[SOLVED] Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

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Verix
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[SOLVED] Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by Verix »

Hi. I have been working with wireless flawlessly, even faster than on Windows, for the last 4 months. As of last week though, and out of the blue, wireless occasionally stops working suddenly after some usage time (sometimes hours, sometimes a couple of days). I would be using WiFi very smoothly, and suddenly it disconnects, does not detect any wireless network anymore, and there's nothing I can do to fix it except to reboot. I've tried many methods, including restarting networking, but the only thing that works is rebooting the OS. I know it's not a hardware problem since it works correctly on Windows. The following output was generated while the wireless was working:

Here's the output of mintWifi.py:

Code: Select all

-------------------------
* I. scanning WIFI PCI devices...
  -- Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11a/b/g (rev 01)
      ==> PCI ID = 14e4:4312 (rev 01)
-------------------------
* II. querying ndiswrapper...
WARNING: All config files need .conf: /etc/modprobe.d/oss-compat, it will be ignored in a future release.
WARNING: All config files need .conf: /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper, it will be ignored in a future release.
WARNING: All config files need .conf: /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist, it will be ignored in a future release.
bcmwl5 : driver installed
	device (14E4:4312) present (alternate driver: ssb)
-------------------------
* III. querying iwconfig...
lo        no wireless extensions.

wlan0     IEEE 802.11g  ESSID:"myNetwork"  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.462 GHz  Access Point: 00:0F:B5:00:11:3F   
          Bit Rate=54 Mb/s   Tx-Power:32 dBm   
          RTS thr:2347 B   Fragment thr:2346 B   
          Encryption key:F121-67A9-4EAC-A9C2-3DA4-B537-74FE-ED74-D2C8-4DED-E47F-7A96-6365-5917-FA69-718D   Security mode:open
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality:75/100  Signal level:-48 dBm  Noise level:-96 dBm
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

vboxnet0  no wireless extensions.

pan0      no wireless extensions.

-------------------------
* IV. querying ifconfig...
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:64 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:64 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:4512 (4.5 KB)  TX bytes:4512 (4.5 KB)

wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:19:7e:55:15:16  
          inet addr:130.70.78.106  Bcast:130.70.78.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
          inet6 addr: fec0::b:219:7eff:fe55:1516/64 Scope:Site
          inet6 addr: 2002:8246:4e41:b:219:7eff:fe55:1516/64 Scope:Global
          inet6 addr: fe80::219:7eff:fe55:1516/64 Scope:Link
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:12563 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:4700 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:7059860 (7.0 MB)  TX bytes:585154 (585.1 KB)
          Interrupt:18 Memory:c0200000-c0204000 

-------------------------
* V. querying DHCP...
Internet Systems Consortium DHCP Client V3.1.1
Copyright 2004-2008 Internet Systems Consortium.
All rights reserved.
For info, please visit http://www.isc.org/sw/dhcp/

Listening on LPF/pan0/fe:45:d8:74:1d:15
Sending on   LPF/pan0/fe:45:d8:74:1d:15
Listening on LPF/vboxnet0/00:76:62:6e:65:74
Sending on   LPF/vboxnet0/00:76:62:6e:65:74
Listening on LPF/wlan0/00:19:7e:55:15:16
Sending on   LPF/wlan0/00:19:7e:55:15:16
Sending on   Socket/fallback
DHCPDISCOVER on vboxnet0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 7
DHCPDISCOVER on pan0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 6
DHCPDISCOVER on wlan0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 5
DHCPOFFER of 130.70.78.106 from 130.70.78.253
DHCPREQUEST of 130.70.78.106 on wlan0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67
DHCPACK of 130.70.78.106 from 130.70.78.253
 * Reloading /etc/samba/smb.conf smbd only
   ...done.
bound to 130.70.78.106 -- renewal in 13243 seconds.
-------------------------
* VI. querying nslookup google.com...
Server:		130.70.72.31
Address:	130.70.72.31#53

Non-authoritative answer:
Name:	google.com
Address: 209.85.225.103
Name:	google.com
Address: 209.85.225.104
Name:	google.com
Address: 209.85.225.105
Name:	google.com
Address: 209.85.225.106
Name:	google.com
Address: 209.85.225.147
Name:	google.com
Address: 209.85.225.99
Output of lshw:

Code: Select all

           *-network
                description: Wireless interface
                product: BCM4312 802.11a/b/g
                vendor: Broadcom Corporation
                physical id: 0
                bus info: pci@0000:05:00.0
                logical name: wlan0
                version: 01
                serial: 00:19:7e:55:15:16
                width: 32 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
                configuration: broadcast=yes driver=ndiswrapper+bcmwl5 driverversion=1.53+Broadcom,03/23/2006, 4.40.1 ip=130.70.78.106 latency=0 link=yes module=ndiswrapper multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11g
Operating system: Linux Mint 7 Gloria - Main Edition
Computer Model: Dell Inspiron 1501

Thanks for reading.
Last edited by Verix on Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
slider
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by slider »

There are a few of us I believe that have been kinda researching this in the background (I know that Husse was at least) as it is not a new problem, but it is strange none the less.

It may be due to some sort of buffer error, but I cant prove it just yet.

Next time it happens instead of restarting run

Code: Select all

sudo dhclient -r
in the terminal then try and re-connect. This will release the lease.

Sometimes just logging out will help, instead of a complete restart.

Wish I had a better answer. My research is still ongoing.
"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds the timid join him for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
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greatbigdragon
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by greatbigdragon »

This has been happening to me just lately, and it's been bothering me, which is why I was searching the forum this morning. The time I tried to logout instead of restarting did me no good, so I haven't tried that since. And I find that the fastest way to make this happen is to use Transmission, which makes sense in light of the "buffer overflow" theory. At any rate, I've got the problem, so as long as there are possible rollbacks, I would be a willing guinea pig.

I just got the chance to try the dhclient command, which seemed to work. My connection was constantly trying to connect, and had asked me for the security key to my network, and so it didn't show any sign of stopping this cycle after the first time I used the command. I had to right-click the network-manager icon and disable networking before I entered the dhclient command into terminal the second time. Then I re-enabled the networking on the network-manager and it quickly re-connected.

Is this for all wireless adapters, or is it for a specific group of wireless adapters - like say, Intel 5100 Wireless adapters?
Verix
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by Verix »

slider wrote:Next time it happens instead of restarting run

Code: Select all

sudo dhclient -r
in the terminal then try and re-connect. This will release the lease.
Thanks a lot! I will try it the next time it happens.
slider wrote:Sometimes just logging out will help, instead of a complete restart.
I'm afraid logging out never did the trick for me.
greatbigdragon wrote:And I find that the fastest way to make this happen is to use Transmission, which makes sense in light of the "buffer overflow" theory.
I don't use Transmission, or any other bitTorrent client, so I can't give any input on whether or not it contributes to the problem.
greatbigdragon wrote:I just got the chance to try the dhclient command, which seemed to work.[...] Is this for all wireless adapters, or is it for a specific group of wireless adapters - like say, Intel 5100 Wireless adapters?
I have a Broadcom BCM4312, and I'll post back here the next time the wireless stop working to confirm that.

Thanks again for the great help.
slider
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by slider »

Some more things to try next time it happens:

Try changing the "bit rate" to a lower value for your device. The following is an example. Choose wlan0 or whatever the proper name of your device is. Also the rate can be whatever is supported by your device. Doesn't have to be 11. Try different speeds. The usual rule of thumb here is the further that you are from the AP the slower the speed is that you should use in order to have acceptable performance. In practice I have found this to be quite true.

Code: Select all

sudo iwconfig wlan0 rate 11M
A quick scan will usually show the bit rates that you have available just in case you don't already know them.

Code: Select all

sudo iwlist wlan0 scan
Again use the proper name for your device. You may have to run the command more than once.

I'm kinda shooting in the dark here, because the above rate change does not always work, but sometimes it does.

I have yet to do some checking with the "dhclient.leases" file. I believe another shot in the dark.

When experimenting with this it is important to isolate yourself from outside RF pollution ie: cell phones, microwave ovens, and most devices that are capable of transmitting on or close to medical band frequencies.
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Verix
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by Verix »

Alright the sudo dhclient -r did not work for me. I tried it with the wireless disabled, with it enabled, in every possible configuration but nothing happened.

I've already tried reducing the bit rate, slider, with no results. I'll try reducing it even further the next time, but I'm not holding my hopes high on this one.

Thanks again for the help.
slider
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by slider »

Verix and greatbigdragon

Thank you both for your input on this. I guess we'll just have to keep experimenting for an overall solution that will work for everyone.

Your experience with this is valuable. Thanx again....
"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds the timid join him for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
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Verix
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by Verix »

I was wondering, is there a way to restart the module for wireless, or even networking altogether? I have a fairly limited knowledge when it comes to module handling and operation in Linux, but if there's a way to reinstate the wireless or networking modules, through something like insmod, it just might work.
slider
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by slider »

Hi Verix

Its been a long day for me, very tired. I hope I'm up to answering your questions correctly. Sometimes I make mistakes when I'm very tired :oops: so I'm sorry if I've misunderstood anything that you have asked. Ok here goes:

To restart the network:

Code: Select all

sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
To remove a module:

Code: Select all

sudo rmmod <module_name>
To add a module:

Code: Select all

sudo modprobe <module_name>
(you can also add the "-r" switch to remove as well, but I don't use it this way)

Man Page about insmod: DESCRIPTION
insmod is a trivial program to insert a module into the kernel: if the filename is a hyphen, the module is taken
from standard input. Most users will want to use modprobe(8) instead, which is cleverer.

I always use modprobe, but you can use the one that you want.



Now if you were just talking about taking the the driver for the interface down:

Code: Select all

sudo ifconfig <interface_name> down
And to bring it back up:

Code: Select all

sudo ifconfig <interface_name> up
You might try lowering MTU as an experiment. You can always change it back after a trial. Its not likely to help much though, but you never know.


Good luck and please let us know how your experiment goes.

Hope this helps...... Umm.... Time to go rest for me. :)
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tdockery97
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by tdockery97 »

I am running Mint 8 main, and had begun having the same problem. This may or may not work for you, but for me it stopped my wifi from disconnecting, and doubled my connection strength. Against popular opinion I replaced Network Manager with WICD, and installed the Network Selector Panel Applet. It instantly connected and solved the problem I was having. I know Network Manager is considered THE network tool to use in Mint/Ubuntu, but you gotta use what works. Both of these are available in the Ubuntu repository. Just my 2 cents worth.
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DrHu
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by DrHu »

Right-click the network manager applet on the Gnome task bar, [x] click Enable wireless
--that starts the connection again, sometimes
  • Or cycle enable, wireless OFF, then ON, in Network manager..
I think you are right about the reboot, most of the time, if it is dead, nothing gets it going again except a hardware reinitialization via a reboot
  • If it is a usb device, sudo modprobe device name, might help
    --does it still show in the modules loaded lsmod..
Verix
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by Verix »

OK I'm going to try the rmmod/modprobe method first, any ideas which modules I should be targeting? I know there is wlan.ko, wl.ko... Is there one for networking in general, and one for wireless in general?
I'm also going to try the ifconfig intrerface method in case the previous one doesn't work, and also try lowering the MTU. Any ideas to what value and how can I restore it back?

If all that fails, I'll remove network manager and install WICD and report back. Thanks a lot.
greatbigdragon
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by greatbigdragon »

Okay, this might sound weird, but. . . my problem has gone away without explanation. I definitely should have been able to reproduce this problem several times over the past week, and it has not happened either with or without my help. The only thing that I've done differently is that I went to Minnesota over the weekend and unplugged everything in my house, including the wireless router and cable modem, neither of which are ever unplugged (though my PC and everything around it are unplugged on a daily basis due to my power-surge paranoia.) So, is it possible that power-cycling either the modem or the router or both would cure this issue for some length of time?
Verix
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by Verix »

It hasn't happened with me for a while too, which is strange.
Verix
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by Verix »

I just installed WICD after the wireless went down again (so much for the short lasting excitement), and I'll see how that will go.
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by SaintDanBert »

I've loaded Mint-7 & KDE onto my laptop. Most things worked fine out of the box. However, after a while
I can no longer reach the interrnet. Here are symptoms:

1. ping of my wifi access point says "no route available"
2. dig reports "no server found"
3. cat /etc/resolv.conf shows reasonable contents
4. ifconfig wlan0 shows a reasonable IP address
5. every attempt to browse a web address returns a "cannot connect" or similar not-there message

I tried to use dhclient to manually release and re-acquire a lease. Nothing "woke up" my network connection.

I tried ifconfig wlan0 down ... up to bounce the link. Nothing "woke up" my network connection.

I tried /etc/init.d/networking stop ... start to bounce network things. Nothing "woke up" my connection.

I rebooted my workstation. VIOLA! My network is awake again.

I expect that things will quit working ... after ... a ... while. During that while, I expect to enter
idle workstation slow down or nap time (suspend to ram) or even bed time (suspend to disk). I'll wake
the workstation and things will be fine. However, eventually, the network will be dead again. I cannot
say that suspend causes network outage with any certainty. I can say that my other laptop -- same hardware -- runs Ubuntu Jaunty (v9.04), same as the Ubuntu under Mint-7 -- but the network does not
fade away as happens with Mint-7.

I hope that this tells someone what is going on so that I can resolve this at long last. I don't need to
tell folks how important it is to resolve this sort of troubles.
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Verix
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by Verix »

It seems like WICD fixed it for me. Thanks a lot tdockery97 for pointing it out, I wouldn't have found a solution if you hadn't posted here. I installed WICD from Synaptic, the version in the Jaunty repository. From what I've seen already, WICD is superior to the default network manager in Gnome. It connects faster, has a more intuitive interface, is less buggy, and automatically detects which network to connect to when you constantly switch locations. I don't understand why they don't use it as the default network manager.
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by greatbigdragon »

Okay, I've got WICD up and going, and it's nice - but the network selector panel applet: what's the Synaptic entry called?
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rich_roast
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Re: Wireless occasionally stops working until reboot

Post by rich_roast »

greatbigdragon wrote:Okay, I've got WICD up and going, and it's nice - but the network selector panel applet: what's the Synaptic entry called?
:?:

wicd has a panel applet which is installed and configured by default. If you're requesting gnome's network manager's applet's name then that's it: network-manager-gnome, but this is mutually independent of wicd and installing it will cause apt to remove wicd.
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Re: [SOLVED] Wireless occasionally stops working until reboo

Post by greatbigdragon »

Yeah, sorry. I never rebooted, so I didn't see it until I went to put NetApplet in my Startup Programs and I saw the WICD Network Manager there. I rebooted, and boom, there it is!
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