Christer Edwards is my hero

At Chez Songwind, we have a couple of laptops running Ubuntu.  We like them a lot, but when CraftyG33k upgraded her HP system, the wireless completely stopped working.

The log messages made it seem like the problem was with scanning for SSIDs, so the first solution tried was to set up the network manually so no scanning was necessary.  That didn’t help, either.

Finally, we found that there were release notes related to the Atheros “madwifi” drivers for 8.10.  That helped a lot, but they aren’t quite complete.  The notes say:

If you have an Atheros device that does not work with madwifi, you will want to install the linux-backports-modules-intrepid-generic package, which includes an updated version of the ath5k driver. While not installed by default, this linux-backports-modules-intrepid-generic package is included on the Ubuntu 8.10 CD and DVD images for ease of installation.

However, they fail to mention that you need to blacklist the ath_pci driver to get the new ath5k driver to load.  That’s where Christer came to the rescue.  He had run into the same issue with this Asus EEE PC, and posted about it on Ubuntu Tutorials.  I had started to have some suspicions in that direction, but it was a great help to see that someone else had conquered the same issue (without resorting to compiling bleeding edge CSV driver code).

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