NIC Problems...(Got the modules compiled into the kernel :D)

Gerard Beekmans gerard at
Mon Jan 27 08:21:50 PST 2003

On January 20, 2003 01:17 am, Leigh Gardiner wrote:
> ping (my machine) the lights on the switch flash, and so do
> the lights on the NIC...but the problem is, the machine doesn't get any
> replies!

There are cases when there are IRQ problems, a network card is setup, ifconfig 
gives it an IP address, but the card can't be actually used to transfer 
packets across the network (thus you can't ping the machine). This happens on 
systems that have a buggy BIOS whose IRQ routing doesn't work properly.

There are two ways around this:

1) Enable SMP in your kernel, even if your system isn't SMP based. SMP forces 
the kernel to use a different IRQ routing which masks the BIOS induced 
problem. It doens't fix the problem on the BIOS level, but it does make the 
cards work.

2) Enable IO-APIC in the kernel. Same for #1, its a workaround, not a fix.

I myself use IO-APIC on the's server kernel because 
otherwise the SCSI and network cards don't work due to a BIOS problem on the 
machine. It works well.

Gerard Beekmans

-*- If Linux doesn't have the solution, you have the wrong problem -*-
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