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3c59x: Auto-detects, boots, but can't see the outside world.

Posted on 1998-08-24
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Problem:

I am trying to get a Linux server up on the network, simple enough I know.  I have a 3c905B ethernet card.  Install autodetects the card and at boot the card appears to work great, but when I get to a prompt, I can't ping any other machines on my network.  I have checked and rechecked my static IP number, DNS, Netmask, and Gateway and they all are correct.  ( I've also had someone else double check my numbers, so I am 99% sure I have everything configured properly. )  I have also tested with other 3c905B cards (2) and both had the same results.  Any clues?

Machine Specs:

P166, 2GB SCSI Hard Drive, Adaptec 2940, S3 Trio (some really generic v-board), and a 3c905B 10/100m-bit card.
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Question by:wbellman
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Author Comment

by:wbellman
ID: 1630295
Edited text of question
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Author Comment

by:wbellman
ID: 1630296
The plot thickens friends.  I tried an old NE2000 compatible in said machine and it detected and booted just fine.  Even better if I assign the P166 an existing IP number I get a conflicting IP message on the machine that owns that IP number.

The DOS 3c90xcfg,exe tool finds, configures and tests the card perfect.  The card lights show that it is receiving traffic and the hub its attached to shows signal.

I am still not willing to rule out that possibility that I messed something up.

If anyone has heard of this please please please let me know.  Even if you've seen something remotley related, lemme know...
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Expert Comment

by:JYoungman
ID: 1630297
You MUST turn off the 3c905B's PnP support.  You have to use the DOS config program to do that.  After this, it should work.  If not, you may need to specify the correct media type in /etc/conf.modules.


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Author Comment

by:wbellman
ID: 1630298
Tried that... same results.  Also that doesn't explain the NE2000 not working... That's an old ISA card.  Both cards work in a P75 linux test station I have setup.  Thanks though.
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Expert Comment

by:vx
ID: 1630299
Do you have a 100mbit network? Then the NE2000 shouldn't work. Consider that a feature :)

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Author Comment

by:wbellman
ID: 1630300
It's a 10baseT network...  I've even swapped mother boards... the only thing that origional in that case is the Diamond Stealth V-Board ( didn't realize it was a stealth ), CD-Rom, memory, and the Floppy.  I've built a ocuple Linux boxes since then that work great, but this one... I am starting to believe in curses and gremlins.

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Expert Comment

by:vx
ID: 1630301
Could you post all commands you use to setup your network adapter?
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Author Comment

by:wbellman
ID: 1630302
Just the standard from install, RedHat 5.1:

It detects the 3c59x Vortex ( or is able to autoprobe the NE200 ).

THen I enter my network info... the machine finishes up install... it resets... Everything looks good on boot.  Yet there is no network.
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Expert Comment

by:henckens
ID: 1630303
You DID make a new kernel for each network card you tried ?
The support for each card has to be compiled into the kernel first.

Andres
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Author Comment

by:wbellman
ID: 1630304
This is RedHat 5.1... it's kernel has all the drivers necessessary to use the 3c59x cards.  I know this personally because I have built five stations with 3c59x cards in them.  Like I said it *finds* the card.  It *initializes* the card but on this one workstation it *can't* see the network, but it can knock other machines off the network if I sets it's IP identical to another machine on the network.
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Expert Comment

by:koffe
ID: 1630305
Wow! Have you guys ever heard about the ifconfig and the route program? Guessed so!
Here's how to fix it [type this at the prompt]:

>ifconfig eth0 <your ip-number> up [return]

>ping <your ip-number> [return] (does it work? Of course!)

>route add default gw <your gateway's ip-number> eth0 [return]

>ping <your DNS's ip-number> [return] (did this also work? If so you are mr Happy)


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Author Comment

by:wbellman
ID: 1630306
Let me restate.  *None* of the networking commands work on this box.  The only reason I know that it's dimly aware of the net work is the ability of the machine to knock other people off the network if you assign it a similar IP.
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Expert Comment

by:koffe
ID: 1630307
Sorry about that! What about making an boot-disk with a different kernel?
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Author Comment

by:wbellman
ID: 1630308
Haven't tried, but the kernel shouldn't be the problem...  I am installing witha store bought copy of linux 5.1 and it has worked well on about seven machines, now, with similar configurations.  Like I said I think this case is posessed... I have swapped out everything... The only thing that remains the same today are the CD-Rom, the Video Card, and the Floppy Drive...  Insane, huh? ( In fact I am writing this on Netscape in Linux now... ) I convinced my boss to let me develope java on a linux box and it rules.  *Death to the Microsoft opressors! Solidarity brothers!*  Actually I am ready to scrap the machine... It's been sitting in my office...dormant...for days now.  Oh well.  If you can think of anything lemme know.
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Expert Comment

by:rsletten
ID: 1630309
3C905B (Cyclone) cards are not yet fully supported under Linux. The OS does see them but the network is not truely up. If you notice upon boot, the mac address will be FF:FF:FF:FF.

I'de suggest downgrading to a 3C590 (Vortex) or a 3C905 (Boomerang).

Intel Pro 100 cards are also nice and work reliably
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Author Comment

by:wbellman
ID: 1630310
 You guys need to read *all* of the comments *before* you answer.  I have built ( and am in fact working on one of ) several workstations that *have* the exact same card.  In fact the origional #com card that was in that case is driving our CVS server without error!

  The machine has already been reallocated and is working ( under protest ) and a Windows 95 workstation.

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Expert Comment

by:vx
ID: 1630311
Are your routes setup correctly? Please post them, by typing "route -n".
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Expert Comment

by:JYoungman
ID: 1630312
On another machine on the same network, do
      tcpdump arp
and see if you can spot the gratuitous ARP packet emitted when the machine you're trying to set up configures its network interface.

Is it conceivable that you had the wrong netmask or broadcast address configured?

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Author Comment

by:wbellman
ID: 1630313
I've only installed ten times and had four different people check my numbers.  Like I said the case is haunted.
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Expert Comment

by:JBURGHARDT
ID: 1630314
Did you try to install utils from sunsite.unc.edu/pub/linux site there some util for your network card this may help your problem do you have in /etc/system/network-scripts ifcfg-eth0 with IP address ?
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Accepted Solution

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learath earned 70 total points
ID: 1630315
I can say from experience that the 3c509B DOES NOT WORK in redhat 5.1 unless you recompile the kernel with drivers downloaded off the net.  The 3c509B is a totally different chipset from all of the older 590 series cards.  The 590's use the parrallel tasking chipset, the 905B, and only the b's, use the p. t. II, which has several new features.  I would back up the suggestion to get a 3c905 or lower.

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