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Old 12-02-2001, 08:10 AM   #1
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Registered: Dec 2001
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3com NIC, eth0 refuses to be brought up


I have read lots of posts and boards in the last couple of days,
but haven't found anything to make things say click in this matter.

I have a 3comNIC (3c905 Fast EthetLink tx) that I am trying
to config under rh6.0. It seemed to install without hassle during
the redhat install guide, only that rh detected my card as some-
thing to use module 3c515 for. 3Com themselves and other
places I checked on rather suggest using 3c95x, so that's what
I am trying now (so far I got no better results with either of them
though :)

I have in </etc/modules.conf> placed the line:
alias eth0 3c95x

At boot time, after a long wait, I get the message
Bringing up interface eth0 ...... [FAILED]

lsmod shows a list including the line:
3c95x (autoclean)

..which I suppose is a step in the right direction, even if it is
not functioning.

I can ping, but nothing else!
I will use a dynamic ipaddress when the time comes, have
checked "use dhcp" when running netconf, thinking I'd better
do that since it is what i eventually want.
There doesn't seem to be any dhcpclient to the name installed,
but instead there is "pump" which haven't helped me any so far
heh heh. Pump up the jam!

When I take the system down It happily reports:
Bringing down interface eth0

Did it think it had been working? Was I close? What should I
try next?

I am very very grateful for any input in this case, since all
threads I have found on similar problems have differenced
somehow, either they could never even ping their,
they had a total different card with its specific problems, they
suddenly just said "HAH! Works now, thanks" and still left me
clueless as of what made them succeed etc.

Ok, thanks for your time :)

Old 12-02-2001, 10:04 AM   #2
Senior Member
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Use module 3c59x (_NOT_ 3c95x) for the 3Com 905tx. I have several of them and it works great for me. You may need to reconfigure the card at the hardware level with either the DOS-based setup utility or via 'mii-diag' (part of the hwdiag package for ehternet controllers).
Old 12-02-2001, 02:35 PM   #3
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used that :)

Thanks & argh!

I was confused enough to typo the module name in my
first post. I wrote 3c95x in two places, where I meant
3c59x, like you wrote.

If it is of any help this was given by <modinfo -p 3c59x>:

debug int
options int array (min=1, max=8)
full duplex int array (min=1, max=8)
rx copybreak int
max_interrupt_work int
compaq_ioaddr int
compaq_irq int
compaq_device_id int

So, given that I in fact was using 3c59x (no matter what I
wrote), any suggestion as to what I should do now?

Old 12-02-2001, 08:31 PM   #4
Registered: Nov 2001
Location: atl
Distribution: redhat
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well, sounded to me like the module loaded correctly right? and it is just failing to give you an ip address? when you run ifconfig what does it give you? and did i read correctly that you were running dhcp using netconf? is there a dhcp server running somewhere? try just giving it a static ip address and see what happens.
first step just to see if it will work (while your booted, after the card fails to load)
1)ifdown eth0
2)ifconfig eth0
if that works than edit this file:
to look something like this:

hope this helps you!
Old 12-03-2001, 01:18 PM   #5
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On the story goes..


Thanks for your help, and for posting answers so fast.

dangel, I did what you suggested. At boot it now says:
Bringing up interface eth0 [ OK ]

which made very happy

lsmod immideately thereafter says
used by
3c59x 1 (autoclean)

I still cannot ping anything but
pinging etc gives a line about returning -1
and in the end a huge packetloss

pump still doesn't pump up any jam, and I do not have
any dhcp installed, was hoping pump would do the job
when it is time to call upon it

ifconfig says this about eth0, wonder if it is of
any use to someone trying to help me out:

eth0 link encap:Ethernet HWAddr 00:60:08:50:25:c3
inet addr: Mask:
RX packets:46 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:20 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txcuelen:100
interrupt:10 Base Address: 0xff00

Thanks again for your help!

Old 12-04-2001, 05:04 AM   #6
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: Fairfax, California
Distribution: RH 9.0, RH 7.3, Mandrake 8.0
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A couple of thoughts:
pinging etc gives a line about returning -1
Unless that's another typo, you can't do that. is a network address, not a node address; you can only ping nodes (individual machines on the network).

The output from lsmod is good. The output of ifconfig looks good also. It indicates that your NIC (eth0) has been assigned an IP of, and the reported broadcast and netmask values are correct for that IP. Can you ping the NIC ( If not, what error do you get?

Describe your network in a little more detail:
-how mant machines on the network (and what OSs are they running)?
-are you using a hub/switch/router?
-how do you connect to the outside world (Internet)?
-what IPs are you assigning the other machines?

I can't help with pump, as I assign static IPs on my LAN, but there are others here who can give you some pointers if you give us the gory details.
Old 12-04-2001, 10:57 AM   #7
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Location: Sweden
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Is Your NIC configured for Plug and Play?
There should be some software to download from 3Com
to find that out and if it is, to unPnP it.
I have had a lots of problem with PnP,
but none without it.

Old 12-04-2001, 04:56 PM   #8
Registered: Nov 2001
Location: atl
Distribution: redhat
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i agree with DMR. we need a little more info on your network to be able to further help you. as dmr said, everything looks good - everything came up correctly and all of your snipets are the way they are suppsed to be for that ip address. if you want to use dhcp/pump, then you'll have to have a dhcp server running somewhere on your network. it isn't hard to setup. all you need is the dhcpd daemon running and one small config file. =)
acouple of things i wanted to address. (i'm sure dmr knows this ...but just to make sure petter understands)
you *CAN* ping the network address of in redhat you have to specify the -b switch when doing so as this will ping the broadcast. ie it will ping the entire network. (as long as they are unix/linux boxes - they will reply. windoze boxes will not)

Last edited by dangel; 12-04-2001 at 04:57 PM.
Old 12-04-2001, 06:12 PM   #9
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Actually I am banging my head against exactly (or almost so) the same problem right now. I have a 3COM 3c905 card. THe system boots and the card is recognized, but neither pump not dhcpcd will gather an IP address from the DHCP server. I am also running RedHat 7.1

I don't want to step on petter's toes, but I will supply some network info for my network. I am working at a university so it is a large network. I am trying to run my linux box as a client to the dhcp server. I know (or think) this server is up and running because it work fine with W2K. THe specs for our network are:


I also know the names and addresses of the DNS servers but that probably isn't relevent. I have updated my network configuration with netcfg. I have also done it manually in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 and /etc/sysconfig/network.

However, I am having marginally more luck than petter. I am able to bring the network up manually as follows.

-Boot the system without booting eth0 at all or letting it fail
-kill the pump and/or dhcpcd processes if they are still running
-ifconfig eth0 netmask ... broadcast ... (I am just using the ip address as a temporary. It is quite possible that it isn't necessary.)
-dhcpcd eth0 (sometimes this is immediate and sometimes it takes a while)

THis will bring up the network and I can ping out. I still haven't been able to get it up with pump, and am not sure why. I have been looking through the ifup script and don't understand howcome it tries to start dhcpcd and pump without initializing eth0. (Maybe that is done somewhere else though?)

I am not trying to figure out a reasonably elegant way to do this automatically in the setup (i.e. something short of simply hacking ifup). Petter - maybe you want to try my manual setup to see if it works for you?

The tree I was barking up this morning was wondering if it had something to do with duplicate IRQ addresses, but I am inclined now to think that was the wrong tree. Can anyone confirm this?

Old 12-04-2001, 08:14 PM   #10
Registered: Nov 2001
Location: atl
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if the module is able to load correctly than yes, you were barking up the wrong tree. = )
now ... on to other things...
so you are saying that *if* you manually give the card an ip address and *then* run dhcpcd it will assign you a new ip address? *but* if you don't give it a manual ip address then dhcpcd will not work??
that can't be right. you *should* not have to do that.
are you trying to run dhcpcd and not pump? or trying both and neither are working at bootup?
hmmm. lets see. what else can we narrow down to get this thing up and running....
give a snipet of you /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 file
see how that reads...

its got to be something simple ; )

Last edited by dangel; 12-04-2001 at 08:25 PM.
Old 12-05-2001, 05:23 AM   #11
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Hi all, and thanks for helping out.

DMR had some questions about my networksetup, OSes etc.

*my "network": consists of one (1) machine , running rh6.0
*use of hub/switch/router : none such
*internet connection : cable modem
*other machines' ips : n/a

I have had no better luck when disabling (at boot) whatever I have
accomplished in the way of bringing the nic up. I feel I have come a
bit closer to success through the help of you people, but there is still
something to do.. Here is what my
/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 looks like:

I don't know of any dhcp server running. I had been told
to use pump if I had it, and maybe it is time to check upon
that now?

Thanks again for all your help

Old 12-05-2001, 08:16 AM   #12
Registered: Nov 2001
Location: atl
Distribution: redhat
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ok so now i got it. you have a cable modem plugged directly into your linux box correct? and you need to get an ip address from your isp right?

next time your system boots. run ifconfig - you should have an ip address of
then type ifdown eth0 at the console
then type pump -i eth0
if that works. then try changing your /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 to:
and take out the ipaddress, broadcast, network, and netmask
then next time you reboot...cross you fingers =)
Old 12-06-2001, 12:50 PM   #13
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I ran some more detailed tests to try and determine the functionality. Here is an annotated version of what I ran.

REBOOT // trying to start eth0 - failed
ifconfig eth0 // clear any setup it might have obtained
ifdown eth0
dhcpcd eth0

I tried this 3 times and it never worked.

ifconfig eth0
ifdown eth0
ifconfig eth0 // bring up eth0 but don't assign it an ip of any kind
dhcpcd eth0

I tried this 3 times and it didn't work the first two times then it worked and it worked thereafter. Also if I switched to using pump, it worked. Possibly the first two failures where due to confusion on my part or typos so I tried it all again.

I rebooted and tried method one again (still to no effect) and tried method two again, and it seems to work. It is rather slow finding an DHCP information (about 15-30 seconds) but I guess that could be network traffic etc. 

SO the bottom line is it seems to work if eth0 is up, but not if eth0 is _not_ created by ifconfig.

You also asked to see my ifcfg-eth0 file :


Thanks again for everyones time. I hope we can get this sorted out. I agree it is probably something simple...

Old 12-06-2001, 04:59 PM   #14
Registered: Nov 2001
Location: atl
Distribution: redhat
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take out everything in your ifcfg-eth0 file except device=eth0 bootproto=dhcp and onboot=yes.
next time your reboot. tell us what happens.
Old 12-06-2001, 05:46 PM   #15
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I deleted everything except :


I also took out my "fix" from my ifup script. I rebooted and the usual occured. Both pump and dhcpcd time out. I also got the usual message when I logged in from gnome saying it could not look up an IP address for me. I was able to bring the network up as usual by bringing eth0 up and then starting dhcpcd. It took 25 seconds to find an address. This seems really slow. Maybe there is something wrong that is causing this long delay, and sometimes it happens to time out, and sometimes it gets there in time, but I have never been able to get it to connect without manually bringing up eth0 first.

Also, I noticed when I was snooping around this morning that ifconfig reports a carrier error each time I try to start dhcpcd and it fails. Could this have anything to do with anything?

Thanks much for your help!



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