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Re: Wheezy issue with broadcom 5720 nic on new dell PowerEdge R720

I have encountered exactly the same problem. Got four new Dell servers
(2xR820, 2xR620), all with Broadcom 5720. I have installed Wheezy on all of
them, including Xen. But only on two of them, I have installed
firmware-linux-nonfree and only on ONE of them (namely R820), the NIC
behaves like Casper described. Which leads me to assumption, that it is not
related to Debian firmware package, but I can't confirm that, because i
don't know for sure if the problem has existed before the installation. To
clarify: it gets more complicated, because if I run Lifecycle Manager, the
NIC initializes to some state where it can be used in Wheezy, until next
complete power disconnect. And before first installation I was of course in

I have spent last few days with thorough testing and got to these
- downgrading/upgrading firmware through Dell firmware utility didn't help
for me
- under 2.6.32 kernel (tested with Centos), NIC works ok
- under 3.x.x kernel NIC fails (tested with stock kernel in Wheezy, Ubuntu
12.04 and ELREPO kernel 3.8.8 in Centos)
- drivers ver.3.124 directly from Broadcom compiled against Wheezy kernel,
behave the same

Then I have noticed small patch in 3.2.43: "tg3: fix length overflow in VPD
firmware parsing", so I have compiled vanilla kernel and got the NIC working
correctly. I will yet try to apply this patch on stock Wheezy kernel, but I
believe that the problem lies there. Hard to tell why only one card from
four tested should return bad value to break the driver, but who knows.

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