[SUMMARY]: Network problems SunBlade100/Ultra2/Dell/Netgear FS516

From: Peter Strickx <peter_at_strickx.com>
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 00:56:53 EST
After the advice of Casper, Tom, Irwan, Kevin and others I decided to
replace the switch. After more than a week of testing (without any problems)

it's safe to say that the Netgear switch was causing all the problems.
I replaced the Netgear with another Netgear router/switch (RT314) so it was
probably a defect in the unit and not a typical Netgear switch 'feature'.

The Sun interfaces (hme and eri) recovered from the switch problem but
the 3Com 3c905c did not.

Best regards,

Peter Strickx

Original mail :

     I'm having serious network troubles.

     This is my config:

     SunBlade100 (Solaris 8 (07/01)- eri interface)
     Ultra2 (2x300MHz) (Solaris 8 (07/01) - hme interface)
     Dell Dimension 8200 (Windows XP - 3com 3c905c-TX)
     Netgear FS516 10/100Mb switch

     After initial install everything works fine :
     - pinging works from Sun(s) to Dell
     - ftp gives good performance
     ftp> get jukebox.mp3
     200 PORT command successful.
     150 Binary data connection for jukebox.mp3 (,1088) (153
     Binary Transfer complete.
     ftp: 15335637 bytes received in 1.34Seconds 11410.44Kbytes/sec.

     - all 3 ports on the Netgear switch are in full-duplex

     Problem: after a random period of time (30 min. to 6 hours) the
     Dell is
     no longer 'pingable'. The Suns still see each other but are (both)
     able to connect to the PC. On the Dell machine I get (sometimes) a

     "Network cable unplugged" notification. The problem can be solved
     resetting the Netgear switch (power on/off). At that time only the
     are in full-duplex (according to the leds on the Netgear).
     Disabling/Enabling the 3com 3c905c-TX NIC puts it in full-duplex

     Solution: It's the PC-NIC (ie 3com 3c905c-TX) !
     BUT, in the Ultra2 console window I get messages
     "No response from Ethernet network - cable problem" followed by
     "Internal Transceiver selected - 100Mbps full-duplex link up".
     I get the same messages when I disconnect the Dell from the
     switch (this would indicate
     that it is a problem not (only) related to the 3com 3c905c-TX)

     I suspected auto-negotiation so I tried modifying /etc/system and
     working with ndd to set adv_autoneg_cap to 0 and forcing
     to 1. On my Netgear the port (connected to the system that was
     switches to half-duplex (only one led active) and Ftp performance
     to approx. 100Kbytes/sec. After a short period of time my Netgear
     flashing all the leds like a Christmas tree and
     I have to reset it (and reboot PC and Suns).

     I've been working on this for several days now but still have no

     What causes the "No response from Ethernet network" message ? How
     the Ultra2 displays this and not the SunBlade100 (doing tail -f
     /var/adm/messages In 2 console windows) ?

     Any help on this would be more than appreciated.
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Received on Tue Jan 22 00:00:20 2002

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