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tsapiOffline
Post subject: Wireless card Ralink RT5390 PCIE not working as expected  PostPosted: 18.08.2013, 23:28



Joined: 2012-11-20
Posts: 9
Location: Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece
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Good evening!

I am happily using aptosid in the past years. A week ago I bought a new laptop (asus X401U) and I tried to install aptosid onto it.

I had a couple of problems, but the most important one is the wireless card having a very crippled function. It is recognised correctly and the module rt2800pci is used, but it has a very poor and weak reception. When I stand 20-30 cm away from the wireless router, it connects OK - when I am a couple of meters away from the router, it cannot connect at all. This particular router is OK - I connect to it with all sort of devices (desktops, laptops, phones etc).

I googled about the whole thing and I have seen lots of people having similar problems. It apparently started after kernel 3.5 (or 3.7 - can't remember exactly) - older kernels are said to be working flawlessly.

Some people report that compiling the driver provided by ralink solves the problem. I tried that, but unfortunately the reception remained very poor.

I backported the wifi modules from kernel 3.11-rc3 (via compat drivers), but with no result.

I used firmware (rt2860.bin) versions 0.34 and 0.38 and the reception was the same.

I have also tried with power management disabled and hardware encryption disabled (no success either)..

The whole thing drives me nuts - I bought the laptop to have it in my backpack all day. The wireless card not working renders it useless..

So, I'd like to ask:

1) Can I selectively use modules from older kernels (I'd like to try rt2800pci.ko from a 3.4 kernel, which according to some people worked flawlessly), while I boot the latest aptosid kernel?

2) Do you have any other idea (other than installing debian stable Shocked )?

Looking forward to any feedback..

PS:
      Code:

# lshw -c network
  *-network DISABLED
       description: Wireless interface
       product: RT5390 Wireless 802.11n 1T/1R PCIe
       vendor: Ralink corp.
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:07:00.0
       logical name: wlan0
       version: 00
       serial: 08:3e:8e:28:cb:66
       width: 32 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=rt2800pci driverversion=3.10-7.slh.1-aptosid-amd64 firmware=0.34 latency=0 link=no multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bgn
       resources: irq:50 memory:fe900000-fe90ffff


# modinfo rt2800pci
filename:       /lib/modules/3.10-7.slh.1-aptosid-amd64/updates/drivers/net/wireless/rt2x00/rt2800pci.ko
version:        backported from Linux (v3.11-rc3-0-g5ae90d8) using backports v3.11-rc3-1-0-g4e81a94
license:        GPL
firmware:       rt2860.bin
description:    Ralink RT2800 PCI & PCMCIA Wireless LAN driver.
version:        2.3.0
author:         http://rt2x00.serialmonkey.com
depends:        rt2x00lib,rt2800lib,rt2x00mmio,rt2x00pci,compat,eeprom_93cx6
vermagic:       3.10-7.slh.1-aptosid-amd64 SMP preempt mod_unload modversions
parm:           nohwcrypt:Disable hardware encryption. (bool)

 
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muchan
Post subject: RE: Wireless card Ralink RT5390 PCIE not working as expected  PostPosted: 19.08.2013, 10:58
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Joined: 2010-09-11
Posts: 468

may be rfkill?

install rfkill, then "rfkill list".
If you see something blocked, try "rfkill unblock {number}".
I need to do it sometimes to make my wi-fi functioning.
 
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bfreeOffline
Post subject: RE: Wireless card Ralink RT5390 PCIE not working as expected  PostPosted: 19.08.2013, 14:14
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Joined: 2010-08-26
Posts: 258

Status: Offline
It sounds more like the driver has "gone bad" and not like rfkill. I'm trusting the users description here that: "I have seen lots of people having similar problems. It apparently started after kernel 3.5 (or 3.7 ..."

I can think of 2 options, one quite insane, the other sane but far from ideal.

The sane one (to save your sanity) would be to buy a "cheap" but good for Linux usb wifi stick to use until the source of the problems are fixed. It sounds like it is a known issue upstream so hopefully it will be fixed up in a new upstream kernel (and hence aptosid's) sooner rather then later. If it's been dragging on since 3.5/3.7 though it may be a while yet (or just maybe never if it's really wierd).

The insane option would be to go back to an old kernel that works. You could either build an upstream (Linus) kernel or rebuild an old aptosid kernel by using the last tag for that kernel from aptosid as a starting point. Rebuilding the aptosid one is probably even more insane though, as it will have been unmaintained since the next major kernel release came out, so it won't have bug-fixes (including security issues) that have appeared since then.

If you can test with Debian stable or some other OS (e.g. if it came with windows and you still have it that would do) that would be a good idea, to make sure the problem really is software and not just that the antennae in your new laptop are broken/bad/disconnected or anything else. It just might be a hardware problem with your new laptop and ruling that out would be good.

Finally I presume you have the firmware-ralink package installed from non-free? I'd guess it would be completely useless without it, but just maybe it would "work" without it but very poorly.

Good luck.
 
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slhOffline
Post subject: RE: Wireless card Ralink RT5390 PCIE not working as expected  PostPosted: 19.08.2013, 19:09



Joined: 2010-08-25
Posts: 760

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If rt2800pci worked in a previous kernel version (I'd be careful to believe random messages on the net in this regard), the only reasonable way to debug this (especially as we're talking about 5 kernel versions back - and not 'just' one), would be to bisect the bug. However this is something we can't assist you with, as it involves at least 7, up to 20, iterations of kernel builds, to pinpoint the problematic commit - with each step depending on success or failure of the previous one, so beyond the very first iteration, the subsequent ones are not deterministic.

RaLink's (Mediatek's) own vendor driver is not to be used at any stage, installing it will most likely lead to (almost) unfixable side-effects, however your test results suggest that the fault isn't necessarily to search in the driver. This said, unless you can confirm better performance with the original operating system (windows), I wouldn't rule out hardware issues either - sometimes notebook vendors place their antennas in a suboptimal way (the very first Apple notebook with aluminium body had this issue, with the aluminium shielding the antenna and rendering it basically useless) or that the antenna pigtails aren't actually plugged into the mini-pcie card or have come loose.

Personally I only have access to a first generation rt2790 card using rt2800pci, which is working very well - but this isn't overly representative for the more modern rt30xx, rt33xx or rt53xx chipset generations, unfortunately it's quite hard to keep up with these vendors pushing out new (sometimes minor (E-Cut, etc.) or major) chipset flavours.
 
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tsapiOffline
Post subject: Re: RE: Wireless card Ralink RT5390 PCIE not working as expe  PostPosted: 25.08.2013, 16:31



Joined: 2012-11-20
Posts: 9
Location: Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece
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First of all, thank you very much for the feedback and help. I was away for vacation, that's why I reply so delayed.

      muchan wrote:
may be rfkill?
install rfkill, then "rfkill list".
If you see something blocked, try "rfkill unblock {number}".
I need to do it sometimes to make my wi-fi functioning.

Rfkill was already installed but the wifi card was not blocked.

      slh wrote:
This said, unless you can confirm better performance with the original operating system (windows), I wouldn't rule out hardware issues either

I hadn't actually thought of that - this particular notebook is of a very poor construction quality (the space bar was not working correctly - I had to disassemble it and put a thin carton underneath to have it work correctly - something that lots of people in the web are reporting). Anyway, in win (bliah) 7 the damn wireless card works almost perfectly (almost as one out of the ten times I booted the laptop in win,the card behaved exactly like it does in linux - but the other times it operated flawlessly).
Besides windows, I installed debian testing and sid, mint debian and arch and the wireless card worked in none of them.

So, I borrowed a couple of wifi-usb-sticks from friends and I found one that works perfectly.

A filthy thing to do, but living with windows or without wireless would be filthier.. Evil or Very Mad
 
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