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Problem with PowerEdge R320 Windows 2012 server losing network connectivity


We have a Dell PowerEdge R320 server running Windows 2012 (not R2) that will randomly lose network connectivity. This happens every few days and when it happens, (from the console) I can see that the network adapter is still active, shows the cable is plugged in, but TX and RX bytes don't increase. I can regain connectivity by either unplugging the network cable and plugging it back in, disabling and enabling the adapter, or rebooting. Event viewer shows no errors, warnings, or other problems during or before this time.

I've tried replacing the network cable and moving the server to a different port on the switch, putting the latest firmware and drivers on the server (including network drivers), running checkdisk and SFC scan and applied the latest Windows updates. Has anyone else seen this issue? Anything else I should try?

Thank you
Avatar of Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher
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Let me guess, Broadcom NetExtreme 1gig, right? Their latest drivers suck on 8.0 and 2012 but seem fine on 8.1 and 2012 R2.

You can experiment with older drivers, upgrade to 2012 R2, or kick Broadcom to the curb and install another NIC. I use only Intel NICs for this reason. Broaco, breaks their drivers every few releases.
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Yes, that is correct regarding the Broadcom NetXtreme. Are there specific drivers you'd recommend?
I honestly don't recall. That's why I mentioned that I use Intel. I know there are stable older drivers. And I know the latest are broken (again) just by following the industry news. But the latest stable? I just don't bother to remember such things. Hence the Ned to "experiment."  Sorry I can't be more specific.
The strange part is that the Broadcom drivers on that server were the same since that server went in and we only updated the drivers to the latest version when this started happening a month ago. So I'm not sure drivers would be the issue here since it worked just fine for months. I checked update history and don't see any Windows updates that would have installed new drivers, either

I tried using the older drivers (which came on the server driver DVD) and the problem just happened again. The network port showed "network cable unplugged" until I disabled the adapter and enabled it again.

Anything else I should try?
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Eventually resolved the problem