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

Tony Travis ajt at
Sat Nov 15 11:46:54 EST 2003

Bogdan Costescu wrote:
> [...]
> It's not clear what part of Fedora you are using now. Are you using kudzu 
> from Fedora ? It appears to create some problems with 3C905 cards; there 
> are some bug reports in Red Hat's Bugzilla, but so far nothing concludent. 
> The only "solution" is to disable kudzu...

Hello, Bogdan.

I originally installed RH8.0 from the 'Psyche' iso distribution, then 
updated it periodically from RHN. Recently, I installed apt-get from the 
Fedora RH8.0 repository. I now update and upgrade from there instead.

>>Installing a single NIC is detected by kudzu, and it works correctly.
> You can try deactivating kudzu ("chkconfig kudzu off") and run it manually 
> only when adding cards.

Tried that - makes no difference: These 3C905CX NIC's are failing to 
auto-negotiate with the Cisco switch at a low level, not failing to be 
detected and installed by kudzu.

> That's interesting. And after you find these 3 cards that work together 
> they will _always_ work even after reboot 

Yes, that's right once I have a 'set' of NIC's that work, they continue 
to work reliably. Even, NIC's that don't initialise correcly on a cold 
boot will re-negotiate and connect properly if the tranceiver is reset 
manually using "mii-diag -R".

>>I have an MSI KT4V-L, KT4AV-L and 23 KT3Ultra-2 motherboards - I've not 
>>[I put multiple NIC's in Gigabyte GA-7ZXE motherboards with the same 
> My guess is that it's something related to ACPI. GA-7ZXE didn't have 
> support it.

We spent quite a while deciding which boards to use: MSI are recommended 
by AMD. I've no other complaint about the boards. I'm not sure what 
level of auto-configuration the NIC's are capable of at PC BIOS level. 
I'm using the 3COM 3c2000 Linux 2.4 driver for the 3C2000-T NIC and it 
doesn't negotiate with the switch until the Linux driver is loaded.

The 3C905CX's appear to wake up as soon as the ATX PSU AC is powered on. 
The status LED is green, which indicates 10Base-T and the NIC's appear 
as 10Base-T on the Cisco switch display panel. The NIC's negotiate with 
the Cisco switch as soon as the motherboard power switch is pressed. 
NIC's that fail to auto-negotiate end up with a flashing amber LED. A 
steady amber LED is present on NIC's that work. This all happens before 
GRUB boots the system (i.e. it is done at BIOS level).

When Linux boots, the cards are all seen but, as I described, sometimes 
they don't work. The cards appear to be started by the Linux kernel 'OK' 
and can be seen by ifconfig but if they have a flashing amber LED, they 
will not work until manually reset using "mii-diag -R". I thought the 
3c59x driver would do something similar to initialise the NIC's instead 
of relying on the BIOS to do it or have I misunderstood the problem?

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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