Troubles with Intel NIC in pfSense 1.2 and 1.2.1



  • I have troubles with my "INTEL PRO/1000 PT Dual Port Srv" (EXPI9402PT) card in pfSense. It won't work after I restart. I have to manually turn the machine on and off in order for pfSense to see them. My logicboard is:

    Asus P5L-VM 1394, I945G, Socket-775, GbLAN, m-ATX, DDR2, VGA, Firew, PCI-Ex16 (P5L-VM 1394)

    The logicboard has one full length PCI Express slot (x16). Two regular pci slots, currently both filled with "Intel Pro/100S Desktop Adapter" (PILA8460C3). And one PCI Express x1 (not filled).

    The "INTEL PRO/1000 PT Dual Port Srv" card said it was x1, but it was x4 so I had to use the full length slot. The store has allowed for a return since they stated it was x1, but after more research I found out that you can't get dualport Gigabit PCI Express NIC's on x1 ports. So I am thinking about keeping it anyway.

    You have any idea why I have to turn it on and off? Is it FreeBSD or hardware failure? I have tried to see if the BIOS has anything to offer with no luck… Is the full length slot reserved for graphic cards? May that be the problem?

    Edits: typos



  • You should ensure that the x16 PCI-Express slot is NOT a PEG slot.  This might explain the "weirdness" you are experiencing.



  • Not a gpu wiz, but this link:

    http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=194&model=1324&modelmenu=2

    Said this: "1 x PCIe x16 slot for discrete graphics card "

    That means PEG (PCI-E Graphics)? If so, what do I do next? You know of x1 cards with support for 2 ports? Doesn't need to be gigabit.



  • Yep, looks like you have a PEG slot.  Unfortunately, I do not know of any dual-port x1 pci-e cards.  I'll let you know if I can dig any up.



  • No way to make in "non" PEG? In bios or anything?



  • Not as far as I know, it is simply different "electrically".



  • Been looking for a dual port 10/100 card for PCI Express x1 for a while now. Don't find any. Even though it is x1 it should have the speed…

    Really sucks... What about USB2 to ethernet converters? I hate dirty solutions, but that seems like the only way except replace the logic board. Does FreeBSD like that kinda stuff? Therefore I just have bought Intel, because I know they work :)

    This is the only card:
    http://www.silicom.co.il/pgx.php?p2=545

    But nobody sells it!

    Found another one. But same problem, where to buy? :P

    http://www.lewiz.com/talon1214.pdf



  • @Johnny_B:

    The "INTEL PRO/1000 PT Dual Port Srv" card said it was x1, but it was x4 so I had to use the full length slot.

    The page http://www.intel.com/products/server/adapters/pro1000pt-dualport/pro1000pt-dualport-overview.htm says the card is compatible with PCI Express x1 slots and "Allows use in any PCI Express server slot."

    If you put it in a x1 slot you won't be able to get sustained 1Gbps each direction out of both slots simultaneously (hence the board comes with connectors for a x4 slot) but since you say 10/100 would be enough for your needs the x1 slot should be just fine.

    @Johnny_B:

    What about USB2 to ethernet converters?

    The FreeBSD axe driver supports a number of USB 2.0 Ethernet adapters which are 10/100 capable. The axe man page gives model numbers of some such adapters.



  • @wallabybob:

    The page http://www.intel.com/products/server/adapters/pro1000pt-dualport/pro1000pt-dualport-overview.htm says the card is compatible with PCI Express x1 slots and "Allows use in any PCI Express server slot."

    I've seen that page to. But I think that's a typo. Look here:

    http://www.intel.com/Assets/PDF/prodbrief/pro1000_pt_dualport_server_adapter.pdf

    And I have not seen it in x1 anywhere.

    I can't seem to find a singel logic board without PCIe x16 PEG… And none of the logic boards in my pricerange has x4 slots. So I haven't got any further.



  • @Johnny_B:

    Been looking for a dual port 10/100 card for PCI Express x1 for a while now. Don't find any. Even though it is x1 it should have the speed…

    Really sucks... What about USB2 to ethernet converters? I hate dirty solutions, but that seems like the only way except replace the logic board. Does FreeBSD like that kinda stuff? Therefore I just have bought Intel, because I know they work :)

    This is the only card:
    http://www.silicom.co.il/pgx.php?p2=545

    But nobody sells it!

    Found another one. But same problem, where to buy? :P

    http://www.lewiz.com/talon1214.pdf

    We sell the Silicom series cards, however it would be FAR cheaper to simply purchase a supermicro motherboard.



  • Yes, the brochure doesn't say x1 slots. But the other page does.

    The board should fit into a x1 slot. Have you tried it? It may be a tight fit so push it in firmly but don't force it. If it works, fine! If it doesn't work, nothing lost and one of the Intel pages says ANY PCI Express slot so even if it doesn't work you have had grounds from Intel's promotional material to attempt what I'm suggesting.

    It sometimes happens in the computer industry that promotional material doesn't always promote all the capabilities of a device. In this case, the card can't work to its full potential in a x1 slot, there is (I think) a considerable price premium for this card over two single port cards and there is probably a perception that the market for these cards in x1 slots is quite small.

    There has been a fair bit of compatibility designed in PCI and its successors. For instance, I believe it was intended that 64 bit PCI boards should operate in 32-bit PCI slots (but at reduced bandwidth). I believe it was the intention that PCI-E x4 ad x8 cards would work in x1 slots (though with reduced bandwidth).

    If you don't want to try the card in the x1 slot you could look on ebay or other second hand/surplus outlets for dual port Intel PCI 10/100 cards.I think Dlink have a quad port PCI card but I can't recall what NIC it uses.

    It might be worth talking to ASUS about why the card won't work in the x16 slot. Perhaps the BIOS is expecting the x16 will only be used for a graphics cards and is playing with the card in the x16 slot rather than strictly using the onboard graphics. (There is often a BIOS setting for this sort of thing. Maybe there is a BIOS update that addresses this issue.)



  • @wallabybob:

    Yes, the brochure doesn't say x1 slots. But the other page does.

    The board should fit into a x1 slot. Have you tried it? It may be a tight fit so push it in firmly but don't force it. If it works, fine! If it doesn't work, nothing lost and one of the Intel pages says ANY PCI Express slot so even if it doesn't work you have had grounds from Intel's promotional material to attempt what I'm suggesting.

    It sometimes happens in the computer industry that promotional material doesn't always promote all the capabilities of a device. In this case, the card can't work to its full potential in a x1 slot, there is (I think) a considerable price premium for this card over two single port cards and there is probably a perception that the market for these cards in x1 slots is quite small.

    There has been a fair bit of compatibility designed in PCI and its successors. For instance, I believe it was intended that 64 bit PCI boards should operate in 32-bit PCI slots (but at reduced bandwidth). I believe it was the intention that PCI-E x4 ad x8 cards would work in x1 slots (though with reduced bandwidth).

    If you don't want to try the card in the x1 slot you could look on ebay or other second hand/surplus outlets for dual port Intel PCI 10/100 cards.I think Dlink have a quad port PCI card but I can't recall what NIC it uses.

    It might be worth talking to ASUS about why the card won't work in the x16 slot. Perhaps the BIOS is expecting the x16 will only be used for a graphics cards and is playing with the card in the x16 slot rather than strictly using the onboard graphics. (There is often a BIOS setting for this sort of thing. Maybe there is a BIOS update that addresses this issue.)

    It is physically impossible to fit an x4 PCI-E card into an x1 PCI-E slot.  The slot is far too narrow:  http://www.ferra.ru/images/141/141084.gif

    The reason the card won't work in the x16 PCI-E slot is because it is a PEG slot.



  • Yeah. Like rockbochs said. It is to wide, so unless I use a dremel it won't fit :)

    I only have one x1 slot, so buying two singel ports won't do it either. I don't have another PCI slot available neither. So if I buy the dual PCI cards I must buy two of them to get 4 ports all together …

    The thing is that I can't find information on the sites from the manufacturers if it is with PEG or not... And we don't have Supermicro and such in Norway. Mostly Asus, MSI and such.



  • Yeah. Like rockbochs said. It is to wide, so unless I use a dremel it won't fit

    Sorry for the false claim. In thinking back over why I made it I guess I assumed the slot in the bottom of the card would fit over the end of the PCI-E connector or read a little too much into a report that some motherboard connectors have an open end allowing a card with a large number of lanes to be plugged into a slot providing a smaller number of lanes.

    Whats the difference the between a PCI-E x16 slot and a PEG slot?

    Wikipedia has this brief article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PEG_Link_Mode which doesn't give me any hints why the card would work on first power on but not across warm reboots. If the only thing that makes the slot a PEG slot is the ability to tell the BIOS to overclock it somewhat perhaps the card can be made to work across warm reboots by disabling the overclocking and telling the BIOS (if its possible) not to attempt to use it as a graphics card.



  • Not claiming I'm a BIOS wiz, but I've been over it many times, and the options are really few. I've been looking over them all, I also looked for something like that before comming here at all… Not found anything.

    Found the 4x port 100Mbit PCI 32-bit D-Link card DFE 580TX for about the same price as the Intel Dual Gigabit PCIe x4 card. But I've searched this forum and found out that it might not be so good with FreeBSD?



  • I have this one installed on my FreeBSD

    http://support.intel.com/support/network/adapter/1000mtquad/ (it might be 1000GT now)

    and it works fine for me.

    Although I haven'ttested it on pfSense but as far as kernel is the same, it should work. It also
    has a PCI-X form factor but it fits to a normal PCI just fine. And it is fairly reasonable price, I
    got this one used ~$80, and brand new around ~$200. Unfortunately I have been stay away
    from D-Link for a while, all I can say is I wouldn't recommend. :P

    cheers,



  • Thank you for reply… I am very worried about everything with D-Link on to, so I really don't want to buy that card.

    Intel PRO/1000 GT Quad Port was really expensive and wide. My PCI slots are normal size, so it would only fit half of that card. For that price I could buy a new motherboard with alot of pci slots (PCI 32-bit and PCIe x1) with singel port 1000Mbit cards on all ports. Hmmm, so many options ;)



  • I went to Google looking for what makes the difference between a PEG (PCI Express Graphics) slot and a PCI Express x16 slot. I seems some people use the term PEG as a synonym for PCI Express x16.

    Then I found the post at http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?board_id=1&model=P5Q-EM&id=20080729234236140&page=1&SLanguage=en-us which claims that in the G45 chipset plugging anything in the PCI-E x16 slot disables the onboard graphics. Don't know if the same applies to the 945G chipset but it could explain why the x16 slot is sometimes described as a graphics card slot rather than a x16 slot. I don't know how good the Asus support is - it might be worth asking why your x4 card behaves as it does in the x16 slot. You might need to elaborate on what 'doesn't work'  means: e.g. interfaces not reported by OS, interfaces reported but links don't come up, something else again.

    The suggestion from nocer for the Intel quad port card seems like a good one though it looks as if that particular model is no longer in production. The chart at http://support.intel.com/support/network/sb/cs-009221.htm might be a useful reference because it contains information on a range of Gigabit cards and their support on a number of Operating Systems including FreeBSD.



  • I also found this link:

    http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/cs-020835.htm

    Tips for Intel Desktop Boards with multiple PCI Express x16 slots:

    When installing a PCI Express x16 graphics card, optimum performance will be achieved by using the PCI Express slot closest to the processor socket.
    These boards offer additional PCI Express connections in the form of a physical x16 connector. The electrical routing of the additional connectors may be x16, x8 or x4 (see specific boards specification for details).
    The additional connectors allow the use of multiple video adapters, providing the second adapter will properly auto negotiate down to x8, x4 or x1 operation, to support the connection of additional monitors.



  • Hi,

    It's been replaced by

    http://www.intel.com/products/server/adapters/pro1000gt-quadport/pro1000gt-quadport-overview.htm

    now. Well, it's still a full PCI height so won't fit if you have slim/low-profile cases anyway. If you meant "wide" refers the length of PCI-X blade itself, no worries, it although 64bit wide but can be placed into nomal 32 bit PCI slot, yes, only first half of the blade is used under 32 bit operation, last half of the blade, has no connection. Out of socket. It is completely normal situation while using PCI-X card in the PCI slot…

    Yeah, so many options. Have fun m8 ;D

    @Johnny_B:

    Thank you for reply… I am very worried about everything with D-Link on to, so I really don't want to buy that card.

    Intel PRO/1000 GT Quad Port was really expensive and wide. My PCI slots are normal size, so it would only fit half of that card. For that price I could buy a new motherboard with alot of pci slots (PCI 32-bit and PCIe x1) with singel port 1000Mbit cards on all ports. Hmmm, so many options ;)



  • The Intel 945G datasheet shows the internal graphics adapter OR external graphics in PCI-E x16 slot. It also says there are two SDVO (Serial Digital Video Out) ports multiplexed with upper eight lanes of the PCI Express graphics interface. I guess the SDVO ports is the electrical difference between a PCI-E x16 slot and a PCI Express Graphics slot. Section 10.4.3 of the datasheet discusses simultaneous operation of the of the PCI Express X16 port and the internal graphics which suggests the situation is not quite as simple as suggested by the quote in an earlier reply. It also adds:

    BIOS control of simultaneous operation is needed to ensure the PCI Express is configured appropriately.

    I wonder if ASUS saw fit to include the necessary BIOS control.



  • I have a D-Link DFE-570TX 4-port 10/100 and have had no problems using it so far.  Funny because both are actually using using Intel.



  • It may be a little late for the original poster but the topic http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,11485.0.html also includes a pointer to a page describing a 4 port PCI Gigabit card for US$99,. The NICs are supported in FreeBSD and one poster reports satisfactory performance.



  • @wallabybob:

    It may be a little late for the original poster but the topic http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,11485.0.html also includes a pointer to a page describing a 4 port PCI Gigabit card for US$99,. The NICs are supported in FreeBSD and one poster reports satisfactory performance.

    Yup, that's me. My 2 yrs old VT-6122 based NIC's running FBSD7.0 flawlessly. It was only less than $30. The following link should help
    you much.

    http://www.rasyid.net/2008/08/17/detect-rb44gv-on-freebsd-7/

    cheers,


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