Wireless suddenly stopped working...

Hi all, I’m hoping you can help me to diagnose my wireless connection. Until last night wireless has worked flawlessly for me, on my Acer Aspire 5610z running openSUSE 11.2 (i586).

Last night I did two things:

  1. Allowed the update manager to install 7 recommeded updates
  2. Found that I couldn’t log in to KDE - After login screen, my screen went black for a second then reloaded the login screen as if I’d restarted X. It turned out that my disk was full, so I used the terminal (ctrl+alt+F1) to delete the contents of my /tmp/ (which included loads of big flash video adverts left there by Firefox). Then I returned to the graphical log in screen, logged in successfully and used YAST to set a variable like “clear /tmp on shutdown” to “yes” to stop these files accumulating.

Today, my laptop is acting as if it doesn’t have a wireless card. NetworkManager can’t see any wireless networks and doesn’t offer to connect to the wireless networks I’ve used previously. At the terminal, running iwconfig gives

linux-ezhm:/home/bugs # iwconfig
lo        no wireless extensions.

eth0      no wireless extensions.

vboxnet0  no wireless extensions.

From memory, I’m pretty sure this used to return an additional entry for “ath0” with a load of information about my wireless card.

I’ve tried following this diagnostic guide by lwfinger, and these are my results:

linux-ezhm:/home/bugs # /sbin/lspci
<snip>
06:01.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX (rev 02)
06:02.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR2413 802.11bg NIC (rev 01)

linux-ezhm:/home/bugs # /sbin/lspci -n | grep 06:02.0
06:02.0 0200: 168c:001a (rev 01)

…so my PCI card hasn’t been fried. Probably. However, it seems to have an error:

linux-ezhm:/home/bugs # dmesg | grep 06:02.0
    0.278433] pci 0000:06:02.0: reg 10 32bit mmio: [0xd0000000-0xd000ffff]
    9.801332] ath5k 0000:06:02.0: enabling device (0000 -> 0002)
    9.801352] ath5k 0000:06:02.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 22 (level, low) -> IRQ 22
    9.801456] ath5k 0000:06:02.0: registered as 'phy0'
   10.286830] ath5k 0000:06:02.0: PCI INT A disabled
   10.286852] ath5k: probe of 0000:06:02.0 failed with error -5

Does can anyone suggest a way to further diagnose this, and ultimately fix it? Could it have been caused by the updates, emptying my /tmp directory, or are those just red herrings?

EDIT:
On further reading, someone with the same laptop as me has recently reported the same error. They suggest regressing the system back to the base 11.2 install to remove the latest updates… I’ll have a crack at it and report whether it helps me.

On 02/22/2010 06:26 PM, Emolient wrote:
>
> Hi all, I’m hoping you can help me to diagnose my wireless connection.
> Until last night wireless has worked flawlessly for me, on my Acer
> Aspire 5610z running openSUSE 11.2 (i586).
>
> Last night I did two things:
> 1) Allowed the update manager to install 7 recommeded updates
> 2) Found that I couldn’t log in to KDE - After login screen, my screen
> went black for a second then reloaded the login screen as if I’d
> restarted X. It turned out that my disk was full, so I used the terminal
> (ctrl+alt+F1) to delete the contents of my /tmp/ (which included loads
> of big flash video adverts left there by Firefox). Then I returned to
> the graphical log in screen, logged in successfully and used YAST to set
> a variable like “clear /tmp on shutdown” to “yes” to stop these files
> accumulating.
>
> Today, my laptop is acting as if it doesn’t have a wireless card.
> NetworkManager can’t see any wireless networks and doesn’t offer to
> connect to the wireless networks I’ve used previously. At the terminal,
> running iwconfig gives
>
> Code:
> --------------------
> linux-ezhm:/home/bugs # iwconfig
> lo no wireless extensions.
>
> eth0 no wireless extensions.
>
> vboxnet0 no wireless extensions.
> --------------------
>
> From memory, I’m pretty sure this used to return an additional entry
> for “ath0” with a load of information about my wireless card.
>
> I’ve tried following ‘this diagnostic guide by lwfinger’
> (http://tinyurl.com/6peanc), and these are my results:
>
>
> Code:
> --------------------
> linux-ezhm:/home/bugs # /sbin/lspci
> <snip>
> 06:01.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX (rev 02)
> 06:02.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR2413 802.11bg NIC (rev 01)
>
> linux-ezhm:/home/bugs # /sbin/lspci -n | grep 06:02.0
> 06:02.0 0200: 168c:001a (rev 01)
> --------------------
>
> …so my PCI card hasn’t been fried. Probably. However, it seems to
> have an error:
>
>
> Code:
> --------------------
> linux-ezhm:/home/bugs # dmesg | grep 06:02.0
> 0.278433] pci 0000:06:02.0: reg 10 32bit mmio: [0xd0000000-0xd000ffff]
> 9.801332] ath5k 0000:06:02.0: enabling device (0000 → 0002)
> 9.801352] ath5k 0000:06:02.0: PCI INT A → GSI 22 (level, low) → IRQ 22
> 9.801456] ath5k 0000:06:02.0: registered as ‘phy0’
> 10.286830] ath5k 0000:06:02.0: PCI INT A disabled
> 10.286852] ath5k: probe of 0000:06:02.0 failed with error -5
> --------------------
>
>
> Does can anyone suggest a way to further diagnose this, and ultimately
> fix it? Could it have been caused by the updates, emptying my /tmp
> directory, or are those just red herrings?

Emptying /tmp should not be causing this problem, but the updates could be. Was
your kernel one of those updates?

I’m honestly not sure what was in the updates… is there a log file somewhere I can check? I know I should carefully review every update, but I’m enough of a n00b that I generally just trust the judgement of the openSUSE devs who’re pushing these things down the pipe.

In the meantime, rolling back to the base install as described in this post has fixed the problem. So it seems likely that one of the updates was responsible.