3c509B not going full-duplex...ideas?

3c509B not going full-duplex...ideas?

Post by David Ruggie » Thu, 03 May 2001 01:58:44



My firewall/router has a 3com 3c509B-TPO (that's an ISA Etherlink III NIC)
that seems to not want to go into full-duplex mode no matter what I do. I
have confirmed that full-duplex is enabled on the card (and plug-and- play
is disabled) via the 3Com utility/diagnostic program 3c5x9cfg.exe.

This behavior is manifested in both of these situations:

(1) When I've got the NIC plugged into a full-duplex 10/100 _switch_ (not
hub) with full-duplex lights, using a straight-through RJ45 cable, and
using 3com's own diagnostic software to put the card into "echo-server"
mode (booted up into DOS at this point). The full-duplex light stays dark.
I can also boot the firewall into Linux while still connected to the
switch and it stays dark as well. (NOTE: Becker's driver for the 3c509
doesn't have a "force full-duplex" option, nor does the driver source code
even mention duplexing...I got the impression that he believes the card
can't do full duplex at all, which is not 3com's official position. Hmmm,
wonder if that's the problem? But others have said they've gotten it working
and presumably they're using the same driver?)

(2) When I've got the NIC connected to another Linux box, my main
server (which itself is using a 3Com 3C905C PCI Etherlink XL, so same
manufacturer), using an RJ-45 crossover cable. The server is running
kernel 2.4.x and the card there is set for auto-negotiate. Running
mii-diag or vortex-diag there says "MAC settings: full-duplex" until I
plug the crossover cable into the router machine with with the 3c509B. At
that point it says "MAC settings: half-duplex".

(BTW, I can't run mii-diag directly on the router machine with the 3c509B -
it gives me "SIOCGMIIPHY on eth2 failed: Operation not supported". Are
there any other diagnostic utils that would work with a non-PCI card?)

3com support tried to be helpful but in the end they said they only support
Windows, and that I was welcome to return the card if it didn't go full-duplex
after using it in a Windows machine. :(  Anyone have a better idea?

(BTW, I'd love to use another 3c905C in the firewall and avoid the 3c509B
entirely, but it's an old Dell with only two PCI slots...<sigh>).

TIA for any ideas/experiences/etc,
David
-despamify address to reply-

 
 
 

3c509B not going full-duplex...ideas?

Post by Dean Thompso » Thu, 03 May 2001 10:01:53


Hi David,

Quote:> My firewall/router has a 3com 3c509B-TPO (that's an ISA Etherlink III NIC)
> that seems to not want to go into full-duplex mode no matter what I do. I
> have confirmed that full-duplex is enabled on the card (and plug-and- play
> is disabled) via the 3Com utility/diagnostic program 3c5x9cfg.exe.

Have you tried passing in the parameter as part of the network driver module:
full_duplex=1

This should force the card to initialise into full_duplex mode if it is
capable of performing the function.  You should either try to load the network
module from the command line or append the full_duplex statement to your
/etc/modules.conf and see whether or not that helps.

See ya

Dean Thompson

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3c509B not going full-duplex...ideas?

Post by Donald Beck » Thu, 03 May 2001 23:31:11



>My firewall/router has a 3com 3c509B-TPO (that's an ISA Etherlink III NIC)
>that seems to not want to go into full-duplex mode no matter what I do. I
>switch and it stays dark as well. (NOTE: Becker's driver for the 3c509
>doesn't have a "force full-duplex" option, nor does the driver source code
>even mention duplexing...I got the impression that he believes the card
>can't do full duplex at all, which is not 3com's official position. Hmmm,

Where is it documented on 3Com's web site that the 3c509 supports full
duplex?  AFAIK, the ISA 3c509 does not have the hardware support to do
full duplex.

Quote:>wonder if that's the problem? But others have said they've gotten it working
>and presumably they're using the same driver?)

There is much confusing over the card numbering.
   ISA == 3c509
   PCI == 3c905

Quote:>(2) When I've got the NIC connected to another Linux box, my main
>server (which itself is using a 3Com 3C905C PCI Etherlink XL, so same
>manufacturer), using an RJ-45 crossover cable. The server is running
>kernel 2.4.x and the card there is set for auto-negotiate. Running
>mii-diag or vortex-diag there says "MAC settings: full-duplex" until I
>plug the crossover cable into the router machine with with the 3c509B. At
>that point it says "MAC settings: half-duplex".

This is the correct behavior.
  The 905 negotiates with the switch to full duplex.
  The 509 cannot autonegotiate, and link partner defaults to standard
    Ethernet (half duplex).

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3c509B not going full-duplex...ideas?

Post by David Ruggie » Fri, 04 May 2001 06:20:48



>Where is it documented on 3Com's web site that the 3c509 supports full
>duplex?  AFAIK, the ISA 3c509 does not have the hardware support to do
>full duplex.

Donald - an answer from the Man himself. I didn't expect such. Thanks. :)

To clarify, I'm _definitely_ talking about the 3c509B card, not the
original 3c509, in case their capabilities are different. Mine is the
TPO (twisted-pair-only) version, so thinnet restrictions don't apply.
And I'm not confusing it with the 3c905 PCI card (of which I have several,
but which don't enter into this question).

In any case, here's one (admittedly marketroid-written) source from 3com's
site (http://www.3com.com/products/en_US/detail.jsp?tab=features&sku=3C509B...

"These NICs are guaranteed to work with every major PC/network operating
system and any ISA IBM-compatible PC. Built to last, they'll work with a
broad range of hubs and half- and full-duplex switches."

Also, the 3COM-supplied diagnostic/configuration program that's
_specifically for_ the 3c509B includes an option to "enable" or "disable"
full duplex on the card (no mention of N-way, just those two choices).
Finally, 3Com support worker bees (several of them) confirm the card
should be cabable of full-duplex transmission if running on TP cables.

Okay, I admit all of these are semi-anecdotal (with the possible exception
of the config program). But then I don't have access to the databook like
you do. :) Can I supply any more information that would clarify this?

thanks again,
David

 
 
 

1. Cannot get elxl0 to go full-duplex

I have Solaris 2.8 installed on a PC with a 3com card.  I have all the
latest patches installed, including the latest patch for elxl driver.
Furthermore, I modified /kernel/drv/elxl.conf and uncommented the lines
to have the NIC be configured for 100Mbps full duplex.  However, after
doing a reboot - even a recofiguration boot (via reboot -- -r) - the NIC
still fails to come up full-duplex.

I verified that the switch port the PC is connected to is set to 100Mbps
full-duplex, no autonegotiation.  Am I missing something here?  Is there
something else I should've done after modifying elxl.conf?  Any help
would be greatly appreciated!

            --john

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