I don’t have a solution, but I can tell you I ran into the same issue with an Acer Aspire 5610Z and the Ath5k driver after applying patches from the latest Online Update and a reboot. When I regress back to the base 11.2 install, my wireless interface works - I’m using it to send this reply.
I don’t have the exact error, but I do notice an IRQ/PCI conflict reported during the boot sequence when I apply the latest kernel and driver.
The ath5k driver is in the kernel. Start the software installer, Configuration, repos, disable the update repo. Return to installer.
Now, search for ‘kernel-’, in the right panel, right click, pick All packages - update unconditionally. This may cause dependency conflicts, telling you other stuff has to be downgraded as well. Pick those options and accept. Reboot and you should be back in wifi land.
Start the softwareinstaller again, search for ‘kernel-’, tick kernel-default or -desktop (either one which is installed), right click and pick ‘Taboo’. Enter repo configuration and reenable update repo.
Actually, the final steps – marking kernel-default as taboo – does not work for me. I can only mark packages that aren’t installed as “taboo”. I tried marking kernel-default as “protected” then enabling the updates repo and updating all packages, but that broke wireless again. It looks like selecting “update all” doesn’t respect the “protected” flag?
Has anyone else persuaded that part to work?
Anyway, I’ve gone back to the base install again and wireless is back. I guess I’ll just have to stick with an unupdated system until this bug is resolved.