[solved] Wlan not working on Compaq Mini 701eg

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[solved] Wlan not working on Compaq Mini 701eg

Postby Onsemeliot » 2020-05-17 07:51

I have a Compaq Mini 701eg at hand and Debian Buster works fine out of the box with the LXDE desktop. I only can't get the wireless working. I did use the firmware-b43-installer. So the Broadcom chip should work. Therefore, I figuredt the hardware switch might be the problem. I red somewhere that resetting the bios should help. But I can't find any such option in the very limited settings available there. Unfortunately HP doesn't seem to offer any way to update the bios firmware on GNU/Linux.

I found a hint that disconnecting one of the pins of the wireless card should lead to the effect that the hardware switch is ignored. When I tried to open the case I didn't find any way forward. And so far I was unable to find any guide for disassembling this particular device. I did only find four screws below rubber caps and two tiny screws in the battery shaft. But that doesn't seem to be enough to remove the bottom shell. (I fear I might break the case if I use force.) There isn't even an obvious way to open the independent small compartment which seems to cover the RAM module.

But after some tweaking I got the following output and it doesn't indicate any hardware or software problem. Even the light indicator on the hardware switch is now blue instead of red (also after re-booting the system):
Code: Select all
$ rfkill list
0: hp-wifi: Wireless LAN
   Soft blocked: no
   Hard blocked: no
1: hp-bluetooth: Bluetooth
   Soft blocked: no
   Hard blocked: no
2: phy0: Wireless LAN
   Soft blocked: no
   Hard blocked: no
3: hci0: Bluetooth
   Soft blocked: no
   Hard blocked: no

I don't actually need the hardware switch to work. It would be sufficient to enable the wireless permanently.

Despite everything seems to be correct I still can't find any wireless connections.

Can anyone give me a hint how I could get to a point where the wireless is available? (I don't mind if it would be permanently.)
Last edited by Onsemeliot on 2020-05-17 11:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wlan not working on Compaq Mini 701eg

Postby Onsemeliot » 2020-05-17 11:15

Surprisingly I was able to solve the problem by just entering "wlan0" as interface name in the network manager. (This surprises me especially because I thought that this old name scheme shouldn't be used any more.)
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Re: Wlan not working on Compaq Mini 701eg

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-05-17 12:54

Onsemeliot wrote:This surprises me especially because I thought that this old name scheme shouldn't be used any more

Yes, that is a bit weird.

Do you have the iwd package installed? Is 'net.ifnames=0' set as a kernel command line parameter? Is /etc/systemd/network/99-default.link a symlink to /dev/null?
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Re: [solved] Wlan not working on Compaq Mini 701eg

Postby Onsemeliot » 2020-05-17 13:28

"/etc/systemd/network/" seems to be empty.

I didn't set any custom kernel options. It is as installed out of the box. And "iwd" is not installed.
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Re: [solved] Wlan not working on Compaq Mini 701eg

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-05-17 16:27

Reading the documentation again I see that the old-style nomenclature is used as a fallback if udev can't find the firmware index number, PCI slot location or the physical location of the device so that must be why.
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