Ubuntu Lucid USB 3G modem issue solved

I fix the problems which arise with every Ubuntu release (and in between) for a friend at work whom I’ve put onto Linux. This upgrade to Lucid has meant a number of issues *yawn* but the most annoying was that plugging in his Huawei E220 USB 3G modem was only sometimes detected (every other time it’s just a USB CD and USB memory stick). It was working perfectly on Karmic and on Jaunty (with some hackery) before that.

The solution was rather simple in the end, just load both usbserial and option kernel modules on boot (add to /etc/modules). The kernel will then switch from CD-ROM and detect ttyUSB modem correctly. If you’re having problems with your device not working, try this.

-c

27 Responses to “Ubuntu Lucid USB 3G modem issue solved”


  • Hi Chris,i’m newbie in lucyd and it’s happend to me too, please kindly advise how to solve the problem in step by step or more detail how to load both usbserial and option kernel modules on boot (add to /etc/modules).
    Just reply to my email.thank you very much.

  • Hi Edwin,
    Sure. Open up a terminal from Applications -> Accessories. Type:
    sudo gedit /etc/modules

    It will prompt you for your password and after you type that it should load that file inside GNOME’s graphical text editor.

    At the bottom of the file, make two new lines, like this:
    usbserial
    option

    Then close the editor program and save it. Reboot the computer and hopefully you’ll be right from now on!

    -c

  • Thanks Chris, this worked great for me.

    I have an MF626. After a reboot, and “ejecting”, and then “safely remove hardware” on each modem related device that came up under “Computer”, it suddenly appeared in Network Manager and I was off.

  • Ok, i tried it (ZTE mf626), but it couldnt be safely removed.
    HP Compaq 610 on Ubuntu Lucid

    Message: Unable to stop drive
    Error detaching: helper exited with exit code 1: Detaching device /dev/sdb
    USB device: /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-2)
    SYNCHRONIZE CACHE: FAILED: No such file or directory
    (Continuing despite SYNCHRONIZE CACHE failure.)
    STOP UNIT: FAILED: No such file or directory

    Any idea?

    I still got: Disconnected – you are offline now

  • Sorry, you got it right!

    It was wrong APN !!!

    It works!!!

    Thanks a lot Chris, you are a genius.

  • Dunno about that, but glad it’s working :-)

    -c

  • I’m on Lucid :
    I’ve add the (usbserial and option in /etc/modules)
    I’ve reboot
    I’ve ejected and safely removed the usb cd
    I’ve ejected the usb storage
    and then, at that moment, camed up an empty storage device again and with that one I was enable to safely removed it was showing the same error of Davor

    Message: Unable to stop drive
    Error detaching: helper exited with exit code 1: Detaching device /dev/sdb
    USB device: /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-2)
    SYNCHRONIZE CACHE: FAILED: No such file or directory
    (Continuing despite SYNCHRONIZE CACHE failure.)
    STOP UNIT: FAILED: No such file or directory

    still no device found in my network manager
    by the way I’m using a ( Huawei E182E )

  • Can you post the result of this:
    lsmod |egrep "usb|option"

    -c

  • Mil Gracias me funcioo de maravilla, porfin tengo la tranquilidad de poder conectarme cuando quiera….sin tener que reiniciar con el modem conectado.
    porsiacaso uso un Huaweii E156B y funciono a la primera sin problemas. Muchas gracias

  • Awesome! I have exactly this modem (from T-Mobile) and it’s been flaky. I’ll try this and see if things improve.

    Gerv

  • I am getting the following error:

    Unable to stop drive
    Error detaching: helper exited with exit code 1: Detaching device /dev/sr1
    USB device: /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.2/usb4/4-2)
    SYNCHRONIZE CACHE: FAILED: No such file or directory
    (Continuing despite SYNCHRONIZE CACHE failure.)
    STOP UNIT: FAILED: No such file or directory

    Output of lsmod |egrep “usb|option” is as follows:
    usb_storage 39425 0
    option 15654 0
    usbserial 33019 1 option

    Please help me.
    (Lucid, Make of the modem not known)

  • You have the right modules loaded, so that’s good, but I’m not sure about that error, sorry. Make sure that when you plug it in, you haven’t opened up the CD device. Just plug it in and wait. If not, then it looks like a specific error related to your kernel/modem device. You might have to ask at Ubuntu forums..

    -c

  • A much easier alternative is to install the “usb-modeswitch” package: “sudo apt-get install usb-modeswitch”

  • Hello, I have Maverick on a Asus 1215N and I’m trying to get my K3565-z onda internet key to work.
    Well: IT’S IMPOSSIBLE!
    First the key is not recognized as a modem, I’ve followed your suggestion but It doesn’t work anyway. I’m able to obtain this:

    2010-12-20 21:25:50+0100 [-] get_plugin_by_vendor_product_id called with 0x19D2 and 0x2002
    2010-12-20 21:25:51+0100 [-] data port is /dev/ttyUSB3
    2010-12-20 21:25:51+0100 [-] ctrl port is /dev/ttyUSB1
    2010-12-20 21:26:09+0100 [-] AT+CGMM response: [‘K3765-Z’, ‘OK’]

    Vodafone connect manager apparently works, but the key gives no connection. It only gives an error:

    DEVICE SET UP NOT COMPLETED
    An unknown error occur when setting up the device: could not open port /dev/ttyUSB1: [Errno 16] Device or resource busy: ‘/dev/ttyUSB1′

    ** (twistd:3042): CRITICAL **: murrine_style_draw_box_gap: assertion `height >= -1′ failed

    What can I do? Please may you give me an hint? I’m not really good with linux. The thing that makes me really upset is that i have also an Asus eeepc 1001 and with this the internet key works!

  • Hey Samuele,

    It looked like your modem is detected properly, is it coming up as an option in NetworkManager? Can you create a connection with Vodafone? Perhaps you can compare your settings with the EeePC 1001 with this one? You need to have the right APN key, etc.

    -c

  • Hi Chris, thank you very much you are the first person to answer me, I’ve tried literally everything. I tried to configure the key with the network manager, It is recognized but It is not able to connect. The blue led flashes but then It gives out the message “GSM disconnected”. On the EeePC1001 I’m able to connect bypassing network manager (that doesn’t work) but I use betavine and It works.

  • i’ll try :D

    thanks before

  • Thanks very much my problem solved.

  • Glad it could help :-)

  • I have a CR 48 with Ubuntu 11-04 I just installed as dual boot. In ChromeOS, 3g works but not in Ubuntu. Help!

  • I’m not sure what a CR 48 is? Did you follow any instructions in my post?

    -c

  • Hi Chris,
    I am using Ubuntu,How will it work on Ubuntu?

  • If you’re using Ubuntu, then just follow the post as it’s written for Ubuntu. However, you only need to do this if your 3G isn’t working, and I’m not sure what new releases are like.

    -c

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