I have recently revived an old Sony Vaio VGN-N230E laptop of mine, and installed Linux Mint on it:
gctrindade@gctrindade-VGN-N230E ~ $ lsb_release -irc Distributor ID: LinuxMint Release: 13 Codename: maya gctrindade@gctrindade-VGN-N230E ~ $ uname -or 3.2.0-23-generic GNU/Linux
The laptop works just fine, except for one problem: it has a hardware wifi switch that is slightly "loose". As a consequence, the laptop will randomly/constantly switch its wifi off, even when physically idle (something to do with some spring, perhaps?).
When that happens, rfkill displays the wifi as "hard blocked":
gctrindade@gctrindade-VGN-N230E ~ $ rfkill list 0: phy0: Wireless LAN Soft blocked: no Hard blocked: yes
This is particularly frustrating, seeing how I'm connecting to it remotely (SSH).
A few things I have tried:
Checking the BIOS for some sort of wlan/wifi setting. I failed to find anything related to it. (Note: I have not tried to "reset to factory defaults", as some other posts have suggested.)
rfkill unblock all does not work, as the wifi remains "hard blocked".
ifconfig wlan0 up fails with the following error message:
gctrindade@gctrindade-VGN-N230E ~ $ ifconfig wlan0 up SIOCSIFFLAGS: Operation not possible due to RF-kill
ip link set wlan0 up also fails:
gctrindade@gctrindade-VGN-N230E ~ $ ifconfig wlan0 up RTNETLINK answers: Operation not possible due to RF-kill
lsmod | grep sony revealed that a module called
sony_laptop was loaded, and so I proceeded to do
echo "blacklist sony_laptop" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf and rebooted my computer. Unfortunately, the problem persists.
rm /etc/rfkill and rebooting does not work, as the wifi remains "hard blocked".
rfkill event, followed by
rfkill unblock xxxxxxxxxx.xxxxxx (with the number shown by the previous command) does not work, either.
Is it possible to bypass the hardware switch altogether?
Hopefully you guys have an idea how to solve this. It is really frustrating to have to come back to the laptop, just to squeeze the wifi switch (harder) onto the ON position every couple of hours.
Perhaps this has some valuable information:
gctrindade@gctrindade-VGN-N230E ~ $ lshw -c network [sudo] password for gctrindade: *-network description: Ethernet interface product: 88E8036 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller vendor: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. physical id: 0 bus info: pci@0000:02:00.0 logical name: eth0 version: 16 serial: 00:13:a9:4f:a9:73 capacity: 100Mbit/s width: 64 bits clock: 33MHz capabilities: pm vpd msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical tp 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd autonegotiation configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=sky2 driverversion=1.30 firmware=N/A latency=0 link=no multicast=yes port=twisted pair resources: irq:43 memory:d6000000-d6003fff ioport:2000(size=256) *-network description: Wireless interface product: PRO/Wireless 3945ABG [Golan] Network Connection vendor: Intel Corporation physical id: 0 bus info: pci@0000:06:00.0 logical name: wlan0 version: 02 serial: 00:19:d2:23:7f:eb width: 32 bits clock: 33MHz capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless configuration: broadcast=yes driver=iwl3945 driverversion=3.2.0-23-generic firmware=220.127.116.11 ip=192.168.15.4 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11abg resources: irq:44 memory:da000000-da000fff
Thanks in advance!