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[OT] realtek network card: how to find why card won't sync at 100Mbps against anything

I have a problem for some time now with my laptops on board realtek 8139 network
card. It works properly when locked into 10 Mbps mode but when set to negotiate
connection it doesn't sync.

mii-tool and mii-diag show that it reads the partners abilities properly and
negotiates 100Mbps connection but the link status remains as unestablished. It
seems that it negotiates 100Mbps correctly, sets the card but then fails to
communicate with the other machine and start negotiation again. Setting the
speed to 100Mbps manually doesn't help either.

If I force the card to 10Mbps it works properly (although slowly).

Taking it to the shop will costs more then an external pcmcia or usb network
card and it works at 10Mbps now so its not worth taking to a technician. I was
if its possible and if there is a way to check if its the internal cable
connecting the card to the external port or if the on board chip is blown. Can
there be something only partially wrong with the cable so that it will work at
10Mbps and not at 100Mpbs?

It displayed the same behavior under windows (when I had it installed) and on
several versions of linux so it doesn't seem to be a software bug. Could be

Will be happy for ideas.

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