[xubuntu-users] Wireless Connectivity: 9.04, Toshiba Satellite

Rich Shepard rshepard at appl-ecosys.com
Thu Dec 10 15:04:44 UTC 2009

   Had to replace my wife's failing laptop and got a very good deal on the
low-end Toshiba Satellite L455-3975. It comes with a built-in Realtek
RTL8187 radio and I immediately installed xubuntu-9.04 on it.

   Unlike the two previous laptops that connected to our network via a PCMCIA
wireless card (a Lucent Orinoco Gold), this Toshiba will not connect to the
Linksys WRT54GC access point with sufficient signal strength unless it's in
direct line-of-sight. There are also connectivity issues at other locations
with wireless access.

   Thinking that the problem was with the Realtek driver in 9.04, I bought a
replacement radio: an Intel Pro 3945 which is well supported in linux.
However, while the kernel sees the radio on boot, something activates the rf
kill switch. A Google search reveals that this is not an unknown situation,
but users with other brand portables, and different distributions (including
kubuntu) have found solutions that prevent the kill switch from being
enabled. We cannot. We tried implementing the solutions used by others, but
none of them worked.

   This is very frustrating to my wife, and to me because I have to spend
time and effort trying to fix the problem. I would very much appreciate any
help you folks can provide. I'll swap radios again if there is a way to
prevent enabling the kill switch when the system boots. FWIW, this occurs
early in the boot process because with the Realtek installed the wireless on
light on the front edge of the laptop comes on almost immediately.



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