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

On Thu, 27 Jan 2005 01:17:06 +0200
Micha Feigin <michf@post.tau.ac.il> wrote:

> 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 firmware?

I didn't see you mention trying this in your post, so I'll go ahead and
mention it. Have you tried different ethernet cables? I had several
computers behave like that when the wires weren't swapped properly. It
was still a straight cable, but there seemed to be some crosstalk
between the wires, causing 100Mbps to fail, but 10Mbps would work great.

I have also seen a flaky network card in a Windows machine that would
sometimes work when the cable was picked up just a little, forcing the
nose of the connector down onto the connections. Or even pushed in a
little harder - this was awful as you had to keep one hand on the cable
all the time.

Other than that, the only thing I could think of would be your driver.
You don't mention what kernel version you're using. I would upgrade to
at least 2.6.9. Which 8139 driver are you using? (In 2.6.7 I notice
there is 8139cp and 8139too.)


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