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Thread: Wireless causes system freeze: Atheros AR9285, Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit, Acer Aspire 5250

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Wireless causes system freeze: Atheros AR9285, Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit, Acer Aspire 5250

    Hello all. Just got a new laptop (Acer Aspire 5250) and decided to install Ubuntu for the first time. Grabbed the 11.04 64-bit edition and did a clean install, and then all upgrades through Synaptic Package Manager. I found my built-in wireless PCIe card, an Atheros AR9285 (rev1) is responsible for system freezes (kernel panic).

    Conditions: e If I have the ethernet cable plugged in, everything is fine. If I take out the ethernet cable, the system freezes in 5-15 seconds forcing a hard shutdown. If I boot up without the cable plugged in the system will freeze during boot-up or at the log-in screen. While the ethernet cable is plugged in, the system does connect to the wireless router successfully. I know this because after unplugging the ethernet cable, during the very short window I have gotten HTTP traffic through. Also, logging into the router from a different box, I can see the laptop as a client with the MAC address of the wireless card.

    So far, I have read many threads on these forums and others and tried many things including:
    - disabling wireless encryption
    - installing a new kernel
    - installing the compat-wireless package

    Nothing was successful, so I have now done a complete reinstallation of Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit and want to give a fresh try following suggestions.

    Here follows the requested output from the How-to-post Guide:

    1 ) Machine Brand and Model (PC/Laptop):
    Code:
    Acer Aspire 5250
    2 ) Wireless Brand, Model and Wireless Chipset:
    Code:
    steven@zanazabar:~$ lspci -nn | grep "Atheros"
    06:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Atheros Communications AR8152 v2.0 Fast Ethernet [1969:2062] (rev c1)
    07:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) [168c:002b] (rev 01)
    3 ) check interface:
    Code:
    steven@zanazabar:~$ iwconfig wlan0
    wlan0     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:"xxxxxx"  
              Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.422 GHz  Access Point: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx   
              Bit Rate=54 Mb/s   Tx-Power=9 dBm   
              Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
              Power Management:off
              Link Quality=53/70  Signal level=-57 dBm  
              Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
              Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:33   Missed beacon:0


    4 ) Check for modules:


    Code:
    steven@zanazabar:~$ lsmod | grep "ath" ath9k 118238 0 mac80211 294370 1 ath9k ath9k_common 13851 1 ath9k ath9k_hw 323077 2 ath9k,ath9k_common ath 23773 2 ath9k,ath9k_hw cfg80211 178528 3 ath9k,mac80211,ath
    5 ) Kernel boot messages
    Code:
    steven@zanazabar:~$ dmesg | grep "ath"
    [    2.031646] device-mapper: multipath: version 1.2.0 loaded
    [    2.031660] device-mapper: multipath round-robin: version 1.0.0 loaded
    [   17.946436] ath9k 0000:07:00.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 19 (level, low) -> IRQ 19
    [   17.946462] ath9k 0000:07:00.0: setting latency timer to 64
    [   17.998894] ath: EEPROM regdomain: 0x65
    [   17.998901] ath: EEPROM indicates we should expect a direct regpair map
    [   17.998910] ath: Country alpha2 being used: 00
    [   17.998915] ath: Regpair used: 0x65
    [   18.045067] ieee80211 phy0: Selected rate control algorithm 'ath9k_rate_control'
    [   18.047035] Registered led device: ath9k-phy0::radio
    [   18.047238] Registered led device: ath9k-phy0::assoc
    [   18.047432] Registered led device: ath9k-phy0::tx
    [   18.047555] Registered led device: ath9k-phy0::rx
    6 ) Network configuration
    Code:
    steven@zanazabar:~$ sudo lshw -C wlan0
    PCI (sysfs)
    7 ) Scan for networks:
    Code:
    steven@zanazabar:~$ iwlist scan wlan0
    wlan0     Scan completed :
              Cell 01 - Address: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
                        Channel:3
                        Frequency:2.422 GHz (Channel 3)
                        Quality=51/70  Signal level=-59 dBm  
                        Encryption key:on
                        ESSID:"xxxxxx"
                        Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
                                  24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                        Bit Rates:6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s
                        Mode:Master
                        Extra:tsf=0000000fb59cd188
                        Extra: Last beacon: 70340ms ago
                        IE: Unknown: 000B4372797374616C53686970
                        IE: Unknown: 010882848B962430486C
                        IE: Unknown: 030103
                        IE: Unknown: 2A0100
                        IE: Unknown: 2F0100
                        IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
                            Group Cipher : CCMP
                            Pairwise Ciphers (1) : CCMP
                            Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
                        IE: Unknown: 32040C121860
                        IE: Unknown: DD06001018020100



    8 ) Ubuntu Version:

    Code:
    steven@zanazabar:~$ lsb_release -d
    Description:    Ubuntu 11.04
    9 ) Kernel/architecture (including 32 vs. 64 bit):
    Code:
    steven@zanazabar:~$ uname -mr
    2.6.38-11-generic x86_64
    10 ) Restarting the network:
    Code:
    steven@zanazabar:~$ sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart * Running /etc/init.d/networking restart is deprecated because it may not enable again some interfaces * Reconfiguring network interfaces... Ignoring unknown interface eth0=eth0. Ignoring unknown interface wlan0=wlan0. [ OK ]
    Last edited by Zanazabar; September 8th, 2011 at 04:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Wireless causes system freeze: Atheros AR9285, Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit, Acer Aspire

    Hi, here is a link that fixes that problem for most people.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1811178
    Thank you

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Re: Wireless causes system freeze: Atheros AR9285, Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit, Acer Aspire

    Hello, there seems to be a bit of a bug with Atheros wireless at the moment. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1835190&page=1 try checking out a few suggestions there, mine will not work at all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Wireless causes system freeze: Atheros AR9285, Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit, Acer Aspire

    Hi, most of the time that bug does not keep you from having a good connection.
    Thank you

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: Wireless causes system freeze: Atheros AR9285, Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit, Acer Aspire

    Unfortunately in my case, reordering the boot order (putting network boot first in BIOS) does not help the situation.

    When I tried this I lost any ability to connect to the wireless at all, but it still froze up the system if I unplugged the network cable. I followed the links and it looks like the original solution worked for someone with a Broadcom wireless card. This fix may also work for some people with Atheros, but it did not work for me.

    I have also tried the nohwcrypt option and other little tweaks, but nothing has done the trick.
    Last edited by Zanazabar; September 9th, 2011 at 12:44 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Re: Wireless causes system freeze: Atheros AR9285, Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit, Acer Aspire

    Hi, other people have also said that they solved this by upgrading there kernel to 2.6.39 rc4 I am not an expert on upgrading kernels but here is a link if you want to try.
    http://ubuntuguide.net/how-to-instal...-natty-narwhal

    Scroll down the page and you will find the kernel I just mentioned.
    Thank you

  7. #7
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    Re: Wireless causes system freeze: Atheros AR9285, Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit, Acer Aspire

    It is a good suggestion. I also tried this and the problem remained. I got the 2.6.39 kernel from the Ubuntu main-line area and followed the instructions there to install it (the PPA route using Synaptic Package Manager didn't seem to have the kernel).

    Along the same lines I tried building the latest bleeding edge compat-wireless package and using it with that kernel. Still no luck.

    I am somewhat anxious to see Ubuntu 11.10 which I understand will be using the new 3.x linux kernel and hoping that may be the answer (but I don't want to wait a month).

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Re: Wireless causes system freeze: Atheros AR9285, Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit, Acer Aspire

    Hi, in that link I gave you there is the 3.0 kernel and directions for installing it also.
    Thank you

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Re: Wireless causes system freeze: Atheros AR9285, Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit, Acer Aspire

    Well, I installed the 3.0 kernel from the .deb packages. When I booted up into the new kernel I did not see the Wireless Connection established message when I logged into Ubuntu. When I clicked on the network icon in the system tray I didn't even see a Wireless Networking section. At first I figured it was moving in the right direction.

    Then I unplugged the ethernet cable and the within seconds the whole system froze up again.

    Ubuntu and this laptop do not seem to be compatible at this time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Lubuntu Development Release

    Re: Wireless causes system freeze: Atheros AR9285, Ubuntu 11.04 64-bit, Acer Aspire

    Let's check the kernel booting info:

    Code:
    dmesg | egrep 'ath|firmware|FW'
    Last edited by nm_geo; September 11th, 2011 at 05:48 AM.
    Boot Info Script
    Ubuntu User number is # 32763
    Linux User number is # 527179

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