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When trying to boot my Debian laptop, I encountered this error:

May 31 06:59:44 Termina kernel: [28753.081242] iwl3945 0000:03:00.0: Direct firmware load failed with error -2
May 31 06:59:44 Termina kernel: [28753.081245] iwl3945 0000:03:00.0: Falling back to user helper
May 31 06:59:44 Termina kernel: [28753.081874] iwl3945 0000:03:00.0: Could not read microcode: -12
May 31 06:59:44 Termina kernel: [28753.083132] iwl3945 0000:03:00.0: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-3945-2.ucode (-2)
May 31 06:59:44 Termina kernel: [28753.083137] iwl3945 0000:03:00.0: Direct firmware load failed with error -2
May 31 06:59:44 Termina kernel: [28753.083141] iwl3945 0000:03:00.0: Falling back to user helper
May 31 06:59:44 Termina kernel: [28753.083777] iwl3945 0000:03:00.0: Could not read microcode: -12
May 31 06:59:44 Termina kernel: [28753.083957] iwl3945 0000:03:00.0: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-3945-2.ucode (-2)
May 31 06:59:44 Termina kernel: [28753.083962] iwl3945 0000:03:00.0: Direct firmware load failed with error -2

This was also after I had noticed that I had 149 GB of logs in /var/log/, containing a similar message.

This had happened before, and I just reinstalled the whole system all over again, but now I think I'd rather have an actual solution.

EDIT: I'm using Debian 8 on a Thinkpadx60s, with a Netgear WG111v3 for a USB WiFi dongle, as the built-in WiFi card required proprietary drivers.

  • 1
    Reinstalling a system is rarely the correct answer. Please provide make and model of the laptop in question, and the flavour of Debian you're using. (Remember to edit this information into your question.) – roaima May 31 '16 at 13:02
  • Those messages just indicate a problem finding the firmware for your wireless network adapter. That shouldn't affect boot. Please edit your question with the information @roaima requests and a description of what actually happens when you try to boot it, and how you find those messages. – Henrik supports the community May 31 '16 at 13:07
  • -2 in direct kernel messages means ENOENT errno No such file or directory. -12 maybe misleading (ENOMEM), it's probably wrong and confused by earlier -2. Simply: the firmware required by iwl3945 driver is missing, or in wrong location. – user140866 May 31 '16 at 16:19
  • And you should probably install or reinstall firmware-linux-nonfree package. – user140866 May 31 '16 at 16:21
  • If your user accounts user6404644 and zanzibar are the same you should look to merge them. Otherwise you're likely to hit all sorts of problems with people rejecting edits from one persona against questions from the other. – roaima May 31 '16 at 23:56
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The iwl3945 driver is for Intel wifi devices. The Netgear WG111v3 doesn't use that driver.

The Thinkpad x60s are shipped with Intel Wifi, so maybe it's a boot time hardware conflict, or the drivers need tweaking.

  1. The x60s is supposed to have a switch to turn off wifi. Before booting turn off that switch, then try booting.
  2. If that fails, (with the switch still off), try booting without the Negear dongle, then plug it in after the system is running.
  3. If that fails, (with the switch still off), try blacklisting the iwl3945 module.
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