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I am trying to install Ubuntu 14.04.3 on someone's IdeaPad S205. Ever since booting from live USB, WiFi wasn't available, saying it was "disabled by hardware switch".

Yes, I have rebooted a couple of times, toggled the hardware switch, toggles the BIOS switch.

Some console:

$ sudo lshw -C network
[...]
  *-network DEAKTIVIERT
       Beschreibung: Kabellose Verbindung
       Produkt: RT3090 Wireless 802.11n 1T/1R PCIe
       Hersteller: Ralink corp.
       Physische ID: 0
       Bus-Informationen: pci@0000:03:00.0
       Logischer Name: wlan0
       Version: 00
       Seriennummer: 94:39:e5:54:23:e3
       Breite: 32 bits
       Takt: 33MHz
       Fähigkeiten: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
       Konfiguration: broadcast=yes driver=rt2800pci driverversion=3.19.0-26-generic firmware=N/A latency=0 link=no multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bgn
       Ressourcen: irq:18 memory:f0100000-f010ffff

$ rfkill list
0: ideapad_bluetooth: Bluetooth
    Soft blocked: yes
    Hard blocked: no
1: phy0: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: no
    Hard blocked: yes

Hardware switch actually disabled

$ rfkill list
0: ideapad_bluetooth: Bluetooth
    Soft blocked: yes
    Hard blocked: yes
1: phy0: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: no
    Hard blocked: yes

I've tried installing rt3290sta, but that makes it disappear altogether:

$ sudo lshw -C network
[...]
  *-network UNGEFORDERT
       Beschreibung: Network controller
       Produkt: RT3090 Wireless 802.11n 1T/1R PCIe
       Hersteller: Ralink corp.
       Physische ID: 0
       Bus-Informationen: pci@0000:03:00.0
       Version: 00
       Breite: 32 bits
       Takt: 33MHz
       Fähigkeiten: pm msi pciexpress cap_list
       Konfiguration: latency=0
       Ressourcen: memory:f0100000-f010ffff

$ rfkill list
0: ideapad_bluetooth: Bluetooth
    Soft blocked: yes
    Hard blocked: no

Other things I tried without success: this, rfkill unblock all in all variations, this, IDE instead of AHCI

Long story short: No matter what I do, the card pretends to be hardware disabled.

EDIT

$ sudo dmidecode | grep 'System Information' -A8
System Information
    Manufacturer: LENOVO
    Product Name: 10383EG
    Version: Ideapad S205
    Serial Number: [...]
    UUID: [...]
    Wake-up Type: Power Switch
    SKU Number: System SKU Number Unknown
    Family: IDEAPAD 
  • This can be fixed easily. But are you sure that there is no hardware wireless switch? – Pilot6 Sep 2 '15 at 19:12
  • Please edit your question and add output of sudo dmidecode | grep 'System Information' -A8 terminal command. – Pilot6 Sep 2 '15 at 19:19
  • There certainly is a hardware switch. It's just on. And it's not broken, the OS that was installed before (MS W10) could connect to wireless alright. – neo post modern Sep 2 '15 at 19:57
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Some genius made this PPA featuring rt5390sta driver at version 2.4.0.4 which after a couple of restarts finally made the WiFi work. (The download they reference at the official Ralink website doesn't seem to exist anymore)

It isn't maintained anymore and the kernel module build throws a bunch of warnings, made the thing work though, so whatever.

I recommened adding this line to your sources, offering the latest version, intended for natty:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/markus-tisoft/rt3090/ubuntu natty main 

You then need to

sudo apt-get install rt5390-dkms

and add these lines to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf:

blacklist rt2800pci
blacklist rt2800lib
blacklist rt2x00usb
blacklist rt2x00pci
blacklist rt2x00lib
blacklist rt2860sta
blacklist rt3090sta

...or read my source for solving this.

EDIT Okay, I lied. It stopped working a few minutes later. Had to give up on Ubuntu on that machine unfortunately.

0

I struggled with the same issue. It seems that the solution is to rearrange the boot-order in the BIOS, such that it will try to boot from "PCI LAN. Realtek..." first.

This may explain why Wifi worked from Live-USB in case your boot-order is such that "USB" comes after "PCI Lan".

You may find this solution as a note in the answer to Cant install ubuntu 12.04, 14.04 64bit on my lenovo s205 ,for example.

  • This worked in our case. It's possibly why resetting the BIOS to defaults works too. – pix Aug 23 '16 at 11:01

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