Zorin 15.3 lite Ralink RT-2500 no wifi

Unfortunately, resetting connections didn't work for me.

I've installed and updated (via ethernet) Zorin Lite 15.3 32bit on a Packard Bell Easy Note R3400 using an internal Ralink RT-2500 wi-fi adapter: this one is recognised by the os but when I try to connect to any wi-fi signal available, it simply doesn't. A small window appears saying Disconnected, you're off network.

I've installed the same zorin os on another Packard Bell netbook: the wi-fi network is the same and it works smoothly.

I would recommend re-installing the Linux Kernel - or if it is a fresh installation of Zorin Lite, just reinstall the OS completely.
The Ralink RT-2500 should be completely supported by the kernel.
If that does not work; you may consider trying a Different kernel version. But at that point, if it was me, I would start troubleshooting the hardware.

You may also want to check your router settings. You may have access control on which doesn't allow new devices to connect. I've forgotten this feature a few times and had many headaches because of it. You may need to whitelist your mac address.

If you know the ip address range you could hard code your ip address (something higher in the range isn't normally assigned automatically). Go into network settings, then connections properties, change from dhcp to manual and type the ip address and subnet (10 beginning ip subnet is 255.0.0.0, 172 beginning ip subnet is 255.255.0.0, 192 beginning ip subnet is 255.255.255.0). Make sure to include the default gateway, if you don't this won't work. If access control is off and this works, try restarting your router, there is a problem with dhcp. It could be the wifi adapter or motherboard are done if this doesn't, further testing would be required.

Edit: i don't know how long it's been since your modem has been up, but powering it off (unplug the modem for 30 seconds... power cycle the router right after this) may help clear up issues. Modems aren't as smart as the rest of the devices for networks, but they can get bogged down to and ignore updates from both the router and isp. Since a reset of your router helped for a time, I'm wondering if this may be modem or router related. If you download netspot from the android store to your phone it will show networks available, channel, signal strength and more. Check signal strength is good where you are attempting to connect, make sure only one or two other networks are using the same channel (default depends on frequency) and if there are more try changing the router channel from automatic to a specific one. Make sure your router has a decent dhcp lease time (about 24hrs, less if you want it to renew more often).

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Router works well with almost 10 other devices, including 1 Zorin Core 64bit and as I said earlier, 1 Zorin lite 32bit.
It was powered off a couple of times last night after the install, just to make myself sure that wasn't a connection issue

ouch, this is a strong one, but considering that the hardware works fine with Windows 7 in that pc...
And considering that both os's are installed with grub(?) it sounds just difficult
These are the linux images installed:
ii linux-image-5.4.0-45-generic 5.4.0-45.49~18.04.2 i386 Linux kernel image for version 5.4.0 on 32 bit x86 SMP
ii linux-image-5.4.0-74-generic 5.4.0-74.83~18.04.1 i386 Linux kernel image for version 5.4.0 on 32 bit x86 SMP
ii linux-image-generic-hwe-18.04 5.4.0.74.83~18.04.67 i386 Generic Linux kernel image
Then?

Depends on the WiFi card, sometime it cannot connect channel higher than 12. I have such WiFi cards and was forced to change the channel of WiFi to lower than 12.
To avoid such situation, it is better to use a fixed channel rather than auto select.

The current channel on 2.4GHz is 11
The current channel on 5GHz is 100 (auto)

You are in the safe range then.
Do you have any live USB you can test your system with?
Ideally the one that uses different version of kernel than what has been installed on this laptop.

Nope. I've installed from a dvd because the bios doesn't support booting from USB

Do you have any other live DVD then?

Well, no because I presumed that this one was the only distro fully compatible with that kind of hardware: it's a 20 years old notebook.
And it works just GREAT, except for this wifi issue...

If that is the case, I would get an inexpensive USB WiFi dongle (5-6 Euro) which is known to work well in Linux such as RT5370 or 8188cus (both from Mediatek).

As I always say, you need internet to solve internet problem.

Thank you, but I'm not you.
Let's figure out the software solution first and foremost

Installing the kernel is quite easy, actually. Anything that a person has never done before can look difficult; But you can use Synaptic Package Manager to install a newer kernel without any trouble.
What concerns me is that the driver for your adapter has been supported since kernel version 2. And you say that the same installation on a very similar machine operates normally. This still points to hardware.
You point out that it works on Windows - This is not unusual. Windows is a multi-billion dollar corporation... Simply put, it has better driver support on ailing network devices. I have seen this many, many times on these forums: The user points out that the card or adapter works on Windows, only for the card or adapter to finally give out a couple weeks later.

I think that FrenchPress' suggestion of an inexpensive WiFi dongle that is fully supported really is the best way to approach this. It is exactly what I would do, too. It seems unlikely that troubleshooting the software side will yield viable results and if installing a newer mainline kernel looks daunting; I cannot help but think that modifying and patching the kernel would look more daunting.

@Aravisian Thank you for your reply.
There's a plenty of literature over the net about wrong/not working/supposed to work drivers, speed issues between others, regarding various Linux kernels and Ralink RT2500. Since 2006 or so.
Still a bug, as I've noticed. In one word: embarrasing.
I'm saying that because the DVD live version used before the install had the same issue. So, the kernel is buggy.
The notebook, the router, the dvd etc. are ok.
I've asked the help tweeting directly to @ZorinOs the found issue and to a friend of mine having some spare pc cards mainly from Intel: if I'm lucky enough, it's gonna cost me a beer... or less.
BTW, I didn't find inexpensive dongles on eBay or Amazon as someone mentioned earlier: please, check it out by yourself before saying it, thanks.

I would say that "inexpensive" and what you consider such is a matter of perspective. I am well aware of the cost of dongles - I own several. There are, I think, more embarrassing things than supposed software bugs.

Connectivity issues as well as other troubleshooting can be frustrating and try anyones patience.
Even so, I would point out that we on this forum owe you nothing. We voluntarily take time out of our day to help others. As such, the members of this forum like Storm, 337harvey and FrenchPress and others that kindly offer help for free should receive nothing less than decency, courtesy and respect.
As a best case scenario, your rudeness and snide remarks will get you ignored.

I can tell you straight up- that I will take no abuse from you.
This is now clear.

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Well said :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
This is my first and hopefully the last "ignore" tagged thread.

I am glad you speak up.
I witnessed in other forum, one repugnance person managed to annoy the important contributor (programmer) so much, we never heard back from this programmer. It was indeed a great loss for the community.

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I understand your frustration, but please don't expect a "fix" from any forum. There are many things that can attribute to problems.

Since your network setup is good, other machines have little or no trouble i to agree with aravisian that it is a hardware issue. The "bug" you refer to, since not showing in similar hardware, would be in your hardware than software. The older hardware should be included and supported with minimal issues. Support may have been dropped and that would be the way to search if you want to continue to attempt to find a software issue. It may be too new a kernel.

I would do the simple search for you, but the lack of appreciation of troubleshooting a difficult problem... that would cost you better than 70 an hour by paid tech support... has me disinclined to assist further. Good luck on your endeavor.

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that working GitHub - kelebek333/rtl8188fu: RTL8188FU driver for Linux 4.15.x ~ 5.12.x