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Thread: Wifi frequently tries re-connecting

  1. #1
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    Wifi frequently tries re-connecting

    My netbook, System 76 star3 (hope it's still being used by some others!), frequently tries reconnecting wifi in the environments where my other System 76 machine doesn't (Serval). Since it happens with any network/access points, I suspect my star3 has an issue. I don't have an idea what should I report other than phenomenon description below. Can someone teach me about it?

    (Phenom) I can't re-produce intentionally but the wifi signal icon often shows reconnection status. I feel that once this begins, it occurs more often. Roughly I usually see it happening more than once per hour.
    Sometimes it even says disconnected, after long (longer than 1 minute) of reconnection trial.

    (Actions I've taken) I did clean install twice after purchase when it came originally with Ubuntu 10.04 netbook edition. Now it's running Ubuntu 10.10 upgraded from 10.04 netbook ed. The phenomen was already happening in my 2nd generation installation (now is 3rd gen), where OS was 10.04 netbook. I didn't really used much during 1st gen for a reason.
    After clean installation, System 76 driver is installed by adding a file http://www.planet76.com/sources.list.d/system76.list to /etc/apt/sources.list.d, then update.

  2. #2
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    Re: Wifi frequently tries re-connecting

    Could be a lot of different things. Take a look at "dmesg". That should at least give you an idea of what is going on. Try setting a static ip for yourself in your router and upgrading or downgrading your kernel.

  3. #3
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    Re: Wifi frequently tries re-connecting

    Building on that, you might try running the computer from a Live USB of Ubuntu 11.10, since there has been a lot of work in Wireless there since 10.10. In addition to that, the Unity environment present in 11.10 is much faster than what's available in 10.10 netbook edition.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Wifi frequently tries re-connecting

    Thank you folks. Though not entirely sure, 11.10 via live-USB seemed better so I upgraded.

    Haven't tested enough, I still see similar issue when I'm in office - not exactly the same with what I have described earlier though, but I would say I feel it got worse; wifi symbol shows it stays connected but ping and other connection gets stunned, only a few minutes after it got connected (so if I was a too naive user I might have even not realized that there's a network issue).
    However, there's been no problem at home (pinging 20k+ made 0% loss).

    Here's the current dmesg output: http://pastebin.com/vPnmNMq0
    Here's dmesg output when the netbook was on Ubuntu 10.10: http://pastebin.com/aE9syqv1

    Thanks.
    Last edited by 130s; February 9th, 2012 at 11:42 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Wifi frequently tries re-connecting

    I tested in my office and it worked pretty good. Though I've only tested for 2 hours, the issue used to happen very frequently even during such a short period as I reported above.

    So I'm just curious what does this mean? Is the issue in the version of Ubuntu itself (in my case 10.10 or older) or is it the compatibility issue b/w starling device and Ubuntu? On my other notebook (Sony Vaio FS-92S bought in 2005), wifi on 10.10 works perfect btw.

  6. #6
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    Re: Wifi frequently tries re-connecting

    So the dmesg outputs show that you have an Realtek RTL8192SE/RTL8191SE card using rtl8192se driver. I have seen similar problems with this card, although couldn't figure out the reason or a sure-shot solution. If you face the problem again, please post the outputs of (when the problem occurs):
    Code:
    lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 net
    lsmod
    ifconfig
    iwconfig
    Varun
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  7. #7
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    Re: Wifi frequently tries re-connecting

    Quote Originally Posted by varunendra View Post
    If you face the problem again, please post the outputs of (when the problem occurs):
    Code:
    lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 net
    lsmod
    ifconfig
    iwconfig
    varunendra,

    thanks for the suggestion. And I still experience the same issue (trying to connect to wifi forever w/o getting connected) only at my office. Here's the log http://pastebin.com/5J0bpwd9 (private info (e.g. ESSID, IP addr) is removed). But overall I hardly see the issue happens in other location after I've upgraded to Ubuntu 11.10.

    Thank you again for your concern!
    Isaac
    Last edited by 130s; February 21st, 2012 at 09:31 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Wifi frequently tries re-connecting

    Quote Originally Posted by 130s View Post
    My netbook, System 76 star3 (hope it's still being used by some others!), frequently tries reconnecting wifi in the environments where my other System 76 machine doesn't (Serval). Since it happens with any network/access points, I suspect my star3 has an issue. I don't have an idea what should I report other than phenomenon description below. Can someone teach me about it?

    (Phenom) I can't re-produce intentionally but the wifi signal icon often shows reconnection status. I feel that once this begins, it occurs more often. Roughly I usually see it happening more than once per hour.
    Sometimes it even says disconnected, after long (longer than 1 minute) of reconnection trial.

    (Actions I've taken) I did clean install twice after purchase when it came originally with Ubuntu 10.04 netbook edition. Now it's running Ubuntu 10.10 upgraded from 10.04 netbook ed. The phenomen was already happening in my 2nd generation installation (now is 3rd gen), where OS was 10.04 netbook. I didn't really used much during 1st gen for a reason.
    After clean installation, System 76 driver is installed by adding a file http://www.planet76.com/sources.list.d/system76.list to /etc/apt/sources.list.d, then update.
    It may be power management related. While this is reported to not help with this specific issue and driver, you can give it a whirl anyway.

    Code:
    sudo iwconfig wlan0 power off
    If that does nothing, might as well turn it back on

    Code:
    sudo iwconfig wlan0 power on
    It's reported that this driver is still a problem even in the 3.x kernel. But wait, here's where it gets strange. For some reason, there are reports that turning off ACPI "helps". THis is the one single change that I've heard of getting results. The problem is of course, that's not a solution.

    Personally, when dealing with dropping wifi, I take the following approach in this order.

    1) Ping and DNS. Can I ping outside of my LAN but domains such as Google.com are hit and miss? Time to start using OpenDNS.

    Code:
    $ sudo cp /etc/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf.auto
    $ gksudo gedit /etc/dhcp3/dhclient.conf
    # append the following line to the document
    prepend domain-name-servers 208.67.222.222,208.67.220.220;
    # save and exit
    Restarted  PC
    2) Heat. With some chipsets, heat can be an issue. Just for giggles, you might see if a cooling pad helps. If the laptop isn't hot to the touch, then this might not be the issue.

    3) Another network manager. Even in recent releases of Ubuntu, sometimes I've found that Wicd simply works better with some wireless devices than the default network manager. It's rare, but it happens. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1680600
    Last edited by ctsdownloads; February 22nd, 2012 at 04:54 AM.

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