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Ubuntu and the Intel Centrino Wireless N 1000 wireless card

The Intel Centrino Wireless N card is on the Dell N4010 and some other laptops. In this case it was the N4010 that a buddy of mine had which gave him the trouble. It’s a compatible card, but needs some nudging to get it to work.

The N4010 also has a software kill button in the form of the F2 key. Bear that in mind when using this machine.

Start by installing rfkill:

sudo apt-get install rfkill

Now check the status of the card:

sudo rfkill list

You should get output similar to the following:

0: dell-wifi: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: yes
Hard blocked: no
1: phy0: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: yes
Hard blocked: yes

Take a look at dell-wifi‘s Hard blocked status. If it’s yes, your card is disabled via the F2-keys kill function. Hit the F2 key and do…

sudo rfkill list

…again. Your output should now resemble the above.

Now unblock by doing the following:

sudo rfkill unblock all
sudo rfkill list

Your output should now look like the following:

0: dell-wifi: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: no
1: phy0: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: no

Your card should now work normally. Now check the connection manager for wireless networks. Reboot and verify you still have connectivity.

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