Comment 6 for bug 659143

Testing to see what happens on debian:

in summary:
aptosid (debian sid based live CD) with 2.6.35 kernel also shows the load firmware error in 64 bit and does not show that error in 32 bit.

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Details, only for reference:
aptosid keres live 64 bit
Linux aptosid 2.6.35-4.slh.9-aptosid-amd64 #1 SMP PREEMPT Mon Sep 13 16:28:34 UTC 2010 x86_64 GNU/Linux
comes with rt2800pci
no rt2860sta in /lib/modules/2.6.35-4.slh.9-aptosid-amd64/kernel/drivers/staging/

did not see firmware load error. not on loading of the stock driver nor after loading the compiled driver. But I did see this after trying to scan with Ceni:
 Oct 31 09:04:00 aptosid kernel: [ 977.437126] rt2800pci 0000:03:00.0: PCI INT A disabled
Oct 31 09:09:06 aptosid kernel: [ 1283.900961] cfg80211: Calling CRDA to update world regulatory domain
Oct 31 09:09:06 aptosid kernel: [ 1283.938498] cfg80211: World regulatory domain updated:
Oct 31 09:09:06 aptosid kernel: [ 1283.938502] (start_freq - end_freq @ bandwidth), (max_antenna_gain, max_eirp)
Oct 31 09:09:06 aptosid kernel: [ 1283.938505] (2402000 KHz - 2472000 KHz @ 40000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
Oct 31 09:09:06 aptosid kernel: [ 1283.938508] (2457000 KHz - 2482000 KHz @ 20000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
Oct 31 09:09:06 aptosid kernel: [ 1283.938510] (2474000 KHz - 2494000 KHz @ 20000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
Oct 31 09:09:06 aptosid kernel: [ 1283.938513] (5170000 KHz - 5250000 KHz @ 40000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
Oct 31 09:09:06 aptosid kernel: [ 1283.938515] (5735000 KHz - 5835000 KHz @ 40000 KHz), (300 mBi, 2000 mBm)
Oct 31 09:09:06 aptosid kernel: [ 1283.954353] rt2800pci 0000:03:00.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 17 (level, low) -> IRQ 17
Oct 31 09:09:06 aptosid kernel: [ 1283.954369] rt2800pci 0000:03:00.0: setting latency timer to 64
Oct 31 09:09:06 aptosid kernel: [ 1283.963501] phy0: Selected rate control algorithm 'minstrel'
Oct 31 09:09:06 aptosid kernel: [ 1283.965839] Registered led device: rt2800pci-phy0::radio
Oct 31 09:09:06 aptosid kernel: [ 1283.966166] Registered led device: rt2800pci-phy0::assoc
Oct 31 09:09:06 aptosid kernel: [ 1283.966568] Registered led device: rt2800pci-phy0::quality
Oct 31 09:15:48 aptosid kernel: [ 1685.122189] phy0 -> rt2x00lib_request_firmware: Error - Failed to request Firmware.

there is no firmware for this in /lib/firmware
copying firmware from maverick:
scan again:
Oct 31 09:33:34 aptosid kernel: [ 2751.018866] phy0 -> rt2800_load_firmware: Error - PBF system register not ready.

interpretation: unlike ubuntu with NetworkManager aptosid keres does not do as much without explicitly being told to. only if I scan does it even try to get firmware. so I have to put firmware in and scan. then i see whether it works. it does not. same problem.

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cold boot with same CD:
same results with stock rt2800pci. first rt2x00lib_request_firmware: Error - Failed to request Firmware. copying firmware in. rt2800_load_firmware: Error - PBF system register not ready.

---
cold boot with aptosid full's 32 bit kernel:
Linux aptosid 2.6.35-4.slh.9-aptosid-686 #1 SMP PREEMPT Mon Sep 13 16:40:35 UTC 2010 i686 GNU/Linux

Oct 31 10:49:11 aptosid kernel: [ 458.234103] phy0 -> rt2x00lib_request_firmware: Error - Failed to request Firmware.
copying firmware into /lib/firmware; scanning again:
Oct 31 10:50:21 aptosid kernel: [ 528.776756] phy0 -> rt2800pci_mcu_status: Error - MCU request failed, no response from hardware
Oct 31 10:50:21 aptosid kernel: [ 528.788312] ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready
Oct 31 10:50:23 aptosid kernel: [ 530.768069] cfg80211: Found new beacon on frequency: 2472 MHz (Ch 13) on phy0

success! I see a list of available wlans

however:
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Führe jetzt /usr/bin/Ceni aus.
Dieser Befehl benötigt die Privilegien von root, um ausgeführt zu werden.
Verwende sudo ...
Geben Sie das Passwort von aptosid ein.
Configuring interface wlan0=wlan0 (inet)
run-parts --verbose /etc/network/if-pre-up.d
run-parts: executing /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/bridge
run-parts: executing /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/wireless-tools
Error for wireless request "Set Mode" (8B06) :
    SET failed on device wlan0 ; Device or resource busy.
run-parts: executing /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/wpasupplicant
wpa_supplicant: using default driver type: wpa-driver wext
wpa_supplicant: /sbin/wpa_supplicant -s -B -P /var/run/wpa_supplicant.wlan0.pid -i wlan0 -D wext -C /var/run/wpa_supplicant
Starting /sbin/wpa_supplicant...
wpa_supplicant: creating sendsigs omission pidfile: /lib/init/rw/sendsigs.omit.d/wpasupplicant.wpa_supplicant.wlan0.pid
wpa_supplicant: ctrl_interface socket located at /var/run/wpa_supplicant/wlan0
wpa_supplicant: configuring network block -- 0
wpa_supplicant: wpa-ssid "estonia" -- OK
wpa_supplicant: wpa-key-mgmt NONE -- OK
wpa_supplicant: wpa-wep-key0 ***** -- OK
wpa_supplicant: wpa-wep-tx-keyidx 0 -- OK
wpa_supplicant: enabling network block 0 -- OK

dhclient -v -pf /var/run/dhclient.wlan0.pid -lf /var/lib/dhcp/dhclient.wlan0.leases wlan0
Internet Systems Consortium DHCP Client 4.1.1-P1
Copyright 2004-2010 Internet Systems Consortium.
All rights reserved.
For info, please visit https://www.isc.org/software/dhcp/

Listening on LPF/wlan0/00:24:2b:32:23:fe
Sending on LPF/wlan0/00:24:2b:32:23:fe
Sending on Socket/fallback
DHCPDISCOVER on wlan0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 6
DHCPDISCOVER on wlan0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 8
DHCPDISCOVER on wlan0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 14
DHCPDISCOVER on wlan0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 7
DHCPDISCOVER on wlan0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 7
DHCPDISCOVER on wlan0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 8
DHCPDISCOVER on wlan0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 9
DHCPDISCOVER on wlan0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 2
No DHCPOFFERS received.
No working leases in persistent database - sleeping.
run-parts --verbose /etc/network/if-up.d
run-parts: executing /etc/network/if-up.d/000resolvconf
run-parts: executing /etc/network/if-up.d/mountnfs
run-parts: executing /etc/network/if-up.d/ntpdate
run-parts: executing /etc/network/if-up.d/openssh-server
run-parts: executing /etc/network/if-up.d/wpasupplicant

Press Enter key to continue ...
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have seen that before. iirc whenever rt2860sta loaded the firmware and I tried rt2800pci after a warm reboot. so here the firmware came late. Would it have worked if the firmware had already been there? if I had avoided any rt2x00lib_request_firmware: Error?

No. Tried that. Avoiding that error by copying firmware earlier did not change behaviour.