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#1 2012-03-10 13:01:25

oldmansutton
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Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 16

[SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

Use an old Gateway laptop with a wireless card to provide internet through NAT to my desktop computer that isn't nearby my switch.  I was doing this for the longest time using WinXP on the Gateway, but since all my other computers are now running linux, I figured, hey, why not put a really sleek and sexy copy of Arch onto the Gateway, and free up some of that HD space for easier file sharing between the desktop and the rest of the network.  So I installed Arch, and have run head first into how much Arch and Broadcom wireless devices do not play well together.  Have spent all my time since then searching the forums, the wiki, etc, but to no avail.  So going to just go ahead and finally make my own call for help via the forums here. 

I've only ever ONCE seen a scan find a wireless network, and that was after my first reboot after installing arch.  That was the only time. There are at all times 2-4 wireless networks in range of this computer.  I'm currently on my netbook running Ubuntu to post this (typing everything in by hand, ugh), and can see 4 networks right now.  The Arch laptop can't find any.

To start off with:  I have read the wikis.  I have searched the forums.  I HAVE INSTALLED THE FIRMWARE.  I've checked to make sure my card is supported, and the driver it uses is the b43, and is not supposed to be compatible with the wl driver.  This is the cardbus Linksys WPC54G v1 card.  I know the card itself works.

Here's the various data I'm sure will be requested of me at one point or another.  This is all taken immediately after booting.

What can I try.  I've probably already tried it, but I'm willing to walk through step by step with someone if they think they can help.

lspci -vnn

...
03:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 802.11b/g Wireless LAN Controller [14e4:4320] (rev 03)
        Subsystem: Linksys WPC54G v1 / WPC54GS v1 802.11g Wireless-G Notebook Adapter [1737:4320]
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 64, IRQ 10
        Memory at 48000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8K]
        Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 2
        Kernel driver in use: b43-pci-bridge

Immediately after boot if I run

dmesg (related info)

[    7.760803] b43-pci-bridge 0000:03:00.0: enabling device (0000 -> 0002)
[    7.769836] b43-pci-bridge 0000:03:00.0: PCI INT A -> Link[LNKA] -> GSI 10 (level, low) -> IRQ 10
[    7.760856] b43-pci-bridge 0000:03:00.0: settling latency timer to 64
[    8.217173] b43-phy0: Broadcom 4306 WLAN found (core revision 5)
[    8.276959] ieee80211 phy0: Selected rate control algorithm 'minstrel_ht'
[    8.278657] Registered led device: b43-phy0::tx
[    8.278721] Registered led device: b43-phy0::rx
[    8.278788] Registered led device: b43-phy0::radio
[    8.278831] Broadcom 43xx driver loaded [ Features: PMNLS ]
[   43.860080] b43-phy0: Loading firmware version 666.2 (2011-02-23 01:15:07)
[   43.921388] ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready

uname -a

Linux oms-gateway 3.2.9-1-ARCH #1 SMP PREEMPT Thu Mar 1 09:10:44 UTC 2012 i686 Intel(R) Pentium(R) III Mobile CPU 1066MHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux

Kernel version greater than 3.2 should be able to use the version 5.100.138 Broadcom drivers.

ifconfig wlan0

wlan0: flags=4099<UP,BROADCAST,MULTICAST>  mtu 1500  metric 1
        ether 00:0f:66:2e:b0:83  txqueuelen 1000  (Ethernet)
        RX packets 0  bytes 0 (0.0 B)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 0  btes 0 (0.0 B)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

iwconfig wlan0

wlan0     IEEE 802.11bg  ESSID:off/any
          Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=20 dBm
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:off

lsmod | grep b43

b43                   317649  0
mac80211              203227  1 b43
cfg80211              147716  2 mac80211,b43
ssb                    42035  1 b43
mmc_core               71470  2 ssb,b43
pcmcia                 31502  2 ssb,b43

iwlist wlan0 scan

wlan0     No scan results

Last edited by oldmansutton (2012-03-11 01:53:50)

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#2 2012-03-10 13:12:29

.:B:.
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Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

1) Install compat-wireless from the AUR. Wireless driver development is very much in flux, especially for drivers like b43 (for Broadcom stuff) and ath9k. You'll get the latest driver with all the fixes available.
2) Why not try OpenWrt? Surely it may be a bit more of a learning curve at first but it's completely geared towards networking, with a minimal footprint (we're talking a few (tens of) megabytes, Arch is a few hundreds of megabytes easily). It has a nice web interface, if you want. It will also break far less than Arch... And if there's one thing that I value in my network hardware, it's stability.

If you're interested, you can find images here: stable or development. No guarantees about how usable trunk is, I recently heard it was broken (I am running a checkout myself from a week ago or so though).

Last edited by .:B:. (2012-03-10 13:27:10)


Got Leenucks? :: Arch: Power in simplicity :: Get Counted! Registered Linux User #392717 :: Blog thingy

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#3 2012-03-10 13:30:09

oldmansutton
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Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

I actually just found out about OpenWRT last night, is it able to run Samba as well as the router functionality?  I got 18 gigs on this laptop that's just sitting unused, I'd like to be able to use some of it.

Going to try your suggestion as soon as I get the kids some breakfast, and can hook the laptop into the switch.  Will post how that works.

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#4 2012-03-10 13:32:13

.:B:.
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Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

Yes it can do all that, and more smile. It can do NFS, Samba, ... everything you want.

Instructions for the x86 version can be found here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Openwrt-on-a-pc/. Basically it's just dd'ing the image onto a flash drive and go from there. Further instructions are in the OpenWrt wiki.

Keep in mind to install LuCI if you want a webinterface, webif is so 2009 wink.

Last edited by .:B:. (2012-03-10 13:37:37)


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#5 2012-03-10 16:53:49

oldmansutton
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Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

Soooo, got compat-wireless build and installed now.  I can get a scan that shows ONE of the available networks, ONCE, immediately after boot, after I bring the wlan0 up.  But then it won't scan it again or connect.  If I reboot, I can get it to show exactly once again.  What the.... ??? =S

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#6 2012-03-10 17:13:03

.:B:.
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Registered: 2006-11-26
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Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

According to the Linux Wireless site (which tends to be excellently documented), you need the b43legacy driver. Remove the b43 driver, load b43legacy, and scan again.


Got Leenucks? :: Arch: Power in simplicity :: Get Counted! Registered Linux User #392717 :: Blog thingy

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#7 2012-03-10 17:21:14

oldmansutton
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Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

.:B:. wrote:

According to the Linux Wireless site (which tends to be excellently documented), you need the b43legacy driver. Remove the b43 driver, load b43legacy, and scan again.

Yeah, I been there already, and I thought that at first too.  But I have the revision 3 of this, and the b43legacy is for revision 2.  But just for the sake of trying it, I removed b43, and put on b43legacy.  When I do that, I completely lose my wlan0 interface.

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#8 2012-03-10 17:25:08

oldmansutton
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Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

PCI-ID       Supported?         Chip ID   Modes    PHY version           Alternative

14e4:4320   yes (b43legacy)   BCM4306/2   b/g       G
14e4:4320   yes               BCM4306/3   ?         ?

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#9 2012-03-10 17:26:39

Strike0
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From: Germany
Registered: 2011-09-05
Posts: 1,277

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

Whether rev 3 needs legacy or not is controversial. I assume you blacklisted b43 when trying legacy?
How about any need to blacklist when you need b43. Anything suspicious around in lsmod?

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#10 2012-03-10 17:29:17

oldmansutton
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Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

Strike0 wrote:

Whether rev 3 needs legacy or not is controversial. I assume you blacklisted b43 when trying legacy?
How about any need to blacklist when you need b43. Anything suspicious around in lsmod?


with b43, you can see me previous lsmod on the original post.

with b43legacy, the only related things I see from lsmod are b43legacy, mac80211, cfg80211, and ssb.

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#11 2012-03-10 17:34:34

oldmansutton
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Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

oldmansutton wrote:
Strike0 wrote:

Whether rev 3 needs legacy or not is controversial. I assume you blacklisted b43 when trying legacy?
How about any need to blacklist when you need b43. Anything suspicious around in lsmod?


with b43, you can see me previous lsmod on the original post.

with b43legacy, the only related things I see from lsmod are b43legacy, mac80211, cfg80211, and ssb.

Wait.  Hmmm....

rmmod b43
modprobe b43legacy
....
rmmod b43legacy
modprobe b43
lsmod |grep b43

Now bcma is showing up.  But it didn't before.  It just started showing up with b43 since I did the compat-wireless package.  But seeing as I'm getting scans SOMETIMES now, I hesitate to call it a problem.  Maybe?

Any other ideas?

It can scan ONCE.  The b43 driver is obviously functional at least for a bit.

Standard network service, wicd, netcfg, etc, I've tried them all.  Reinstalled from scratch twice.  Looking for NEW ideas basically.  I've read just about every single post about every broadcom chipset out there.  I just happen to have one of these rare ones apparently.

Last edited by oldmansutton (2012-03-10 17:46:59)

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#12 2012-03-10 18:00:55

Strike0
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From: Germany
Registered: 2011-09-05
Posts: 1,277

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

There was a change recently about when to blacklist bcma, but I could not find it right now. Look at rfkill list when it does not scan.
Bit awkward, but since you re-installed twice: I have had good results with the LTS kernel regarding wifi. The current is in a lot of flux regarding wireless recently.

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#13 2012-03-10 18:01:20

.:B:.
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Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

Try OpenWrt on a USB stick, see if it does better.


Got Leenucks? :: Arch: Power in simplicity :: Get Counted! Registered Linux User #392717 :: Blog thingy

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#14 2012-03-10 18:08:13

Gusar
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Registered: 2009-08-25
Posts: 3,577

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

This card doesn't use bcma, so the stuff regarding it is not relevant. But the rfkill advice is good. However, if it does search once, then the radio isn't killed.

One thing you can try is an older kernel. Try the linux-lts package. But note that this kernel needs a different firmware version. So if you try linux-lts, remove the firmware you have now and install b43-firmware-lts from AUR.

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#15 2012-03-10 18:24:07

oldmansutton
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Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

Hmm, didn't have rfkill installed.  Got it on there now.  Rebooted.  Brought wlan0 up after boot, scanned, saw my network.  Tried to connect, hung, wlan0 went down.  Ran rfkill list afterwards, got the following output:

0: phy0: Wireless LAN
        soft blocked: no
        hard blocked: no

Not sure what this tells me.  Except it looks about the same as if I run it before doing a working scan.

Willing to try the LTS older kernel you guys are mentioning, but don't know that I've ever rolled a kernel back or built one by hand before.  Got a good link to instructions on that?

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#16 2012-03-10 19:23:12

oldmansutton
Member
Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

Also, don't have a thumb drive to try openwrt on.  If I had the $10-15 to get one, I'd just get a wireless usb adapter for the desktop and skip the whole repurposing of this laptop altogether lol wink

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#17 2012-03-10 19:33:27

Gusar
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Registered: 2009-08-25
Posts: 3,577

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

linux-lts is a package, you don't need to build by hand. I don't use Arch kernels so I may be wrong, but in essence you do

pacman -S linux-lts

and adjust the bootloader to load vmlinuz-linux-lts and initramfs-linux-lts. Also, like I said, remove the b43 firmware you have now and install b43-firmware-lts from AUR.

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#18 2012-03-10 19:35:53

oldmansutton
Member
Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

Ah, was actually building it right now from the AUR ... could try that first rather, heh. 

As far as the wlan0 goes, it's like it only is functional the first minute or two after boot.  If I wait longer than that, scans refuse to work.  Really driving me nuts.  I hope this kernel works better

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#19 2012-03-10 19:54:09

oldmansutton
Member
Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

*sighs*  Got it loaded, but same stuff.

uname -r

3.0.23-1-lts

dmesg (changes from previous runs)

[   10.579368] Broadcom 43xx driver loaded [ Features: PMNLS, Firmware-ID: FW13]
[   55.070091] b43-phy0: Loading firmware version 508.1084 (2009-01-14 01:32:01)

Not even getting anything back on an "iwlist scan" anymore.

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#20 2012-03-10 20:17:16

Gusar
Member
Registered: 2009-08-25
Posts: 3,577

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

Well, only one thing remains - report to the b43 mailing list, ask for pointers how to debug this: http://lists.infradead.org/mailman/listinfo/b43-dev (note: that page won't load for me right now, but it's for sure the correct address, so try a bit later). You can also write to the linux-wireless mailing list.

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#21 2012-03-10 20:28:03

oldmansutton
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Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

Mmmyeah, time to try a different distro in the meantime heh wink  Thanks for the help though.

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#22 2012-03-10 20:55:35

oldmansutton
Member
Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

Heh, thought maybe I'd just try ndiswrapper... but I have the ONE chipset that doesn't work with it >.<

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#23 2012-03-10 21:06:17

Gusar
Member
Registered: 2009-08-25
Posts: 3,577

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

oldmansutton wrote:

Heh, thought maybe I'd just try ndiswrapper... but I have the ONE chipset that doesn't work with it >.<

LOL! Sorry if that's a bit rude, but... yeah.

The thing is, you're off by just one friggin' revision. I also have a BCM4306 with the pci-id 14e4:4320, but mine is (rev 02) instead of (rev 03). It works perfectly with the b43legacy driver.

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#24 2012-03-10 21:35:28

oldmansutton
Member
Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 16

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

That's just the way it always seems to go with me and hardware.  Always have the one that was made on the day everybody was drunk.

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#25 2012-03-10 23:25:32

vernonrj
Member
Registered: 2009-04-18
Posts: 7

Re: [SOLVED kinda]Yet another Broadcom wireless problem - scanning

I have the same problem with the same hardware family (BCM4306 802.11a/b/g rev 03) on a Dell Latitude D600. Downgrading the kernel to 3.2.8-1 and downgrading kmod to 5-4 provides a temporary fix for me.

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