Unable to connect to Wifi - Intel PRO/Wireless 2100, old WiFi device


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IBM ThinkPad which has very slow and old Pentium M processor. It also has a WiFi device which is very old (Intel PRO/Wireless 2100) and after Lubuntu 14.04 is installed, WiFi can't be used - only through Ethernet cable to connect to internet. There are many postings online about this, but no clear solution. There was this page https://wiki.debian.org/ipw2200 but I couldn’t download the firmware or install because the instruction was too complicated for me since I do not have a good technical background.

Does anyone know a good solution to enable the Wifi for this device?

Dootronic: https://www.labdoo.org/content/000016303

Thank you
Kazushi (NY Hub)


Rhein-Ruhr-Hub's picture
Submitted by Rhein-Ruhr-Hub on Wed, 01/09/2019 - 11:22

Hi Kazushi,
I guess, you installed only the basic Lubuntu 14,04 LTS and did not clone a Labdoo image? Using images for cloning should solve this problem, as they come with additional drivers and software, you need to compile individual drivers.
If you want to stay with your installation, check out, if missing drivers are shown, when you go to Menu button > type "driver" > click on "additional drivers" (laptop must be connected to web) > if the WiFi driver is found you can install it here. If not, it gets more complicated. The web page you mentioned about offers the download of source code for your WiFi module, but to compile it, you have to add software for this purpose to your installation (enclosed in images, but not in basic installation). Then you are able to follow up the compilation of the WiFi driver. Another try would be to install the matching back-port modules for your Linux kernel (yes, you are right, not in the basic installation, but in the images). Or you try Lubuntu 16.04 LTS or 18.04 LTS, as 14.04 LTS support ended April 2017 anyway https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lubuntu#Lubuntu_14.04_LTS? Or you clone an actual Labdoo image to the laptop (about 80% of all known installation problems are solved automatically using cloning images). Or you buy an external USB WiFi stick for a few $ and add that to the laptop? Or try to remove the Intel WiFi card and plug-in another one, if you have another card in stock. There are even more options, but it is difficult to explain those here. During our Labdoo conference at Duisburg we offered training and support for exactly such questions on the workshop day. I hope, one of the suggested procedures works for you.
CU, Ralf
Labdoo.org (Germany)

t810sable's picture
Submitted by t810sable on Thu, 01/10/2019 - 14:47

Hi Ralf,
Sorry for the confusion. I used the Labdoo image 14.04. We only have Labdoo 14.04 and 16.04 images (CDs and USBs) now in NY and we only use these two images only.

Actually wifi issues happens quite often when I sanitize (not sure because of the images I have or not). The first thing I always do is the "Additional Driver" as you mentioned and also I check this page https://www.labdoo.org/content/wifi-cards-will-not-be-detected. If these solutions don't work, I google and look for solutions.
But for this ThinkPad device --- non of the solutions worked... (except the ipw2200 which I couldn't execute...)

>Or try to remove the Intel WiFi card and plug-in another one, if you have another card in stock
I do not have any card on my hand now.

I understand it's not easy to explain or help by text. I'll either wait until Jordi comes to NY in February or look for a volunteer with technical background.
In the meantime, If there is any other solutions I might be able to try, please let me know!

Since the ThinkPad is so old, we needed to use the PAE Lubuntu 14.04 CD (which one of the CDs I have only worked). Since the laptop was old and slow and took a long time to figure out to complete shred and installation (and to find out about the PAE issue) all seems to be ok except the WiFi.

Jordi will be in NY late February. I'll work with him to look through all the images in USBs and CDs and also possibly use Labtix.