WiFi randomly disconnects and won't connect again

Bug #1388278 reported by Jeb E. on 2014-10-31
18
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Additional Linux Wireless Drivers
Undecided
Unassigned
Broadcom 802.11 Linux STA driver
New
Undecided
Unassigned
Linux
New
Undecided
Unassigned
Linux Mint
Confirmed
Undecided
Unassigned
LinuxMint Control Center
Undecided
Unassigned
Network Manager Applet
Expired
Critical
Wireless Tools
New
Undecided
Unassigned
wireless-tools (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Something odd that I have only seen in Ubuntu, Debian, and derivatives thereof affects something that most of us use every day, and can be a real hassle to beginners from what I've noticed: Many USB WiFi drivers will connect to an access point like usual and after long periods of inactivity on the network combined with user inactivity on the PC alone is when this problem appears to arise: The WiFi disconnects and does not connect again to the same hotspot using the same USB WiFi dongle unless the computer is restarted or reset, and a lot of the time, that doesn't immediately stop this error and even if so, the computer will disconnect yet again not too long from then.

And why does this happen? It puzzles me. Maybe it's the USB chipset inside the WiFi dongle, or maybe it's a communication error between the Linux kernel and the automated firewall systems integrated in most routers and base stations today, it's hard to say. What I know is that this doesn't just happen on my computer, testing done by myself on several other computers in different locations using different WiFi hardware on Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, or derivatives thereof gets the exact same result as I am experiencing now.

I have gone digging through Debian, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint forums to try and find the "cure" patch for my computer or router and the answer as to why this is happening, and the best answer I could find is that within my system's WiFi Settings, I need to set the BSSID of the hotspot I am current using as the MAC address of the router which that hotspot is transmitting.

Upon setting my BSSID to a clone of the Router's MAC address followed by a system restart, I noticed instant improvement when it comes to connection reliability, speed, and time to connect, yet after days of having that MAC as the BSSID, things went back to the usual chaos of an unreliable connection that no other device within the household has encountered, not even Android telephones and tablets that use much of the same underlying Linux code. I performed restarts, updates, more updates, resets, and even more derivatives of Debian or Ubuntu and this is still more of an issue than ever.

Via further digging and through a process of trial-and-error, I enabled the "IPv4 is required for this connection" check box along with changing the BSSID to a clone of the router's MAC address in hopes it was a compatibility issue with the "newer" IPv6 Internet Protocol architecture in an attempt to basically 'force' the machine to get that digital handshake with the router in a more 'legacy' mode with IPv4, at least to get some connection. That worked for a bit as well, but didn't hold up just like before.

I am now sitting here at my computer, still experiencing this issue on and off, currently having the issue stabilized and stalled at the moment with the "IPv4 is required for this connection" check box on, NO BSSID set, NO cloned MAC address, and NO "Restrict to Device" settings opted-in, hoping this time around this combination of settings will work, but it's a game of trial-and-error for me at this point now, like mentioned before.

Has anyone else experienced such terrible connectivity issues only in Debian-based distributions recently? I have been using Linux for ages now and I feel as if this issue is now just arising within the past year, 2014.

A HardInfo report generated from my computer is attached to this bug report. I hope we can figure out a solution soon to get pushed to all Debian and Debian-like distros soon! Nobody wants a bad connection.

Current OS: Linux Mint 17 "Qiana"
Kernel: Linux 3.13.0-24-generic (x86_64)
Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 (850)
RAM: 8GB DDR3

IWLIST OUTPUT:
jeb@MINT-PARTITION:~ > sudo iwlist wlan0 scan
[sudo] password for jeb:
wlan0 Scan completed :
          Cell 01 - Address: F8:7B:8C:06:57:8D
                    Channel:6
                    Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)
                    Quality=60/70 Signal level=-50 dBm
                    Encryption key:on
                    ESSID:"Belkin-EXT"
                    Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s
                              9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
                    Bit Rates:24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                    Mode:Master
                    Extra:tsf=0000000597f8a929
                    Extra: Last beacon: 72ms ago
                    IE: Unknown: 000A42656C6B696E2D455854
                    IE: Unknown: 010882848B960C121824
                    IE: Unknown: 030106
                    IE: Unknown: 2A0100
                    IE: Unknown: 32043048606C
                    IE: Unknown: 2D1AEE191EFFFF000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                    IE: Unknown: 3D1606000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                    IE: Unknown: 4A0E14000A00B400C800140005001900
                    IE: Unknown: 7F0101
                    IE: WPA Version 1
                        Group Cipher : CCMP
                        Pairwise Ciphers (1) : CCMP
                        Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
                    IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
                        Group Cipher : CCMP
                        Pairwise Ciphers (1) : CCMP
                        Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
                    IE: Unknown: DD180050F2020101000003A4000027A4000042435E0062322F00
                    IE: Unknown: DD1E00904C33EE191EFFFF000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                    IE: Unknown: DD1A00904C3406000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                    IE: Unknown: DD0600E04C0201E0
                    IE: Unknown: DD9E0050F204104A0001101044000102103B0001031047001063041253101920061228F87B8C06578D1021001B5265616C74656B2053656D69636F6E647563746F7220436F72702E1023000752544C387878781024000D45562D323030392D30322D30361042000F3132333435363738393031323334371054000800060050F2040001101100135265616C74656B20576972656C657373204150100800020086
          Cell 02 - Address: 08:86:3B:26:59:50
                    Channel:2
                    Frequency:2.417 GHz (Channel 2)
                    Quality=36/70 Signal level=-74 dBm
                    Encryption key:on
                    ESSID:"belkin.950"
                    Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s
                              18 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                    Bit Rates:6 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s
                    Mode:Master
                    Extra:tsf=0000002395603d46
                    Extra: Last beacon: 72ms ago
                    IE: Unknown: 000A62656C6B696E2E393530
                    IE: Unknown: 010882848B961224486C
                    IE: Unknown: 030102
                    IE: Unknown: 2A0104
                    IE: Unknown: 32040C183060
                    IE: Unknown: 2D1AEE1117FFFFFF00010000000000000000000000000C1846471100
                    IE: Unknown: 3D1602050000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                    IE: Unknown: 3E0100
                    IE: WPA Version 1
                        Group Cipher : CCMP
                        Pairwise Ciphers (1) : CCMP
                        Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
                    IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
                        Group Cipher : CCMP
                        Pairwise Ciphers (1) : CCMP
                        Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
                    IE: Unknown: DD180050F2020101000003A4000027A4000042435E0062322F00
                    IE: Unknown: 0B0500000B127A
                    IE: Unknown: 4A0E14000A002C01C800140005001900
                    IE: Unknown: 7F0101
                    IE: Unknown: DD07000C4307000000
                    IE: Unknown: DDB10050F204104A0001101044000102103B000103104700102880288028801880A88008863B2659501021001442656C6B696E20496E7465726E6174696F6E616C1023001B42656C6B696E204E34353020576972656C65737320526F757465721024000746394B313030331042000E31323334353647383930313233341054000800060050F20400011011001B42656C6B696E204E34353020576972656C65737320526F75746572100800020084103C000101
          Cell 03 - Address: 00:7F:28:2E:0F:84
                    Channel:6
                    Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)
                    Quality=38/70 Signal level=-72 dBm
                    Encryption key:on
                    ESSID:"KCS96"
                    Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s
                              9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
                    Bit Rates:24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                    Mode:Master
                    Extra:tsf=00000001058f7d22
                    Extra: Last beacon: 72ms ago
                    IE: Unknown: 00054B43533936
                    IE: Unknown: 010882848B960C121824
                    IE: Unknown: 030106
                    IE: Unknown: 200100
                    IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
                        Group Cipher : CCMP
                        Pairwise Ciphers (1) : CCMP
                        Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
                    IE: Unknown: 2A0100
                    IE: Unknown: 32043048606C
                    IE: Unknown: DD180050F2020101040003A4000027A4000042435E0062322F00
                    IE: Unknown: 2D1A8C131BFFFF000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                    IE: Unknown: 3D1606080800000000000000000000000000000000000000
                    IE: Unknown: DD0900037F01010000FF7F
                    IE: Unknown: DD0A00037F04010000000000
                    IE: Unknown: 0706555320010B1B

jeb@MINT-PARTITION:~ >

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 14.04
Package: wireless-tools 30~pre9-8ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.13.0-24.47-generic 3.13.9
Uname: Linux 3.13.0-24-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
ApportVersion: 2.14.1-0ubuntu3.5
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: KDE
Date: Fri Oct 31 17:55:56 2014
Dependencies:
 gcc-4.9-base 4.9.1-0ubuntu1
 libc6 2.19-0ubuntu6.3
 libgcc1 1:4.9.1-0ubuntu1
 libiw30 30~pre9-8ubuntu1
 multiarch-support 2.19-0ubuntu6.3
InstallationDate: Installed on 2014-10-23 (8 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Linux Mint 17 "Qiana" - Release amd64 20140619
SourcePackage: wireless-tools
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Jeb E. (jebeld17) wrote :
Jeb E. (jebeld17) wrote :

Attached here is an entire input/output log recording of the "sudo iwlist wlan0 scan" command via Konsole.

Changed in wireless-tools (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Jeb E. (jebeld17) on 2014-10-31
Changed in wireless-drivers:
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in linuxmint:
status: New → Confirmed
Stephen M. Webb (bregma) on 2014-11-06
Changed in unity:
status: New → Invalid
Jeb E. (jebeld17) on 2014-12-13
Changed in mint-control-center-xfce:
status: New → Confirmed
Dave Stroud (bigdavesr) wrote :

happens on min mate 17.1 . Usualy if I log out and back in it will connect.

Jeb E. (jebeld17) wrote :

Please fix:)

Changed in network-manager-applet:
importance: Unknown → Critical
status: Unknown → New
Andrea Azzarone (azzar1) on 2015-01-13
no longer affects: unity
Jeb E. (jebeld17) wrote :

It's upsetting that I still get this issue :(

Changed in network-manager-applet:
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in network-manager-applet:
status: Confirmed → Expired
Andrew McCoull (amcc64) wrote :

I seem to be getting this on Mint 18 (Cinnamon), Dell Vostro 1700 built-in WiFi card. Haven't tried the logout/login test.
Are my syslog outputs of interest here??

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