First let me explain, this is a mash-up of various posts all mixed into one. I've done this plenty of times myself and can say that it will always work.
I've always had the issue of installing Ubuntu 12.04 and not having wireless when I boot up. This solves that issue but ONLY for the Ralink RT3290 Chip and ONLY on Ubuntu 12.04.
Internet Connection. (If you have an Android phone, download a USB Tether app for internet, otherwise you need to use Ethernet)
Ubuntu 12.04 installed
First thing you're going to want to do is update and get the Linux Headers, for this you will open Terminal and type the following:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-generic
After that is complete, cd to your home directory if you're not already there with this:
Now you're going to want to download the Ralink RT3290STA Driver
Now extract the tar:
tar -xvf DPO_RT3290_LinuxSTA_V2600_20120508.tar.gz
Find the following lines and make sure they look like this:
Now cd into the extracted driver folder:
Now the following commands in order:
After that finishes, activate the wireless driver:
sudo modprobe rt3290sta
Your wifi should pop right up, but it will not survive a reboot yet.....
Now let's make sure it will activate on boot, for this we be editing the "modules" file:
sudo gedit /etc/modules
Copy/paste these lines at the very bottom:
Save the file and exit
Now you need to blacklist the default driver so that it doesn't override the rt3290sta driver:
sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
Scroll down the bottom of that file and add these lines at the bottom:
#Wireless drivers conflicting with rt3562sta
Save and exit
Now update your changes:
sudo update-initramfs -u
Now exit the terminal and reboot
Upon reboot you should have working wifi that will survive every reboot. Hope this helps everyone, it took me about 2 days to figure all this out.