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No WiFi on Acer Aspire One 751h

Discussion in 'Mobile Computing' started by Uniballer, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Uniballer

    Uniballer Member

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    I have an Acer Aspire One A0751h-1279 (got it for $60). It's too small and slow for serious work, but is OK to carry around for diagnosing problems (serial console ports with USB adapter, ethernet ports, router/switch config, etc.). I have also used it in a doctor's waiting room to write & debug code to run on FreeBSD. I want to get the WiFi working on FreeBSD. It works fine on Ubuntu with either an Atheros AR5BHB63 or AR5B95. This netbook has a switch to enable/disable the WiFi card. It also has a tiny WiFi transmission light.

    I had the problem mentioned here under 8.2-RELEASE. Upgrading to 8-stable and building with NEW_PCIB fixed that problem, but I couldn't get a WiFi connection 6 feet away from a Linksys WRT160N.

    I installed 9.0-RELEASE and had the same problem. The card appears to be recognized, but never finds a connection, nor do I ever see the WiFi light come on. Messing with the WiFi enable switch doesn't seem to do anything (I've tried it at various times during the boot process, or leaving it alone).

    I upgraded to 9-stable and nothing changed. I also tried PCBSD-9.0 just in case.

    Here is a copy of the output of ifconfig (Note: I plugged in the ethernet port and ran dhclient after failing to make a WiFi connection):
    Code:
    re0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 1500
    	options=389b<RXCSUM,TXCSUM,VLAN_MTU,VLAN_HWTAGGING,VLAN_HWCSUM,WOL_UCAST,WOL_MCAST,WOL_MAGIC>
    	ether 00:23:8b:b1:1b:92
    	inet6 fe80::223:8bff:feb1:1b92%re0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x1 
    	inet 192.168.163.61 netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast 192.168.163.255
    	nd6 options=23<PERFORMNUD,ACCEPT_RTADV,AUTO_LINKLOCAL>
    	media: Ethernet autoselect (100baseTX <full-duplex>)
    	status: active
    ath0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 2290
    	ether 00:24:2c:5d:ed:55
    	nd6 options=21<PERFORMNUD,AUTO_LINKLOCAL>
    	media: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet autoselect mode 11g
    	status: associated
    lo0: flags=8049<UP,LOOPBACK,RUNNING,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 16384
    	options=3<RXCSUM,TXCSUM>
    	inet6 ::1 prefixlen 128 
    	inet6 fe80::1%lo0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x7 
    	inet 127.0.0.1 netmask 0xff000000 
    	nd6 options=21<PERFORMNUD,AUTO_LINKLOCAL>
    wlan0: flags=8c43<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,OACTIVE,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 1500
    	ether 00:24:2c:5d:ed:55
    	inet6 fe80::224:2cff:fe5d:ed55%wlan0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x8 
    	nd6 options=23<PERFORMNUD,ACCEPT_RTADV,AUTO_LINKLOCAL>
    	media: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet autoselect (autoselect)
    	status: no carrier
    	ssid "" channel 2 (2417 MHz 11g)
    	regdomain 101 indoor ecm authmode OPEN privacy OFF txpower 20 bmiss 7
    	scanvalid 60 bgscan bgscanintvl 300 bgscanidle 250 roam:rssi 7
    	roam:rate 5 protmode CTS wme burst bintval 0
    
    Any clues? I have never had WiFi running on FreeBSD so there could be something obvious that I'm not seeing.
     
  2. nakal

    nakal Member

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    Hmm... I've had the same wireless router and gave it away for free. I don't remember any problems with wireless networking except that it sometimes stops responding to wireless NICs, until they send a PING.

    For better understanding (ordered chronologically):

    • on host A: ssh to host B -> no route to host
    • on host A: ping B -> no route to host
    • on host B: ping router -> ok
    • on host A: ssh to host B -> ok

    My opinion: it is not compatible with ... ehm ... common sense. ;)

    The "router+modem" is stylish fashion thingy with blue LEDs, because it even could not hold up a DSL connection (I've mostly seen red LEDs). One further problem is that you can saturate your connection with one host uploading something. This thing has broken networking functionality generally.

    I recommend that you return it and buy something else.
     
  3. Uniballer

    Uniballer Member

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    To make sure this is clear, it's a FreeBSD problem. If I install Ubuntu on the crappy little netbook it sees all the neighbors networks, and lets me connect through the WRT160N. If I install FreeBSD, it doesn't see any networks. Not even the one that is working with my wife's MacBook and iPad 6 feet away.
     
  4. wblock@

    wblock@ Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Does it see anything when scanning?
    # ifconfig wlan0 up list scan
     
  5. Uniballer

    Uniballer Member

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    Never.
     
  6. wblock@

    wblock@ Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    The pciconf(8) output for that card might be useful. Sometimes it doesn't identify the card well, though. Adrian Chad has a bunch of patches that were for 9.0 (probably now 9-STABLE) to add wireless-N for some Atheros cards. They might also be needed for operation of some cards. (I've tested them, and they worked for 802.11n with an AR5BXB63/AR5008.)
     
  7. Uniballer

    Uniballer Member

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    Here are the relevant lines from pciconf -lv for the AR5BHB63:

    Code:
    ath0@pci0:3:0:0:	class=0x020000 card=0xe00d105b chip=0x001c168c rev=0x01 hdr=0x00
        vendor     = 'Atheros Communications Inc.'
        device     = 'AR242x / AR542x Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express)'
        class      = network
        subclass   = ethernet
    
    And here is the stuff from dmesg.today:

    Code:
    ath0: <Atheros 5424/2424> mem 0xd0000000-0xd000ffff irq 17 at device 0.0 on pci3
    ath0: AR2425 mac 14.2 RF5424 phy 7.0
    
     
  8. LateNiteTV

    LateNiteTV New Member

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    Can you post your /etc/rc.conf
     
  9. Uniballer

    Uniballer Member

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    I had nothing relating to the wireless interface in rc.conf on FreeBSD-9.0-STABLE, so it was whatever bsdinstall produced. I tried to get the interface to give me a network scan list with commands typed on the console, using the info in the relevant handbook page. The main reason I tried PCBSD was in case I was doing that wrong.

    Here is the rc.conf from the PCBSD-9.0 install:
    Code:
    background_dhclient="YES" 
    compat5x_enable="YES" 
    sshd_enable="NO" 
    devd_enable="YES" 
    devfs_system_ruleset="devfsrules_common" 
    ldconfig_paths="/usr/lib/compat /usr/local/lib /usr/local/kde4/lib /usr/local/lib/compat/pkg"
    
    # Disable Sendmail by default
    sendmail_enable="NONE"
    
    # Enable console mouse
    moused_type="auto" 
    moused_enable="YES" 
    
    #Enable samba server 
    samba_enable="YES" 
    winbindd_enable="YES"
     
    # Disable LPD  
    lpd_enable="NO" 
     
    # Enable CUPS 
    cupsd_enable="YES" 
    linux_enable="YES"
     
    # FSCK Enhancements 
    fsck_y_enable="YES" 
     
    # Denyhosts Startup 
    denyhosts_enable="YES" 
    
    # powerd: adaptive speed while on AC power, adaptive while on battery power
    powerd_enable="YES"
    powerd_flags="-a hiadaptive -b adaptive" # set CPU frequency
    
    # enable HAL / DBUS
    dbus_enable="YES"
    hald_enable="YES"
    
    # Enables support for HPLIP
    hpiod_enable="NO"
    hpssd_enable="NO"
    
    # Enable the firewall
    pf_rules="/etc/pf.conf"
    pf_enable="YES"
    pf_flags=""
    
    # Enable sound-support
    snddetect_enable="YES"
    mixer_enable="YES"
    
    # Enable avahi_daemon
    avahi_daemon_enable="YES"
    
    # Run the port jail
    portjail_enable="YES"
    
    # Added for sound support in the portjail, access to /dev/random, /dev/null, etc.
    jail_pcbsd_devfs_enable="YES"
    
    # Start the swapexd daemon
    swapexd_enable="YES"
    
    # Enable IPV6 support
    ipv6_activate_all_interfaces="YES"
    
    # Enable BSDStats
    bsdstats_enable="YES"
    
    # Enable webcamd
    webcamd_enable="YES"
    
    # Disable writing syslogs to remote devices by default
    syslogd_flags="-c -ss"
    
    # Enable pbid
    pbid_enable="YES"
    
    # Enable the gdm display manager
    gdm_enable="YES"
    
    # Enable BlueTooth
    hcsecd_enable="YES"
    sdpd_enable="YES"
    
    # Load the following kernel modules
    kld_list="if_bwn if_bwi bwi_v3_ucode bwn_v4_ucode runfw ng_ubt cuse4bsd sem ntfs ntfs_iconv udf udf_iconv ext2fs"
    
    # Clean out temporary files.
    clear_tmp_enable="YES"
    clean_tmp_X="YES"
    
    # Run the pcbsd init service
    pcbsdinit_enable="YES"
    
    # Enable anacron
    anacron_enable="YES"
    
    # Enable fusefs
    fusefs_enable="YES"
    ntpd_enable="YES"
    ntpd_sync_on_start="YES"
    keymap="us.iso"
    # Auto-Enabled NICs from pc-sysinstall
    ifconfig_re0="DHCP"
    wlans_ath0="wlan0"
    ifconfig_wlan0="DHCP"
    # Auto-Enabled NICs from pc-sysinstall
    ifconfig_re0_ipv6="inet6 accept_rtadv"
    ifconfig_wlan0_ipv6="inet6 accept_rtadv"
    hostname="pcbsd-3550"
    mysql_enable="YES"
    mythbackend_enable="YES"
    vmware_guest_vmblock_enable="YES"
    vmware_guest_vmhgfs_enable="YES"
    vmware_guest_vmmemctl_enable="YES"
    vmware_guest_vmxnet_enable="YES"
    vmware_guestd_enable="YES"
    vboxguest_enable="YES"
    vboxservice_enable="YES"
    
     
  10. wblock@

    wblock@ Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    It may require the patches I referred to earlier. But asking on the freebsd-wireless mailing list would be a start.
     
  11. zeissoctopus

    zeissoctopus Member

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    try 11g mode as well as 11b mode
     
  12. nakal

    nakal Member

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    Yes, I understood this. It was a bit off-topic, because I immediately got headache when I saw the product name. I just wanted to give you the (perhaps useful) information that this wireless router/modem is not worth to be installed correctly. I've had exactly the same one and it was a nightmare (operating system independent).

    Seems the ath(4) driver is not working correctly for you. Ask Sam Leffler for help, he helped me a lot when things went wrong with this driver.