poor wireless range on MSI Wind U123; updated drivers not default?

Bug #416488 reported by Dan Kegel on 2009-08-20
46
This bug affects 9 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
rtl8187se (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned
Nominated for Karmic by Dan Kegel

Bug Description

http://www.examiner.com/x-9438-SF-Business-Tech-Examiner~y2009m8d19-Adventures-with-Linux-in-business
is a very public bug report about poor range on an MSI Wind U123 with Ubuntu 9.04. He wrote:

"All went well until I tried to connect to the Internet with the Wind’s internal wireless LAN card (a Realtek RTL8187SE.) It worked fine five feet from the Access Point. However, when I walked to another room in my not-so-palatial home, the signal stayed strong but the connection dropped. I tried reinstalling and updating the WLAN drivers, changing Access Points, and even boosting the power on the Access Point. Nothing I did fixed the issue. I had no connectivity unless I was right on top of the Access Point.
... So I blew out Ubuntu Linux on my new MSI Wind and reinstalled Windows XP Home. The Wireless LAN card immediately came up. I now had WLAN coverage all over my palatial mansion."

http://wiki.msiwind.net/index.php/Ubuntu_9.04_Jaunty_Jackalope
and a comment on the Examiner article recommend doing
sudo apt-get install rtl8187se-source
sudo m-a a-i rtl8187se
to fix the problem.

If that really fixes the problem, the bug is that users have to apply that workaround.
Can we get that fixed for Karmic, at least?

Dan Kegel (dank) wrote :

Or is it already fixed for Karmic? I guess I'll ask the original reporter to test.

Dan Kegel (dank) wrote :

The user reports:
"Installed Umbuntu 9.10. This has the same Wireless LAN distance issue.
(So now we know.) The Wireless LAN works fine when next to the
Access Point but not when I move further away--just like it did with 9.04
I would be inclined to think hardware, but I am typing this message on the same MSI Wind U123 running Windows XP Home and a Wireless LAN connection. I have a strong and reliable Wireless LAN connection and I am sitting outside on my patio clear on the other side of the property from the Access Point."

So it's definitely a real problem, and it's not fixed by Karmic Alpha 4.

Alexander Sack (asac) wrote :

we need a full syslog of the indicident. also wpa_supplicant.log.

mvolder (martinv) wrote :

I bought a MSI U123 because I read Ubuntu worked out of the box (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupport/Machines/Netbooks). Well, that's not entirely true, and this is driving me crazy (one other thing that's not working in Ubuntu is scrolling using the touchpad, so I think 'works 100% out of the box is a wrong claim).

I don't know much about linux (I just *didn't* want to use Windows). I tried every suggestion I could find (I found out it's a widespread problem), including the one mentioned in this thread. Installing wicd made connections more stable. More stable, but not stable enough to be usable, unfortunately.

In XP everything works just fine - that's frustrating! The only stable connections in Ubuntu seem to be those with unencrypted access points. I don't know what a "full syslog" is or "wpa_supplicant.log". I just hope someone's got a clever solution that can be included in the upcoming Ubuntu version 9.10...

Andrey (evteev) wrote :

i have the same problem with range. ubuntu 9.10 beta.

QuentinHartman (qhartman) wrote :

I am seeing this same (or perhaps similar) problem on a Gateway laptop that has this same wireless chipset in it. It will associate with the access point, but never manage to move any data (like a DHCP request), unless very very close to the AP. Worth noting that the AP in question works fine with other machines simultaneously at expected ranges, and is on Channel 10. This laptop that is having trouble has been able to connect to other APs, but I don't know what channel those were on, or what the range was. Will post more details when I am able to get the machine for an extended period from the user.

Dan Kegel (dank) wrote :

I have data from an affected user, will post shortly.

xcorex (xcorex) wrote :

I've a MSI Wind U123-003 here, and its atheros (ath9k), not Realtek.
The wireless range is very good with 9.10. Far better than 9.04.

dimads (dimads) wrote :

I've MSI U100 with (a Realtek RTL8187SE) and have the same problem with range. ubuntu 9.10.

Hans Henrik (hanshenrik123) wrote :

Lucid Lynx Beta 1, (10.04) here, and still same problem :-(
(and i have Great range on same laptop @XP)

Vladimir Prus (vladimir.prus) wrote :

This problem exists on an up-to-date Maverick as of today.

Vladimir Prus (vladimir.prus) wrote :

I've tried ndiswrapper. With the default install, the connection speed as reported by speedtest.net was ~250 Kbit. In practice, it was unusable and connection would often just drop. With ndiswrapper, I get 2Mbit from speedtest.net and the connection appears to be much more stable. A different machine in the same spot gets 8Mbit. I do not know if this difference is due to quality of hardware design, or due to further software issues when using ndiswrapper.

ricardofunke (ricardo-funke) wrote :
Download full text (3.7 KiB)

I'm facing a different problem with this wlan card RTL8187SE and Ubuntu 10.10

The navigation and speed seems ok, but frequently drops with the messages bellow in /var/log/messages:

Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop kernel: [ 2926.123915] Associated successfully
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop kernel: [ 2926.123919] Using G rates

And these in /var/log/syslog:

Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop kernel: [ 2926.123915] Associated successfully
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop kernel: [ 2926.123919] Using G rates
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop wpa_supplicant[995]: Associated with 00:25:9c:fd:fe:21
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop NetworkManager[873]: <info> (wlan0): supplicant connection state: disconnected -> associated
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop NetworkManager[873]: <info> (wlan0): supplicant connection state: associated -> 4-way handshake
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop wpa_supplicant[995]: WPA: Key negotiation completed with 00:25:9c:fd:fe:21 [PTK=CCMP GTK=TKIP]
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop wpa_supplicant[995]: CTRL-EVENT-CONNECTED - Connection to 00:25:9c:fd:fe:21 completed (reauth) [id=0 id_str=]
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop NetworkManager[873]: <info> (wlan0): supplicant connection state: 4-way handshake -> group handshake
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop NetworkManager[873]: <info> (wlan0): supplicant connection state: group handshake -> completed
Dec 30 20:31:13 my-laptop kernel: [ 2928.035424] CCMP: replay detected: STA=00:25:9c:fd:fe:21 previous PN 000000000000 received PN 000000000000
Dec 30 20:31:45 my-laptop kernel: [ 2959.247277] CCMP: replay detected: STA=00:25:9c:fd:fe:21 previous PN 000000000403 received PN 000000000403

I attached some other informations that may be useful?field.comment=I'm facing a different problem with this wlan card RTL8187SE and Ubuntu 10.10

The navigation and speed seems ok, but frequently drops with lots of messages bellow in /var/log/messages:

Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop kernel: [ 2926.123915] Associated successfully
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop kernel: [ 2926.123919] Using G rates

And lots of these in /var/log/syslog:

Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop kernel: [ 2926.123915] Associated successfully
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop kernel: [ 2926.123919] Using G rates
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop wpa_supplicant[995]: Associated with 00:25:9c:fd:fe:21
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop NetworkManager[873]: <info> (wlan0): supplicant connection state: disconnected -> associated
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop NetworkManager[873]: <info> (wlan0): supplicant connection state: associated -> 4-way handshake
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop wpa_supplicant[995]: WPA: Key negotiation completed with 00:25:9c:fd:fe:21 [PTK=CCMP GTK=TKIP]
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop wpa_supplicant[995]: CTRL-EVENT-CONNECTED - Connection to 00:25:9c:fd:fe:21 completed (reauth) [id=0 id_str=]
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop NetworkManager[873]: <info> (wlan0): supplicant connection state: 4-way handshake -> group handshake
Dec 30 20:31:12 my-laptop NetworkManager[873]: <info> (wlan0): supplicant connection state: group handshake -> completed
Dec 30 20:31:13 my-laptop kernel: [ 2928.035424] CCMP: replay detected: STA=00:25:9c:fd:fe:21 previous PN 000000000000 received PN 000000000000
Dec 30 20:31:45 my-laptop kernel: [ 2959.247277] C...

Read more...

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in rtl8187se (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Simon Baldwin (smnbldwn) wrote :

Is anyone still trying to make these computers work with Ubuntu?
I had one brought in to me as dead with Windows XP almost frozen. (Advent 4211-B)
Runs Edubuntu 14.04 nicely but no wifi.
All the fixes I have seen refer to earlier versions.
Any ideas?

Simon Baldwin (smnbldwn) wrote :

Yes WiFi comes on but cannot detect any networks.
ifconfig gives:
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:21:85:e5:af:0a
          inet addr:192.168.0.9 Bcast:192.168.0.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
          inet6 addr: fe80::221:85ff:fee5:af0a/64 Scope:Link
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
          RX packets:20 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:70 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:2531 (2.5 KB) TX bytes:10367 (10.3 KB)

lo Link encap:Local Loopback
          inet addr:127.0.0.1 Mask:255.0.0.0
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING MTU:65536 Metric:1
          RX packets:182 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:182 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
          RX bytes:24134 (24.1 KB) TX bytes:24134 (24.1 KB)

wlan0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:21:85:7b:23:a6
          UP BROADCAST MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B) TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
          Interrupt:17 Memory:f84e0000-f84e0100

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