Making Intel Wireless 3945ABG Work Better on Ubuntu Hardy

In Ubuntu 8.04 the Intel wireless cards have switched from the ipw driver to the iwl driver.  The version of the iwl driver that ships with Hardy is slightly buggered.  The driver does not support SCAN_CAPA = 0x0 which prevents it from connecting to hidden networks.  Though Network Manager has been pachted with a workaround for this.  It also doesn’t have any support for controlling the LED light.  Luckily a new version of the iwl driver has been backported in the linux-backports-modules-hardy-generic package.

To install this package, first go System→Administration→Software Sources.  Go to the Updates tab and enable the Hardy Backports repository.

Software Sources

Click Close then click the Reload button when prompted.  After that is done open a termianl and enter

sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-hardy-generic

Afterwards, reboot and you should have your LED light working as well as possibly better wireless performance.

I still have some problems connecting to my network.  Sometimes it won’t connect when I boot the computer and I have to fool around with Network Manager by disabling wireless, enabling wireless, disabling networking, enabling networking, and a number of combinations of those things with some waiting thrown in there too.  So if you’re having problems connecting to the network, play around with Network Manager for a while. It might take a lot of tries.

48 thoughts on “Making Intel Wireless 3945ABG Work Better on Ubuntu Hardy”

  1. This cured the led for me but I had to ditch Network Manager and install Wicd to get my Inspiron 9400 with Hardy to connect to any encrypted network.

    Wicd works really well for me. You will need to add the following line to your 3rd party repos.

    deb hardy extras

  2. Anyone have luck getting WPA/WPA2 setup with this method?

    Some people are getting the card to work, but are either using WEP or no encryption at all.

  3. I would give Wicd a shot as Blingin2Mingin mentioned. The patch that Network Manager was patched with seems flaky at best. Some have had better luck with the backports-modules + Wicd instead of Network Manager. I think I’m even going to give Wicd a shot since I’m tired of fooling around with NM for 10 minutes whenever I boot up to get connected. I’m using WEP by the way.

    Fixed GTK theme 😉

  4. All that and still no LED lights on.
    i’m using a X60, with the iwl3945 driver.
    And already compiled the compat-wireless.
    Any help appreciated.

    ***@*****-x60:/home/grayamf# dmesg|grep 3945
    [ 23.756827] iwl3945: Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG/BG Network Connection driver for Linux, 1.2.26k
    [ 23.756831] iwl3945: Copyright(c) 2003-2008 Intel Corporation
    [ 23.757975] iwl3945: Detected Intel Wireless WiFi Link 3945ABG
    [ 23.823740] iwl3945: Tunable channels: 11 802.11bg, 13 802.11a channels
    [ 23.836444] phy0: Selected rate control algorithm ‘iwl-3945-rs’
    [ 35.653649] iwl3945: Radio disabled by HW RF Kill switch
    [ 178.666346] iwl3945: Radio disabled by HW RF Kill switch
    [ 180.671550] iwl3945: Radio disabled by HW RF Kill switch
    [ 182.662147] iwl3945: Radio disabled by HW RF Kill switch
    [ 485.402723] iwl3945: Radio disabled by HW RF Kill switch

  5. wicd is broken

    File “/usr/lib/python2.5/”, line 462, in _read
    raise MissingSectionHeaderError(fpname, lineno, line)
    MissingSectionHeaderError: File contains no section headers.
    file: data/wired-settings.conf, line: 1

    why didn’t they stick with what worked with 7.10??

  6. I apt-get’d the backports and now everything runs smoothly. I can’t believe such a glaring error was included in a LTS!

    Thanks very much!

  7. Can you give me more detail about getting the Wicd? I did the backport stuff but wireless still does not work.

  8. Running Ubuntu Hardy on a Lenovo T61 and a Dell Insipron 1420. Both laptops include a wireless Intel 4965AGN. Followed instructions for both laptops, rebooted, and wifi light came on for both laptops. Excellent, Thanks

  9. Thank you!! My Computer would connect to certain wireless routers and it confused me. While I was on vacation at my family’s I could connect to their router and their neighbor’s router, but not mine when I returned home.

    Fixed now, light and all!!

  10. Thank you all for this great advice! Just dropping by to say that I had the same issues, and a simple install of the backport iwl driver seems to have fixed them all.

  11. Hmmm. Did not work for me. In fact, no change is visible- wifi still works OK with Wicd, but no LED. Any pointers on how to debug this?


  12. I tried backport install and wicd on a Gateway 475m luck , it will only connect to unsecured network not wpa .. has anybody tried going to an older version of ubuntu?

  13. Dear sir, may I say that you “ROCK”, and that you “KICK ASS” Wow, now my sound and wireless work, quite a nice bonus for the sound to work as well.

  14. I have changed to trying to use the wireless card because of a fault on the wired network connector. It was then that I found the wireless card would not work when I boot to Linux. Is there something I could download when connected via Windows, that could be uswed to fix the problem when I boot to Linux?

  15. This fix worked for me on Ubuntu, but not since updating the kernel to 2.6.24-21. The LED still works, but wicd does not see my network. Strangely, it does see others in the area. Goodness knows why…

  16. The backported driver fixed the LED, but didn’t make any difference to my real problem, which is no connection to my wireless A LAN (with or without security), while it works OK on wireless G. More hacking … :-/

  17. well that advice killed my wifi on acer 5672wlmi
    every now and then it kicks me off and freezes. The computer wont even shut down. How do i put it back?

  18. I tried this for Ubuntu 8.04 on Dell D820 laptop and still would not work. Now I upgraded to 8.10 and still won’t work…

  19. Hi,

    I was having some problems regarding low speed transfers between Ubuntu (Samba) and Windows XP. I am running Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid on a notebook (Toshiba A105) and when transfering files from the notebook to a Windows XP machine (the notebook connects through WIFI) I was experiencing very low speed transfers.

    After issuing: sudo apt-get install linux-backport-modules-intrepid-generic my system now works ok, with a good transfer speed.


  20. I removed Network Manager and installed Wicd which solved the problems I was having with Network Manager, but whenever Wicd disconnects the computer hard freezes instantly and I have to manually reboot the PC any ideas, has anyone experienced this problem I am currently trying to find a solution. Thanks

  21. Что то Автор почти совсем перестал писать новые посты и даже админить блог? Может чего случилось?

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