(Solved) WiFi not working

The built-in wireless on my Acer Aspire One netbook died. It had been working fine with no issues. I bought a USB wireless dongle to replace it. It appears to be recognized, but no SSIDs show up in the networking panel and the icon has a yellow question mark over the wireless symbol.

I’ve attached a portion of the dmesg printout and a screenshot. The adapter specs indicates the chipset is Ralink RT5370.

Thanks in advance for any help. I’m a Linux/Netrunner Noobie, so instructions need to be pretty detailed, especially if it involves terminal commands.

Did you open up the driver manager already to check if it offers you any driver to be installed?

For the future always take a look beforehand if a particular chip/wifi card is supported on linux. For starters I always recommend chips from atheros that are supported with ath5k or ath9k. They work out of the box and have the most advanced drivers.

Install the nonfree firmware package.
sudo apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree

If that doesn’t fix it then look here:

OK. Thanks for the help. The issue is “solved” but now I’m really baffled.

I followed your instructions, AJSlye:

When I restarted, the internal WiFi worked again! It had been out for several days and appeared to be totally unresponsive. Can someone explain why adding a package could cause a component, which had been working fine for months in Netrunner 14.1, then quit working, to suddenly to start working again? Did something change in an update?

As a sidebar, I think the USB adapter may be faulty. I tried it on a Windows machine with the included drivers and it did the same thing, no SSIDs were reported even though there are several in the vicinity. Guess I don’t need it now.

Something you did, installed or that was updated either deleted the needed firmware files or removed the linux-firmware-nonfree package from your system. You could have also received a kernel update that required a newer version of the linux-firmware-nonfree package, but for whatever reason the update process missed updating that package as well.

We could probably track down what caused this, but why bother if it’s working.
On the bright side, If this happens again at least now you know how to fix it now. :slight_smile: