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I recently posted a question but couldn't get any help from it so here goes again: I am new to Linux. I downloaded Ubuntu 12.10 onto a USB drive to put on an old laptop just for fun. I realized that Ubuntu is awesome and wanted to install it. The install worked fine but here is the problem:

when I boot it from the hard drive I can't get wireless. There are no wireless routers listed, nor is "enable wireless".

When I boot it from the USB drive (i.e. "Try Ubuntu" at the first pop-up) it automatically connects to wireless. A dozen nearby routers show up and "enable wireless" is visible. I cannot just boot from USB every time because it is only 4GB compared to a 500GB hard drive.

I really want to use Ubuntu; it seems great, but I also need wireless service. Am I using a wrong form of Ubuntu? What is the problem here, and how do I fix it?

Thank you so much for helping me.

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Seems like you've driver problem, but to be sure try the following:
1. Is you wireless card detected?

Run the following command in terminal(CTRL-ALT-T)

sudo lshw -C network

2. In case your card is disabled, enable it by:

sudo rfkill unblock wifi

3. If it still doesn't works, update your system(Dash > Update Manager).

This will update your driver.

4. Still doesn't works, search for additional driver(Dash > Additional Drivers)
If a wifi driver is listed (Broadcom or anything else) install it.

More resources:

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