Ok, so I've had my laptop for several years (I wanna say 4, but possibly more), it's a Toshiba Satellite. I'm running Linux mint 15, and am having a strange new issue, after several hours of running my wireless stops. It can SEE wireless networks, but refuses to connect to any of them. (On a sidenote, connecting to a router with a cable at this point works fine)

The fact that it can SEE the networks make me think the card is in good condition, and it's software related

The fact that it works for several hours before booting me makes me think perhaps the transmitter is getting too hot.

I don't use my laptop in dusty environments, and keep it on an elevated surface (alternatively, I actively try not to let it sit on soft surfaces where the vents get covered). I spray out the cpu fan about once a year with compressed air about once a year, so I really don't think the insides should be too dirty.

Finally, unfortunately, sensors only gives me CPU temps, but they run about 40-50 degrees C, which from my understanding is perfectly normal for an I3.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to determine the root cause of this?

  • Does restarting solve the problem? – gronostaj Oct 22 '13 at 21:45
  • What's extremely weird is that sometimes yes, sometimes no (To clarify, in these instances, I AM restarting, not letting it set, cool down, then firing it back up). Also, I reinstalled Mint due to this problem, and it is persisting. Finally, sometimes if it has this issue and I let it sit cold overnight, I start it in the morning and it can't connect. – Sidney Oct 22 '13 at 21:59
  • Did you try different settings for the wireless network (WiFi channel set at a fixed number free from the others, setting it to 5Ghz if your card supports it). Often losing the connection (and not able to reconnect) is due to interference of the WiFi signal. Try a WiFi scanner (software) to see on what channel the other networks are and choose one at least 2 channels away from them. – Rik Oct 22 '13 at 22:17
  • Most laptop wireless cards are replaceable; did you consider replacing it? Alternative, running on an active cooling pad (though it doesn't sound temp-related if running at 40-50C). Also once/yr may not be enough for cleaning the vents. – Debra Oct 23 '13 at 20:41

Ok, so I've been looking into this since I posted this question, and I found the answer from a blog post by Edward M Grant (Remember kids, always reference your sources). I case the link ever goes down, here is the meat of what I found, and it appears to be working out pretty well.

Mint 15 is working pretty well so far aside from my previously mentioned issues with the wireless card in my laptop. Problems ranged from high dropped packet rates to disconnects to the truly bizarre, such as inability to ping the wireless access point it’s connected to yet being able to ping the other machines it’s connected to through that access point. Since that is also the default gateway, that means it loses any connectivity to the outside world.

After a web search, the solution appears to be disabling hardware encryption. The wireless chip is apparently overloaded trying to do the encryption as well as everything else it has to do, which makes sense because it would normally go horribly wrong when starting Firefox, which hits the Internet to download a number of web pages when restoring the old configuration.

To do this, create a file /etc/modprobe.d/rtl8192se.conf and put the following line in it:

options rtl8192se swenc=1

Hooray! Hope someone else finds this useful.

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I have a Toshiba Satellite. Last month, my laptop used to shut down when running Netflix due to overheating. I brought a new fan online. I disassembled the laptop to change the fan. I discovered that there was thick amount of dust bunny that looked like cotton build up on the side of heating sink that border the fan. Every since then, the laptop never shut down again while watching Netflix.

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