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Thread: LiveCD and wireless network

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Beans
    9

    LiveCD and wireless network

    First of all - I'm new to Ubuntu. I've been using Debian for quite a while, but since that's a huge pain when it comes to getting hardware newer than 5 years to work, I thought I'd give Ubuntu a try, since people say it's got the best hardware support.

    My machine is a Lenovo T60 laptop, with an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Mini-PCI Express Adapter wlan card. I booted up Ubuntu (latest version) from the "LiveCD", without installing it, to test it. To my surprise, it found neither my wireless card NOR my network card. And when I tried to configure a wireless network connection anyway, it wouldn't even let me type in the SSID of the nework (just kept beeping). No available tools listed any network devices.

    Is this a problem, or an impossibility, with the LiveCD, or must I conclude that Ubuntu, like most other Linux distros, are not to be trusted entirely when it comes to getting wlan to work? I checked on the list of compatible cards, and the 3945 adapter should be tested and working with older versions of Ubuntu. I got a mulitiboot with WinXP on the machine, just to be able to work from home, since wireless works with Windows. I cannot install ubuntu over any of the existing partitions unless I know for sure that wireless networking will work.

    All input, answers and suggestions are appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    san francisco
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

    Re: LiveCD and wireless network

    I have the same laptop and WLAN card, and it all works fine, including on the Live CD.

    Do you have the RF kill switch set by accident? That's the slider switch on the front left of the laptop.

    The Ethernet card sometimes won't work due to a bug related to checking an EEPROM checksum. Newer versions of the driver work around this, you can also load and unload the driver to work around it. This is a pretty rare bug and I haven't seen it in a long time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Beans
    9

    Re: LiveCD and wireless network

    No, I'm using the Windows partition on the machine right now, so it's not the switch

    What's strange is that there doesn't seem to be any network drivers loaded when the LiveCD start.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Beans
    9

    Re: LiveCD and wireless network

    I just tested the LiveCD again now. After it starts up the system, ifconfig and iwconfig shows no wlan or lan interface at all. There is a line about e1000 in dmesg, with a comment about loading failed on line 5. A modprobe of e1000 however, returns no error. I know the card is an Intel 3945, but there are no drivers loaded with a name resembling that.

    So, no network drivers are loaded, and the machine works problem free with lan and wlan in Windows, and win lan in Debian. Ubuntu, however, fails to get either up.

    Anything else I could/should try? Any other CD's, troubleshooting etc.?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Beans
    9

    Re: LiveCD and wireless network

    Also, my WLAN here at home is WPA protected, but visible (SSID broadcast). It doesn't show when clicking the wlan icon in the top right corner, and (as mentioned) when trying to type something in the (b?)ssid field, it won't let me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    san francisco
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

    Re: LiveCD and wireless network

    That's strange. To load the driver manually:

    Code:
    sudo modprobe iwl3945
    Use 'ifconfig -a' to see all interfaces. On my T60, this all works fine from the beginning, so I wonder what's different on yours.

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