Vaio mobile broadband 3G hardware not recognised by Mint 14

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Vaio mobile broadband 3G hardware not recognised by Mint 14

Postby fewter on Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:00 pm

I love Mint and have been running it for several years on a Sony Vaio laptop (VGN-TT21WN_B) which has a built-in 3G modem. (It has a SIM card slot in the battery compartment.) This worked fine for each version of Mint up to Mint 13 Maya 64bit MATE edition, but with Mint 14 64bit MATE the modem isn't recognised, so there is no option to enable Mobile Broadband in the Network Manager.

If I list the USB devices on the laptop from Mint 13 the output includes this:
Code: Select all
lsusb
...
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 0af0:7601 Option Globetrotter MO40x 3G Modem (GTM 382)

If I run the same command from Mint 14 there is no mention of the modem.

Is there any cure for this or do I have to revert to version 13? I'd be grateful for any suggestions.
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Re: Vaio mobile broadband 3G hardware not recognised by Mint

Postby bmork on Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:50 am

fewter wrote:I love Mint and have been running it for several years on a Sony Vaio laptop (VGN-TT21WN_B) which has a built-in 3G modem. (It has a SIM card slot in the battery compartment.) This worked fine for each version of Mint up to Mint 13 Maya 64bit MATE edition, but with Mint 14 64bit MATE the modem isn't recognised, so there is no option to enable Mobile Broadband in the Network Manager.

If I list the USB devices on the laptop from Mint 13 the output includes this:
Code: Select all
lsusb
...
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 0af0:7601 Option Globetrotter MO40x 3G Modem (GTM 382)

If I run the same command from Mint 14 there is no mention of the modem.

Is there any cure for this or do I have to revert to version 13? I'd be grateful for any suggestions.


I believe that could be a symptom of this bug: in the sony-laptop driver: https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=47751 The effect will depend on the installed modem, and totally disappearing from lsusb is a likely outcome for most modems because they will completely power down.

Due to unfortunate circumstances, the fix for this bug was not accepted for v3.8. See the thread starting at https://lkml.org/lkml/2013/1/7/333
This means that the fix cannot go into stable yet either. It most certainly will be acceptable there after the v3.9 merge window opens up. Until then I have no better advice than to patch your kernel yourself or run an older kernel.

You could probably also make it work by blacklisting the sony-laptop driver, but that is likely to have unwanted side effects like missing backlight adjustment etc, so I won't recommend it.


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Re: Vaio mobile broadband 3G hardware not recognised by Mint

Postby fewter on Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:31 am

Bjørn, thank you very much for this helpful explanation. It saves me from wasting a lot of time trying to get 3G working on Mint 14. I have re-installed Mint 13 (with the earlier kernel version) and will wait until the issue is resolved. It's so quick and easy to install a Linux operating system or try one with a live DVD, that it isn't a problem to do this. If anyone else is using a Vaio laptop it's worth mentioning that the sound stopped working, too, when I upgraded. I suppose this was the same issue. Anyway, everything is working again now.
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Re: Vaio mobile broadband 3G hardware not recognised by Mint

Postby chrisk on Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:36 am

I have a very similar system and I found a (somewhat complcated) workaround for the same problem.
My system is a Sony Vaio VGN-P11Z with built-in Option N.V. GTM382 3G modem. It also has an Intel Atom processor and and Intel Poulsbo chipset, which forces me to use the XFCE window manager (MATE and Cinnamon didn't work when In tested these earlier this year).

I use LMDE (i.e., Debian), which sports rolling updates. The latestLMDE edition with XFCE is two years old an comes with kernel 2.6.29 (or so). The modem worked fine with that kernel.

Recently, however, Update Pack 7 came out, with kernel 3.10-2. I installed that and almost everything was improved. Alas, the modem was no longer recognized, it isn't even listed by lsusb.

Due to the rolling update kernel 2.6.29 is still available in GRUB, and when I boot that older kernel the modem is found and is operable (although lots of other things appear to be broken).

The workaround which I found is as follows:
- boot the old kernel
- enable the 3G modem in NetworkManger, and perhaps establish a connection to the internet
- reboot (it appears to be essential that power is NOT switched off)
- boot the new kernel

When the new kernel starts NetworkManager, the modem is listed in NM's right-click menu and can be used. This situation persists over periods of system standby (which works fine with the new kernel, not at all with the old one) and hibernation. It doesn't survive system crashes or regular shutdowns of the system - these require booting the old kernel first.

I hope this may help and work for you.

Regards,
Chris
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