I seem to have hit a bug, most probably in madwifi.
After several days of using various wireless configurations (WEP and WPA
with several networks) my laptop suddenly stops being capable of
connecting to my home WEP-protected network.
The symptoms are that wpa_supplicant starts the scanning process, but
the card never properly associates to the network. If I run iwconfig
repeatedly, I can see that the network gets found on one of the
frequencies and the appropriate WEP key is displayed for a moment, but
the card just keeps on scanning.
No amount of rmmod/insmoding the drivers helps. Soft reboot does not
help. What helped me this time was a complete powerdown together with a
downgrade of madwifi, from 1454 to a version from Jan 23, reporting as:
ath_hal: 0.9.16.13 (AR5210, AR5211, AR5212, RF5111, RF5112, RF2413, RF5413, DFS)
wlan: 0.8.4.2 (Atheros/multi-bss)
ath_pci: 0.9.4.5 (Atheros/multi-bss)
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:01:0d.0[A] -> Link [LNKC] -> GSI 11 (level, low) -> IRQ 11
wifi0: 11a rates: 6Mbps 9Mbps 12Mbps 18Mbps 24Mbps 36Mbps 48Mbps 54Mbps
wifi0: 11b rates: 1Mbps 2Mbps 5.5Mbps 11Mbps
wifi0: 11g rates: 1Mbps 2Mbps 5.5Mbps 11Mbps 6Mbps 9Mbps 12Mbps 18Mbps 24Mbps 36Mbps 48Mbps 54Mbps
wifi0: H/W encryption support: WEP AES AES_CCM TKIP
wifi0: mac 5.6 phy 4.1 radio 3.6
This is using Linux 18.104.22.168 and wpa_supplicant built from the hostap
This is something that I hit on a regular basis.