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Thread: [SOLVED] Upgrading PCIe network adapter

  1. #1
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    [SOLVED] Upgrading PCIe network adapter

    Hello Forum

    Mods, I wasn't sure where this fits, Networking & Wireless or Hardware, move as you see fit.

    I have an Advent 5301 laptop running Ubuntu 12.04LTS 64. It comes with a Realtek RTL8187B PCIe adapter.

    I installed an Atheros ar5B95 PCIe adapter (with a mounting plate as it's a half length card), as it has the capability to used as an Access Point.

    Usually I turn on the wireless adapter by Fn + F10. This failed to work for the ar5b95.

    I typed dmesg & got the following:

    122.650702] atkbd serio0: Unknown key released (translated set 2, code 0xad on isa0060/serio0).
    [ 122.650709] atkbd serio0: Use 'setkeycodes e02d <keycode>' to make it known.

    Also, quite soon afterwards my wired connection went off line.

    I'm thinking there's a hardware issue. There's no mention of wireless adapter in the bios, so nothing to change there. After much searching I've found nothing to help.

    So, am I niave in thinking PCIe adapters are interchangeable or have I missed something?

    If I can get the hardware issue sorted, I'm sure I'll have s/w issues to play with.

    Any help & advice is most welcome.
    Last edited by scbingham; June 12th, 2013 at 01:40 PM. Reason: Closing

  2. #2
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    Re: Upgrading PCIe network adapter

    Thread moved to Hardware.

  3. #3
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    Re: Upgrading PCIe network adapter

    Quote Originally Posted by scbingham View Post
    Usually I turn on the wireless adapter by Fn + F10. This failed to work for the ar5b95.
    ....
    There's no mention of wireless adapter in the bios, so nothing to change there.
    Does it show up in lspci?
    Code:
    lspci -nn
    If not, make sure the card is plugged in correctly, then do a BIOS reset. It must appear in lspci, as well as in BIOS settings as far as I know.
    Varun
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  4. #4
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    Re: Upgrading PCIe network adapter

    Thanks for responding Varun! I'll put the card in again tomorrow (it's not with me at the moment), try as you advised & report back.

    Even with the original card in (which works fine), there is no mention of the ethernet card at all in the BIOS.

  5. #5
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    Re: Upgrading PCIe network adapter

    Quote Originally Posted by scbingham View Post
    Even with the original card in (which works fine), there is no mention of the ethernet card at all in the BIOS.
    Ethernet means wired connection interface, while this card is a wireless one. Also, it is expected to show up in BIOS with some options to enable/disable it, but some OEMs 'may' choose to omit that setting, it is not mandatory. Although so far I know of no such model whose BIOS doesn't provide an option to enable/disable wireless if it exists, but there are thousands of OEMs/Models and my experience is very small.

    Still, in order for a device to work, it needs to be 'seen' by the OS first. And in order for an OS to 'see' a device, the BIOS must detect it first, then pass that info to the OS.

    So... if even lspci doesn't show it, just reset the BIOS, assuming the card itself is functional and is supported by the bus to which you have attached it.
    Varun
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  6. #6
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    Re: Upgrading PCIe network adapter

    Output of lspci -nn with the original Realtek wireless adapter:

    00:00.0 Host bridge [0600]: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 671MX [1039:0671]
    00:01.0 PCI bridge [0604]: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] AGP Port (virtual PCI-to-PCI bridge) [1039:0003]
    00:02.0 ISA bridge [0601]: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS968 [MuTIOL Media IO] [1039:0968] (rev 01)
    00:02.5 IDE interface [0101]: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 5513 IDE Controller [1039:5513] (rev 01)
    00:03.0 USB controller [0c03]: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] USB 1.1 Controller [1039:7001] (rev 0f)
    00:03.1 USB controller [0c03]: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] USB 1.1 Controller [1039:7001] (rev 0f)
    00:03.3 USB controller [0c03]: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] USB 2.0 Controller [1039:7002]
    00:04.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 191 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter [1039:0191] (rev 02)
    00:05.0 IDE interface [0101]: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SATA Controller / IDE mode [1039:1183] (rev 03)
    00:0f.0 Audio device [0403]: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] Azalia Audio Controller [1039:7502]
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 771/671 PCIE VGA Display Adapter [1039:6351] (rev 10)

    As you can see, there's no mention of the wireless card. Also there's no mention of it in the BIOS.
    After the laptop has booted, the wireless card can be turned on & off by pressing Fn + F10. There is no difference to the lspci output whether it is on or off.

    Unfortunately I can not install the Atheros card until tomorrow. Is there any other output which may be of use in the mean time?

  7. #7
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    Re: Upgrading PCIe network adapter

    Quote Originally Posted by scbingham View Post
    As you can see, there's no mention of the wireless card. Also there's no mention of it in the BIOS.
    After the laptop has booted, the wireless card can be turned on & off by pressing Fn + F10. There is no difference to the lspci output whether it is on or off.
    Hmm.. doesn't make sense. I'm wondering it the so called PCIe card is somehow using a USB bus. Please also check-
    Code:
    lsusb
    EDIT:
    Oh, and also -
    Code:
    sudo lshw -C network
    Varun
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  8. #8
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    Re: Upgrading PCIe network adapter

    lsusb:

    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
    Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
    Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0bb4:0ff9 High Tech Computer Corp. Desire / Desire HD / Hero (Charge Mode)
    Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0bda:0158 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. USB 2.0 multicard reader
    Bus 002 Device 002: ID 0425:0001 Motorola Semiconductors HK, Ltd
    Bus 001 Device 006: ID 0bda:8189 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8187B Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Adapter

    If I switch the adapter off, it disappears from the list.

  9. #9
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    Re: Upgrading PCIe network adapter

    Quote Originally Posted by scbingham View Post
    lsusb:
    Bus 001 Device 006: ID 0bda:8189 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8187B Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Adapter

    If I switch the adapter off, it disappears from the list.
    Like I suspected, nothing surprising.

    In the same way your other card should also appear in lsusb. I believe this is the very reason why your BIOS does not show any wireless settings - it is not using the pci bus at all !

    Try it when you get the card tomorrow.
    Varun
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  10. #10
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    Re: Upgrading PCIe network adapter

    sudo lshw -C network: (I've omitted the bits about the wired adapter.
    *-network
    description: Wireless interface
    physical id: 4
    bus info: usb@1:1
    logical name: wlan0
    serial: 00:16:44:ad:9c:ff
    capabilities: ethernet physical wireless
    configuration: broadcast=yes driver=rtl8187 driverversion=3.2.0-45-generic firmware=N/A ip=192.168.1.68 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bg

    If I switch it off, it doesn't appear in the output.

    So, tomorrow when I get hold of the card & fit it, how will I be able to switch it on? In my original post there is an error listed in dmesg when I press Fn + F10

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