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Compaq Presario running Ubuntu 8.10 can't get wireless to work


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Seuche's Avatar
Seuche Seuche is offline
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11-Mar-2009, 06:33 PM #1
Compaq Presario running Ubuntu 8.10 can't get wireless to work
Ok this is the third place I've posted for help, casting a bigger and bigger net...I hope I can get a response somewhere sometime soon.

I've just go my hands on my dad's old laptop, a Compaq Presario 2200. It sat under his bed for about a year collecting dust, he then gave it to my bro, whom after two weeks finally decided to do a much needed update of Window XP, while doing that XP died on him, and to fix the problem would require the OS disc for XP, which we don't have anymore. So my brother, with a go ahead from our dad, gave the laptop to me for permanent use since I'm the only one willing to run an OS that isn't released by Microsoft or Apple. I had used Ubuntu on my old laptop so I decided to install the latest version of Ubuntu on the Compaq. Everything else went fine as far as I can tell, I just can't get Wireless to come up. On the edge of the laptop that faces me when I'm using it is a button that is for the Wireless thing. It has a blue light above it, presumably to tell you when the wireless is on or off. Well I press the button and nothing happens. I hold it for a few seconds and nothing happens, I hold it for a minute and nothing happens.

Is there anyway to tell if the Wireless card thingy is working with Ubuntu 8.10, or is there some way to get the Wireless to work? or is it doomed to forever run offline now, being used for basically nothing more than Data Storage?
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11-Mar-2009, 08:36 PM #2
Let me start with your easy question. No, it is not doomed to isolation. I use several different PCMCIA and USB wireless adapters with Ubuntu 8.10. Some even work with WPA encryption. Also, ethernet usually works with no effort, so if that machine has integrated ethernet or you get a PCMCIA or USB ethernet adapter you can network that way.

From what you described about the wireless switch and LED it sounds like that wireless adapter may be dead, or possibly the switch is defective. Also, even if the adapter is working there is no guarantee that Ubuntu has a driver for it. Do you know the adapter?

I can probably find some more things to try when I have more time and am on Ubuntu. For starters open a Terminal window and type iwconfig. If it finds a wireless device that's a good sign. Also type ifconfig to see if it finds any networking devices.
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12-Mar-2009, 12:14 AM #3
Awesome! Never really thought of getting new wireless adapters...but awesome, if all else fails I'll keep that in mind and make a trip to the computer store.

Also I dunno if it the current adapter died or something, but if it did, it died fast...it was like a day between when XP died and I installed Ubuntu...but then again when the desktop's hard drive died we had no warning either...

Anywho back on track!

I don't know the adapter...came with the laptop and that was a while ago and my dad doesn't pay attention to details like that when he buys comps in the first place....which is probably why I pick out the comps that the family buys now-a-days and why I get stuck doing this kinda stuff...

popped those two into the Terminal and got this in response:

iwconfig:
Code:
lo        no wireless extensions.

eth0      no wireless extensions.

wmaster0  no wireless extensions.

wlan0     IEEE 802.11bg  ESSID:""  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.412 GHz  Access Point: Not-Associated   
          Tx-Power=27 dBm   
          Retry min limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr=2352 B   
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality:0  Signal level:0  Noise level:0
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

pan0      no wireless extensions.
ifconfig:
Code:
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:c0:9f:4e:ff:15  
          UP BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
          Interrupt:10 Base address:0x3000 

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:127.0.0.1  Mask:255.0.0.0
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          RX packets:246 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:246 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:15408 (15.4 KB)  TX bytes:15408 (15.4 KB)
TerryNet's Avatar
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12-Mar-2009, 10:08 AM #4
Unfortunately I'm not too good reading these things. But, until better help comes along ...

The wlan0 means, I'm pretty sure, that the wireless adapter was found. Do you have any wireless icon sitting in one of those bars at the top or bottom of your screen? If so, click on it. Are any wireless networks detected? Yours? Try to connect if yes to all the previous.

The eth0 indicates that ethernet was discovered. Try a cable to your router and see if that works.
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15-Mar-2009, 10:01 PM #5
I'm kind of new at this, but will give my 2 cents. Find out the kind of wireless you have and search for that and your machine on this and other forums (Ubuntu, linuxhomenetworking.com, etc.) I have a Dell D630 that gave me fits. I finally reinstalled Fedora fresh and followed a previous tech's advice to use the Broadcom firmware patch (mine is a Broadcom 4312). After that it worked perfect. In my research I found that every manufacture requires just a little different approach. Good luck, Dave.
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15-Mar-2009, 10:40 PM #6
You can also install non-open-source adapters/drivers easily.
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