[SOLVED] No WiFi on Inspiron 6400 with BCM4311 with Mint 18.1, wireless-info attached

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NeilUK
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[SOLVED] No WiFi on Inspiron 6400 with BCM4311 with Mint 18.1, wireless-info attached

Post by NeilUK » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:35 am

I've got a Dell Inspiron 6400, and have just installed 32 bit Mint 18.1 MATE on it, and fully apt-get update/upgrade'd it. Im having trouble with the WiFi, can anybody help me please?

Eth0 works fine (posting from it). Initially, the green 'WiFi' hardware light on the laptop stayed off (the bluetooth light was on), and no signal strength applet appeared in the tray (though the bluetooth applet is there). I've disabled bluetooth for the moment. Its applet has gone grey, but its light is still on?

After some searching, I

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sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer
and now after that, the green WiFi hardware light went on, but still no applet. When I tried to Menu>Preferences>NetworkConnections, and tried to set up a wifi link, nothing would 'ungrey' to let me.

After more searching I used Menu>Admin>DriverManager to play with the drivers. I was using 1:019.2 firmware-b43-installer. I tried changing that to the (recommended) bcmwl-source, and then to the firmware-b43-legacy-installer, but with either of those options the green wifi light didn't light, and there was still no wifi applet. I have now reverted to 1:019.2. via DriverManager, the wifi light is on, and there's no wifi applet up.

After more searching, I'm here. This is the lspci

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neil@neil-6400A ~ $ lspci -nnk | grep -iA3 net
03:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX [14e4:170c] (rev 02)
	Subsystem: Dell Inspiron 6400 [1028:01af]
	Kernel driver in use: b44
	Kernel modules: b44
--
0b:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN [14e4:4311] (rev 01)
	Subsystem: Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-Card [1028:0007]
	Kernel driver in use: b43-pci-bridge
	Kernel modules: ssb
neil@neil-6400A ~ $ 
and I've attached the wireless-info .gz

I've had a quick peep at the .txt file output from that, and it is finding my local wifi APs (I have a lot of close neighbours). So it looks like the H/W is working.

What do I need to do for the last little bit of S/W please?
Attachments
wireless-info.tar.gz
(7.09 KiB) Downloaded 45 times
Last edited by NeilUK on Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kender30
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Re: No WiFi on Inspiron 6400 with BCM4311 with Mint 18.1, wireless-info attached

Post by kender30 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:12 am

I have looked at your wirelessinfo. What do you get when the wired network card is physically disconnected from the network? Linux defaults to ethernet and doesn't try to connect with WiFi when it is plugged in so I cannot see if it is trying to pull an IP from the router or anything else, for that matter. The drivers appear to have loaded properly and I don't see anything that looks blatantly wrong. could you unplug the cat5 running from the computer to your switch/router and generate the report again?

NeilUK
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Re: No WiFi on Inspiron 6400 with BCM4311 with Mint 18.1, wireless-info attached

Post by NeilUK » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:48 am

Thanks for your reply.
My first thought was 'doh' for leaving the CAT5 in, but that's the first way it was suggested to run it, so I don't feel so bad.

When I boot up without the CAT5, a small notification appears 'Wifi Networks Available, use Menu Network to connect'. However, there's still no WiFi applet visible, and I've crawled all over menu, preferences, network, admin, system, connections, and found no way to connect to wifi, no way to get a list of AP's it's found.

Wireless-info results with nothing plugged in attached as BCM43_wireless_info.

I have another PC (Dell Inspiron 1300) running Mint 17.2 with no internal wifi and an athos9k b/g/n USB stick plugged in, and that works fine. It displays a WiFi applet, and when I built it a year ago I'm sure I 'just found' the way to get connected with it. As an experiment, I plugged that stick into the 6400 and re-ran. The same wifi notification appears, but still no applet, and still no apparent 'way in' to find network connections through the menu.

Wireless-info results with the athos9k plugged in attached as ath9k_wireless_info.

It sounds like a software missing link? The wireless-info program can exercise either wifi's interfaces, but the interface doesn't rise up to the level where I can see it from the menu.

This is a brand new fresh install, I've not done anything strange since installing 18.1. However, during the update/upgrade process, there were some 'newer/older file' notifications that required a response, and I answered the default to all of them, as I didn't understand the significance of the question being being presented. It's possible some of those might have needed a yes?

I notice another thread suggests Broadcom is not worth the trouble to try to get going, and to buy another adapter. I have several more adapters. When I plug each in, I get a 'networks detected' notification, but no wifi applet appears, and still no apparent way to set up a network connection. I've recorded a wireless-info for each of these. Then realised that disabling the internal with 'sudo ifconfig wlan0 down' might be a good idea, and recorded another one. None appear to work, so I'm not confident a new adapter would be the solution.

The extra adapters used are a Belkin, which I know works on another Mint 17 installation, and an unmarked one which appears to come up as ralink.
Attachments
ath9k_int_disabled_wireless-info.tar.gz
(7.62 KiB) Downloaded 39 times
bCM43_wireless-info.tar.gz
(6.16 KiB) Downloaded 39 times
ath9k_USB_wireless-info.tar.gz
(7.65 KiB) Downloaded 38 times

NeilUK
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Re: No WiFi on Inspiron 6400 with BCM4311 with Mint 18.1, wireless-info attached

Post by NeilUK » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:48 pm

I don't seem to be able to attach more than three files, so ...
Attachments
Belkin_wireless-info.tar.gz
(6.48 KiB) Downloaded 35 times
ralink_wireless-info.tar.gz
(7.2 KiB) Downloaded 40 times

JeremyB
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Re: No WiFi on Inspiron 6400 with BCM4311 with Mint 18.1, wireless-info attached

Post by JeremyB » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:01 pm

Your wifi looks to be functioning great. I would go into Synaptic Package Manager, use the Edit menu and "Fix Broken Packages" and see if it fixes this

You could also try connecting using terminal

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nmcli dev wifi connect <SSID> password <password>
Replace <SSID> with network broadcast ID and <password> with the password

NeilUK
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Re: No WiFi on Inspiron 6400 with BCM4311 with Mint 18.1, wireless-info attached

Post by NeilUK » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:39 am

WOOT! nmcli dev wifi connect ssid password pwd was successful, it even appears to be persistent across power-off. Got internet access, and the signal strength applet has appeared in the tray.

Thanks guys.

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