82558 and 10/100 autosensing hub failure

Andrea Adams andrea@vividimage.com
Tue Dec 8 17:06:40 1998

We recently bought several FICA Sahara pc's which have a 82558 on the
motherboard. We installed Slackeware with a 2.0.35 kernel with the
eepro100 driver 1.05 compiled into the kernel.

Things were fine on 10baseT (though various manufacturer's hubs). Later
testing also showed they ran fine on a 100-only hub (Intel InBusiness
4 port Fast Hub).

But on a 10/100 autosensing hub (Linksys EtherFast 10/100 Autosensing
8 port workgroup hub) I have 50% failure. Half the boxes run fine, no errors. 
The other half cannot reliably ping or perform other tcp/ip protocols.

For testing, I had a computer with known good behavior running with an 82557
and the 1.05 eepro100 driver alone on the hub with the box being tested. On
"good" boxes I had 0% packet loss. "Bad" boxes varied between 30% to 65% loss
over several thousand packets. A netstat -i on "Bad" boxes showed no errors
over than a few overruns. /proc/net didn't show any either and there were no
unexpected error messages in syslog.

The computers are being distributed around the company and could end up
on either 10, 10/100 or 100 hubs, so I'd like to avoid hard forcing to
one speed.

Can anyone offer suggestions? Or is there a known problem with the 82558
dealing with autosensing hubs?  Or specifically the Linksys hub?

Andrea L. Adams        | In short, printing has become a Pandora's box no one
                       | wants to open. It is surrounded by more folklore and
Vivid Image Technology | black magic than any other area in modern computing.
andrea@vividimage.com  |   -- Damian Ivereigh, Linux Journal #54