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Wireless Disabled by Hardware Switch issue on the Thinkpad Z570 in Ubuntu | Solution

June 15, 2011 - 14:59

Wireless connectivity is one reason why laptops have become so popular in today’s world. But then there are a wide variety of laptops having a wide combination of parts from different manufacturers. This makes support for wireless vary across laptops with respect to Ubuntu/Linux. Not every laptop’s wireless network connectivity works directly from the installation of Ubuntu/Linux which is apparent from the numerous posts on the issue on the web. One needs to configure and tweak the settings to make it work. One such issue is found in the ThinkpadZ570 as described below.

Issue Faced
Wireless is disabled in Thinkpad Z570 when Ubuntu 11 is installed. The status message in the Network Manager says that the Wireless is disabled by the hardware switch. Wired Ethernet works fine with the Ubuntu 11 on Thinkpad Z570.

Details of the issue

david@david-Ideapad-Z570:~$ uname –a
Linux david-Ideapad-Z570 2.6.38-8-generic #42-Ubuntu SMP Mon Apr 11 03:31:50 UTC 2011 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
david@david-Ideapad-Z570:~$ lspci |grep Atheros
02:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
david@david-Ideapad-Z570:~$ rfkill list
0: ideapad_wlan: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: yes
Hard blocked: no
1: ideapad_bluetooth: Bluetooth
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: no
2: phy0: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: yes
Hard blocked: yes
3: acer-wireless: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: yes
Hard blocked: no
4: hci0: Bluetooth
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: no

Solution for the Issue

The following commands will enables wireless till next boot
sudo service network-manager stop
sudo rmmod acer_wmi
sudo modprobe acer_wmi
sudo rfkill unblock all
sudo service network-manager start

After this step the status message in the Network Manager will be “Wireless is disabled”
Now Enable wireless from the Network Manager using the following commands
sudo rmmod -f acer_wmi
Wireless networks will be detected and connected.
To make this change permanent use
sudo su
echo "blacklist acer_wmi" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
exit

Now if everything goes well you will have Wireless enabled on your Thinkpad. Thanks to David John for sending us the solution

Post your comments / questions

You only need to boot your Laptop into windows and enable wireless card. After enabling wireless , you can reboot your laptop to ubuntu using dual boot option.

Thanks, your solution worked for my lenovo ideapad z570 too.
However, I'm facing another problem now: the connection keeps disconnecting at random intervals. Are you facing this problem too?

Thank you

I have a Thinkpad x120e with Ubuntu 11.04. The steps above did not work for me.

in particular:
$ sudo rmmod acer_wmi
ERROR: Module acer_wmi does not exist in /proc/modules

$ sudo modprobe acer_wmi
FATAL: Error inserting acer_wmi (/lib/modules/2.6.38-10-generic/kernel/drivers/platform/x86/acer-wmi.ko): No such device

I continued with the steps anyway, but in the end, my wifi is still hard blocked.

Reference:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1753072

Yeah, that's all fine and good if you have Windows.

I loaded Ubuntu 11.04 through windows 7 & after that wireless stopped working in both Ubuntu & windows7. I overcame this issue by following (line-by-line) what George had suggested. Subsequently now the wireless is working in both Ubuntu & windows. Thanks a lot, George.

worked for me, thanks a lot! was losing all hope and getting quite frustrated, so thank you!!

Thanks a lot, worked like a charm on my Ideapad U330.

Worked on a lenovo Z570 using a Broadcomm 4313 on Fedora 15, after configuring RPM repos, installing akmod-wl, and changing "network-manager" in above steps to "NetworkManager". Thanks for the good work :)

Fedora 15:

"lspci | grep Wireless" showed Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter.

I think there are some typos (-f and -r), this worked for me:

sudo service NetworkManager stop
sudo rmmod -f acer_wmi
sudo modprobe -r acer_wmi
sudo rfkill unblock all
sudo service NetworkManager start

its work on HP 6730s on Ubuntu 11.04
changing "acer_wmi" in above steps to "hp_wmi"
so thank you !!!!!

Thanks! It worked for me on my Ideapad z570.
To the post above me, booting in windows and enabling wireless card didn't work for me.

Glad to be of service.

Simply Perfect. Thanks a ton. But any idea how to default it up in the next release ?

Have followed many things and have been unsucessful, however this worked perfectly!

Cheers Mate

(Lenovo IdeaPad Z570 - Fedora 15)

i work with toshiba NB 250

dude i have been searching for months for a fix on this. tried a MILLION things and this is the only one that actually worked THANKS A MILLION.
my lappy is a lenovo b570 wireless adapter is the atheros ar2985
and im currently running fedora 15 and linux mint 11

linux mint 11 is wireless able now
bout to go check if this fix works on fedora

AGAIN THANK YOU SO MUCH

i have an Acer 5620Z and i've the same problem but this poste wasn't helpful for me
when i was with zorin 2.23 it was fine but now wireless doesnt work even the installation of the hardware from
the addition drivers, any ideas please

THANK YOU
xD

For you help. :)

Thanks a lot. This worked for my HP DV2214TU.

Thank you so much :-)

Thank you so much :-)) It works for me

otoy@otoy:~$ uname -a
Linux otoy 3.0.0-15-generic #26-Ubuntu SMP Fri Jan 20 15:59:53 UTC 2012 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
otoy@otoy:~$ lspci | grep Atheros
03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications AR8131 Gigabit Ethernet (rev c0)
04:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
otoy@otoy:~$ rfkill list
0: ideapad_wlan: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: yes
1: ideapad_bluetooth: Bluetooth
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: yes
2: phy0: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: yes
3: acer-wireless: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: yes
Hard blocked: no
otoy@otoy:~$ sudo service network-manager stop
[sudo] password for otoy:
network-manager stop/waiting
otoy@otoy:~$ sudo rmmod -f acer_wmi
otoy@otoy:~$ sudo modprobe -r acer_wmi
otoy@otoy:~$ sudo rfkill unblock all
otoy@otoy:~$ sudo service network-manager start
network-manager start/running, process 1886
otoy@otoy:~$ sudo rmmod -f acer_wmi
ERROR: Removing 'acer_wmi': No such file or directory
otoy@otoy:~$ sudo rmmod -f acer_wmi
ERROR: Removing 'acer_wmi': No such file or directory
otoy@otoy:~$ sudo su
root@otoy:/home/otoy# vi /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
root@otoy:/home/otoy#

MY WI-LAN IS STILL NOT WORKING :(( NEED HELP!!!

Thank you!! It already works for me!!! woohoo thanks a million times for this post!!!

Thanks Buddy... this was a really helpful,,....

Thanks a lot

Ubuntu though on one hand is free operating system provided by Linux but still there has to go many development process to fix the bugs, Once after working with window, we find it hard to switch to ubuntu.

Thank You so Much for providing the solution to my Broadcom driver problem.
Despite trying several solutions on several different distos and installing various drivers on my laptop, I was unable to get the b43 working in Levono Z570 until I came across your posting at this page after three weeks of searching user groups, search engines and wikis.
Who would ever have thought that it was the acer wireless module that was causing the problem all along?
Thank you, your the best.