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Intel ET2 Quad Port Card Issues Rebooting Server Over and Over

Posted on 2013-05-14
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Last Modified: 2013-08-09
Folks:

I have a StorageFlex SAN Server with Microsoft 2008 Storage Server installed with 4GB of RAM and Dual Processors. The Model # on the MB is Intel S5500BC.

The issue I am having is I had to do a full restore from a back up because of the internal hard drives crashing. I have two Intel ET2 Quad Port NIC cards for the server, one came with the server and one I installed after the server went down. Regardless of which one is installed, once I installed the drivers for the NIC card the server blue screens and reboots and once it blue screens it goes into "Loading Windows" and then right before it gets to the login screen it just reboots (no BSOD, nothing) and does that over and over and over again. The only way to get it to stop is taking out the Network Card/s and then the server boots up fine. I have uninstalled the drivers (via Add/Remove Programs) and downloaded some older drivers from Intel's website but the same issue comes up every single time.

I am lost as what I am supposed to do next, could some help me?
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Question by:JustinBMak
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Expert Comment

by:stergium
ID: 39164899
Hello.
A bsod is probably happening but is happening too fast for you to see it. It is a good thing that you can pin point what you can do to cause the problem.
A good place to start would be the server logs. After your restored backup all of these started. Can you restore to a previous point (a week earlier) maybe?
Does the server keep restarting?
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Author Comment

by:JustinBMak
ID: 39165274
I just did a full restore from the back up when everything worked fine, now that's when I am getting the issue.

I am about to start going through the logs to see if it is logging it or not and will post everything.
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Author Comment

by:JustinBMak
ID: 39165353
So I have gone through the logs and of course I should of though of this. Since Windows isn't technically loading 100%, nothing was logged.

I have gone through the log files, I see where I installed the drivers and then there is a gap in time after I rebooted (aka: shutdown) to install the Network Cards and then nothing until I bring it back up successfully without the network cards installed.

I am going to, once again, remove all of the Drivers I can find and install the Network Cards again to see if they come up with the Network Cards installed but show up as "Unknown Device" in Windows. If it does, then we can for sure rule that it's a driver issue but need to find out how I can fix that.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 39165541
Does it BSOD if you have the NICs installed but no network cables attached? It is normally a driver/firmware issue so if you're running the latest drivers are you also running the latest firmware?
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Author Comment

by:JustinBMak
ID: 39165574
Q: Does it BSOD with the NIC's installed and no network cables attached?
A: That's the problem, please note that there is NO BSOD because Windows never gets a chance to boot 100% for anything to BSOD the box just simply restarts after the progress bar is done loading and there is that time between that and the actual login screen is when it reboots and the server never sees the BSOD. So when you reboot it never comes up and says, "I'm sorry, but the last attempt to boot failed - would you like to boot up in Safe Mode?" because to the system it thinks it booted and shutdown properly - aka - NO BSOD.

Since I can't get Windows to boot with the NIC cards installed (except for in Safe Mode w/o Networking), I cannot update the firmware. As goes for Drivers, I have tried both the latest and greatest and the not so latest and greatest drivers and still - no good!

I am currently booting the server up in regular mode (without the NICs) and going to uninstall Symantec Endpoint Protection to see if that makes a difference. There was a version that BSOD Windows 7 machines and I am hoping that maybe this is that version and it's not liking A.) the recovery and B.) that something is being loaded when Symantec see's the NIC cards and kills the boot up process (still no BSOD).
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Author Comment

by:JustinBMak
ID: 39165582
Also, this SAN came with MS Windows 2008 Storage Edition which I do not have in my Licensing agreement so I cannot download a fresh copy and just start over - even though working on this now for "Day: 5" would be nice to do that.

I am trying to get this fixed and back into Production.
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Author Comment

by:JustinBMak
ID: 39165645
Update:

So I removed just about every piece of "Additional Software" including but not limited to the "Microsoft iSCSI Software Target" so the server boot has booted up with the one Intel ET2 Quad NIC installed.

The onboard NICs (2 Ports) and the Intel ET2 Quad Port Server Adapter all shows in the Device Manager with a yellow explanation mark which is a good thing!

I am going to download the newest firmware from the Intel website for these NICs and see if it will let me update them w/o the drivers. If not, I will install the drivers again :( and then try the firmware update BEFORE rebooting!
 
Will update once I have more info to report.
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Accepted Solution

by:
andyalder earned 500 total points
ID: 39165656
Your motherboard supports EFI and the "Intel® Ethernet Connections Boot Utility, Preboot images, and EFI Drivers" provides EFI flash firmware utility so you can update the NICs' firmware without an OS. It may actually be a bootable CD anyway, haven't got one to test.

http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/sb/Firmware_Update_EFI_demo.htm shows how to get into EFI although it then goes on to update the motherboard instead of the NIC but the process is the same.
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Author Comment

by:JustinBMak
ID: 39165671
I'm currently looking at this:

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=eng&keyword=Intel%20Gigabit%20ET2%20Quad%20Port%20Server%20Adapter

And it does not mention anything regarding firmware update for the NICs but I may need to update the BIOS on the MB to work with the new drivers from Intel?

Anyways, I guess now is just as good as any time to get the server hardware all up to date.

I will post once I have all my ducks in a row and we will see where we're at.
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