RTL8139 still "jams"

sharkey@superk.physics.sunysb.edu sharkey@superk.physics.sunysb.edu
Mon Feb 7 09:50:56 2000

> The problem: when transfering large files from B to A, A stops
> responding after a couple of megabytes. It is not even possible
> to ping between the computers anymore, local traffic is not affected.

That seems to be a common problem.

> So what is happening here ? Is it the card itself or the driver failing ?

It seems to me that it must be the driver.  If you (and every one of us
who has reported this problem in the past) can get the card to start talking
again by only restarting the driver, then the driver must be at fault.

> And why is the card failing only on this new system, is the data coming in
> too fast ? But computer B is even faster, so why doesn't it have any
> problems ?

The only thing I can say is, "join the club".  I have four machines and
four 8139-based cards and three different types of motherboards.  Two machines
work ok, one occasionally shows this problem and one consistently shows this
problem.  The two machines that show this have the same motherboard.  Swapping
the ethernet cards around changes nothing.

> I'm going to borrow a 3Com card from a friend and see if it works better.

It undoubtedly will.  I've never had a problem with any of my machines
which have 3Com cards.

> Does anybody have any ideas ?

I suppose you could try the new driver which was just mentioned in the
previous post:

   The first public beta test release of "8139too" is now available for
   download, testing, and non-production use from

   Kernel 2.3.40 or later is required for use, though a 2.2.x-compatible
   version is currently being developed.

   "8139too" driver features improved performance, bug fixes, and
   portability over the existing experimental "rtl8139" driver, from which
   8139too is derived.

   Testing feedback and patches are greatly appreciated.  The README is
   attached below for more details.
   	Jeff Garzik
   	MandrakeSoft, Inc.

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