Archive for Saturday, 6 June, 2009

WIFI Woes Again

Saturday, 6 June, 2009

It is almost a year since I bought my E-System 1201 laptop.  It took me a while, but with the help of my friend Ruth,  the built in Realtek RTL8182  Wireless Network Card was made to works under Ubuntu Linux.  Unfortunately, since the upgrade to Ubuntu Linux 9.04 (Jaunty), I have having problems with the WIFI set-up on my Laptop again. At first I thought that it was a problem with my ageing  wireless router, so I started using the T-Mobile  3G dongle I use down the caravan whenever I wanted to go online with the laptop.  However, my iPod Touch found my network strait away without any problems. The problem it seems was with WPA2 encryption system that keeps unwanted users out of my network.  When I tried switching this of and leaving an open network, hey presto I got connected.  So I downloaded the latest version of NDISWrapper, WPA_Supplicant and WPAGUI hoping that the latest versions of these pieces of software would solve the problem.  No joy there.

Some research suggested that the problem was with the latest version of the Linux kernel.  Other network cards do not work with  2.6.28-11-Generic kernel, and reverting to the previous edition might do the trick.  This is only partially successful my laptop connected to my home network for about 30 seconds and then disconnected again, it tried to get back in, but after a few minute with the little icon in the panel spinning away, it just gave up. Obviously something further up in the system was objecting to the downgrade in the kernel and was squishing the secure connection to my home network.

At the moment I obviously don’t want an insecure network, so I still have the WPA2 set on the router,  or stop using my iPod,  I am back to using the 3G dongle on the laptop.  I hope that as this is a known bug in the Linux Kernel, then it will not be too difficult for the people who devote their spare time to constantly improving Linux, the open source operating system, will find a solution to this bug for the end users like myself, and I will be able to use my home network.  I am only sorry that I cannot provide any detailed information that might make their job easier.

Update 3rd May, 2010 : A few days later, an update to the Linux Kernel solved this problem.  Since then, the upgrade to Ubuntu 10.4 (Lucid) truly knackered the laptop, so it now runs on LinuxMint 7 (Gloria).