I am using Mint for the first time on this computer, having just installed the new LMDE RC. I use an Alfa USB b/g adapter, and that adapter uses the RTL8187 kernel driver. It works fine in Windows 7, and seemed to work fine for the brief period I was using Arch Linux last week (heh!). Now in Mint, I am having a problem.
It will work well at startup. Eventually, some websites will start loading slow. Soon after, the same sites will just hang at the "Waiting for reply..." phase in Firefox. That'll be the case for google.com, for instance, even while yahoo.com works fine. But then the speed of loads from yahoo.com will start to decay, too. Before long, the problem cascades across many more sites, until I can't reach anything beyond my router. I have to unplug the USB card and plug it back in. (Just disabling networking or wireless networking from Network Manager didn't help.) Then it's fine again, until another few minutes or hours pass, and the problem starts again.
The problem is not limited to Firefox -- the whole system gets marred -- though the symptoms are easiest to track in Firefox. Also note that connection link quality, as seen from iwconfig, stays consistent. (Accordingly, I guess, I never seem to have trouble reaching my router's admin page.) While I experience this problem, I am able to associate my cell phone to my wireless network and access normally the same sites that I can't reach in Mint.
One possibly important difference I've noticed under Mint is in the pattern of the card's activity LED. Under Windows, it just blinks brightly and sporadically under the network load of my idle computer. Now it's blinking on and off so rapidly that it looks like a continuous, dim light unless you look carefully. It also runs pretty warm now.
Part I of the following mintWifi.py output lists the broken PCI chip I have disabled in BIOS. The rest should pertain to the USB adapter I am actually using.
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------------------------- * I. scanning WIFI PCI devices... -- Intel Corporation Centrino Advanced-N 6200 (rev ff) ==> PCI ID = 8086:4239 (rev ff) ------------------------- * II. querying ndiswrapper... ------------------------- * III. querying iwconfig... lo no wireless extensions. vboxnet0 no wireless extensions. eth1 no wireless extensions. wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg ESSID:"linksys" Mode:Managed Frequency:2.437 GHz Access Point: 00:1A:70:51:FE:3D Bit Rate=54 Mb/s Tx-Power=20 dBm Retry long limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off Encryption key:off Power Management:off Link Quality=70/70 Signal level=-30 dBm Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0 Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:96 Missed beacon:0 ------------------------- * IV. querying ifconfig... eth1 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr f0:de:f1:2c:fe:05 UP 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) Interrupt:20 Memory:f2500000-f2520000 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:16436 Metric:1 RX packets:138 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0 TX packets:138 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0 collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 RX bytes:11260 (10.9 KiB) TX bytes:11260 (10.9 KiB) wlan0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:c0:ca:3e:bb:41 inet addr:192.168.1.112 Bcast:192.168.1.255 Mask:255.255.255.0 inet6 addr: fe80::2c0:caff:fe3e:bb41/64 Scope:Link UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1 RX packets:203860 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0 TX packets:140687 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0 collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 RX bytes:287483184 (274.1 MiB) TX bytes:14538318 (13.8 MiB) ------------------------- * V. querying DHCP... Reloading /etc/samba/smb.conf: smbd only. RTNETLINK answers: File exists ------------------------- * VI. querying nslookup google.com... Server: 184.108.40.206 Address: 220.127.116.11#53 Non-authoritative answer: Name: google.com Address: 18.104.22.168 Name: google.com Address: 22.214.171.124 Name: google.com Address: 126.96.36.199 Name: google.com Address: 188.8.131.52 Name: google.com Address: 184.108.40.206 Name: google.com Address: 220.127.116.11 Name: google.com Address: 18.104.22.168 Name: google.com Address: 22.214.171.124 Name: google.com Address: 126.96.36.199 Name: google.com Address: 188.8.131.52 Name: google.com Address: 184.108.40.206