I know that there are about 500,000 posts on this chipset. I feel as though I've read them all.
Situation : Wife's laptop has AR5001 Wireless Adapter laptop model is Toshiba Satellite A215
Problem : Wireless networking randomly loses connectivity and can not regain connectivity, the only apparent solution is a full power down , this is not even certain to work. The card works under Windows, she hates Windows. (I love her for this) I know it's not faulty hardware , because it will work for days on end under Windows without problems.
Things I've tried :
madwifi drivers (any and all versions available) : These increase stability of the signal and seem to delay the inevitable however it still happens. When using these drivers the only option is to unload them modprobe -r then reboot then remove them again and re add them. It makes no sense why this works, and if I don't remove them prior to rebooting it will not work.
ATH5K drivers : These are pretty much junk, results are unpredictable at best, sometimes it will work perfectly for a few hours, sometimes it will not work at all. Nothing is repeatable, I can't seem to force whatever condition is causing this. rfkill does not show the wifi being blocked (hard or soft), unblocking it anyway does nothing, only way to make this work and it's iffy is to fully power down wait 5-10 minutes turn it back on and it MAY decide to work.
Firmware update : Updated the Toshiba BIOS to the latest version of the firmware 2.0 no joy here either. Same issue both sets of drivers.
Tried different distros and kernels : I've tried Mint 9, 10 ,11 ; Ubuntu 10.10, 10.04 , 9.10 and 11.04 (which is currently installed) , Fedora and OpenSUSE. All are giving the same problems. I have also tried a slew of different kernels no joy from any of them (I'm not at the computer with the issue now I will post exactly what kernel versions I've used when I have access to the machine).
Another useful bit of information that might help , the hard switch to disable/enable wifi WILL disable it but turning it back on does absolutely nothing. The hotkey does nothing at all. The bios does not have an option to disable or enable the wireless card.
I will also post the typical lsmod , lspci , iwconfig all that good stuff when I get back to the computer in question. I'm probably just going to buy a PC card for it and give up on that one, but this is driving me insane and I would really like to see it resolved even if I do replace the hardware.
This is mostly just a last ditch effort that maybe someone may know something I don't or if someone has seen a post that I haven't , I've been searching for about 2 1/2 weeks for a resolution to this issue and have seen numerous bug reports for this chipset. Some people have reported great success with the workarounds I've already tried, but I'm just not lucky like that I suppose lol.
Thanks in advance for anyone who can help or even tries this one is a mind boggler
On a side note her computer is the first I installed Natty on and it looks amazing lol.