Today I helped some friends update their Acer 7720 laptop. It's running openSUSE 10.3 and one of the updates is a new kernel version, probably the riskiest of the periodic updates. Unfortunately, upon reboot, the wireless was shot. I spent an hour with their laptop until I hit upon just the right google which said something about the ipw drivers. Now, I had already removed all of the ipw* stuff as I remembered the laptop works with the iwl not the ipw series. I *thought* I had removed all of it but I had forgotten the most important bit, the firmware. Once that was removed and the machine rebooted, everything worked perfectly. Yay!
- never update the kernel when you have to be able to use the machine shortly after that, especially if you are using wireless or something equally finicky
- be thorough with the axe - if I had removed the all of the right stuff, right away, the "issue" would have taken 5 minutes to resolve.
- Remove EVERYTHING ipw*