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Thread: Wireless is disabled by hardware switch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Beans
    217

    Wireless is disabled by hardware switch

    Hi Everyone,

    I am converting a friend's Acer Travelmate 290 laptop to Ubuntu (12.04) and everything works fine except the wireless ...

    There is an onboard wireless module which apparently hasn't worked for ages so I was expecting to be able to use a PCMCIA or USB wireless adaptor and simply forget about the onboard unit.

    But I find that all wireless adaptors (including the onboard unit) are detected but are greyed out and carry the message "Wireless is disabled by hardware switch".

    The bonboard unit has and On/Off switch but it makes no difference where that is set. I checked in BIOS and there is no On/Off option for Wireless. So now I am a bit stumped.

    Does anyone have any idea where I should go from here?

    Many thanks for any tips or links that you can give me.

    Yours,
    Alan Searle, Cologne

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    England
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: Wireless is disabled by hardware switch

    Is the machine dual booted with windows, or an ex-windows machine? In some cases turing off wireless in windows and then booting ubuntu means the wireless is locked and can not be turned on again other than in windows.
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 12.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Beans
    217

    Re: Wireless is disabled by hardware switch

    Oh no that's a disaster: I have deleted Windows and installed Ubuntu fresh.

    And what I don't understand is why other adaptors (PCMCIA & USB) are also blocked/disabled by the same "hardware swich".

    Any further tips would be a great help.

    Many thanks,
    Alan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Beans
    217

    Re: Wireless is disabled by hardware switch

    Just one further thought: There is a physical switch on the outside of the laptop which had stopped working under Windows (i.e. Wireless was never used and was left "off"). My assumption was that, by using another adaptor, the hardware switch on the onboard adaptor would be bypassed and would become irrelevant. But this doesn't seem to be the case. Strange!

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