NIC works "occasionally" after a reboot... rebooting fixes it
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NIC works "occasionally" after a reboot, and I have to reboot again to make it work
Okay, this is a weird issue that I've had occurring for awhile. I have a NIC that only works occasionally after a reboot. Once the system is up (and networking is up), the system is stable and there are no dropped packets. This leads me to believe that there's an issue with the drivers upon startup.
I generally only reboot when I have a new kernel. When I do reboot (and this confirms my suspicion that it's a networking driver issue), the system comes up, but it can't ping out and I can't remote in. I've had this NIC for awhile and it worked flawlessly until about 8 months ago.
Here's the card make from lspci:
00:0f.0 Ethernet controller: 3Com Corporation 3c905C-TX/TX-M [Tornado] (rev 78)
Subsystem: 3Com Corporation 3C905C-TX Fast Etherlink for PC Management NIC
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 11
I/O ports at d000 [size=128]
Memory at cfffdf80 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=128]
Expansion ROM at cffc0000 [disabled] [size=128K]
Capabilities: [dc] Power Management version 2
I just upgraded to FC6 and I thought I fixed the problem (I moved the NIC to another spare PCI slot on the motherboard) but after rebooting, I realized I was wrong. It came up after a second reboot, but sometimes I have to reboot 3-4 times until the network comes up. Again, once it is up, the network is stable. TThis is why I suspect it has to do with drivers.
I tried an alternate card (another 3c905, slightly different build), and I had a plethora of issues that I ran into from the system not recognizing the card (kudzu didn't see it, lspci did) to me being unable to hardcode the IP address (I don't do DHCP), so I just reverted to this card but I'm still having a ton of issues getting the internet to work properly after a reboot.
Anyone have any ideas how I can confirm that THIS card works properly? If it means to upgrade the drivers, I will. This problem has been too annoying to deal with over these past few months.
Thanks in advance!
Edit: Modified topic to be more understandable. Basically, it's an issue of the NIC being stable during the entire computer's uptime, but sometimes ONLY AFTER I reboot do I run into a problem where I cannot ping out and the NIC does not seem to work at all (ifconfig works though). Eventually, I can reboot and the network connection will work up again.
I'm not convinced yet, by your posting, that the problem is with drivers. To begin with if it was the drivers (say the got corrupted) I would expect it to fail consistently, but that is not your case.
It could also be the card itself. Try to use another card (same brand if possible) and replace the card with it see if the problem re-appears.
Or take the suspicious card and place it in a system known to work well, if it fails ... well not much to argue about .
Intermittent behavior is the worst to troubleshoot. It may depend of heat, cold, cold-joints and a million more things.
The best way is to take the suspicious card and place it in a computer known to work well... if it fails there, then for sure is the card.
That particular card you mentioned is fairly old and I wold thing that you should get an identical one for no more than $20.00
Hope this helps.
edit: if you are suspicious that the problem is heat related (like the system is stored in a poorly ventilated space) then you can get in any electronics supply store for about $ 6.50 a spray of "DeepFreeze".
When the system fails,instead of rebooting you spray the NIC card with it, if all of the sudden works again you know where the problem is.
In my experience troubleshooting systems, it is always advisable to troubleshoot from the most likely culprit to the list.
In your case that would be, the card, the cable used to attach it to the hub, the hub, the motherboard and then software issues.
Naturally, if works fine for several hours/days before it fails, it is VERY unlikely it is software related.
I had a case where the system would work fine for a few days, then the NIC would die. It would not respond to ping, it would not transfer data, nothing.I replaced the card with another new card but after a few days ... again!
I was suspicious of the hub (it was old) since I noticed that data transfer was rather poor. I replaced it and ... boom! data transfer went up 10 folds.
I was so happy! But ... next day the card was dead again.
To make a long story short I found that the problem was the 10BT cable connecting the card to the hub, which in combination with a bad hub made it difficult to "see".
My point is... try the simple things first (like the cable) and see, then replace the card and so on and so forth.
The hub works. I use it with 6 other computers (laptops). I have used different cables. I have used different ports. As I mentioned, I also swapped the NIC and moved it to another spare PCI slot and that didn't solve the problem.
You say "if it works fine for several hours/days before it fails" -- that's not the case. It works until I reboot. I could have the system running for 60 days and the NIC won't fail. It only doesn't work AFTER a reboot and only occasionally. If I reboot again, it may work. Otherwise, I reboot again -- and then it might work.
I have done a LOT of troubleshooting so far and I've gotten a lot of the basics out of the way. It is a LOT easier for me at this point to look into drivers than replacing the card given the circumstances and the troubleshooting already performed.
I understand your situation a bit better now.
When you reboot and the card fails, if you do
what do you get?
If the card is detected (like it knows there is an eth0) but has not assigned address that could be a software issue.
Not in the sense of corrupted drivers but rather not loading properly and then it hangs, never initializing the NiC card.
I rebooted and it came up fine the first time. The second time, however, I was able to reproduce the issue. ifconfig does show the information I'd expect if the system was running correctly, but when I ping out, all addresses say "Destination Host Unreachable."
Okay, a very special friend helped me ... and I think it's solved.
It appears there was a conflict with an existing NIC (that I didn't know I had; it's onboard). I therefore added HWADDR=mac address to /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 and the system is recognizing the proper NIC on startup. This should be there by default for ease of troubleshooting. :P
I am guessing that this is the solution -- I've rebooted twice so far without problems. (Last night's troubleshooting had me rebooting with 9 successive reboots and no connection, so this is very promising)