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Last reply by 08-30-2013 Unsolved
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New XPS 13 Ivy Bridge w Ubuntu 12.04 - no stable wireless

Hello,

I just received a brand new XPS 13 with Ivy Bridge chipset. I directly installed the 12.04 version on it and went to work... for about 3 minutes and then, the wifi dropped. I had to reboot to bring it back and it fails after few minutes... all the time.

I tried adding the sputnik ppa and update as well as many other workaround found on the various ubuntu forums. No can do and right now, I am quite frustrated.

My plan for tomorrow is to upgrade to 12.10 with the 3.5+ kernel. I have not found any post about this particular problem on this version. The problem seems to originate from the Centrino Advanced N 6235 network card driver which might have been updated in 12.10.

What is exactly going on with this problem?? Is there a new driver or a fixed driver in the pipeline? Have you heard about problems with 12.10?

Thanks for your support,

Jacques

Replies (110)
Dell Technologies
2420

Jacques, sorry to hear about the issue, I appreciate the the heads up,  let me check with the team and get back to you.

Barton George

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Hello Jacques,

I was hoping to get a little more information from you on the wireless issue that you are seeing.  We have been testing the XPS 13 today with Ubuntu 12.04 and have not been able to replicate any connection drops.  We would like to do some additional testing with settings and configuration that more closely matches your environment.  Could you provide some additional details on the WAP that you are using (including hardware and firmware revisions), security settings, encryption, etc.?  Also, have you already had a chance to test this connection on a diferent access point, and does your connection drop when using multiple access points?

Thanks,

Lucas Pauwels

Senior Technical Analyst | Dell REC

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Hello Lucas,

My WAP is a Cisco LinkSys EA3500 firmware version 1.0.30.

My security setup is WPA2 personal on A B and G band, I tried N band but no success there either.

My XPS is located about 6 feet away and my Galaxy phone beside my laptop connects without any problem whatsoever. I haven't tried Windows 8 as it never had a chance to see the light on the XPS ;-). I tried with the Bluetooth on and off (soft disconnect), without and with sputnik PPA update and so on.

Since I am an old "enterprise architect goat" that is now more interested in the functional than technical stuff, I do not have much patience left when I need to lean "under the car" so I think I tried  most of the possibilities. I am not a Linux junkie either so there are surely some mysterious and cryptic commands I  don't know to make my way around these kind of problemos. That's why I write you to get help and I appreciate all your patience and dedication. Actually, this whole project made me realize how much I miss coding stuff.

I will install 12.10 to see if there are any improvements. I will reinstall 12.04 if you need more testing as I have both on USB sticks and installation on this XPS jewel is a breeze. I intend to do this until I am comfortable with the setup and only then, I'll start to do "serious" (read "fun") stuff on it.

Thanks again,

Jacques

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
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Well, this is no good,

This morning, if scratch installed 12.10 and started testing. I was almost optimistic (about 10-15 minutes) before the network dropped. When it fails, there are no other means to get it back but rebooting.  From there, I followed the instructions from this site:

www.webupd8.org/.../fix-dell-xps-13-backlight-brightness.html

which basically add your team PPA and fix the trackpad and the brightness. I also entered the commands to fix the Wifi/Bluetooth issue and went back to test. This was better (20-30 minutes) but netwrok failed again.

I turned to my WAP and started changing settings. After few tries, disabling 5 ghz band and N mode looked promising but again, after 20-30 minutes, network dropped. I then disabled the N mode in Ubuntu with no success.

During all these tests, my Samsung Galaxy phone remained connected steadily to the network.

I am getting out of ideas now.

Thanks,

Jacques

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2 Bronze
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Hello again,

Did a fresh install of Windows 7 Home premium with Dell provided driver for Centrino Advanced N 6235 network card. Network works fine without any interruption for long period of time (few hours so far).

Help :-(

Jacques

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New development this morning...

I started to surf and hang around in W7 to check network stability and all of a sudden, strange things happened and I started loosing connection. Since I installed the Intel Centrino Advanced N 6235 driver ver 15.3.1.2 from Dell web site which provides some troubleshooting tools, I could perform all kinds of tests.

Strangely, when my connection drops, the icon on the taskbar indicates that the connection is established and the signal is excellent while the test that scans for the presence of wifi networks does not detect any network at all. All of this while my precious Galaxy phone is connected and retrieves e-mail and allow me to surf on the "undetectable" wifi connection.

On a warm boot (restart) I cannot get the connection either but if I do a cold boot, the connection is back for 5-10 minutes before I start having the same troubles.

My opinion is that either:

a) my Centrino Advanced-N-6235 is defective

b) both the Windows and Ubuntu drivers have similar defect

c) both the Windows and Ubuntu driver do not deal correctly with the wifi card

Bear in mind that I had no problems whatsoever with my phone connecting on the same access point from the same locations in my house during all these tests.

Please let me know what should be my next step. In the meantime, I have an expensive 3 pounds paperweight that I can't do much with.

Thanks,

Jacques

2 Bronze
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Jacques,

I think the options you listed above, in addition to a firmware update for the WAP, could all be possibilities here.  Did you have a chance to test your wireless connection on a different access point, and did you get similar results?  I would like to work with you in more detail on this issue to help find a solution.  Could you follow me and direct message your contact information; including email address, service tag of your system, and the best way to contact you, and we'll see what else we can do to assist.

Thanks

Lucas

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Well I hope this is going to be the happy ending,

After upgrading my WAP firmware and do all the possible  tweaks, I finally decided to revert to my old WAP (DLink WBR...). From there, with Windows 7 installed, I could stabilize the network and find the correct settins.

With the insurance that the ultrabook hardware and the WAP were playing fine together

(using 802.11g only with WPA-personnal encryption), I restarted the process of installing Ubuntu.

First installed 12.04 and it was disaster again (even with the DLink WAP). Then, I installed 12.10 and, after disabling both Power management and 802.11n, it seems that the network is now running smoothly.

Moreover, the 12.10 updates now installs the correct driver for the Cypress touchpad and whatever fix that allows disabling Bluetooth without disabling network. The brighness adjustment still do not work from these updates but I am sure this is on its way as well.

Thank guys.

Jacques

Note: Commands I used could be found in this link:

ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php

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Jacques,

I installed 12.10 and was unable to connect to 2.4GHz WiFi.  My configuration is:

Dell XPS 13 IVB

Apple Airport Extreme WAP @2.4GHz in bgn mode and WPA2

Apple Time Capsule (1-gen) @5.0GHz with WPA2

I was never able to connect to my 2.4GHz network which is a pain because its the only network which covers most of my home.

On a postive note, I was able to successfully connect at 5GHz.

In order to connect to the 2.4GHz network, I put the Airport Extreme in an n-only mode (e.g. do not connect b or g clients)  This worked like a charm.  I suspect there is a some sort of b/g client compatiblity issue.

You may want to try either of these especially if no one in your wireless environment requires b or g.

I'll do a write up later on my unsuccessful experience to enable a Windows 8 dual-boot configuration with Secure Boot...  So close...

Cheers,

Neeraj

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