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I think I may have found the cause of my problems with connecting to wifi in Ubuntu 11.10.

I type this in Terminal:

peter@peter-AO531h:~$ rfkill list all
0: phy0: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: no
    Hard blocked: yes
1: acer-wireless: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: yes
    Hard blocked: no
peter@peter-AO531h:~$ rfkill unblock all
peter@peter-AO531h:~$ 

If I am correct I must unblock all of those "yes", right? But nothing happens when I try to unblock. Am I typing the wrong command?


typing "sudo modprobe -r acer_wmi" seem to have added another problem, now I can't even try to click on the "Enable wireless"-button as it has been grayed out and "1: acer-wireless: Wireless LAN" does not show anymore in the rfkill list. Does anyone have any idea how to fix that?

EDIT: I rebooted and now it is not grayed out anymore and the rfkill list all shows as:

0: phy0: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: no
    Hard blocked: no
1: acer-wireless: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: yes
    Hard blocked: no

The 0 is not Hard blocked anymore, but I guess 1 needs to be put off soft blocked somehow.

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3 Answers 3

"Hard blocked" cannot be changed by software, look for a wifi toggle on your keyboard or edges of the laptop; the device can also be hard blocked if disabled in the bios.

"Soft blocked" means "blocked by software". A faulty driver or other kernel module can lead to connectivity loss.

Some methods to get WiFi working are described on help.ubuntu.com/

There is also a Launchpad question on this issue: answers.launchpad.net

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Thanks for the answer but none of that helped me. And typing "sudo modprobe -r acer_wmi" seem to have added another problem, now I can't even try to click on the "Enable wireless"-button as it has been grayed out and "1: acer-wireless: Wireless LAN" does not show anymore in the rfkill list. Does anyone have any idea how to fix that? EDIT: I rebooted and now it is not grayed out anymore and the rfkill list all shows as: 0: phy0: Wireless LAN Soft blocked: no Hard blocked: no 1: acer-wireless: Wireless LAN Soft blocked: yes Hard blocked: no The 0 is not Hard blocked anymore, but I guess 1 needs –  user43703 Jan 26 '12 at 18:54
    
sudo modprobe acer_wmi is the opposite of sudo modprobe -r acer_wmi –  Lekensteyn Jan 26 '12 at 18:57
    
THANK YOU! IVE BEEN LOOKING FOR THAT ANSWER FOR HOURS! YOU'VE JUST SOLVED MY PROBLEM! THANKS! –  jaorizabal Mar 14 '12 at 22:37
    
FYI hard block also happens when the wifi is disabled in the bios. –  Mike Pennington May 17 at 18:55
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I had similar problems with HARD BLOCKED yes.

I found that I had to re-enable the wireless in the bios. I powered off the laptop. Powered it on. Press F2 for setup Go to Advanced, Onboard Devices and saw wireless was disabled. changed the setting. F10 and wahoo... yes... the blue light I was looking for returned... :)

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I'm using Ubuntu 12.04 on HP ProBook 4520s with Broadcom 4313 wireless. I have a "toggle wifi" button that is not recognized by Linux and does not work. However if I plug a network cable and turn the PC off then Ubuntu somehow forgets about the wifi and next time I boot the wireless is hard-blocked. The wifi button does not work so there's no way to unblock it :(

I found the following solution:

  • dual-boot to windows where the button works
  • enable wifi
  • reboot to linux

Hope this helps someone looking to fix a similar issue

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