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Author Topic: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop (SOLVED)  (Read 13201 times)

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Offline perknh

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Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop (SOLVED)
« on: June 07, 2014, 12:32:43 pm »
My wife's computer is a Toshiba Satellite Laptop which is currently running Xubuntu 14.04 until Peppermint 5 is released.  But, here's her problem:  her computer just won't stay connected with Wi-Fi.  However, if she uses her much less expensive Android Tablet, or even her Android cell phone, she always remains connected to the Wi-Fi in our house. 

Here are my questions:

1)  First with the unpardonable question:  Would re-installing Windows 7, which was its native OS, help to resolve the Wi-Fi issue with this computer?  (Neither of us want me to do this, but we need her computer to be able to work strictly through Wi-Fi)

2) If I bought her a Chromebook, would we be able to install Peppermint 5 onto a Chromebook?  Bodhi Linux actually has a Chomebook installation, might I be able to install Peppermit 5 onto a Chomebook?  Or would I be better to stay with the native Chomebook installation, after all, it is a propitiatory form of Linux right?

3)  Might I have better luck with an 8.1 Dell laptop which has a slightly more powerful processor than her current laptop?  Might that help with Wi-Fi?

4)  Might Peppermint 5 change her current laptop's Wi-Fi capabilities?  Can desktop environments make a difference?  Need I just wait for the LXDE desktop environment in Peppermint 5 to come along in due time?

Sorry, people, for all these questions, but I'm really finding myself in a jam here, and I don't know what path I should take to give her the best Wi-Fi experience.  And, as I said earlier, we have decent enough Wi-Fi in my house, since both her Android phone, and Android tablet have no problem picking up the signal.  But her Toshiba computer, with the temporary Xubuntu installation, is not doing well maintaining a good, solid Wi-Fi connection.

What a nuisance!

Thank you, everyone, very much,

perknh

 :-\
« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 07:40:48 pm by perknh »
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Offline rjm65

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Re: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2014, 01:30:02 pm »
Did you try Lubuntu instead of Xubuntu because peppermint 5 is based on Lubuntu not Xubuntu....  I would try Lubuntu first before trying all the other things you just mentioned...   ;)
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Offline VinDSL

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Re: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2014, 02:25:11 pm »
1)  First with the unpardonable question: [...]

0.o  >:(  You've summoned the Kraken in me...

To give you a little insight, I'm a 'network-manager' hater (heretofore referred to as NM) from way back.

Accordingly, take anything I say, regarding NM, with a grain of salt.  Most ppl would be wise to ignore my recommendation -- it's in the 'advanced user' realm.  That said...

The first thing I do, on any Linux distro, is purge NM and install WiCD.  Why?  Because WiCD rules, and NM drools IMO.

Over the years, I can count a handful of times when NM (in various stages of development) actually worked for me, e.g. the things I do on computers --and NM did NOT spontaneously  disconnect my machines from the outside world.  This includes both wired and wireless connections, on a variety of machines, platforms, and OSs -- Peppermint included, on both desktop and mobile devices.  Bottom line:  NM sucks.

So, what is the answer, you may ask?  WiCD

WiCD detractors will tell you it's an old front-end, no longer under development, and so forth, and so on.  And, they're right, but... in my world view, that is a good thing -- because, once you get WiCD setup correctly, it_just_works.  Period.  Exclamation point!  And, nobody is going sneak up behind you and change WiCD, while you're not looking.  Personally, I hope they never update it.

Anyway, I'll stop my rant now.  There is probably someone out there that likes NM and hates WiCD, and I don't want to get a flame war started.

If you feel adventuresome, PCNetSpec wrote a great toot over here:  http://peppermintos.net/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=5916

It wisely deals with the overlooked vagaries that will confront you, when installing WiCD on a modern Ubu distro, such as Peppermint -- up to and including (dare I say) P5.

What I do is open Synaptic --> do a search for WiCD --> and install every WiCD package, except for 'wicd-kde'

Then, go to Mark's tutorial (linked above) and follow it step-by-step.

Offline rjm65

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Re: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2014, 03:54:20 pm »


The first thing I do, on any Linux distro, is purge NM and install WiCD.  Why?  Because WiCD rules, and NM drools IMO.
I have 3 machines with antix on them and they use wicd and the first thing I do on those machines is remove wicd....
Now before you get all up in arms let me explain why i remove wicd.....
those 3 machines mentioned have 256 megs of ram only and wicd takes 32 megs of ram to run and I can't afford to give a network manager those 32 megs of ram when I don't have it to spare....
There is yet another NM that just plain works like wicd does and it uses far less ram to do so... 
The name of that one is called CENI it is like a dos based NM and it always works for me on those machines....
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Offline AndyInMokum

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Re: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2014, 04:45:29 pm »
Hi perknh, I like the sound of Peppermint on a Chromebook.  You would need a Chromebook with an X86 chip not the ARM ones.  I guess you could install Peppermint in Developer Mode.  It would be interesting to find out if anyone has done this.  Chromebooks haven't caught on here in Europe like they have in the States.  I can't understand why either.  The Internet is pretty much ubiquitous  - strange  ???.  I had a look at some the other week.  They are really impressive and I really would like one.  The difficult bit will be convincing the Mrs how much we need one  :(.
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Offline VinDSL

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Re: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2014, 05:18:44 pm »
Now before you get all up in arms let me explain why i remove wicd [...]

wicd takes 32 megs of ram to run and I can't afford to give a network manager those 32 megs of ram

Understood, my friend.  And, don't worry.  I'm not a touchy feely kinda guy.  ;)

I'm on my +1 box right now, and just checked 'wicked'...



This machine only has 1 GB RAM, so I know what you mean.

Personally, I only pay attention to actual physical memory AKA 'RES' as pictured above.

I've never checked RAM usage in NM.  How much does it eat up?

Offline rjm65

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Re: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2014, 05:48:58 pm »
I install lxtask manager that gives me a good reading on what things are using up, I never checked NM but I assure you if you sort by ram hogs in lxtask it will be in the top 5 offenders....  ;)

I just know about wicd taking up a lot of ram because i had an old toshiba with 128 megs ram and I was trying to get it working again, and I ran into antix, and it became a reality.... They helped me tweak that one down to booting to the desktop using only 28 megs of ram, it was close to 60 megs with wicd in place, so i removed that and went with ceni instead on that machine....  :)
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 05:53:18 pm by rjm65 »
Robert
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Offline VinDSL

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Re: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2014, 06:53:01 pm »
They helped me tweak that one down to booting to the desktop using only 28 megs of ram, it was close to 60 megs with wicd in place [...]

I'm showing 57.6 megs on Ubu -- close enough.   ;)

I'm sure Peppermint is using the same amount, since I'm using the same package(s).

I can't remember if I left NM in place on my P4R Eee PC or not.  I'll check...

Yep, NM -- slow as smack to connect.  Let me add 'em up...  22.2 megs

Interesting!

Offline VinDSL

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Re: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2014, 09:51:26 pm »
I'm on my trusty Peppermint test machine.

WiCD WiFi with the added WPA 2 supplicant and so forth, and so on, is using 74 megs.

Time to go back on topic now, eh what?   8)

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2014, 06:16:02 am »
People, this is a support topic .. less of the who prefers what please unless it's relevant to solving the issue .. once solved then we can chat :)

@ perknh

Can you post the output from:
Code: [Select]
sudo lshw -C network



In answer to your questions

1) Yes installing Windows probably would fix the wireless, but it's probably fixable in Linux too

2) You'd be able to install Peppermint if (and only if) the chromebook has an x86 CPU .. Peppermint will NOT work on the ARM Chromebooks.

3) dunno .. I thouth the 8.1 was a tablet, not a notebook .. can you point us at the dell page for the model you mean.
(same applies as "2" .. if it's ARM based Peppermint won't work .. if it's x86 "probably")

4) Possibly .. though I think it's probably fixable in Peppermint 4 as well .. worst case scenario, get one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/EW-7811UN-IEEE-802-11n-draft-USB/dp/B005CLMJLU
which work perfectly and are tiny (only stick out of the USB slot by about 5mm) so are not going to get caught on anything :)
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 07:33:19 am by PCNetSpec »
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Offline perknh

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Re: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2014, 12:55:01 pm »
Thank you, PCNetSpec, VinDSL, rjm65, and AndyInMokum, for all your help and suggestions. 

This the output from the sudo lshw -C network command, but it is from Peppermint 4 -- not Xubuntu.  Peppermint 4 was the only OS I knew I could install without problems.  But before installing Peppermint 4, I discovered I needed to wipe clean this computer's internal hard dive -- hence, the long delay in getting back to everyone.

Sorry.   :-[

The output data below is from my wife's computer, and from its normal location, with Peppermint 4 -- using my home's Wi-Fi.

perknh


Spoiler (click here to view / hide)
******@shanghai ~ $ sudo lshw -C network
[sudo] password for ******:
  *-network               
       description: Ethernet interface
       product: AR8162 Fast Ethernet
       vendor: Qualcomm Atheros
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
       logical name: eth0
       version: 10
       serial: 00:8c:fa:aa:1d:49
       capacity: 100Mbit/s
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm pciexpress msi msix bus_master cap_list ethernet physical tp 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd autonegotiation
       configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=alx driverversion=1.2.3 firmware=N/A latency=0 link=no multicast=yes port=twisted pair
       resources: irq:16 memory:c8500000-c853ffff ioport:2000(size=128)
  *-network
       description: Wireless interface
       product: AR9565 Wireless Network Adapter
       vendor: Atheros Communications Inc.
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:02:00.0
       logical name: wlan0
       version: 01
       serial: 28:e3:47:4c:cb:0d
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list rom ethernet physical wireless
       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=ath9k driverversion=3.8.0-35-generic firmware=N/A ip=192.168.1.100 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bgn
       resources: irq:17 memory:c8400000-c847ffff memory:bfb00000-bfb0ffff
[close]
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2014, 01:33:54 pm »
Doesn't matter if it's Peppermint, Lubuntu,Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu, Mint, Bodhi, or ANY Ubuntu based distro .. they all use the same "ath9k" driver.

Run:
Code: [Select]
sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/ath9k.conf
when a BLANK file opens, add a single line that reads:-

options ath9k nohwcrypt=1

SAVE the file.

Now reboot.

Has that helped with the disconnecting ?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 01:37:40 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline perknh

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Re: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2014, 02:53:21 pm »
PCNetSpec,

I ran the command, entered, pasted and saved the single line, as you had asked, and now her computer goes into a frozen state.  Even FN, Alt & SysRq ... r e i s u b, would not reboot her computer.  I had no choice but to use the shut down button. 

So, now, I'm writing you from my computer, which is not on Wi-Fi.

Sorry for the bad report. 

Right now I need to step out for awhile, but I will check back in later.

Don't worry, PCNetSpec, this may be a nuisance, but it is no emergency.

Coincidentally or not, we know something happened after entering that command -- even if it's completely unrelated.  And now I'm beginning to understand why she hasn't been using this computer so much.

I'm calling what we've done here today progress -- because we have now learned something!   ;)

Thank you.

perknh
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2014, 03:08:47 pm »
I SERIOUSLY wouldn't have expected that to lock the PC  :-\ .. we didn't tell it to load a different driver, just changed an option in the current driver...

is it still locking up ? .. if so...

Do you know how to remove that line using a liveCD ?

Or maybe it'll boot if you disable the wifi adapter in the BIOS (or by a hardware switch) .. then remove the line .. then reboot with wifi enabled.

What's the make/model of this laptop.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 03:11:23 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline perknh

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Re: Wi-Fi Issues With Toshiba Satellite Laptop
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2014, 05:48:42 pm »
Hi PCNetSpec,

I strongly suspect that episode of my wife's computer freezing was simply a coincidence, and nothing more.
I'm writing from her computer, and, at present, everything seems to be working fine.   :)

May we give ourselves a little time, say,  a few days to a week, before I mark this thread as (SOLVED)?

I'd like to give her a little time with this computer before she can determine if things are working out better for her in regards to Wi-Fi.

Thank you very much,

perknh

P.S.

I'm looking forward to Peppermint 5.  From what I've read, Ubuntu had put a focus on thermal reduction with the new 14.04 kernel.  I suspect Peppermint 5 is going to rock.


We're all Peppermint users and that's what matters  ;).  -- AndyInMokum