[PC-BSD Testing] Intel PRO 2200 Wi-fi card not working -- Found solution

Kris Moore kris at pcbsd.com
Mon Sep 17 08:57:56 PDT 2007

Ian Robinson wrote:
> I am writing as a follow-up to my post earlier today about my Intel Pro 2200
> wireless network card not working.  I also noticed that others have reported
> wi-fi problems through messages in Volume 9, Issue 18, Messages # 7 and #9.
> I am sure that many people will have problems getting the Intel Pro 2200
> ("iwi") wifi card to work.
> In my case (Acer Travelmate 4001), the critical piece of information was
> that the wifi radio was OFF.  Neither ifconfig, sysctl, or other means of
> turning the switch on or off were not working.
> In researching the Source Forge FAQ for the Intel 2200, the FAQ referenced
> an RF Switch.  So I tracked down RF Switch further on Source Forge to
> another page and a laptop matrix.  I found out that Linux had a driver for
> Acer called the "Acer Hot Key Driver", also known as "acerhk".  I looked in
> ports and found there is nothing for either rf switches or for acerhk
> modules.
> I googled around on that and found several web pages referencing that owners
> of laptops with the Intel 2200 had found relief by one of two ways:
> (1) pressing in on the "wifi" button on the face edge of the Acer (did not
> work for me) or
> (2) booting Windows in order to activate the wireless card (which did work
> for me).
> I found several web pages with those "solutions", but the largest collection
> of ideas was at http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-191492.html
> (sorry to have to use the "U" word).
> After booting to Windows and then rebooting PCBSD, the wi-fi icon in the
> panel quickly changed from a red "X" to green and popped up with a message
> that it was "associated".  I double-clicked to load the Network Manager.
> Network Manager functioned perfectly now.  I scanned the ssid's that were
> broadcasting, clicked on mine, put in my WEP code, and I was connected. Go
> figure.
> Hope this helps lead to a real solution.
> P.S.  My previous post indicates that I added several lines to my
> /boot/loader.conf and rc.conf.  I don't know if I still  need them, so I'll
> have to experiment.  But if they are needed, then wi-fi configuration will
> not be automatic "out of the box" unless some script can be automated to run
> when the iwi module is selected.
> Sincerely,
> Ian Robinson
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You are correct in your diagnosis here. My dev laptop also uses the same
iwi0 device, and I found the same issue here. The extra modules you
added to loader.conf and rc.conf aren't needed, but the key was the
radio being turned off. Somebody told me it has to do with the keyboard
driver, and network driver not being able to communicate, for example I
have to hit "Function+F2" to turn on my radio (Asus system), but it only
works in Windows with their custom driver :(

However, if I just leave the radio on, it works just fine when I boot
into PC-BSD. I'll keep looking into this, and if we can ever find a way
to automatically "enable" the radio if its off, then we'll do so :)


Kris Moore
PC-BSD Software

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