On-board Intel PRO/1000 MT NIC keeps failing after 3-5 days

Our Dell PowerEdge 2800 server has twin on-board Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT NICs. Originally in 2005 the people that installed the server only connected one NIC to the switch. I upgraded the nic drivers and teamed the adapters last week and for 4 days it was working perfectly. Then suddenly connectivity to the server just fell apart, pings taking 400-500ms and often just timing out.

So I removed the cables and deleted the team, uninstalled the nics and reinstalled them, then connected only one network cable. So essentially I'm back to the original setup, but then after 3 days the same thing happened again.

Now I've changed the driver to the latest one Dell recommends, discarding the latest Intel. However, on reflection, I'm not 100% sure I've reconnected it to the original nic.

My plan is to buy a PCI-X dual nic as a backup and monitor the existing connection. If it fails again I'll switch it to the other network socket. A further time after that and I'll install the replacement PCI-X nic.

I was just hoping maybe someone has had this happen to them before with either the Dell PE 2800 or this Intel nic? This is the only server affected ruling out a problem with the switch, brand new CAT6 cables. It's not happened before and normally there's no problem at all - monitoring it this morning I've pinged it 4500 times with not a single loss.
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joshgeakeAsked:
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dmbgoCommented:
Sounds like it could be some sort of memory leak somewhere. Have you checked the memory usage of the running processes? Also when you downgraded from the adapter team did you re-install the original driver, or was it still an updated one ? the problem could still be with the driver. As a final test to make sure that the problem is a driver issue, can you restore a system state backup from before the setup was changed?
If the problem still occurs after that you must have a hardware problem (could have been latent in the secnd nic all along).

Cheers
David
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joshgeakeAuthor Commented:
I think it's either a driver issue - It fell apart twice using updated drivers, not the original dell ones.
or
it's a problem with that second nic - I'll swap them over if it happens again. It will be due to for Tuesday so I'll update this question if it collapses.

Can't really do a system state restore because of uptime requirements.
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dmbgoCommented:
Perhaps just revert to the original drivers then?
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