Wifi DOA: troubleshooting, workarounds, repair?

Discussion in 'Asus (Android)' started by Dan S., Jul 3, 2011.

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  1. Dan S.

    Dan S. Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi folks,

    My eee note just arrived from ebay, and unfortunately its wifi doesn't work. :(

    Surface symptoms:
    - 'turn on wifi' from top right --> complete freeze for 20+ seconds;
    - 'wifi settings' (either from menu or top right) --> spins for a good long time, list of networks is empty.

    Going deeper after telnetting in (THANKS by the way for the research and tools here @ freeenote):
    - No wifi interfaces visible with iwconfig
    - Errors in dmesg when trying to turn wifi on: http://pastebin.com/J3nb2eKC

    Doing some code diving and comparing vs what ended up in dmesg, it looks like the wifi module is present and recognised, but there's an error early on in the init process (uploading firmware).

    So, I'm stuck. Here's my options as I see them:

    1) Open 'er up and check for loose connections, etc, to the wifi module. (Not entirely certain from the pics posted to date where this is.)

    1a) If I'm really really lucky, the wifi module is packaged in a way (as an SD card?) that I can replace. (Can't tell from the pics; might be hard to source the replacement part.)

    2) Try to use a 2nd wifi card in the SD slot.

    3) Bite the bullet, ship it overseas, buy another. Also from overseas.

    I've only got a couple of days before option (3) becomes unavailable; I thought I'd see what everyone's opinions might be.

    ====

    Unrelated: This gizmo is FANTASTICALLY hackable. I'm really looking forward to coding for it.
     
  2. Ramses800

    Ramses800 Template Trickster

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    Have you tried a Factory Reset?
     
  3. pbarrette

    pbarrette Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hi Dan,

    The wifi module is soldered to the main board. There is only 1 connection, and that is for the antenna.

    Your dmesg output also showed that your ext3 partition may be corrupt. That is the user partition which contains your data, but it also contains the root partition with the wireless drivers and firmware file for the wireless device.

    You may consider doing an fsck on /dev/mss/blk0p6 to see if there are any problems. You could also do a firmware reload to see if that fixes the issue.

    If it's not a problem with the internal SD card image, then you should probably return it because the wireless device can't really be replaced.

    pb
     
  4. Dan S.

    Dan S. Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi Ramses -- I neglected to mention it, but a factory reset is one of the first things I tried. Thanks for the recommendation; next up will probably be a firmware upgrade/reinstall once I'm home & have access to a windows VM.
     
  5. Dan S.

    Dan S. Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello pbarrette -- Thanks for the suggestions, and a begrudging thanks for the bad news about the wifi packaging. ;)

    I just compared md5sums on /lib/firmware/mrvl/* vs. what's available from support.asus.com (in the kernel source code download); they match, so no corruption there. Perhaps there's a disk error in sd86xx.ko or the kernel itself, but that doesn't seem too likely.

    Next up I'll try a firmware reinstall, but I suspect I'll be packing this guy back into a box and sending it overseas.

    (Double bummer: the seller I bought from only offers a refund, not a replacement; so I'll be paying overseas shipping 3x and dealing with ebay a 2nd time. Still ... worth it!)
     
  6. Blaster

    Blaster Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I got my ae800 today, exactly the same problem :( Maybe we got it from the same seller on ebay?

    have tried updating the firmware, no success.
     
  7. Dan S.

    Dan S. Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Perhaps. Seems plausible that we may have both been hit by a bad batch in the supply chain somewhere; if so it would make sense that they might have ended up in the same seller's hands. I'll PM you the seller's name; so far they've been very responsive/professional so I doubt the bad component would be their fault unless their "convert to english" procedure (which they did before shipping) was somehow seriously borked.
     
  8. Blaster

    Blaster Pen Pal - Newbie

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    It was a different seller, but mine did also do the "convert to english" procedure before shipping.

    I do not think the wlan interface is completely broken because I once managed to find my wireless accespoints on the enote, but I dont know why it worked that one time :S

    How is the /etc/wlan_config file supposed to look? mine is empty
     
  9. Dan S.

    Dan S. Pen Pal - Newbie

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    On my unit, /etc/wlan_config is a directory with a handful of *.conf files in it.

    Your symptoms are a bit different than mine.

    Does the "iwconfig" command print anything out? Also, what's the output of "lsmod"?
     
  10. Blaster

    Blaster Pen Pal - Newbie

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    hmm weird :S

    iwconfig returns lo and "no wireless extensions".

    lsmod lists:
    ed86xx and bmm
     
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