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NIC dropping Packets - affecting web browsing

Posted on 2007-10-12
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Hi,

User here with an IBM T43 that is dropping packets...maybe 3-4 every 20sec
If the user changes the NIC speed to 100mb full, the issue goes away until a reboot.

Once again, if the user changes the NIC speed to AUTO after reboot, the problem goes away.

I've changed docking station amd cable and I've tested with the switch set to both auto and 100full.
I've also update the driver on the NIC to the latest broadcom one.

Have you guys any suggestions?

Thanks
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Question by:davystocks
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Expert Comment

by:bkellyboulderit
ID: 20065348
Add another NIC, like a USB one. If you cannot repeat the problem on another NIC, then call IBM and have them replace it if it's under warranty.
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Expert Comment

by:Brugh
ID: 20065465
So the issue goes away when you specify a speed?

"If the user changes the NIC speed to 100mb full, the issue goes away until a reboot.

Once again, if the user changes the NIC speed to AUTO after reboot, the problem goes away."

which one is it?

The speeds HAVE to match on the switch and the PC or your will have these types of problems.  

 - Brugh



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Expert Comment

by:EntityPacket
ID: 20065626
The user can change the NIC speed to either AUTO or 100Mb and it is fine? What is the speed set to upon reboot? Are you sure that is correct?
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by:davystocks
ID: 20065640
The switch is set to 100mb full....auto negotiate is unchecked.

At the moment I have the user, as a work around, is setting the nic to auto and/or 100mb full on logon to resolve the issue.....until he reboots the laptop.
I don't like the idea of a user being able to edit their IP address but it's the only way at the moment.

Brugh:
He is switching between the two on each reboot. Both settings suffer from dropped packets until it's changed....auto -> 100mb / 100mb -> auto

Tis a strange one.
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by:davystocks
ID: 20065662
"EntityPacket:
The user can change the NIC speed to either AUTO or 100Mb and it is fine? What is the speed set to upon reboot? Are you sure that is correct?"

The NIC speed stays as is on each reboot.....at least the drop-down menu in advanced doesn't change.
It's the user that is changing as a  temporary fix
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Expert Comment

by:Brugh
ID: 20065773
So basically, 100MB Full is correct, but the user has to toggle between static and auto-negotiate to get it to work, even though both settings are 100mb Full?

Yea, i would try a second NIC, replacing the CAt5e(make sure it is Cat5e if you want 100 Full), change the port on the swith, then set the switch port to "auto".

But basically, the switch and the PC have to speak at the speed or you will have issues.

 - Brugh
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Expert Comment

by:EntityPacket
ID: 20065802
What Brugh said. You need to have both ends using the same speed and sometimes auto negotiation can let you down.
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Author Comment

by:davystocks
ID: 20065929
It is looking more & more like an issue with the laptop & switch not agreeing on the same speed on the laptop's bootup. i'll have to look at trying a different port on the switch, just to rule it out.

On reboot, the network speed is actually fine (eg. I can copy a 600mb ISO to and from the laptop in under 2min.....even with the dropping packets)

The main issue for the user is when he is online he finds it impossible to view websites....especially https.
Most sites would be missing images etc and time out after 30-40sec.

Then, if he sets the NIC speed to either Auto or Full and retries the webpage after the NIC has come back up the web is flying....no issues.

Until the next reboot.
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Expert Comment

by:bkellyboulderit
ID: 20066018
BTW, Is this Vista or XP, I forgot to ask?
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Author Comment

by:davystocks
ID: 20066050
"bkellyboulderit:
BTW, Is this Vista or XP, I forgot to ask?"

WinXP Pro SP2

Patched etc.

IBM T43
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Accepted Solution

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bkellyboulderit earned 375 total points
ID: 20066078
IMHO This should not be difficult. Rule out YOUR network by using your laptop in place of his, if you can't duplicate it, it's his PC.
How likely is a good switch and cabling causing this?

Laptop parts on the other hand? Hmm.
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Expert Comment

by:bkellyboulderit
ID: 20066084
Glad it's XP ;-)
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Expert Comment

by:EntityPacket
ID: 20066161
Most likely your swithports are going to be setup the same anyways, so trying another switchport might not rule out anything. Focus on the laptop and try to duplicate the problems with another laptop on that switchport.
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