no wireless on some boots, incorrect atheros device ID ff1b

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Smiff2
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no wireless on some boots, incorrect atheros device ID ff1b

Post by Smiff2 »

Hi, i've recently installed Mint8 on a Toshiba NB100. This is about my 4th Mint install.
Generally this install is working well except for one horrible problem:

Seemingly randomly (maybe 1 in 5 boots) the wireless networking is completely missing from networkmanager.
This does not happen whilst the system is running - only sometimes after a restart (cold or warm boot).
iwconfig returns "no wireless extensions", it's just like there is no wireless hardware in the machine.
I have tried using the wifi kill switch (FN+F1), it works (the light goes off and on) but does nothing. The kill switch does work (i.e. it stops wireless) during the times when I boot with wireless working. If that makes sense. basically kill switch doesn't seem to be relevant to this problem!

I am using the default ath5k driver.

The only "fix" i can see when this happens is to reboot. a full restart is necessary. usually after one reboot it works perfectly. It may work perfectly for about 3 to 8 reboots, so I think it's ok, but then all of a sudden after a boot there's no wireless, seemingly at random.


I have tracked this problem as far as the device list returned by lspci being wrong:

After the boots when wireless is working lspci -nn shows:

Code: Select all

02:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Atheros Communications Inc. AR5001 Wireless Network Adapter [168c:001c] (rev 01)
After the boots when wireless doesn't work, lspci -nn shows:

Code: Select all

02:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Atheros Communications Inc. Device [168c:ff1b] (rev 01)
So, my ideas are:
1) add this extra ID to the list of ath5k driver ID so it's accepted and the driver loads - even if it thinks it's a different piece of hardware (how?)
2) change the device ID reported by the system to the driver (how?)
3) maybe try madwifi driver - but if the lspci ID is wrong won't this affect all drivers?

4) buggy BIOS? I see some references to using pci=nommconf, haven't worked out where to enable this yet.

Other info:

Toshiba BIOS v1.60 (later BIOS cause huge slowdown so had to revert).
There are no BIOS options that I can see being relevant.

Things I have tried:

I have tried installing linux-backports-modules-karmic (which installed the .17 kernel also). this didn't seem to help, but didn't hurt either.
Also suggested level 1-3 mint updates are appplied.
I don't think i've messed with any system config files.
I have tried rmmod ath5k, modprobe ath5k. doesn't seem to be a driver problem.


I am quite experienced with computersbut not linux (and not this laptop!); this really feels like a hardware problem, or very low level software problem, so i'm quite stuck.

If I need to provide other info please ask!
I'm in a bit of a hurry and really keen to sort this, because this isn't my system, I was doing the install for a friend :/
I fear this is probably an upstream problem or system BIOS bug but thought I should ask here first. Many thanks for any assistance or references.
Husse
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Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:22 am
Location: Near Borås Sweden

Re: no wireless on some boots, incorrect atheros device ID ff1b

Post by Husse »

add this extra ID to the list of ath5k driver ID
I think that could be the way to go
I have looked in /lib/udev/rules.d but there are no wifi cards to be found
I have to add this to my list of unsolved and come back to you
In the mean time you could try to search for PCI ID linux drivers or something like that
Image
Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it
Husse
Level 23
Level 23
Posts: 18677
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:22 am
Location: Near Borås Sweden

Re: no wireless on some boots, incorrect atheros device ID ff1b

Post by Husse »

I haven't forgotten you, it's just that I have to call for help....
Image
Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it
Husse
Level 23
Level 23
Posts: 18677
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:22 am
Location: Near Borås Sweden

Re: no wireless on some boots, incorrect atheros device ID ff1b

Post by Husse »

As far as I have found this is hidden in the kernel and it's drivers - damn, I was sure I saw some editable file for this on the net some time ago
Image
Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it
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