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Broadcom DCM5708C NetXtreme II Gig E drops connection intermittantly

I have a Dell 2950 with dual Broadcom BCM5708C NetXtreme II GigE (NDISVBD Client).
I have an issue with my Windows Server 2003 Std R2 dropping its network connection intermittantly.
The drops are random with no rhyme or reason.
I have eliminated IP conflicts, power save options, etc..
Could it be the NIC's themselves? Possible a driver or firmware issues.
Dell's answer was to send somebody out to replace the motherboard. That didn't work either.
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orci
Asked:
orci
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1 Solution
 
univision-computersCommented:
I guess the first step would be to look at the network cable. Have you tried swapping out the network cable?
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SysExpertCommented:
How do you know it is dropping network connectivity - What are the event logs shoiwng ?

Are these teamed ?

 
I hope this helps !
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orciAuthor Commented:
I forgot to mention these other things I have tried.
Event logs show nothing
New Cables
Swapped connection to other NIC (No, they are not teamed)
Different port on switch.
Different switch.
I am stumped.
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SysExpertCommented:
How do you know that you have a connectivity issue ?

Are you sure it is not a DNS issue ?

What is happening exactly  ?

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orciAuthor Commented:
Users cannot log in at random times.
Ping -t XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX times out
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SysExpertCommented:
It could be the tcpip Stack.

I would rebuild it

XP TCPIP fixes reset NIC and TCPIP reset  Fix TCPIP reset
From johnb6767

What I like to do on any network problem....Is to reset it ALL....

netsh int ip reset reset.log
netsh firewall reset
netsh winsock reset

Then remove ALL NIC's from the device manager..
In the Device Manager, select View>Show Hidden Devices

(If the Show Hidden devices is not presetn, do the following command from a command prompt..)

start>run>cmd
set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

More information on that command here....
Device Manager does not display devices that are not connected to the Windows XP-based computer
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315539
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/317518/en-us


Go back to Network Adapters, and make sure your adapters are all gone, including any older ones. (there will be several ' miniport' devices that are not able to be uninstalled....)
Once they are all gone, reboot and let Windows reinstall them...

Thats a total rebuild of your network connections, to hopefully correct any problems with Basic connectivity.

for win 2003 Server  How to remove and reinstall TCP/IP on a Windows Server 2003 domain controller
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325356/en-us
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orciAuthor Commented:
Good morning.

I have gone through many different attempts to get these NIC's online.
I found something online about this generation of Broadcom NIC's and the TOE capability having these same issues with the Dell 2950's.
After working with Dell 3 different days, we still cannot keep network connectivity consistantly.
I tried disabling side scaling.
Removing the TOE key from the board.
I have teamed the NIC's with the same results.
Unistall / Reinstall of BACS, then the NIC's. I used the steps above as well.
I have reviewed the power saving settings for both the NIC's and the system.

The challenge still remains.
Today I am going to find a successful way to backup the SQL databases and Re-build from scratch.
I wish I had some older generation NIC's laying around.

Anyway, any assistance or things to try next are still greatly appreciated.
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orciAuthor Commented:
Good day all,

My problem seems to be fixed.
It took some time to get the right sequence of actions to fix it.

I had to open the server up and physically remove the TOE license key from the board.
I uninstalled the nic's in device manager and rebooted.
I let the server pick up the nic's again and then updated the drivers for the Broadcom BCM5708C NetXtreme II Gig E (NDIS VBD Client). Driver Version 4.4.15.0
Once the NIC's were re-installed and updated, I went into the NIC's properties, configure adapter, Advanced, and disabled Side Scaling.

Finally it is working.
I have a tool to ping it every 5 seconds and email me if it goes down. Up for about 5 days now.

So, for future ref... If your new Broadcom NIC's are capable of TOE, keep in mind they may have this same issue until the server and/or switch technologies synch up with it.
It took some time on google and other tech forums (including a few other discussions on this site) to figure out that Dell and Broadcom were not a match made in heaven on this generation of NIC's.
v/r
L
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