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My wireless connection tends to break from time to time. When that happens, there are no wireless networks displayed in Network Manager. WICD can't detect any either. The only thing I can do is to reboot and after that my wireless works until the next connection drop out.

What I've tried so far:

Using the hardware switch doesn't work. If I try that even with a working connection, I can't unblock it without a restart.

lshw -C network:

  *-network
       description: Wireless interface
       product: AR242x / AR542x Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express)
       vendor: Atheros Communications Inc.
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:05:00.0
       logical name: wlan0
       version: 01
       serial: 00:1c:26:cb:ed:7b
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress msix bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=ath5k driverversion=3.0.0-28-generic firmware=N/A ip=192.168.198.101 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bg
       resources: irq:19 memory:f0400000-f040ffff

lspci:

05:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x / AR542x Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)

Tried this advice to reload the network driver, but it didn't help:

$ sudo modprobe -r ath5k
$ sudo modprobe ath5k

Also, sudo restart network-manager or sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart didn't help.

dmesg | grep -i firmware lists some error even when my connection works:

[24.771652] [Firmware Bug]: ACPI(Z00P) defines _DOD but not _DOS

Apparently brightness control has some problems too, I googled "Acer Aspire 5520 has backlight broken". (that's my laptop)

Anyway, I'd appreciate if someone could help me to get the wireless to restart without a reboot.

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