Monday, 28 March 2011

The Ghost in the Machine

Every now and then one encounters a problem that seems to defy explanation; a sort of computing ghost in the machine. Yesterday's struggle with Samba is a case-in-point. At some point during the day, my WiFi was no longer activated as part of the boot sequence and I had to enable it manually when the start routine had finished (Fn + F2 on the DELL Inspiron 1501).

This was not a huge problem, after all, WiFi still worked, but it niggled me that I didn't understand what had caused this change in behaviour. After getting Samba up and running, I turned my attention to fixing the problem and tried Google and the Ubuntu Forums for a solution. Unusually, I found no answer in either of these invaluable resources and eventually decided to reinstall the B43 wireless driver. After invoking the driver search (Administration > Hardware Drivers), I elected to try one more reboot before reinstalling the existing Broadcom driver and...

It worked!

I've no idea how the problem happened or why invoking a driver search should fix it but everything is now behaving as it should and I've put it down to one of those things.

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