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Old 07-21-2006, 10:43 PM   #1
eroosa
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bcm43xx activation crashes fc5


I'm running FC-5, 2.6.17 w/ latest updates on a Compaq Presario V2000. eth0 is working fine, so I have a web connection, and my wireless comes up automagically in Win-XP, so I don't think I have any major hardware issues.

Windoze says I have a Broadcom wireless adapter, so I got my bcmwl5.sys from
the windows\system32\drivers directory, then used bcm43xx-fwcutter to move it to my /lib/firmware directory. Network Configuration sees a Broadcom 4318 on eth1, with some interesting settings.

But when modprobe runs, or Network Configuration tries to activate the device, the entire system freezes immediately. No mouse, no dmesg entry, nothin'.

Lots of people are having problems with bcm43xx, but I haven't found a posting that mentions a total system freeze. Any help would earn at least a beer . . .

Last edited by eroosa; 07-21-2006 at 10:45 PM.
 
Old 07-22-2006, 08:03 AM   #2
Hangdog42
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Welcome to LQ!

You're right, this one is new. Congrats, I think.....

Have a look in /var/log/syslog and /var/log/messages and see if bcm43xx managed to leave a clue before crashing. The only other thing I can think of would be to get a different Windows driver (if you have fwcutter, check the README file, it should have links to drivers and it may not matter which one you use) and see if different firmware works.

You also might try posting on the bcm43xx board (see my sig for the link). It isn't the most helpful place, but some of the developers do pay attention to it.
 
Old 07-22-2006, 12:55 PM   #3
cathectic
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For firmware, you should always check out the latest topic on the #bcm-users channel on Freenode.

Ref the IRC channel, you *must* use bcm43xx-fwcutter on wl_apsta.o, *not* the firmware that came with your card or any other driver.
 
Old 07-22-2006, 01:51 PM   #4
eroosa
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no luck yet with bcm43xx

I tried wl_apsta.o, and it loaded a lot cleaner than my previous attempts with bcmwl5.sys.

But the system still locks up as soon as I run modprobe -i bcm43xx, or 'activate' in Network Manager, which I gather runs a similar routine via 'ifup'.

It doesn't seem to matter what settings I use on eth1 in Network Manager, the device turns on, but it doesn't seem to get to the router before everything freezes.
 
Old 07-22-2006, 05:39 PM   #5
Hangdog42
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Can I ask the reason for the -i flag? Its not one I normally use, so I'm curious as to why you are.

<edit>
I've recently seen several FC users refer to this thread and have found it helpful. Does anything there help?

Last edited by Hangdog42; 07-22-2006 at 05:41 PM.
 
Old 07-23-2006, 10:05 AM   #6
eroosa
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some progress

After a re-install (back to kernel 2.6.15) and re-apply of fwcutter, activation doesn't crash me, it just fails. I'll move along to some of the other faq's before I complain anymore. Thanks for your quick responses. I'll keep posting til I succeed or get a dongle.
 
Old 07-23-2006, 10:12 PM   #7
eroosa
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more info

I followed all the threads I could handle in reconfiguring bcm43xx, especially the detailed instr on fedoraforum. The result was that 2.6.17 hangs on boot, presumably because of the chkconfig commands to turn networkmanager & -dispatcher on permanently. Not recommended.

So I rebooted 2.6.15, and played with modprobe, ifconfig, and ifup. Modprobe loads bcm43xx ok, and ifconfig runs fine; the wi-fi light blinks, and goes out. If I tell ifconfig to use irq 20 (which win-xp uses), the light stays on. Progress, although ifconfig complains that the op is not supported, and ifconfig -a still says the irq is 3 (or whatever).

When I run ifup, if the irq has not been set, the light's out, and nothing happens. If the irq is 20, instant crash.

Someone please tell me I don't have to forget this and go buy a $40 dongle (or if I do, it'll work).

(p.s. to hangdog42: I was just trying stuff with modprobe -i, thinking maybe command-line params overriding config params might get me somewhere.)
 
Old 07-24-2006, 07:08 AM   #8
Hangdog42
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You certainly don't have to go out and get a new dongle. If nothing else, I would ditch bcm43xx and give ndiswrapper or linuxant a go before I bought a new card. Which brings up another point....How settled are you on Fedora? My completely unscientific (and maybe even biased) observation is that Fedora really doesn't have its act together around wireless. The standard kernels are compilied in a way that gives ndiswrapper maximum headaches and as you've noticed, there are some funky things going on behind the scenes. Maybe a live CD like Knoppix could tell you if there is a problem with Fedora on your computer or if there actually is some hardware-related issue.

To be honest, I think you need to spend some time digging in your log files. Without some clues as to what bcm43xx is trying to do, we're only going to be guessing. I'm not sure that playing with IRQ settings is a particularly productive idea unless you have some clear indications (from the logs) that there is an IRQ conflict.
 
Old 07-26-2006, 10:09 AM   #9
eroosa
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ndiswrapper, fedora, etc.

Now that you mention it, I'm not all that stuck on fedora. But I tried installing Ubuntu and Gentoo, and they had problems with my messy partition scheme - I have XP and Vista in 2 primary partions. Not being a parted guru, the only gui partition editor I trust (so far) is in FC.

Replacing FC5 x86_64 with i386 stopped the crashes and gave me a lot more info in the logs. When I finally twigged to the content of /var/log/messages in x86_64, it appeared that early in the config load there were invalid addresses being loaded. There's probably some good debugging analysis I should pass along, but I'm getting tired of this. Now it seems that ifconfig and iwconfig are doing everything they're supposed to, the light comes on, and authentication fails. I shut off the router's WEP temporarily, changed channels, tried different modes, manually loaded the ap, slowed the rate to 1M, and still the only error is 'failed authentication'. Maybe it's the router, a cheap Netgear, but then it works wired, with a dongle on a different machine, and with the laptop running XP.

So I'm investigating ndiswrapper. If that doesn't work, maybe Suse is in my future. Thanks for the tip on n-w.
 
Old 08-01-2006, 12:11 PM   #10
eroosa
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Time to kill this thread: I finally got enough advice (mostly on the order of 'rtfm') to get it done right. The trick was putting together enough how-to segments to re-install fc-5 x86_64 (to clean out all the grunge), yum install kernel-devel, install ndiswrapper, blacklist bcm43xx, and configure wan0. The light came on.

Many thanks to all responders.
 
  


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