I purchased a USB wireless adapter TP-LINK TL-WN7200ND, which uses a Ralink RT3070 chipset. Right now I'm using Ubuntu 12.10.

It detects the adapter as Ralink, but when I try to use it, it doesn't let me and forces me to use the wireless integrated on the laptop, so I think it's because of the drivers.

  • 1
    Please, tell us if the answer has been useful for you. And feel free to edit it with any suggestion that you think necessary. Also, you can mark it as accepted so it remains as answered.
    – Lucio
    Mar 4, 2013 at 2:17

2 Answers 2


In order for Network Manager to use the USB device, find out what the driver is for your internal and blacklist it. Learn the driver with:

sudo lshw -C network

For example,on my machine, I see:

   description: Wireless interface
   product: Centrino Advanced-N 6200
   vendor: Intel Corporation
   <snip> driver=iwlwifi driverversion=3.5.0-25-generic firmware=     <snip>

So, if I wanted to disable my internal, I'd blacklist iwlwifi.

sudo su
echo "blacklist iwlwifi" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
modprobe -r iwlwifi

Then the USB, using the built-in driver rt2800usb, should work fine.

Of course, if the internal is not working as expected, we could troubleshoot it.


For Ubuntu 10.04 and below

  1. You have to know the ID of your device, so enter the command lsusb in a terminal. It will show you a list like this, remember the ID number (e.g. 083a:a701). You can unplug/plug until see the correct one.
  2. Unplug the adapter!

  3. In the terminal enter the following command:

    echo 'install rt2870sta modprobe --ignore-install rt2870sta ; /bin/echo "XXXX YYYY" > /sys/bus/usb/drivers/rt2870/new_id' | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/rt2870sta.conf

    Replace XXXX with the values before the colon : and YYYY with the values after it, respectively. And don't modify anything there, because the rt2870sta chip will work for you.

  4. Enter the followings commands:

    sudo modprobe -rf rt2870sta
    sudo modprobe rt2870sta dmesg | egrep 'rt28|usb|Phy'

  5. Connect the adapter and done

Now it should be working, if you enter iwconfig you should see something like this

If you have problems restarting the system, edit the file /etc/rc.local with sudo gedit /etc/rc.local and add modprobe rt2870sta before the last line (exit 0).

NOTE: this guide was published by JJ in this thread. As I didn't test, I do not give any guarantee of its operation.

  • 1
    The driver rt2870sta is not present in 12.10. This technique will not work.
    – chili555
    Mar 4, 2013 at 13:14
  • @chili555 Do you know if this could work in newer versions than Ubuntu 10.04?
    – Lucio
    Mar 5, 2013 at 0:16
  • 1
    I believe it will work up to 11.10. If this command returns output, then yes: modinfo rt2870sta
    – chili555
    Mar 5, 2013 at 0:18
  • @chili555 Oh, could you add the information that you know into the answer? It is a CW post :-)
    – Lucio
    Mar 5, 2013 at 0:22

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