The STA driver works well, we just would like some very Mint-specific instructions for you, so with any luck, a Mint user will pop in here and offer some helpful additions (or corrections!) to what I've written so far, if you are unable to find what you need.

Good luck!
Old 10-31-2010, 10:49 AM   #5
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I should mention too, that there is also the possibility that you just need firmware to go along with your current b43 driver. Firmware comes in a package separate from the driver itself.

At this moment, I don't know which method is going to work best for you - the STA driver, or installing firmware for your b43 driver. A Mint user may be able to answer that question.

I am going to have your thread moved to the Mint forum, where it may get better exposure to other Mint users who may have an idea.

P.P.S - If you find some Ubuntu instructions, they may be very similar or identical to the Mint instructions, since Mint is derived from Ubuntu. So, consider any Ubuntu instructions you come across too.

Last edited by GrapefruiTgirl; 10-31-2010 at 11:05 AM.
Old 11-04-2010, 10:23 AM   #6
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Ok, first off, sorry for the lateness in responding. I've been busy the last few days.

I tried locating the STA driver listing in my Hardware Drivers, and I clicked on 'activate.' It said it was downloading and installing, but then it came back with the following error message:

SystemError: installArchives() failed
Following your suggestion, I googled 'linux mint install broadcom sta driver', but the results that came back looked far more advanced than I'm comfortable with, being as I am extremely new to linux.

As a point of curiosity, would this have anything to do with me running from a jump drive? I currently have it set to 3 gigabytes of persistent memory, if that's relevant.

Any further advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance (and thanks for the help so far).


connectivity, router, wireless

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