Could my wifi hardware be dying?

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Leighgion
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Could my wifi hardware be dying?

Post by Leighgion » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:15 pm

Hi folks,

New user here hoping for some insight. While not a complete command line rookie, these couple weeks are my first time trying to run Linux as a primary OS. I'm primarily a Mac user and learned just enough to try to maintain Windows installations if there's a gun to my head. This is my situation:

I installed Mint MATE v18 on my wife's old Toshiba A300 Satellite laptop in order to have a stable, lower maintenance internet machine as one hour back with Windows 8.1 started to erode my sanity. Wifi had always been a dodgy since I met my wife and this computer, but now that I'm using it more, it's become apparent the problem is deeper than grumpy Windows. I've had five distinct OS's installed on this computer and every one of them has given me wifi troubles.

Windows Vista (7 years ago) was the OS that came with the computer and what it was running when I met it. I was rarely using it in this state, but I knew it hated the ad hoc network from my MacBook Pro. Never would connect to it. My then-girlfriend-later-wife would also periodically flip the hardware wifi on/off switch to fix problems. Ethernet gave no trouble I'm aware of.

Windows 8.1 (about 5 years ago) was my upgrade to the computer. At this point, I dealt with the computer more as my wife I were married by then. I noticed immediately that the wifi did not always work on a cold boot. Sometimes it was necessary to immediately reboot to get the wifi to connect. The computer would recognize the hardware, but for unclear reasons say it was unable to connect to the network. It was a nuisance, but the computer was getting much less use since my wife got her iPad, so I didn't worry much about it.

A couple weeks ago, I decided to pull the machine back into service. I tried out Bodhi Linux and Ubuntu before settling on Mint Mate. Even though Bodhi and Ubuntu were installed for less than a day, wifi problems were immediately apparent under both. The OS would believe the connection was good, but it would stop getting any throughput. Turning wifi on and off (via software or the hardware switch) would fix it, but with continued use the problem would just reappear. At best, I got around twenty minutes before the problem appeared.

For a time, Mint showed the same symptoms but after a couple weeks, things seem to have grown worse. Connection stability seems shorter, I've had instances where the on/off trick doesn't work (I get "device not ready") and I need to reboot to get network connection back. Even stranger, even though no ethernet cable has touched the computer since I started on Linux, sometimes the computer tells me I'm connected to ethernet when I'm connected to the wifi.

I'm a bit stumped. The only thing coming to my mind is that maybe the wifi hardware is going south, but I've never experienced this before so I feel like I'm guessing. Appreciate any insight! Enclosed system data below.

Code: Select all

 System:    Host: Mintysaurus Kernel: 4.13.0-26-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 5.4.0)
           Desktop: MATE 1.18.0 (Gtk 3.18.9-1ubuntu3.3)
           Distro: Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia
Machine:   System: TOSHIBA product: Satellite A300 v: PSAJ0E-00Q013CE
           Mobo: TOSHIBA model: Satellite A300
           Bios: TOSHIBA v: V3.60 date: 07/16/2008
CPU:       Dual core Intel Core2 Duo T8100 (-MCP-) cache: 3072 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 8378
           clock speeds: max: 2101 MHz 1: 1600 MHz 2: 2101 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (primary)
           bus-ID: 00:02.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.4 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1280x800@59.98hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel 965GM
           GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 17.2.4 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card Intel 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.13.0-26-generic
Network:   Card-1: Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG [Golan] Network Connection
           driver: iwl3945 v: in-tree:s bus-ID: 02:00.0
           IF: wlp2s0 state: up mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Marvell 88E8040T PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller
           driver: sky2 v: 1.30 port: 2000 bus-ID: 03:00.0
           IF: enp3s0 state: down mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 320.1GB (6.4% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: TOSHIBA_MK3252GS size: 320.1GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 165G used: 16G (11%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 3.68GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda4
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 66.0C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 157 Uptime: 35 min Memory: 1016.3/2992.9MB
           Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 5.4.0
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.481) inxi: 2.2.35 

JeremyB
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Re: Could my wifi hardware be dying?

Post by JeremyB » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:42 pm

I would try the following in terminal

Code: Select all

sudo sed -i 's/wifi.powersave = 3/wifi.powersave = 2/' /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf
systemctl restart network-manager.service
Those wifi cards are pretty old. I haven't had one for a few years but I didn't have any issues with it using Linux Mint 17

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Joe2Shoe
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Re: Could my wifi hardware be dying?

Post by Joe2Shoe » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:04 pm

I have two laptops running LM18.3 Cinnamon 64-bit using the Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG [Golan] WiFi Adapter with no problems.
I always keep a spare wifi adapter for backup, as they are dirt-cheap on eBay (around $5.00).
Try another wifi adapter.
Good luck.
"Tolerance is the refuge of men without conviction."
"Common sense is not so common" - Voltaire

Leighgion
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Re: Could my wifi hardware be dying?

Post by Leighgion » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:43 pm

JeremyB wrote:I would try the following in terminal

Code: Select all

sudo sed -i 's/wifi.powersave = 3/wifi.powersave = 2/' /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf
systemctl restart network-manager.service
Those wifi cards are pretty old. I haven't had one for a few years but I didn't have any issues with it using Linux Mint 17
Tried that command. No apparent impact, but after giving the computer more time to test the connection, I discovered that it will stop loading new web pages, but will receive updates from Facebook. Very strange.

I guess my next move is buying a USB wifi adapter.

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