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Troubleshooting Intel® Ethernet Adapters

by Cengiz Kuskaya

Common Problems and Solutions with Intel® Ethernet Adapters

There are many simple, easy-to-fix problems related to network problems. Review each one of these before going further. These Solutions are provided by Intel.

1. Check for recent changes to hardware, software,driver or the network that may have disrupted communications.
○ Make sure you are using the latest appropriate drivers for your adapter from the Intel support website.
○ Disable (or unload), then re-enable (reload) the driver or adapter.
○ Check for conflicting settings. Disable advanced settings such as teaming or VLANs to see if it corrects the problem.
○ Re-install the drivers.

2. Check the cable. Use the best available cabling for the intended data rate.
○ Check that the cable is securely attached at both points.
○ Make sure the cable length does not exceed specifications.
○ For copper connections, make sure the cable is a 4-pair Category 5 for 1000BASE-T or 100BASE-TX or a 4-pair Category 6 for 10GBASE-T.
○ Perform a cable test.
○ Replace the cable.

3. Check the link partner (switch, hub, etc.).
○ Make sure the link partner is active and can send and receive traffic.
○ Make sure the adapter and link partner settings match one another, or are set to auto-negotiate.
○ Make sure the port is enabled.
○ Re-connect to another available port or another link partner.

4. Look for adapter hardware problems.
○ Re-seat the adapter.
○ Insert the adapter in another slot.
○ Check for conflicting or incompatible hardware devices and settings.
○ Replace the adapter.

5. Check the Intel support website for possible documented issues.
○ Select your adapter from the adapter family list.
○ Check the Frequently Asked questions section.
○ Check the Knowledge Base.

6. Check your process monitor and other system monitors.
○ Check to see that there is sufficient processor and memory capacity to perform networking activity.
○ Look for any unusual activity (or lack of activity).
○ Use network testing programs to check for basic connectivity.

7. Check your BIOS version and settings.
○ Use the latest appropriate BIOS for your computer.
○ Make sure the settings are appropriate for your computer.

The following troubleshooting table assumes that you have already reviewed the common problems and solutions :

Problem Solution
Your computer cannot find the adapter Make sure your adapter slots are compatible for the type of adapter you are using:
○ PCI Express v1.0 (or newer)
○ PCI-X v2.0
○ PCI slots are v2.2
Diagnostics pass but the connection fails Make sure the cable is securely attached, is the proper type and does not exceed the recommended lengths.

Try running the Sender-Responder diagnostic Test.

Make sure the duplex mode and speed setting on the adapter matches the setting on the switch.

Another adapter stops working after you installed the Intel® Network Adapter Make sure your PCI BIOS is current. See PCI / PCI-X / PCI Express Configuration.

Check for interrupt conflicts and sharing problems. Make sure the other adapter supports shared interrupts. Also, make sure your operating system supports shared interrupts.

Unload all PCI device drivers, then reload all drivers.

Adapter unable to connect to switch at correct speed. Gigabit adapter connects at 100 Mbps and 10 gigabit adapter connects at 1000 Mbps. This is applicable only to copper-based connections.

Make sure the adapter and the link partner are set to autonegotiate. Verify that you are running the latest operating system revision for your switch and that the switch is compliant with the proper IEEE standard:

○ IEEE 802.3ad-compliant (gigabit over copper)
○ IEEE 802.3an-compliant (10 gigabit over copper)

The device does not connect at the expected speed. When Gigabit Master/Slave mode is forced to “master” mode on both the Intel adapter and its link partner, the link speed obtained by the Intel adapter may be lower than expected.
The adapter stops working without apparent cause Run the adapter and network tests described under “Test the Adapter”.
The Link indicator light is off Run the adapter and network tests described under “Test the Adapter”.

Make sure the proper (and latest) driver is loaded.

Make sure that the link partner is configured to auto-negotiate (or forced to match adapter)

Verify that the switch is IEEE 802.3ad-compliant.

The link light is on, but communications are not properly established Make sure the proper (and latest) driver is loaded.

Both the adapter and its link partner must be set to either autodetect or manually set to the same speed and duplex settings.

NOTE: The adapter’s link indicator light may be on even if communications between the adapter and its link partner have not been properly established. Technically, the link indicator light represents the presence of a carrier signal but not necessarily the ability to properly communicate with a link partner. This is expected behavior and is consistent with IEEE’s specification for physical layer operation.

RX or TX light is off Network may be idle; try creating traffic while monitoring the lights.
The diagnostic utility reports the adapter is “Not enabled by BIOS” The PCI BIOS isn’t configuring the adapter correctly. See PCI / PCI-X / PCI Express Configuration.
The computer hangs when the drivers are loaded Try changing the PCI BIOS interrupt settings. See PCI / PCI-X / PCI Express Configuration.
The Fan Fail LED of the 10 Gigabit AT Server Adapter is on (red) The fan cooling solution is not functioning properly. Contact customer support for further instructions.
PCI / PCI-X / PCI Express Configuration If the adapter is not recognized by your OS or if it does not work you may need to change some BIOS settings. Try the following only if you are having problems with the adapter and are familiar with BIOS settings.

○ Check to see that the “Plug-and-Play” setting is compatible with the operating system you are using.
○ Make sure the slot is enabled.
○ Install the adapter in a bus-master slot.
○ Configure interrupts for level-triggering, as opposed to edgetriggering.
○ Reserve interrupts and/or memory addresses. This prevents multiple buses or bus slots from using the same interrupts. Check the BIOS for IRQ options for PCI / PCI-X / PCIe.

Driver message: “Rx/Tx is disabled on this device because an unsupported SFP+ module type was detected.” You installed an unsupported module in the device. See Supported SFP+ and QSFP+ Modules for a list of supported modules.