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Old 03-24-2007, 12:17 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: New York
Distribution: Debian/GNU
Posts: 235

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rt2500, suddenly no signal

I just upgraded from 2.6.18-3 to 2.6.18-4, and suddenly my wireless card has no signal. Nothing at all. I've spent the last 2 hours running back and forth to a working machine, wasted a bunch of CD's trying to get kernel header packages and new drivers, compiled the new driver, and still no signal. There's no error message, no clues from dmesg. My network comes up on iwlist and the device was working just fine before I foolishly upgraded the kernel.

I have no idea what to try. I just wanted to keep the machine current. Now its gone completely mute. I broke my cousin's box and now he's wondering why I forced him to use this "linux" in the first place. any pointers would be very appreciated. Thanks.

I'm using the rt2500 driver, and it's worked just fine for the last several months, until today. Perhaps some magic iwconfig command I'm forgetting?

Old 03-24-2007, 12:29 AM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: May 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
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Whenever you upgrade the kernel, you have to reinstall the kernel modules as well.

# aptitude install rt2500 rt2500-source linux-headers-$(uname -r) module-assistant build-essential
# module-assistant prepare
# m-a a-i rt2500
# modprobe -v rt2500
Old 03-24-2007, 01:18 AM   #3
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: New York
Distribution: Debian/GNU
Posts: 235

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 31
wow. lost another million hairs over this one.

Installing the new driver for the new kernel wasn't the problem. Sure, it would have been better if I had remembered to download the headers before I lost network, but I had another machine I could use. The problem was: everything installed and configured perfectly, yet I had no signal.

The problem was this: my wireless network has no wep key. I set it up that way specifically because I didn't want to deal with auth problems. I guess these things expect to have that key by default, and nothing tells you the key failed, or that its not needed. There's also no option in the gnome network settings to disable it. I finally got to the iwconfig man page and tried a few things. There was finally a magic incantation:

iwconfig eth1 key off
and the signal instantly came on. Sheesh.
Old 03-25-2007, 02:49 PM   #4
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: New York
Distribution: Debian/GNU
Posts: 235

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 31
funny, now I have to run iwconfig every time I reboot the machine to get the network to come up. I didn't have to that before...

I hacked it by putting the command in /etc/rc.local.



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