Wednesday, 15 February 2012

11.10 Oneiric: "Bad password" and rtlwifi

Today my wireless decided to stop working (under Linux; it of course worked in Windows).

Whenever I tried to connect to a network, it (wicd, that is) would spend ages on the "authenticate" stage before eventually saying "Bad password". Of course, the password was correct. "Bad password" seems to be a generic error wicd gives you that covers all manner of actual errors.

Looking at dmesg | tail, I'd get a whole bunch of:

[  134.347782] rtl8192c: Loading firmware file rtlwifi/rtl8192cfw.bin
[  134.686790] ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready
[  135.037001] rtl8192c: Loading firmware file rtlwifi/rtl8192cfw.bin
[  135.376045] ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready
[  135.548216] rtl8192c: Loading firmware file rtlwifi/rtl8192cfw.bin
[  135.887744] ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready

...and so on.

lsmod | grep rtl yields:

rtl8192ce              84775  0 
rtl8192c_common        75767  1 rtl8192ce
rtlwifi               110972  1 rtl8192ce
mac80211              462046  3 rtl8192ce,rtl8192c_common,rtlwifi
cfg80211              199630  2 rtlwifi,mac80211

And lspci | grep -i network gave

04:00.0 Network controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8188CE 802.11b/g/n WiFi Adapter (rev 01)

After ages of googling, I found this bug, actually a Fedora bug, that sounds a lot like mine.

Looking through the various attempts at fixes, etc, the only one that worked for me was:

ifconfig wlan0 down
iwconfig wlan0 mode monitor
ifconfig wlan0 up

I know the first line switches off my wireless for a bit, the second sets the mode to 'monitor' (whatever that means??!!), and the third switches it on again, but I have no idea what this all actually means.

It'd love to have an understanding of what was wrong and why that fixed it, but I'll definitely settle for having it fixed :).

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