Wireless interface dissapears on driver install (Broadcom)

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Wireless interface dissapears on driver install (Broadcom)

Postby xjas on Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:41 pm

Hey guys,

I KNOW issues with these cards have been done to death but I can't seem to find this specific problem anywhere and I'm wondering if someone has a suggestion. I'm running a Dell D630 with Broadcom BCM4311 (rev. 14e3:4312) wireless card. I've installed the bcmwl-kernel-source driver from an Ubuntu 12.04 livecd since I have no possibility to get on the internet with this machine without wi-fi. The driver appears in the "additional drivers" menu fine and says 'activated and in use', but any trace of wi-fi has completely dissapeared from Network Manager. ifconfig only reports eth0 and lo - I can find no sign of any wi-fi interface (wlan*, etc...) existing at all.

I've installed the driver according to these instructions and loaded the prerequisites (dkms, patch, patchutils, faleroot) properly beforehand.

The only indication that the computer has wi-fi at all is from rfkill, which gives me:

Code: Select all
0: hci0: Bluetooth
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: no
1: dell-wifi: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: no
2: dell-bluetooth: Bluetooth
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: no


If I de-install the driver or disable it with modprobe -r, Network Manager gives me back a wi-fi category but says "firmware not installed". As soon as I reactivate the driver that category goes away again. This is totally repeatable.

ANY input into how to solve this is appreciated! I've been hashing away at this thing for days with no luck. For a variety of reasons I can't connect this machine to a wired network so I need wi-fi before I can get on the internet at all.

Thanks!
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Re: Wireless interface dissapears on driver install (Broadco

Postby caf4926 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:41 am

Get this and extract the folder b43
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/10573557/b43_firmware/b43.zip

inspect the dir. /lib/firmware
If you have a folder already 'b43'
We need to rename it
Open a terminal in /lib/firmware and do
Code: Select all
sudo mv b43 old-b43


Then open a terminal where you have the folder I gave you and do
Code: Select all
sudo mv b43 /lib/firmware
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Re: Wireless interface dissapears on driver install (Broadco

Postby remoulder on Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:02 am

What version of mint?
[Edit] your original post and add [SOLVED] once your question is resolved.

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Re: Wireless interface dissapears on driver install (Broadco

Postby xjas on Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:50 pm

caf4926 wrote:Get this and extract the folder b43
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/10573557/b43_firmware/b43.zip

inspect the dir. /lib/firmware
If you have a folder already 'b43'
We need to rename it
Open a terminal in /lib/firmware and do
Code: Select all
sudo mv b43 old-b43


Then open a terminal where you have the folder I gave you and do
Code: Select all
sudo mv b43 /lib/firmware


Thanks for the tip. I got it to (sort of) work by adding the firmware as you described, then by unloading the wl driver (i.e. by running modprobe -r wl) and loading the b43 one (modprobe b43), which brings up all my wi-fi options & networks as it should. BUT it seems to connect, then disconnect constantly every 30 seconds or so. When it's 'connected' I can get basic webpages to load so there is *some* connectivity but installing stuff (even small things) from Synaptic or whatever never seems to work.

@Remoulder, I'm running Mint 13 x86_64.

This machine dual boots XP where the wireless seems to work fine, BTW.
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Re: Wireless interface dissapears on driver install (Broadco

Postby caf4926 on Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:47 am

You should uninstall the proprietary driver 'wl'

Your device should work with either though
But in practice it's better not to have 'wl' installed if you use b43, at least to avoid problems.
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Re: Wireless interface dissapears on driver install (Broadco

Postby xjas on Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:02 pm

Yeah, uninstalling wl makes it run b43 by default fine, but it doesn't seem to help with the disconnect/reconnect issue. Both drivers claim to support the exact revision of the chipset I'm using, so I'm not sure what's causing the fault here.
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