Tagged: wifi

Wifi Disabled on HP Pavilion dm3 – Debian 9 (Stretch)

This happened before with Arch Linux, but when I installed Debian 9 (Stretch) on my HP Pavilion dm3-113us, its wifi device was disabled - there is a wifi button on the side and its LED indicator was orange instead of green.

The system seems to recognize the device:$ lspci ... 08:00.0 Network controller: Qualcomm Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01) # dmesg | grep -i ath ... [ 0.092000] smpboot: CPU0: AMD Athlon(tm) Neo X2 Dual Core Processor L335 (family: 0xf, model: 0x6b, stepping: 0x2) [ 11.533147] powernow_k8: Found 1 AMD Athlon(tm) Neo X2 Dual Core Processor L335 (2 cpu cores) (version 2.20.00) [ 11.672233] ath: phy0: Enable LNA combining [ 11.674887] ath: phy0: ASPM enabled: 0x42 [ 11.674890] ath: EEPROM regdomain: 0x69 [ 11.674891] ath: EEPROM indicates we should expect a direct regpair map [ 11.674894] ath: Country alpha2 being used: 00 [ 11.674895] ath: Regpair used: 0x69 [ 11.727078] ieee80211 phy0: Atheros AR9285 Rev:2 mem=0xffffb12042140000, irq=17 [ 13.125760] ath9k 0000:08:00.0 wlo1: renamed from wlan0 ...

It looks like necessary kernel modules were loaded as well:# lsmod ... ath 32768 3 ath9k_hw,ath9k,ath9k_common ath9k 94208 0 ath9k_common 32768 1 ath9k ath9k_hw 446464 2 ath9k,ath9k_common ...

I tried resetting BIOS or following weird steps like taking a battery out and booting it up, etc... but none worked.

I was almost giving up getting the wifi device to work, then I found this website that eventually led me to solve the problem. This site shows how to identify a wifi device (internal or usb), search its firmware driver, and install it.

Hmm... firmware, huh? I have not tried this option so I gave it a shot.

The information in this site is the result of my researches in the Internet and of my experiences. This information below is solely used for my purpose and may not be suitable for others.

First, let's search any firmware for my atheros:# apt-cache search atheros collectd-core - statistics collection and monitoring daemon (core system) firmware-linux-free - Binary firmware for various drivers in the Linux kernel firmware-atheros - Binary firmware for Atheros wireless cards firmware-zd1211 - binary firmware for the zd1211rw wireless driver

Yes, there are some hits. Based on their description, I installed firmware-atheros first: # apt-get install firmware-atheros ... Unpacking firmware-atheros ... Setting up firmware-atheros ...

I rebooted the system just in case.

My default Desktop Environment is LXDE (though I'll change it to i3 later) and it comes with wicd application. From wicd, I clicked on the Switch On Wi-Fi option. Nope, it did not enable the wifi device. So, I went back to the firmware list and decided to install another one.

firmware-zd1211 doesn't seem to be for my wifi device. Let's try with firmware-linux-free:# apt-get install firmware-linux-free ... Setting up firmware-linux-free (3.4) ... Update-initramfs: deferring update (trigger activated) Processing triggers for initramfs-tools (0.130) ... Update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-4.9.0-3-amd64

A moment of truth... I clicked on the Switch On Wi-Fi option again. Yes, a little LED light for Wifi on the side of my laptop changed from orange to blue, which indicates the wifi device is now enabled!

Now the wifi device is enabled after rebooting.

NOTE: The order and combinations to install these firmware seem to matter. I tried below scenarios:

1. Installed firmware-atheros
2. Installed firmware-linux-free
1. Installed firmware-linux-free
2. Installed firmware-atheros
1. Installed firmware-atheros ONLY
1. Installed firmware-linux-free ONLY

The wifi device was successfully enabled in the 1st scenario but it didn't work for everything else. So, just be careful!

At the very beginning of this post, I mentioned same wifi device didn't work with Arch Linux. Maybe, I needed a firmware for it to work just like this one. When I get a chance, I'll try that option. But for now, I'm very satisfied with the outcome.

That's all!

Adding Another Wirelesss Router Along with Verizon (FIOS) Actiontec Router

I admit. I didn't care much about WiFi signal strength or range for my cellphone because I had the unlimited data plan from Verizon. But my way of thinking now needs to be changed as my old HTC thunderbolt started acting up to the point where I could no longer tolerate (it sometimes takes 15 mins to start making a call after inputting numbers, on-screen keyboard doesn't input anything, etc...). So finally I decided to upgrade my device and plan.

As I started using WiFi at home, I realized the WiFi signal didn't cover all the rooms and somehow I needed to extend the signal range. The best way would be to relocate my current Actiontec router from Verizon somewhere center of the house but this was not an option for me. Another way was to use another wireless router as AP (Access Point) along with Actiontec router. Luckily, I still had ASUS Wireless router (RT-N56U) that I used to use before FIOS and used it to extend the WiFi signal range.

Here is the steps that I took to configure the primary router (Actiontec) and secondary router (ASUS).

The information in this site is the result of my researches in the Internet and of my experiences. It is solely used for my purpose and may not be suitable for others. I will NOT take any responsibilities of end result after following these steps (although I will try to help if you send me your questions/problems).

Configuring the Primary Router (Actiontec)

1) First thing first, disconnect all patch cables connected to the primary router except the one system used to configure it. This step involves changing DHCP address range, so it's better to turn off any devices using wireless connection and reset the primary router to start off with clean state.

2) Access the configuration page of the primary router from web browser pointing to

3) Once successfully logged in, go to My NetworkNetwork ConnectionNetwork (Home/Office) then click on the Settings button. Scroll down a bit and locate IP Address Distribution.

IP Address Distribution: DHCP Server
Start IP Address:
End IP Address:
Subnet Mask:


The starting IP address I used was 6. This is because address 1 is reserved for the IP address for the primary router. Address 2 is for the secondary router and I have some other devices that I wanted to use static IP address (ex: my primary system, printer, etc...).

4) Click Apply, then click Apply again.

5) Now set up the static IP address for the secondary router, my primary system and printer. Go to Advanced → Click on YesIP Address DistributionConnection ListNew Static Connection

Make sure the physical address (MAC address) is available for each system configuring for static IP address

6) Make sure that the system still has the Internet connection.

Configuring the Secondary Router (ASUS)

7) Unplug the patch cable from the primary router and plug it in the LAN port of the secondary router. Then restart networking. I used my notebook with Debian and below is the commands: # /etc/init.d/networking stop # /etc/init.d/networking start

8) Again, access the configuration page of the secondary router from web browser pointing to

9) Now configure this secondary router as Access Point (AP). There are two ways to do this:

i. Setting Up AP Mode: I updated its firmware to and AP mode became available.

Go to Administration and make sure Access Point(AP) mode is selected.


Set up static IP address for this router.

IP Address:
Subnet Mask:
Default Gateway:


Then set up wireless, such as SSID, Network Key, etc...

ii. Setting Up Manually: Manual setting is not difficult. All you need to do is to setup the static IP address and disable DHCP.

Set up the static IP address for the secondary router. Go to LAN under the Advanced Settings → LAN IP

IP Address:
Subnet Mask:


Now disable DHCP. Go to LANDHCP Server and make sure Enable the DHCP Server is set to No


Let's Connect Two Routers

10) Connect a patch cable from a LAN port on the primary router to a LAN port on the secondary router. At this point, I can connect to the configuration page of the primary router via and that of the secondary router via

That's all!