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Old 05-25-2011, 02:23 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2007
Location: Carlisle, UK
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 73

Rep: Reputation: 18
WLAN card not seen by network managers

I have just received a new HP Pavilion DV6-3120sa laptop and installed slackware64 13.37 on it. All seems to work fine apart from the wireless network. The card seems to have the correct kernel module installed, because it's detected by ifconfig -a:

eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 98:4b:e1:96:d2:6f  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::9a4b:e1ff:fe96:d26f/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:3062 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:2245 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:2985562 (2.8 MiB)  TX bytes:288122 (281.3 KiB)
          Interrupt:43 Base address:0x2000 

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          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:400 (400.0 B)  TX bytes:400 (400.0 B)

wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr e0:2a:82:5e:0f:1b  
          BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          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)
Yet when I open up wicd or KDE's network manager the card doesn't seem to be detected. I have scoured these forums and Google for anyone with similar problems but couldn't see any quite like this.

The network card in this system is a Ralink 3090, and I know the hardware is fine because it all works under Windows7.

Any help much appreciated.
Old 05-25-2011, 02:45 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2008
Distribution: Slackware 13.37 64bit & 32bit
Posts: 48

Rep: Reputation: 2
There's no "RUNNING" flag, which would seem to indicate that there may be a driver problem. I have similar issues:

though not quite the same chipset.

Have you had a look to see what modules are loaded (lsmod). I've seen quite a few posts where conflicting modules are loaded up for Ralink chipsets and you have to blacklist one or more.

Assuming this is a PCI card what does lspci -vv spit out?

What does dmesg tell you?

I'm going to have a go at compiling a new driver myself at some point but I've got ethernet for now. I haven't had a plethora of responses myself but then wireless in Linux can be a bit of an unknown. Small"ish" world too - just to the east of the Peak District here.
Old 05-25-2011, 03:22 PM   #3
Registered: Apr 2007
Location: Carlisle, UK
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 73

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 18
Hi and thanks for the reply.

Interesting, I never noticed the "running" part before.

Module                  Size  Used by
snd_seq_dummy           1479  0 
snd_seq_oss            30116  0 
snd_seq_midi_event      5708  1 snd_seq_oss
snd_seq                52486  5 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi_event
snd_seq_device          5473  3 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq
snd_pcm_oss            40089  0 
snd_mixer_oss          17282  1 snd_pcm_oss
ipv6                  275315  32 
cpufreq_ondemand        9164  4 
acpi_cpufreq            6079  1 
freq_table              2435  2 cpufreq_ondemand,acpi_cpufreq
mperf                   1195  1 acpi_cpufreq
lp                      9781  0 
ppdev                   6021  0 
parport_pc             21214  0 
parport                30087  3 lp,ppdev,parport_pc
fuse                   66651  1 
uvcvideo               62696  0 
videodev               65968  1 uvcvideo
v4l1_compat            15658  2 uvcvideo,videodev
snd_hda_codec_hdmi     22985  1 
rt2860sta             534211  0 
radeon                906280  0 
i915                  400238  7 
v4l2_compat_ioctl32    11199  1 videodev
ttm                    52981  1 radeon
rt2800pci               8555  0 
r8169                  37529  0 
drm_kms_helper         27035  2 radeon,i915
snd_hda_codec_idt      56457  1 
rt2800lib              30483  1 rt2800pci
crc_ccitt               1347  2 rt2860sta,rt2800lib
rt2x00pci               4702  1 rt2800pci
snd_hda_intel          21915  3 
rt2x00lib              29526  3 rt2800pci,rt2800lib,rt2x00pci
btusb                  11689  0 
mii                     3906  1 r8169
drm                   177345  5 radeon,i915,ttm,drm_kms_helper
hp_wmi                  5741  0 
usbhid                 36859  0 
snd_hda_codec          71748  3 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec_idt,snd_hda_intel
joydev                 10279  0 
bluetooth              53772  1 btusb
psmouse                47222  0 
intel_agp              10824  1 i915
i2c_algo_bit            5055  2 radeon,i915
video                  11949  1 i915
processor              25982  1 acpi_cpufreq
sparse_keymap           2984  1 hp_wmi
rtc_cmos                9374  0 
hp_accel               13848  0 
thermal                 8082  0 
mac80211              204017  3 rt2800lib,rt2x00pci,rt2x00lib
hid                    77723  1 usbhid
sg                     26495  0 
snd_hwdep               6254  1 snd_hda_codec
wmi                     8349  1 hp_wmi
thermal_sys            13862  3 processor,video,thermal
lis3lv02d              10661  1 hp_accel
rtc_core               14471  1 rtc_cmos
cfg80211              142106  2 rt2x00lib,mac80211
intel_gtt              14862  3 i915,intel_agp
i2c_i801                8230  0 
battery                10535  0 
agpgart                28874  4 ttm,drm,intel_agp,intel_gtt
i2c_core               19769  7 videodev,radeon,i915,drm_kms_helper,drm,i2c_algo_bit,i2c_i801
rfkill                 16442  4 hp_wmi,bluetooth,cfg80211
eeprom_93cx6            1392  1 rt2800pci
output                  2020  1 video
shpchp                 26821  0 
button                  5013  1 i915
ac                      3249  0 
hwmon                   1473  2 radeon,thermal_sys
intel_ips              11442  0 
rtc_lib                 1978  1 rtc_core
serio_raw               4534  0 
evdev                   9813  20 
snd_pcm                73762  4 snd_pcm_oss,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec
snd_timer              19671  2 snd_seq,snd_pcm
snd                    58334  18 snd_seq_oss,snd_seq,snd_seq_device,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec_idt,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_hwdep,snd_pcm,snd_timer
soundcore               5681  1 snd
snd_page_alloc          7297  2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm
input_polldev           3330  1 lis3lv02d
"lspci -w" just complains that w isn't a valid switch. Here's the relevant section of "lspci -k"
02:00.0 Network controller: Ralink corp. RT3090 Wireless 802.11n 1T/1R PCIe
        Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 1453
        Kernel driver in use: rt2800pci
        Kernel modules: rt2860sta, rt2800pci
Thanks also for the suggestion about blacklisting drivers, I'll check that out.

And yes, small world! I have a mate that lives down near the Peak District, lovely part of the world.
Old 05-25-2011, 06:19 PM   #4
Registered: Mar 2008
Distribution: Slackware 13.37 64bit & 32bit
Posts: 48

Rep: Reputation: 2
lspci -vv

(2 'v's not a w)

no matter though you answered the question. You've got 2860sta (from staging) and 2800 running. I'm pretty certain that only one should be. I've seen some people blacklisting 2860sta and others blacklisting 2800 though both I think are alledgedly intended for your chipset (just that 2860sta is from staging). I'm currently running 2800 but I'm not getting anywhere with it.

The blacklist lives in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

The format is pretty simple, something like:

blacklist rt2800pci


blacklist rt2860sta

would do the job depending on which you want to run.

You could modprobe -r rt2860sta (or rt2800pci) to see if it runs with the conflicting module removed but you may need to restart the other module (so remove both with -r flag and insert back using modprobe without flags).

I should add I'm no expert and YMMV. I'm no novice either though, but it's rare that wifi has worked out of the box for me. I've always had a bit of scrap with it. It does look that that we are both trying to get the same driver working even though we are running slightly different chipsets.

Last edited by Pscylo; 05-25-2011 at 06:26 PM.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 05-26-2011, 04:44 PM   #5
Registered: Apr 2007
Location: Carlisle, UK
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 73

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 18
OK, I managed to get this working. There were two things wrong.

The quick answer:
cp /lib/firmware/rt2860.bin /lib/firmware/rt3090.bin
and then add "blacklist rt2800pci" to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

The full answer:
I noticed while doing "ifconfig -a" yesterday that the MAC address of the WLAN adapter was coming up all zeros (even though this wasn't the case in my original post for some reason - seems intermittent), but didn't think much of it. I tried Pscylo's suggestion of doing:
rmmod rt2860sta
rmmod rt2800pci
modprobe rt2860sta
and then tried to start the interface with
ifconfig wlan0 up
but this failed with the message "SIOCSIFFLAGS: Operation not permitted"
Trying to solve this problem I came across this thread on the gentoo forums:
So, as suggested I tried
cp /lib/firmware/rt2860.bin /lib/firmware/rt3090.bin
After rebooting I noticed that the MAC address was being correctly identified. I retried
rmmod rt2860sta
rmmod rt2800pci
modprobe rt2860sta
and WICD then picked up my WLAN card and connected fine, until reboot of course. Blacklisting rt2800pci made the fix permanent. It now works reliably every time.

NOTE: I experienced some instability in between the two fixes. After copying the firmware file the system was quite unstable while the rt2800pci module was still loaded. Any attempt to interact with the card while this module was loaded seemed to intermittently cause a full system lockup - so bad then even ALT+SYSRQ+B would not reboot the system. As soon as this module was removed with either rmmod or the blacklist it was fine.

@Pscylo: thanks so much for the help, it's very much appreciated. And yes, now that I look back it's quite clearly "vv" and not "w", I think I need my eyes tested. I have no idea if a similar fix will work for your system, but I hope it does, good luck!

Last edited by khinch; 05-26-2011 at 04:50 PM. Reason: edit to fix typos


ralink, slackware 13.37, wireless

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