3Com 509 won't go (detailed!)

3Com 509 won't go (detailed!)

Post by j.. » Wed, 24 Mar 1999 04:00:00

        I recently bought two used 3Com 509s with the intent of starting to
get my computers at home networked.  (I bought them at an "employee hardware
sale" where I work.  At first the guy running the sale didn't want to sell
me them because he said they'd been using them to do network installs of Red
Hat on some of the machines.  Yes, that is important to know; it implies that
they were working shortly for _somebody_ shortly before I got my hands on

        I put the card in an open ISA slot and I recompiled the 2.2.1 kernel
with 3c509 support.  When I tried booting with the new kernel, I got the
messages about
SIOCSIFNETMASK: No such device
Your ethernet card was not initialized properly...
SIOCADDRT: No such device
and, of course, Linux couldn't see the card.  I try recompiling the kernel
and making 509 support a module: same result.

alderamin:/lib/modules/2.0.36/net# modprobe 3c509.o
/lib/modules/2.0.36/net/3c509.o: init_module: Device or resource busy

        I heard about the DOS configuration utility, so I grabbed it and ran
it.  It told me (not quite verbatim), "You are running an ISA card configured
in EISA mode in an ISA slot.  Remove it, put it in an EISA computer, and
configure it to ISA mode there."  This is not what I would call helpful
advice.  I try turning off my PnP BIOS; it makes no difference.

Fortunately, the Ethernet-HOWTO mentions configuration utilities for
Linux, by Donald Becker.  I grab his config utility and run it, and get this:

alderamin:/home/jdw/priv# ./3c5x9
3c5*9 not found at 0x300, status ffff.
If there is a 3c5*9 card in the machine, explicitly set the I/O port
address using '-p <ioaddr>

        So I try Mr. Becker's Etherlink III diagnostic program, which says

alderamin:/home/jdw/priv# ./el3-diag

Looking for card 1.
Generating the activation sequence on port 0x100 for card 1.
Activating the card at I/O address 3f0.
EEPROM contents:
 0060 8ceb 3ac3 9050 bac9 0036 4157 6d50 001f 5f00 0060 8ceb 3ac3 1310
0000 ae43An ISA EtherLink III board was activated at I/O 0x3f0, IRQ 5.
ethertest: ioperm(): Invalid argument
Looking for card 2.
Generating the activation sequence on port 0x100 for card 2.
Activating the card at I/O address 3f0.
No ISA EtherLink III boards appear to be at index 2.

        Aha...so evidently it _can_ see a card in my machine.  I try the
config program again:

alderamin:/home/jdw/priv# ./3c5x9 -p 0x3f0
3c5*9 not found at 0x3f0, status ffff.
If there is a 3c5*9 card in the machine, explicitly set the I/O port
address using '-p <ioaddr>

        Hmm...no better!  Well, I have another open ISA slot, let's try that
one, maybe this one is bad...nope, same result.  I have another card, so let's
try that one...same thing.

I look at /proc/ioports and /proc/interrupts, and I see that IRQ 5 is already
taken by the sound card, and the IO appears to conflict with the floppy drive,
oddly enough.  From /proc/ioports: 03f0-03f5 : floppy

        So I try disabling the floppy drive in the BIOS, and booting a
kernel without sound support from CD!  Still it won't work!  Exactly the same
results as before.

        So...I am now pretty much stumped.  Does anyone have any brilliant
ideas?  Or is the best solution simply what one of my coworkers suggested:
"Go down to Fry's Electronics, and put down $20 for a new one..."

        Any help is much appreciated.


ps  A plague upon the house of 3Com for making cards that aren't configurable
any way except via software, which helps you not at all if the configuration
is already too screwed up for the machine to recognize the card...

"Corporations can't teach hacking.  It has to be in you."
                                        --Emmanuel Goldstein


1. 3Com 509 won't go (detailed!)

Get a copy of the 3com configuration utility for the 3c509 card
(3c5x9cfg.exe), available at the 3com web site.  Boot to Dos, then
run 3c5x9cfg.  You will be able to set I/O port and IRQ, either
automatically, or manually, and perform some simple tests to verify
that the card is working.  The auto-config option usually works
very well, automatically selecting ports and IRQ which are not used
by any other device.

Ed Legowski

Voice:   (724) 941-5211        (home)
         (412) 494-1759        (office)

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