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Old 02-23-2003, 12:07 AM   #1
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Distribution: Red Hat, various versions
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Red Hat install mystery, re: eth0


I have a wierd notebook computer, a sony picturebook, which has neither an internal cdrom, nor an internal floppy drive. Its monitor has a native resolution of 1280x600, so a text install was necessary, and I was able to get a bootable system up, coexisting with the factory-installed XP partition that I've left alone.

Immediately after the installation program starts running, I'm asked if I have any driver discs ... but not even having a floppy drive puts a bit of damper in that. Later I get the chance to "add hardware devices" using drivers that are on the installation cd. Of the two categories that come up (harddrives, network adapters) I go into the network adapters, and choose the proper driver for the nic that is in the machine, which happens to be the 8139too driver.

Ok, but I get no confirmation that any such driver has been loaded, and I never get a screen during post-installation configuration asking me if I would like to use dhcp or a static ip ... so the install is convinced that I don't even *have* a nic. No problem, I think to myself, I'll just modprobe it when my system is up, or try to configure it with the handy gnome system tools.

But, eth0 never gets recognized, I can't mount a cdrom, nor my memory stick. The only i/o I have working is the keyboard and mouse ... and I'd really hate to have to install the entire kernel source tree with those.

Has anyone overcome a similar problem? I'm sure if I can get eth0 working, I'll be able to figure out how to get everything else donfigured.

Could windows be to blame? Maybe XP leaves the nic in a state that can't be used by my distribution driver?


Galen Pickett
Old 02-23-2003, 01:11 AM   #2
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Location: Missoula. Montana, USA
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Interesting application, I wish you luck.
I'ld start by checking if the nic is detected in the boot process (dmesg). Does lsmod show anything after an an insmod of the module?
Old 02-23-2003, 01:25 AM   #3
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Distribution: Red Hat, various versions
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lsmod, insmod and kudzu

There's nothing in dmesg about eht0, because after the install eth0 hasn't been set up yet.

When I try to configure the nic, (and this is RH 8.0 btw) the x-windows network configuration tool tells me that it can't initialize the card/driver I've selected. I will be using dhcp, if that's important. After using the network coonfiguration tool, there's a line in modules.conf:
alias eth0 8139too
So, I try modprobe 8139too by hand, and get a bunch of error messages, one of which suggests that I should look at dmesg to see if there's a clue. When I try insmod 8139too, I get some more specific messages, four instances of "symbol unresolved" in 8139too ... but this is just the distribution version of all the modules etc. ... shouldn't all that work out of the box? I thought these realtek chips were all over the place?

A further clue comes from kudzu -p (or just the contents of /etc/sysconfig/hwconfig) where it says that I do have a nic in the notebook, but its driver is *disabled*.

I had the foresight to install the distribution sources ... should I recomplile the kernel and see if 8139too will work out. Or, can I just remake the modules?

Thanks for the suggestion!


Galen Pickett


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