Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

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Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

Postby NotSoGreatGoogaMooga » 2018-09-14 23:19

I recently purchased a PCIe wireless network card from ThinkPenguin (model TPE-N300PCIED3). When installed the boot-up sequence continues normally until the point where the graphic login screen (I'm not sure of the proper term) would load. The system hangs and just shows a flashing horizontal cursor. The issue replicates on either PCIe slot. I'm able to boot to the command line in recovery mode. All packages are up to date.

For the life of me, I can't figure how how a network card would be interfering with the graphics manager. I've emailed ThinkPenguin technical support, but perhaps someone else here can provide me with an answer.
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Re: Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

Postby Segfault » 2018-09-15 00:05

Wonders of systemd. I do not use systemd myself (and never will), but I'm guessing there is a log somewhere, looking at it will probably point to the culprit. Is it completely hung or you can switch to the next console?
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Re: Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

Postby NotSoGreatGoogaMooga » 2018-09-15 02:46

It's completely hung, non-responsive to the keyboard. If I let it sit long enough the screen goes blank, but jiggling the mouse brings it back up, so I know it's at least responsive to the mouse. For all the good that does me.

I tested the card on a different computer also running Debian 9, but using different hardware. No issues on that card. Could the issue be with my hardware? How would I even go about looking at something like that?
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Re: Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

Postby wizard10000 » 2018-09-15 09:05

I think you have a hardware problem. Try blacklisting the wireless card's driver and see if the machine boots then (my guess is it won't).

From your recovery console edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf and add this to the bottom of the file -
Code: Select all
blacklist ath9k
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Re: Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

Postby debiman » 2018-09-15 10:21

NotSoGreatGoogaMooga wrote:I recently purchased a PCIe wireless network card from ThinkPenguin (model TPE-N300PCIED3). When installed the boot-up sequence continues normally until the point where the graphic login screen (I'm not sure of the proper term) would load. The system hangs and just shows a flashing horizontal cursor.

i assume in this case "install" means physical installation of hardware.
that would be my first vector of research (before wildly and unfoundedly accusing systemd :roll:).
see that everything is seated properly, no dirt, etc. also the other components (maybe you accidentally wiggled something else).

tbh, i don't think it will help either, but it's really sth you should check off your list before continuing.

then look at the logs.
Code: Select all
journalctl
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Re: Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

Postby CwF » 2018-09-15 13:32

NotSoGreatGoogaMooga wrote:It's completely hung, non-responsive to the keyboard. If I let it sit long enough the screen goes blank, but jiggling the mouse brings it back up, so I know it's at least responsive to the mouse. For all the good that does me.


It's not completely hung, you're in VT7. That's why it blanks the screen and returns with a mouse wiggle. The keyboard is working and the only response will be from <Ctrl><Alt><F1>, or F2 or ....

Do the key combo to get to VT1 and you will see the messages.
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Re: Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

Postby NotSoGreatGoogaMooga » 2018-09-15 13:38

debiman wrote:i assume in this case "install" means physical installation of hardware.
that would be my first vector of research (before wildly and unfoundedly accusing systemd :roll:).
see that everything is seated properly, no dirt, etc. also the other components (maybe you accidentally wiggled something else).


Proper physical installation was the first thing I checked. When I removed the card, the machine boots normally. I moved it into another room with a wired connection last night and tried booting with a hardline connection thinking maybe that would somehow route around the issue with the wireless card but no dice. I installed an identical card on another machine and it worked just fine. My next step will be switching the cards to see if maybe I just got a defective card.

debiman wrote:then look at the logs.
Code: Select all
journalctl

What should I be looking for? I'm out of my depth here.
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Re: Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

Postby NotSoGreatGoogaMooga » 2018-09-15 13:40

wizard10000 wrote:I think you have a hardware problem. Try blacklisting the wireless card's driver and see if the machine boots then (my guess is it won't).

From your recovery console edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf and add this to the bottom of the file -
Code: Select all
blacklist ath9k


If I blacklist the hardware driver this prevents the card from functioning, correct?
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Re: Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

Postby bw123 » 2018-09-15 13:43

I searched for TPE-N300PCIED3 and found a pretty nice support page:
https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/ ... ng-devices

Did you try all these steps?

If you would contact us about a networking issue with a wifi card please provide the output from the following commands...


You can use paste.debian.net if you need to post info, or use code tags here on the forum.
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Re: Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

Postby wizard10000 » 2018-09-15 16:44

NotSoGreatGoogaMooga wrote:If I blacklist the hardware driver this prevents the card from functioning, correct?


Yup. It'll still get power but if the problem is software or firmware that should resolve it. If it still fails to boot with the driver blacklisted I'd replace the card.
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Re: Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

Postby NotSoGreatGoogaMooga » 2018-09-15 17:24

CwF wrote:It's not completely hung, you're in VT7. That's why it blanks the screen and returns with a mouse wiggle. The keyboard is working and the only response will be from <Ctrl><Alt><F1>, or F2 or ....

Do the key combo to get to VT1 and you will see the messages.


Thanks! That let me get to the command line log-in.
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Re: Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

Postby NotSoGreatGoogaMooga » 2018-09-15 17:40

wizard10000 wrote:Yup. It'll still get power but if the problem is software or firmware that should resolve it. If it still fails to boot with the driver blacklisted I'd replace the card.


There wasn't a specific blacklist.conf file inside /etc/modprobe.d/. The result of
Code: Select all
 ls /etc/modprobe.d/
is
Code: Select all
dkms.conf
fbdev-blacklist.conf
garmin-forerunner-tools.conf
modesetting.conf
nvidia-blacklists-nouveau.conf
nvidia.conf
nvidia.kernel.conf

I created the blacklist.conf file and added the code, but I get the same effect.
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Re: Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

Postby NotSoGreatGoogaMooga » 2018-09-15 17:55

It appears to be a hardware issue. When I pulled the other card, I noticed my wife installed her card in the PCI slot of her machine, rather than the PCI. I replicated her installation and the card appears to work just fine. I tested it with both cards just to make sure it's not a fluke. I'm going to return the PCIe cards for the PCI version, which is about $20 cheaper.

A big thanks to everyone for their advice and assistance!
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Re: Wireless Network Card preventing graphic login?

Postby CwF » 2018-09-15 18:03

@ NotSoGreatGoogaMooga, if you missed my comment above, I believe your are booting into a failed VT7. The Ctrl-Alt-F1 will get you to VT1 where the messages will be posted.

Some network cards with excess features invite infinite timeouts, entanglement with vt bios feature and the like.

For vfio purposed network cards I've seen this and ultimately try to use 'dumb' cards only.
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