How to get wireless working with my Compaq Presario F767NR Laptop and Ubuntu

12 07 2008

I just got this laptop a short while ago, and the first thing i did was make the recovery dvds (it required 3? wtf…) and wiped vista clean from the hard drive and installed Ubuntu hardy 8.04

The laptop essentially works almost perfectly. The main problem that I encountered when i first installed it was the fact that the Ubuntu version of madwifi was not recent enough to support my wireless card, an atheros  AR242x.

So i compiled the latest version of madwifi to find that the drivers worked, but ubuntu would kernel panic (bad) every time I put the computer to sleep (which was every time I closed the lid), so that wouldn’t do, so I hopped on IRC and was instructed to compile a special branch of madwifi that used HAL, and what do you know, it worked, although unstable (network manager sometimes just flat out refused to connect, and othertimes it would connect instantly)

I am almost positive that for the next version of ubuntu (intrepid) that this version of madwifi will be installed by default and you will not need to manually compile them, I’ll post how i got it working for anyone else who is having the same problem

First, download some stuff since your internet is gonna be disconnected. Enter these commands separately into the terminal:

sudo apt-get install subversion build-essential
cd ~/
mkdir svn
cd svn
svn co

after this point, you don’t need your internet anymore, so to avoid conflicts, go to your restricted driver manager and remove the atheros drivers.

this can be done by going to system > administration > hardware drivers, and deselect any entries that pertain to atheros (there should be two), it will ask for a computer restart, so save this page to your desktop, restart and come back.
now that you are back, lets finish installing the drivers:

cd ~/svn/madwifi-hal-
sudo make install

after this, i had to restart my computer or else i got errors when i tried to load the new drivers, so again restart and then afterwards enter:

sudo modprobe ath_pci
sudo modprobe wlan_scan_sta

those load the required modules to enable wireless, and if everything went well, they should load without any errors and network manager should see your network and you should be able to connect. And if the kernel ever updates and you find yourself without internet, you will just have to recompile the drivers still located in the ~/svn/ directory against the new kernel and reinstall them. Just make sure you run “make clean” before you recompile them however.

To make it so you dont have to enter those lines on every restart, do this:

gksudo gedit /etc/modules

and add


to the bottom of the file. Save and close.
Now, from my experience my network connection was a lot more stable once I upgraded to network manager 7.0-svn, which again should be in the next version of ubuntu (intrepid) by default. Installing it is easy. Simply go to software sources (system > administration > software sources), enter your password, and go to the third party sources tab. Click add, and add both of these lines:

deb hardy main
deb-src hardy main

and click close. it should ask to reload the cache, click yes. Then just go to upgrade manager (system > administration > update manager) and it should say you have some upgrades available. Upgrade network manager (dont worry, network manager does die during the middle of installation, dont panic) and after its done, restart, and then upon restart re-enter your login credientials to your network and you should be good 😉




13 responses

25 07 2008

Thanx a lot 4 that info, i have this laptop and it really works!!! thank you so much!!! 😀

25 08 2008

Jajaja, kernel update!!!….
the same thing to get wireless running….

thanx again!!! 😀

30 08 2008

Just wanted to say thanks for the wireless tutorial you wrote for the F767NR. I bought one of these laptops in early August and had the exact same problem you did. Your tutorial was perfect, good work! My laptop is perfect with Hardy Heron and I love it. Thank you again and keep up the good work.

30 08 2008

However, please note that the network manager PPA is kinda unstable, like right now i cant connect to WPA networks with my laptop cause network manager crashes. So use it at your own risk and hopefully it wont cause you too much trouble =)

17 10 2008

I’ve stuck in the part which to puts the ppa into the software sources. the following error occured:

W: Failed to fetch Could not resolve ‘’

W: Failed to fetch Could not resolve ‘’

W: Failed to fetch Could not resolve ‘’

W: Failed to fetch Could not resolve ‘’

W: Failed to fetch Could not resolve ‘’

W: Failed to fetch Could not resolve ‘’

W: Failed to fetch Could not resolve ‘’

W: Failed to fetch Could not resolve ‘’

W: Failed to fetch Could not resolve ‘’

W: Failed to fetch Could not resolve ‘’

W: Failed to fetch Could not resolve ‘’

W: Failed to fetch Could not resolve ‘’

W: Some index files failed to download, they have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

what can i do???

17 10 2008

@ b:

it seems that it can’t download the files from the australian ubuntu servers…either they are down temporarly, or for some other larger reason

if you need this to work now, you can switch your package manager to download from the united states servers, you can choose what server to download from by going to system > administration > software sources and then picking from the ‘download from’ drop down box

26 11 2008
Talha Khan

Thanks for your post! But I had a question. How can I download the stuff from typing the commands you mentioned above when I won’t have internet after loading linux…please explain clearly. Also if you could put those recovery disks in a torrent or something so I can retrieve it, it would be really great. I installed xp without any back up and now i am stuck!

28 11 2008

did you lose your recovery disks? you might be able to contact dell about getting some new ones…

and it would be MUCH MUCH easier if you connect your laptop directly to your router via ethernet cable and then running the commands, at least until you get internet working. If you cant possibly do this, let me know

1 02 2009
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[…] How to get wireless working with my Compaq Presario F767NR Laptop … […]

6 02 2009
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[…] How to get wireless working with my Compaq Presario F767NR Laptop … […]

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