MSI KT3/4 AMD motherboards and 3C905CX-TXM NIC

Tony Travis ajt at
Fri Nov 14 12:30:01 EST 2003

I've encountered problems using multiple 3C905CX-TXM NIC's in MSI KT3/4 
AMD motherboards using the Scyld 3c59x kernel driver module with a Linux 
2.4.22-openmosix1 kernel under Red Hat 8.0 Linux (updated by apt-get 
from the Fedora Linux rmp repository).

Installing a single NIC is detected by kudzu, and it works correctly.
Sometimes, installing a second NIC works, but sometimes it compromises 
the first NIC, sometimes the second NIC works. Similarly with a third NIC...

The puzzling thing is that by selecting cards from a 'pool' of NIC's I 
bought for the cluster I can eventually get three that *will* work 
together. All these NIC's are brand new. The NIC's are connected to a 
Cisco switch and auto-negotiate with it.

Using netdiag 'vortex-diag' I can verify that the NIC's are installed 
correctly and I can reset them using 'mii-diag -R' after which they 
re-negotiate with the switch and work correctly, but they do not work 
again from a cold boot (power off/on and reboot) without being reset 
like this manually with mii-diag.

I have an MSI KT4V-L, KT4AV-L and 23 KT3Ultra-2 motherboards - I've not 
tested them exhaustively (all are brand new) but this problem appears to 
be common to all of them. I wonder if anyone else has a similar problem?

[I put multiple NIC's in Gigabyte GA-7ZXE motherboards with the same 
3c59x driver+kernel on my original openMosix cluster but I didn't have 
problems like this!].

The present configuration of NIC's in my motherboards works correctly 
from a cold boot, but not with just 'any' 3C905CX-TXM NIC's fitted:

KT4V-L (head node of 8-node 'bobcat' cluster 7 at GA-7ZXE's)
	eth0 3COM 3C905CX
	eth1 3COM 3C905CX
	eth2 3COM 3C905CX
	eth3 VIA "Rhine" on-board LAN adapter (disabled)

KT4AV-L (head node of 24-node 'topcat' cluster 23 at KT3Ultra-2)
	eth0 3COM 3C905CX
	eth1 3COM 3C2000-T
	eth2 VIA "Rhine" on-board LAN adapter

Although I've 'solved' the problem for the two head nodes, I've got 
another 23 systems to configure and I'd like to know if there is a 
work-around for this problem that will let me install 'any' NIC?

Dr. A.J.Travis,                     |  mailto:ajt at
Rowett Research Institute,          |
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,          |   phone:+44 (0)1224 712751
Aberdeen AB21 9SB, Scotland, UK.    |     fax:+44 (0)1224 716687

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