I have a Toshiba Satellite A215-S7413 Laptop, it's wifi hardware is listed as a Realtek RTL8187B. However, it appears to internally be wired through the USB bus instead of the PCI bus since Vista's device manager has "USB 2.0" at the end of the device's name.
It came wiht Vista preinstalled and WiFI worked perfectly on it since day one.
I have tried Ubuntu since 7.10 and could never get WiFi working.
I installed 8.10 earlier and finally WiFi worked instantly from a default install.
Anyway, after I got it working at last I browsed a few webpages to try it, then downloaded restricted drivers for my video card. Eventually a few reboots later I started the update manager and chose to install all updates, it required a reboot after this.
Once I rebooted........ I found I could not connect to my WiFI network anymore. It kept failing at verifying the WEP key, even though the key is correct and this is THE EXACT SAME PROFILE I USED BEFORE THAT WORKED THROUGH 5 OR SO REBOOTS BEFORE I UPDATED!
I tried deleting and re-creating the profile but no luck, it still fails at verifying the WEP key.
I gave up and booted to Vista........ and noticed that Vista could no longer connect either! It could see all the access points around me but not connect any of them, not even if I disabled the security on mine.
I rebooted to ubuntu to see if I could connect without a WEP key but as soon as it booted it connected.
At this point I have tried everything to get it working in Vista, numerious reboots, attempts to reinstall the WiFi drivers, installs of older versions of the WiFi driver.
Nothing worked. I just cannot get WiFi working in Vista again no matter what I go, but now it works in Ubuntu.
Ethernet works fine but this is a Laptop that I move around a lot, a wired connection is just not feasable.
Any idea what Ubuntu could have done, if anything, to cause this behavior? I know its not really supposed to be possible for software to mess up hardware like this(usually), but I find it hard to believe Vista's support for my WiFi hardware just happened to mess up within the very hour I got it working in Ubuntu when for the past year it worked flawlessly.