I enabled VNC using raspi-config in the Interfacing Options, but a VNC connection test from a client failed. I rebooted the RPI, and it failed to come on the wireless network. Disabling VNC hasn't been a successful rollback, sadly. Any ideas how to fix it please? Wifi was working fine for months.

If I check wifi in raspi-config it says: no wireless interface found

If I use IP LINK SHOW, it shows interfaces for loopback, ETH0, and docker0.

If I do a refresh install on a new SD card, the wireless is fine.

ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev


  • What did you set in raspi-config for the WiFi? Can you put you wpa_supplicat.conf in the question please (hide the password) using code blocks. If your SSID hidden? If so, unhide it as it is not a security feature (part of the link up transmits the SSID in plain text).
    – user115418
    Commented Sep 13, 2020 at 13:37
  • No, the SSID is not hidden, I didn't change anything, other than whether VNC was enabled or not, via raspi-config. ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev update_config=1 country=GB network={ ssid="mywifi" psk="mywifipassword" key_mgmt=WPA-PSK } Commented Sep 13, 2020 at 13:48
  • Maybe worth resetting the router if it's a generic home one. They are not the greatest of free things. Note sure if it's copy / paste but you have a blank line before the closing brace '}' try removing that and rebooting the Pi
    – user115418
    Commented Sep 13, 2020 at 15:32
  • Thanks for the suggestions. Rebooting the router didn't help the raspberry PI, but thanks for the suggestion. The brace issue was a copy-and-paste error. Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 19:49

2 Answers 2


Enabling VNC shouldn't touch your WiFi configuration. I suggest your WiFi interface disappeared for some other reason. Now that you have a fresh install, try going ahead with that.

Aside: if your original install had a lot of customisation making it problematic to start again from a fresh install, consider using puppet to configure your system in a repeatable manner.

This is what raspi-config does when you enable VNC:

apt-get install realvnc-vnc-server
systemctl enable vncserver-x11-serviced.service
systemctl start vncserver-x11-serviced.service

You can try those commands from your fresh install to see if they break your WiFi (but I expect they won't).

Try rebooting your original install and look at the new kernel messages in /var/log/kern.log. A missing WiFi interface is the responsibility of the kernel and kernel modules. The Raspberry Pi 4 WiFi should "just work". If hardware is detected and the necessary modules can't be loaded, there should be error messages in the kernel log.

  • Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't see anything in the kernel log, so I tried grepping for keywords like fail or disable or error. Matches were simple-framebuffer and the enet clock, and PCI bus fast back to back transfers. Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 19:51
  • Just came across this question, which has a link to an article about hi-res and wifi issues. though it looks like I am configured for the default lo-res: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/116380/… Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 20:39
  • O - that's not good...
    – user115418
    Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 21:08

Not sure this is your case - and this post is not active so far - but here wifi was stuck deactivated because .... of an external HDD on one of the USB 3 port... Pretty weird, but just unplugging the HDD enabled the WiFi instantly ! I tried another cable (to the HDD) and this works too (but not all my cables do !).

  • 1
    Two thoughts - 1 a power issue where the HDD was dropping the voltage / current and impacting the Pi. 2 - possible earth issue on the USB ports. My guess is number 1
    – user115418
    Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 0:23

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