Can't connect to WiFi network after kernel upgrade (5.10.96)

Hello. I decided to post a message in this forum because I have been unable to find a solution to the problem or a good way to debug it… I have searched the Web and found that many people have had similar issues, but none of the approaches they tried worked…

The problem: I have a laptop with a WiFi device (who hasn’t?) which has had no trouble connecting to my home WiFi network (old, uses WEP), or any other network, until very recently when I upgraded the system to kernel 5.10.96. I tried installing more recent kernels (5.15 and now 5.16) but the errors have persisted, and they do not seem to be due to the WiFi adapter itself because I purchased an USB adapter (Panda N600) which is recognized but has the exact same error, namely, the wpa_supplicant fails.

Note: I have not yet attempted to connect to another WiFi network (I have, though, rebooted my AP).

Any help will, of course, be greatly appreciated!

The errors (using journalctl) look like (both interfaces give the same error):

Feb 16 19:07:01 HOST NetworkManager[677]: <info>  [1645056421.1852] device (wlp2s0): Activation: (wifi) connection NETWORKNAME has security, and secrets exist.  No new secrets needed.
Feb 16 19:07:01 HOST NetworkManager[677]: <warn>  [1645056421.1960] sup-iface[f9236dc100ea2779,0,wlp2s0]: assoc[365999ec8c907065]: failure to add network: invalid message format
Feb 16 19:07:01 HOST NetworkManager[677]: <info>  [1645056421.1961] device (wlp2s0): supplicant interface state: disconnected -> inactive

Here is the output of inxi:

inxi --admin --verbosity=7 --filter --width
System:
  Kernel: 5.16.7-1-MANJARO x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 11.1.0
    parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-5.16-x86_64
    root=UUID=4d651727-b353-4611-b9a7-1ddd4c4811ba rw quiet
    cryptdevice=UUID=a00ab311-d4bb-4a0a-8ed0-2c548efe2ffe:luks-a00ab311-d4bb-4a0a-8ed0-2c548efe2ffe
    root=/dev/mapper/luks-a00ab311-d4bb-4a0a-8ed0-2c548efe2ffe apparmor=1
    security=apparmor
    resume=/dev/mapper/luks-337f30d5-b011-41c6-934b-1cb6ecea07d4
    udev.log_priority=3
  Console: pty pts/1 DM: SDDM Distro: Manjaro Linux base: Arch Linux
Machine:
  Type: Laptop System: ASUSTeK product: UX301LAA v: 1.0 serial: <filter>
  Mobo: ASUSTeK model: UX301LAA v: 1.0 serial: <filter>
    UEFI: American Megatrends v: UX301LAA.300 date: 04/18/2019
Battery:
  ID-1: BAT0 charge: 49.3 Wh (97.8%) condition: 50.4/51.3 Wh (98.2%)
    volts: 11.4 min: 11.4 model: ASUSTeK UX301-4 type: Li-ion serial: N/A
    status: Charging cycles: 35
Memory:
  RAM: total: 7.65 GiB used: 1.45 GiB (19.0%)
  Array-1: capacity: 32 GiB slots: 4 EC: None max-module-size: 8 GiB
    note: est.
  Device-1: ChannelA-DIMM0 size: 4 GiB speed: 1600 MT/s type: DDR3
    detail: synchronous bus-width: 64 bits total: 64 bits manufacturer: Elpida
    part-no: N/A serial: N/A
  Device-2: ChannelA-DIMM1 size: No Module Installed
  Device-3: ChannelB-DIMM0 size: 4 GiB speed: 1600 MT/s type: DDR3
    detail: synchronous bus-width: 64 bits total: 64 bits manufacturer: Elpida
    part-no: N/A serial: N/A
  Device-4: ChannelB-DIMM1 size: No Module Installed
CPU:
  Info: model: Intel Core i7-4558U socket: rPGA988B bits: 64 type: MT MCP
    arch: Haswell family: 6 model-id: 0x45 (69) stepping: 1 microcode: 0x26
  Topology: cpus: 1x cores: 2 tpc: 2 threads: 4 smt: enabled cache:
    L1: 128 KiB desc: d-2x32 KiB; i-2x32 KiB L2: 512 KiB desc: 2x256 KiB
    L3: 4 MiB desc: 1x4 MiB
  Speed (MHz): avg: 1659 high: 2328 min/max: 800/3300 base/boost: 2800/3800
    scaling: driver: intel_cpufreq governor: schedutil volts: 1.2 V
    ext-clock: 100 MHz cores: 1: 1319 2: 975 3: 2017 4: 2328 bogomips: 22359
  Flags: abm acpi aes aperfmperf apic arat arch_perfmon avx avx2 bmi1 bmi2
    bts clflush cmov constant_tsc cpuid cpuid_fault cx16 cx8 de ds_cpl dtes64
    dtherm dts epb ept ept_ad erms est f16c flexpriority flush_l1d fma fpu
    fsgsbase fxsr ht ibpb ibrs ida invpcid invpcid_single lahf_lm lm mca mce
    md_clear mmx monitor movbe msr mtrr nonstop_tsc nopl nx pae pat pbe pcid
    pclmulqdq pdcm pdpe1gb pebs pge pln pni popcnt pse pse36 pti pts rdrand
    rdtscp rep_good sdbg sep smep ss ssbd sse sse2 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 stibp
    syscall tm tm2 tpr_shadow tsc tsc_adjust tsc_deadline_timer vme vmx vnmi
    vpid x2apic xsave xsaveopt xtopology xtpr
  Vulnerabilities:
  Type: itlb_multihit status: KVM: VMX disabled
  Type: l1tf
    mitigation: PTE Inversion; VMX: conditional cache flushes, SMT vulnerable
  Type: mds mitigation: Clear CPU buffers; SMT vulnerable
  Type: meltdown mitigation: PTI
  Type: spec_store_bypass
    mitigation: Speculative Store Bypass disabled via prctl
  Type: spectre_v1
    mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer sanitization
  Type: spectre_v2 mitigation: Full generic retpoline, IBPB: conditional,
    IBRS_FW, STIBP: conditional, RSB filling
  Type: srbds mitigation: Microcode
  Type: tsx_async_abort status: Not affected
Graphics:
  Device-1: Intel Haswell-ULT Integrated Graphics vendor: ASUSTeK driver: i915
    v: kernel bus-ID: 00:02.0 chip-ID: 8086:0a2e class-ID: 0300
  Device-2: Sunplus Innovation HD WebCam type: USB driver: uvcvideo
    bus-ID: 1-5:5 chip-ID: 1bcf:2987 class-ID: 0e02 serial: <filter>
  Display: server: X.org 1.21.1.3 compositor: kwin_x11 driver:
    loaded: modesetting alternate: fbdev,vesa tty: 229x59
  Message: Unable to show advanced data. Required tool glxinfo missing.
Audio:
  Device-1: Intel Haswell-ULT HD Audio driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel
    bus-ID: 00:03.0 chip-ID: 8086:0a0c class-ID: 0403
  Device-2: Intel 8 Series HD Audio vendor: ASUSTeK driver: snd_hda_intel
    v: kernel bus-ID: 00:1b.0 chip-ID: 8086:9c20 class-ID: 0403
  Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k5.16.7-1-MANJARO running: yes
  Sound Server-2: JACK v: 1.9.20 running: no
  Sound Server-3: PulseAudio v: 15.0 running: yes
  Sound Server-4: PipeWire v: 0.3.45 running: no
Network:
  Device-1: Intel Wireless 7260 driver: iwlwifi v: kernel modules: wl
    bus-ID: 02:00.0 chip-ID: 8086:08b1 class-ID: 0280
  IF: wlp2s0 state: down mac: <filter>
  Device-2: Ralink RT5572 Wireless Adapter type: USB driver: rt2800usb
    bus-ID: 1-1:2 chip-ID: 148f:5572 class-ID: 0000 serial: <filter>
  IF: wlp0s20u1 state: down mac: <filter>
  Device-3: Apple Ethernet Adapter [A1277] type: USB driver: asix
    bus-ID: 1-2:3 chip-ID: 05ac:1402 class-ID: ff00 serial: <filter>
  IF: enp0s20u2 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
  IP v4: <filter> type: dynamic noprefixroute scope: global
    broadcast: <filter>
  IP v6: <filter> type: noprefixroute scope: link
  WAN IP: <filter>
Bluetooth:
  Device-1: Intel Bluetooth wireless interface type: USB driver: btusb v: 0.8
    bus-ID: 1-4:4 chip-ID: 8087:07dc class-ID: e001
  Report: rfkill ID: hci0 rfk-id: 1 state: up address: see --recommends
Logical:
  Message: No logical block device data found.
  Device-1: luks-a00ab311-d4bb-4a0a-8ed0-2c548efe2ffe maj-min: 254:0
    type: LUKS dm: dm-0 size: 110.14 GiB
  Components:
  p-1: sda2 maj-min: 8:2 size: 110.15 GiB
  Device-2: luks-337f30d5-b011-41c6-934b-1cb6ecea07d4 maj-min: 254:1
    type: LUKS dm: dm-1 size: 8.8 GiB
  Components:
  p-1: sda3 maj-min: 8:3 size: 8.8 GiB
RAID:
  Hardware-1: Intel 82801 Mobile SATA Controller [RAID mode] driver: ahci
    v: 3.0 port: f060 bus-ID: 00:1f.2 chip-ID: 8086:282a rev: N/A class-ID: 0104
Drives:
  Local Storage: total: 238.49 GiB used: 104.86 GiB (44.0%)
  ID-1: /dev/sda maj-min: 8:0 vendor: SanDisk model: SD6SP1M128G1002
    size: 119.24 GiB block-size: physical: 512 B logical: 512 B sata: 3.0
    speed: 6.0 Gb/s type: SSD serial: <filter> rev: 202 temp: 27 C scheme: GPT
  SMART: yes state: enabled health: PASSED on: 1y 211d 22h cycles: 1673
    read: 1.5 MiB written: 2 MiB
  ID-2: /dev/sdb maj-min: 8:16 vendor: SanDisk model: SD6SP1M128G1002
    size: 119.24 GiB block-size: physical: 512 B logical: 512 B sata: 3.0
    speed: 6.0 Gb/s type: SSD serial: <filter> rev: 202 temp: 27 C scheme: GPT
  SMART: yes state: enabled health: PASSED on: 1y 210d 21h cycles: 1674
    read: 1021 KiB written: 569 KiB
  Message: No optical or floppy data found.
Partition:
  ID-1: / raw-size: 110.14 GiB size: 107.86 GiB (97.92%)
    used: 57.15 GiB (53.0%) fs: ext4 block-size: 4096 B dev: /dev/dm-0
    maj-min: 254:0 mapped: luks-a00ab311-d4bb-4a0a-8ed0-2c548efe2ffe
    label: N/A uuid: 4d651727-b353-4611-b9a7-1ddd4c4811ba
  ID-2: /boot/efi raw-size: 300 MiB size: 299.4 MiB (99.80%)
    used: 440 KiB (0.1%) fs: vfat block-size: 512 B dev: /dev/sda1 maj-min: 8:1
    label: NO_LABEL uuid: 7A49-5145
  ID-3: /usr/local/data raw-size: 119.24 GiB size: 119.24 GiB (100.00%)
    used: 47.71 GiB (40.0%) fs: reiserfs block-size: 4096 B dev: /dev/sdb1
    maj-min: 8:17 label: DATA uuid: c695f569-6bab-4084-bce4-b8afa189d299
Swap:
  Kernel: swappiness: 60 (default) cache-pressure: 100 (default)
  ID-1: swap-1 type: partition size: 8.8 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) priority: -2
    dev: /dev/dm-1 maj-min: 254:1
    mapped: luks-337f30d5-b011-41c6-934b-1cb6ecea07d4 label: N/A
    uuid: ad6069a1-0ed7-479b-9c8e-c9711038a61c
Unmounted:
  Message: No unmounted partitions found.
USB:
  Hub-1: 1-0:1 info: Hi-speed hub with single TT ports: 9 rev: 2.0
    speed: 480 Mb/s chip-ID: 1d6b:0002 class-ID: 0900
  Device-1: 1-1:2 info: Ralink RT5572 Wireless Adapter type: Network
    driver: rt2800usb interfaces: 1 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s power: 450mA
    chip-ID: 148f:5572 class-ID: 0000 serial: <filter>
  Device-2: 1-2:3 info: Apple Ethernet Adapter [A1277] type: Network
    driver: asix interfaces: 1 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s power: 250mA
    chip-ID: 05ac:1402 class-ID: ff00 serial: <filter>
  Device-3: 1-4:4 info: Intel Bluetooth wireless interface type: Bluetooth
    driver: btusb interfaces: 2 rev: 2.0 speed: 12 Mb/s power: 100mA
    chip-ID: 8087:07dc class-ID: e001
  Device-4: 1-5:5 info: Sunplus Innovation HD WebCam type: Video
    driver: uvcvideo interfaces: 2 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s power: 500mA
    chip-ID: 1bcf:2987 class-ID: 0e02 serial: <filter>
  Device-5: 1-7:6 info: Atmel Atmel maXTouch Digitizer type: HID
    driver: hid-generic,hid-multitouch,usbhid interfaces: 2 rev: 2.0
    speed: 12 Mb/s power: 100mA chip-ID: 03eb:8a0c class-ID: 0300
  Hub-2: 2-0:1 info: Super-speed hub ports: 4 rev: 3.0 speed: 5 Gb/s
    chip-ID: 1d6b:0003 class-ID: 0900
Sensors:
  System Temperatures: cpu: 38.0 C mobo: N/A
  Fan Speeds (RPM): cpu: 3500
Info:
  Processes: 195 Uptime: 3h 41m wakeups: 1 Init: systemd v: 250
  tool: systemctl Compilers: gcc: 11.1.0 clang: 13.0.1 Packages: 1899
  pacman: 1889 lib: 403 flatpak: 0 snap: 10 Shell: Bash v: 5.1.16
  running-in: pty pts/1 (SSH) inxi: 3.3.12

Well, I suspect the problem may be related to my having a very old WEP access point… I went down to the building’s laundry room, which has a modern AP, and there were no issues! I bought a new Netgear WiFi router and am testing it (as an AP) and, so far, there have been no problems…