<SOLVED>Very green newbie having problem with wifi card

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Re: Very green newbie having problem with legacy wifi card

Postby chroma601 on Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:44 pm

gold_finger, I tried Esc and chose the optical drive, and still got the GNU bootchooser to nowhere. I am installing lubuntu, then reinstalling Mint again. Whee!

As a post script, I am thinking that the fault may lie in my hardware. Apparently getting Linux running on an HP dv-6000 series has been like pulling teeth for many people. But they generally do it, and I hope I will also.
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Re: Very green newbie having problem with legacy wifi card

Postby gold_finger on Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:51 pm

Wow. No idea what the problem is. Hopefully once you're back up and running the wireless driver I refered to works for you. It should -- seems we have same old laptop model and works on mine. Let us know how things go.
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Re: Very green newbie having problem with legacy wifi card

Postby chroma601 on Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:55 pm

The laptop is an older machine, has 2GB RAM, and came with 32 bit Vista (ugh). I had noticed that its architecture was 64 bit, so I downloaded the 64 bit Mint. But it's been so problematical that I am currently downloading the 32 bit version. Let's see if that's more stable on that puppy.

Meanwhile, I'm on my 64 bit Win7 HP Envy getting all the help. Ironic.
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Re: Very green newbie having problem with legacy wifi card

Postby chroma601 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:08 am

gold_finger, I have 32 bit Mint/Cinnamon running. I installed the bcmwl driver you mentioned but my wifi is still off after a reboot. inxi -i returns driver: wl IF: N/A state: N/A mac: N/A

Guess I'll try b43-fwcutter next. Should I uninstall bcmwl first? I'll wait for an answer.
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Re: Very green newbie having problem with legacy wifi card

Postby chroma601 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:13 am

If this helps, mintWifi reports:

MintWifi says:robert@robert-HP-Pavilion-dv6000-RP153UA-ABA ~ $ sudo /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintWifi/mintWifi.py
-------------------------
* I. scanning WIFI PCI devices...
-- Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN (rev 01)
==> PCI ID = 14e4:4311 (rev 01)
-------------------------
* II. querying ndiswrapper...
-------------------------
* III. querying iwconfig...
lo no wireless extensions.

eth0 no wireless extensions.

-------------------------
* IV. querying ifconfig...
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:1b:24:18:fc:cb
inet6 addr: fe80::21b:24ff:fe18:fccb/64 Scope:Link
UP BROADCAST MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:3783 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:2177 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:3799029 (3.7 MB) TX bytes:236463 (236.4 KB)

lo Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr:127.0.0.1 Mask:255.0.0.0
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
UP LOOPBACK RUNNING MTU:65536 Metric:1
RX packets:64 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:64 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:6587 (6.5 KB) TX bytes:6587 (6.5 KB)
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Re: Very green newbie having problem with legacy wifi card

Postby chroma601 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:26 am

While waiting, 'm poking around the forum. Someone posted this:

Solved! following these steps (Big thank you to AlbertP, who helped me over XChatIRC):
1. Open Software Sources from System settings and click "Restore the default settings".

2. Download and install

Code: Select all
firmware-b43-installer

using either Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (just search for it)

3. Install.

4. Reboot.


My question is, would restoring the default settings uninstall the non-functional wl driver? (And the major questions, should it be uninstalled, and how?)
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Re: Very green newbie having problem with legacy wifi card

Postby gold_finger on Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:50 pm

chroma601,

Sorry for delay -- just got online.

I'm not an expert on this, so if someone else can help solve issue that would be great. Don't know why the driver didn't work for you. We appear to have same system. Only differences that I can see off the bat are that I've got "rev. 2" version of the Broadcom wireless BCM4311 and that my machine is set-up with Mint Xfce 14 (don't think that makes any difference though).

I only rarely use this old laptop -- mostly for testing stuff -- so I'm going to download and install Mint 15 Cinnamon 32bit and see if I end up with same problems as you. If so, I'll try a couple of solutions and post back results. Could take an hour or so if you can hold out that long.

Meanwhile, if anyone else can shed light on this please do.
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Re: Very green newbie having problem with legacy wifi card

Postby chroma601 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:03 pm

I put this problem up in the wireless forum, and a fellow from the Netherlands named Albert just got me up and running with wifi!

Thanks for your help too. Lots to learn.
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Re: <SOLVED>Very green newbie having problem with wifi card

Postby gold_finger on Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:36 pm

Update on experiment with Cinnamon 15 32bit install on HP Pavilion dv6000 for anyone still reading this.

After intitial install and updates, went to Menu > Preferences > Driver Manager and installed Nvidia driver "nvidia-304". Rebooted.

Then went to driver manager and installed Broadcom wireless driver "bcmwl-kernel-source". Rebooted.

For whatever reason, this DID WORK on my machine for the Broadcom wireless. (I was going to install from terminal, (because had done that on Xfce 14, which worked), but did through Driver Manager to see what would happen. Don't know why didn't work for chroma601 -- we appear to have the same model.

HOWEVER, I ran across a different problem that caused the machine to freeze-up and go to a black screen with no apparent way to shut-down other than hard shut-down with power button. Tried a few things including changing out to older Nvidia driver with no success.

While trying to get Expo to work and change number of Workspaces, (which sent machine into black-screen hell), I remembered something from when had Mint 14 Xfce on machine. The laptop has a vga port to connect an external monitor. For some reason the system acts like their is another display connected to it in addition to the laptop monitor, even though nothing is attached. This seemed to be what was causing the havoc that resulted in freezing-up the system.

Solution: Menu > System Tools > System Settings > Hardware > Display

Click on the "Unknown" display which is set to "On" and turn it "Off".

After that, the problems disappeared -- no more freezing crashes.

EDIT: You do want to disable the "Unknown" display, but DISREGARD my thinking that this solved the freezing problems. After a couple more hours of playing with Cinnamon, I'm still experiencing crashes -- except I'm able to CTRL + ALT + BACKSPACE out of X with these latest crashes instead of hard shutdowns. No idea yet how to solve that. Will put Xfce back on laptop if can't find solution.
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Re: <SOLVED>Very green newbie having problem with wifi card

Postby chroma601 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:36 pm

I am having freezes and black screen crashes. Had some hope till I read the edit. It's another topic for another day. Xfce is a "desktop environment", not an OS? Is it a Cinnamon replacement?
There is much to learn.
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Re: <SOLVED>Very green newbie having problem with wifi card

Postby gold_finger on Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:56 pm

chroma601,

Yes Xfce is a desktop environment and that version of Mint worked great on the HP Pavilion dv6000 laptop. (Had Mint 13 Xfce on it. I assume 15 would work too, but can't be sure without trying it.)

This post, which is sticky'd near the top of the Newbie Questions forum, is a great explanation of window managers and desktop environments. Check it out if you haven't read it already.

viewtopic.php?f=90&t=54945#p314893

EDIT: Correction to above -- I had Mint Xfce 14 on the computer, not 13.
Last edited by gold_finger on Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: <SOLVED>Very green newbie having problem with wifi card

Postby chroma601 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:23 am

My next question is 100% newbie - is Cinnamon a desktop environment? If so, is changing to xfce a big deal (re-installing from scratch)? If I can't stop the freezes I have to try something else. I think I'd like Cinnamon, but there are apparently issues with my hardware.
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Re: <SOLVED>Very green newbie having problem with wifi card

Postby chroma601 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:32 am

gold_finger wrote:Update on experiment with Cinnamon 15 32bit install on HP Pavilion dv6000 for anyone still reading this.

Solution: Menu > System Tools > System Settings > Hardware > Display



This is strange. I followed this pathway, opened System Settings, saw Hardware - but there's no icon for Display! Got System Info, Mouse, Net, Bluetooth, Power, Sound, Printers, and Device Drivers. Are there different versions of 15?

EDIT - Found Displays as a standalone item. Very slow to load.
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Re: <SOLVED>Very green newbie having problem with wifi card

Postby chroma601 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:00 am

Looking at the Xfce download page, it notes:

Boot hangs on systems using b43 wireless cards

An upstream issue in the kernel prevents Linux Mint 13 from booting on computers with b43 wireless cards. If you're in this situation, try the following:

To boot the live DVD, choose the "Compatibility mode" or add the following kernel argument to the boot options: b43.blacklist=yes
Install Linux Mint on the hard drive
If not present already, in Grub, modify the boot options to add: b43.blacklist=yes
Install the b43 firmware on the system

Should I opt to install Xfce, exactly how does one modify the boot options? Where is the "Compatibility Mode" found on a fresh install? Is it an option during the boot process? Does this mean I have to uninstall and reinstall the firmware every time I boot?
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Re: <SOLVED>Very green newbie having problem with wifi card

Postby gold_finger on Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:04 am

chroma601,

Sorry took this long to get back to you -- away from computer most of day today.

PLEASE NOTE: I edited one of my previous posts. I had Mint 14 Xfce on the HP dv6000, not 13.

chroma601 wrote:My next question is 100% newbie - is Cinnamon a desktop environment? If so, is changing to xfce a big deal (re-installing from scratch)? If I can't stop the freezes I have to try something else. I think I'd like Cinnamon, but there are apparently issues with my hardware.


Like you, while Cinnamon was working I was impressed and liked it. However, the random freezing is definitely a show-stopper. Yes, Cinnamon is a desktop environment (DE). From what I've read before, you CAN just add another DE to your current installation -- then at the login screen you can choose which one to load. I have not done that myself, but I'll try it on my HP laptop so I can give you more specific details. (Will do it within next couple of hours and post back.)

chroma601 wrote:This is strange. I followed this pathway, opened System Settings, saw Hardware - but there's no icon for Display! Got System Info, Mouse, Net, Bluetooth, Power, Sound, Printers, and Device Drivers. Are there different versions of 15?

EDIT - Found Displays as a standalone item. Very slow to load.


Sorry, no idea why mine was different. Unfortunately, my only experience with Cinnamon has been over the past few days testing it on the HP laptop; so don't have any great insight on that.

chroma601 wrote:Looking at the Xfce download page, it notes:

Boot hangs on systems using b43 wireless cards

An upstream issue in the kernel prevents Linux Mint 13 from booting on computers with b43 wireless cards. If you're in this situation, try the following:

To boot the live DVD, choose the "Compatibility mode" or add the following kernel argument to the boot options: b43.blacklist=yes
Install Linux Mint on the hard drive
If not present already, in Grub, modify the boot options to add: b43.blacklist=yes
Install the b43 firmware on the system


I have to admit, I never bothered to read those notes on the download page. That may be the case for Mint 13. However, I had not problem with HP Pavilion dv6000 installing Mint 14 Xfce -- using ethernet cable. After install and initial updates, I installed the Nvidia graphics driver and the Broadcom wireless driver. Never had any problems after that -- it worked perfectly. (Mint 14 is supported through April of 2014, when next LTS is due out.)

If you haven't already done something else with your system, hold on for a few more hours while I test out adding Xfce to Cinnamon. If that can be done painlessly, then that would be the thing to do if you'd rather not go through starting from scratch again. Also, this way you won't have to bother installing the Nvidia and Broadcom drivers again -- you already did that on Cinnamon (if I remember correctly, right?).

In the meantime, if you search this forum you'll find posts that describe how to add a new desktop environment, how to choose "Compatibility Mode", how to modify grub boot options, etc. Hopefully you won't have to bother with any of that, but you may want to look them up to gain a better understanding of what those things are.
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Re: <SOLVED>Very green newbie having problem with wifi card

Postby gold_finger on Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:30 am

Okay, I installed the Xfce desktop and it works fine (for now at least). To install open a terminal enter:
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install xfce4


Toyed around with it for about 20-30 minutes -- customized panel, changed some settings, opened a bunch of programs separately and in conjunction with others. System was stable and quick and there were no mouse problems at all. (Don't know if you were having mouse problems, but on my dv6000 with Cinnamon the mouse is a constant problem.) I logged out from Xfce session and logged back in to the Cinnamon session. Problems were immediate in Cinnamon. Logged out and back into Xfce session. Problems gone.

The only thing I will tell you is that when installing the Xfce4 package itself it works great, BUT it does not come as nicely polished as if you installed Mint's Xfce distrobution. It will be very plain, meaning that you will have to customize the look of the desktop, the panel(s), etc. yourself. It's not that big of a deal, but you will need to spend time playing around with the customizations to make it look "prettier". It will start out very sparce and basic looking, but you can turn it into a very nice looking and functional desktop. So, you can do that or take a chance re-installing from scratch with Mint Xfce 14 -- the version that works perfectly on my HP Pavilion dv6000 that appears almost identical to yours (from the specs you posted before). I don't know what I'd do in your situation -- sounds like you've been through the ringer trying to get as far as you have. For me it make no difference -- the HP is just an old spare I rarely use.

Some things to be aware of if installing the Xfce desktop with Cinnamon:

* On log-in screen when starting up, look for some area (or button) on the screen that shows the choice of which "session" to use and pick Xfce.
* When Xfce starts for the first time it will ask if you want it to use the "default" set-up or just an empty panel. Choose "default" -- you can change everything to your liking later at any time.
* If you don't want the icons that it places on the desktop by default, right click the desktop and choose Desktop Settings > Icons (tab) > Default Icons and uncheck those you don't want on the desktop.
* On mine, when I opened a terminal and started typing I saw nothing. Open yours and check this. If that happens it's because the terminal is using black lettering on black background -- so, you end up not seeing what you're typing. To change this: right click somewhere within the terminal window and go to Profile > Profile Preferences. From there you can change the settings to let you see the type.
* One problem I've had with the HP laptop (don't know if you have it too) is that whenever I install a system and start-up, the display is set for two monitors right off the bat. It acts like there is something connected to the vga output when there isn't. This happened again on start-up into newly installed Xfce desktop. So (if you have same problem) to fix, go to Applications Menu > Settings > Display and uncheck the second monitor to deactivate.

That's it for now. Good luck and let us know what you ended up doing and how it went.

EDIT: See next post -- a day later.
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Re: <SOLVED>Very green newbie having problem with wifi card

Postby gold_finger on Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:07 pm

Okay, I messed around an hour or so more last night with Xfce desktop added to the original Cinnamon 15 install. (For anyone new reading this: trying to figure out why Cinnamon has freezing and mouse problems on an old HP Pavilion dv6000 laptop.) Had no freezing or mouse problems with the Xfce desktop last night. Would logout and into Cinnamon -- problems appeared again. Logged back into Xfce -- problems disappeared.

HOWEVER, this morning I logged into Xfce and had immediate mouse problems. The mouse would appear as a 3/4" x 3/4" hazy square; sometimes the mouse becomes invisible; sometimes it's invisible within an application window and visible outside of it. Very strange!

One thing I had changed after I had originally installed Cinnamon was the log-in screen. Menu > Administration > Login Window (in Cinnamon). I picked one of the HTML "styles". I vaguely remember reading a post on here a couple weeks ago where someone said using the HTML styles had caused problems; so I switched to one of the GDM styles, shutdown and re-started.

I'm in Cinnamon right now -- have been for 15 minutes or so -- and (so far) all prior issues have disappeared. I'm going to continue testing for another day or so and see if this has indeed resolved the issues. If so, that is good news and a very simple fix. Will post back when done testing more. Meanwhile, chroma601 and anyone else experiencing these problems may want to give that a shot too.
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Re: <SOLVED>Very green newbie having problem with wifi card

Postby gold_finger on Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:52 pm

Well that didn't take long!

One hour later of testing and problems are back!

Chroma601,
I uninstalled the Broadcom driver that was working on mine, but not the recommended one that you have on yours (I think), and that didn't help either. Sorry, but I've had enough with this and am ditching Cinnamon. I might try putting the full Mint Xfce 15 (rather than adding xfce desktop to Cinnamon installation) on the laptop just to find out if it is a 15 release problem in general, or if it is cause by Cinnamon. If I do that, will report back here with results -- but will wait for multiple days of testing to be sure, so I don't keep raising hopes and then retracting them later.

Sorry.
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Re: <SOLVED>Very green newbie having problem with wifi card

Postby gold_finger on Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:56 pm

Found the forum post about problems with the login greeter that I referenced earlier. Clem's post in that thread is here:
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=208&t=135417&hilit=login+gdm&start=80#p771827

From what I can gather reading through much it, there is some kind of dependency conflict with the new login greeter set-up in 15 that seems to primarily affect users with Nvidia graphics cards. Sounds like they are working on a solution to hopefully solve this in 16 release. The problems expressed by users in that post are same as mine on the laptop w/ Nvidia graphics and this also explains why I had no problems with Mint 14 on same laptop before.

Hope this clears things up better for anyone reading this experiencing these problems.
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