wlan blocked

Just this week I replaced the hard drive in my laptop with a solid-state drive. As part of the process I did a clean install of Fedora 28 Workstation to the drive.

The install went very smoothly but when got into using the machine (which is now so fast!) I noticed that wi-fi was disabled. I usually use my machine on a wired connection, so it was no biggie but it’s one of those nagging things that I had to fix. I had used wi-fi in the past few weeks, so it was a new problem.

With this kind of thing you work through the list of recent changes and usually it’s one of those. So I plugged in the old drive, booted to that and found that wi-fi was still unavailable. I booted to an older kernel; still nothing.

Scouring the internet for a solution I found some useful commands. This first, iwconfig, I was familiar with. It was giving:

virbr0    no wireless extensions.
virbr0-nic no wireless extensions.
lo no wireless extensions.
wlp9s0 IEEE 802.11 ESSID:off/any
Mode:Managed Access Point: Not-Associated Tx-Power=off
Retry short limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Encryption key:off
Power Management:off
enp5s0 no wireless extensions.

So the OS knew about the device. Then lspci -v gives lots of output, but of interest here is:

09:00.0 Network controller: Qualcomm Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
Subsystem: Dell Wireless 1702 802.11bgn Half-size Mini PCIe Card [AR9002WB-1NGCD]
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 19
Memory at f7e00000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 3
Capabilities: [50] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit-
Capabilities: [60] Express Legacy Endpoint, MSI 00
Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting
Capabilities: [140] Virtual Channel
Capabilities: [160] Device Serial Number [ Redacted ]
Capabilities: [170] Power Budgeting
Kernel driver in use: ath9k
Kernel modules: ath9k

But the command of interest was rfkill which gave:

0 wlan phy0 blocked blocked
1 bluetooth hci0 blocked unblocked

The device was there, but disabled in hardware. I tried the Fn-F2 key combo and that was switching airplane mode on/off, but it never enabled wi-fi.

Further Googling found a similar problem affecting Asus devices. So following that advice I reset the BIOS (set default values on this machine) and rebooted. This fixed the problem.

Fedora 10 FTW!

I upgraded my laptop, an old Asus, from Fedora 9 to 10 just this week. I have to say that it’s great. To start I now have the latest OpenOffice.org, version 3, though not had chance to use it. I’m looking forward to the latest GIMP and Inkscape too.

The big difference that I tested was recognising my digital camera, a Nikon S600. This camera doesn’t act as a mass storage device, so under F9 I had to drop to a command and connect to it. This is fixed in F10, with the camera running in PTP mode. Plug it in and it automatically appears and is browsable. I’m working through testing other stuff. So far the other big win is that I can now use the SD card slot, not just for SD, I also find that SDHC works.

Gnome is looking good too. I ran with the Echo icon set in F9 and that has carried over. The upgrade was painless and has maintained everything as far as I can tell.