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Old 02-27-2007, 10:19 PM   #1
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puzzling: NIC goes away if I use a cloned hard drive

I just bought a bunch of new servers. My typical method of deployment is to get one good install, then image that disk onto a server which I then pull onto each of the other machines.

With these new machines (Dell Poweredge 1850), If I install the OS (Ubuntu 6.10, in this case), when I copy the image over, it boots fine, but doesn't see eth0. no amount of configuring seems to help it. If I take the drive out of the "hero" machine and put it in any of the others, same thing - no eth0. If I install from the install disk, no problems.

Anyone ever heard of anything like this before? I'd really rather not go through the install & update & package management crap for every single machine... there's got to be a way of getting eth0 to work?

Last edited by BrianK; 02-27-2007 at 10:21 PM.
Old 02-28-2007, 01:54 AM   #2
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Seems likely that the MAC address is embedded in a config file, and the MAC matches only the ethernet hardware on your original machine. Look through dmesg and/or the system logs, and see if you can identify the MAC soemwhere in boot-up messages. Then find the appropriate network config file(s) (sorry I don't know specifics for your distros), and edit in the correct MAC.

--- rod.
Old 02-28-2007, 02:10 AM   #3
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I have not really started learning about udev yet, so I may be way out in left field on this one. But I was wondering if the udev configuration was using the MAC address to associate the card with the designation "eth0". I do have a Ubuntu 6.10 setup, but unfortunately, I am still in the early stages of exploring/learning it.
Old 03-11-2007, 06:20 PM   #4
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See the man pages for ethtool and how to move the settings from your base hard drive to the clones hard drives. Once this information is available to all the hard drives YOU should be O.K. Some of OUR Linux Distros have netcfg or network configuration files that store this data. These programs will assist YOU in minimizing the amount of file changes YOU need to apply to YOUR system(s).
Old 03-11-2007, 08:33 PM   #5
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For anyone who comes across this, the problem was that the mac address is stored in a file called /etc/iftab. I had to find the mac (which was in the BIOS on these machines, otherwise, the only way I know how is to load up knoppix or some CD distro), then edit the file & all is well.
Old 03-12-2007, 03:18 AM   #6
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Thanks for the update BrianK. Strange thing is ... I have a laptop that came with Ubuntu 6.10 preinstalled. Except for a couple of comment lines, /etc/iftab is empty even though the laptop has both an ethernet and a wifi port. And they both work. Also, I checked the manpage for this file. It does have to do with udev.

Thanks again for clueing us into this file's existence.

UPDATE: I just checked a different partition where, as part of my exploration, I had installed another instance of Ubuntu 6.10 from CD. That copy did have info in /etc/iftab. System76 must have made some alteration, possibly so they could use the same image for all machines w/o running into the issue BrianK did.

Last edited by blackhole54; 03-12-2007 at 03:28 AM.


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