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Wired connection problem with Atheros 10a1

Questions about Networking that deals with wireless cards, ethernet, modems, samba and anything else related to these, including software help. Tutorials for any of these can be posted too.

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Gaer Boy
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Wired connection problem with Atheros 10a1

#1 Postby Gaer Boy » Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:36 am

Over the past few months, I've had an intermittent failure of the wired connection using my Asrock ITX machine. It occurs randomly - sometimes not for a few days, then a dozen times in a short period. It is most annoying when browsing the Forum - I can visit 15 pages and then the 16th fails to connect. It has taken me this long to identify a sort of pattern, and I'm now fairly certain that it is a problem with the alx driver for my Atheros 10a1.

The main symptom is obvious - the connection times out on 3 or 4 websites simultaneously. It's not the ADSL connection - other machines on the same router don't have the problem. Re-establishing the connection is not a problem, although I need to try a number of steps.

First (and quickest) is to address the router (192.168.0.1) - this gets a response in about 60% of cases and the hanging pages load. If that doesn't work, I disconnect and reconnect the wired connection - this is about 50% successful. For the remaining 20%, I visit a website using the other machine on the router. If I don't have the machine running, I fire it up and let Iceweasel load my homepage. As soon as it connects, the hanging pages on my primary machine load.

I've eliminated a number of possible problems. The same happens with Thunderbird and Synaptic, so it's not application. I've switched router ports in a number of combinations, so it's unlikely to be the router.

I tried installing Mepis 12 on this machine, but that can't find a wired network. It looks like the alx driver is only available in a later kernel - I will try that and confirm when I have time, but it doesn't help on MX-14.

Searching gives loads of hits for problems with the Atheros 10a1, but they all seem to be due to the lack of the alx driver. It looks like my problem is an intermittent fault with the driver, although I can't rule out a fault with the Atheros card.

If anyone has anything else to suggest, I'd be grateful. The dropout is always when it's most inconvenient.

Phil

AsRock FM2A88X-ITX+, A8-6500, 8GB, 120GB Samsung SSD (GPT), 1TB HDD (MBR), MX-16
Lenovo Thinkpad X220, dual-core i5, 3MB, 320GB Hitachi HDD, Win7, MX-16.1

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Jerry3904
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Re: Wired connection problem with Atheros 10a1

#2 Postby Jerry3904 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:43 am

Competing driver?
Production: 4.7.0-0.bpo.1-amd64, MX-15 RC1, AMD FX-4130 Quad-Core, GeForce GT 630/PCIe/SSE2, 8 GB, Kingston SSD 120 GB and WesternDigital 1TB
Testing: AAO 722: 3.16-0-4-686-pae. MX-15, AMD C-60 APU, 4 GB

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Re: Wired connection problem with Atheros 10a1

#3 Postby kmathern » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:02 pm

The alx driver is in the 3.12 kernel that MX14 uses

Code: Select all

# modinfo alx
filename:       /lib/modules/3.12-0.bpo.1-686-pae/kernel/drivers/net/ethernet/atheros/alx/alx.ko
license:        GPL
description:    Qualcomm Atheros(R) AR816x/AR817x PCI-E Ethernet Network Driver
author:         Qualcomm Corporation, <nic-devel@qualcomm.com>
author:         Johannes Berg <johannes@sipsolutions.net>
alias:          pci:v00001969d000010A0sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00001969d000010A1sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00001969d00001090sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00001969d0000E091sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00001969d00001091sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
depends:        mdio
intree:         Y
vermagic:       3.12-0.bpo.1-686-pae SMP mod_unload modversions 686

Does the `lspci -nn` command show one of these pciids?
    1969:10A0
    1969:10A1
    1969:1090
    1969:1091
    1969:E091

The alx driver is also in the kernel that Mepis 12 uses, but it's an earlier version and only supports two of the pciids (1969:1090 & 1969:1091).
Last edited by kmathern on Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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uncle mark
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Re: Wired connection problem with Atheros 10a1

#4 Postby uncle mark » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:20 pm

FWIW Dept:

I had a similar problem with my M11 desktop. It would periodically just flat drop the connection. I could easily reconnect by using the MEPIS network assistant, and it wasn't that big a deal. I figured it was just a flaky onboard NIC.

I then had a situation where my cable modem and wireless router both went goofy at about the same time. The symptoms were such that the diag/process of elimination was prolonged, and I ended up having issues with my M11 network settings in the process.

But the bottom line is that since replacing both the modem and router, this M11 wired desktop hasn't dropped the connection since. Mind you, none of the other machines on the network had the problem, and if my wife had had problems with her machine or her Roku box I sure would have known about it.
Desktop: Custom build Asus/AMD/nVidia -- MEPIS 11
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Re: Wired connection problem with Atheros 10a1

#5 Postby Gaer Boy » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:21 pm

Jerry - I can't see another driver loaded.

kmathern - 'lspci -nn' shows 1969:10a1, which should be OK. I had found that the M12 kernel only had the earlier version.

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Re: Wired connection problem with Atheros 10a1

#6 Postby Gaer Boy » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:27 pm

UM - I have suspected the router/modem - it must be 10 years old. I think I may bite the bullet and get a new one - wired-only are scarce as hen's teeth now, but some of the wireless modem/routers have 4 wired ports, which is all I need. It will make my kids happy when they visit. They complain that their iThings barely connect here (one end of the house hardly gets a mobile phone connection).

AsRock FM2A88X-ITX+, A8-6500, 8GB, 120GB Samsung SSD (GPT), 1TB HDD (MBR), MX-16
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Re: Wired connection problem with Atheros 10a1

#7 Postby uncle mark » Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:01 pm

Gaer Boy wrote:UM - I have suspected the router/modem - it must be 10 years old. I think I may bite the bullet and get a new one - wired-only are scarce as hen's teeth now, but some of the wireless modem/routers have 4 wired ports, which is all I need. It will make my kids happy when they visit. They complain that their iThings barely connect here (one end of the house hardly gets a mobile phone connection).


All the wireless routers I see have at least four wired ports available. I don't think I've seen a wired-only router in years. Having wireless connectivity opens up a lot of options, but there's nothing forcing you to actually set wireless up at all.

My modem and router both were quite old as well, so I got my money's worth. I'm a Netgear fan and stuck with it. The N600 I bought is a higher end consumer grade router that offers a lot of features and is easily configurable. I'd be comfortable recommending it or something similar.
Desktop: Custom build Asus/AMD/nVidia -- MEPIS 11
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Re: Wired connection problem with Atheros 10a1

#8 Postby lucky9 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:14 pm

I went to Netgear years ago. Even though I currently don't use a separate Router I'd suggest starting there. As uncle mark notes they're pretty darn good for consumer devices.
Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one, I think it is.
--Mark Twain

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Re: Wired connection problem with Atheros 10a1

#9 Postby Gaer Boy » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:10 pm

Thanks, both - the Netgear N600 would be my first choice. My existing router is a Netgear DG834 and it's served me well.

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Re: Wired connection problem with Atheros 10a1

#10 Postby Gaer Boy » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:30 am

I think this problem may have been resolved. Since a batch of upgrades on 3 August, I haven't had a problem. Let's hope that continues.

Code: Select all

Commit Log for Sun Aug  3 09:39:43 2014

Upgraded the following packages:
liblzo2-2 (2.06-1) to 2.06-1+deb7u1
libqt4-dbus (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-declarative (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-designer (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-gui (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-help (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-network (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-opengl (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-qt3support (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-script (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-scripttools (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-sql (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-sql-mysql (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-sql-sqlite (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-svg (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-test (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-xml (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqt4-xmlpatterns (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqtcore4 (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqtdbus4 (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
libqtgui4 (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1
linux-compiler-gcc-4.6-x86 (3.14.12-1~bpo70+1) to 3.14.13-2~bpo70+1
linux-libc-dev (3.14.12-1~bpo70+1) to 3.14.13-2~bpo70+1
pv (1.2.0-1) to 1.5.3-1~bpo70+1
qdbus (4:4.8.2+dfsg-11) to 4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1

Installed the following packages:
qtchooser (39-g4717841-3~bpo70+1)
qtcore4-l10n (4:4.8.6+dfsg-2~bpo70+1)

AsRock FM2A88X-ITX+, A8-6500, 8GB, 120GB Samsung SSD (GPT), 1TB HDD (MBR), MX-16
Lenovo Thinkpad X220, dual-core i5, 3MB, 320GB Hitachi HDD, Win7, MX-16.1


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