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    SubjectUpdate: 2.0 kernels, tulip driver, crashes and reboots (long)
    Here are the data points we've gathered over the weekend on our systems
    that have been rebooting/locking:

    The 9 systems that are running kernel 2.0.31 still have not locked or
    rebooted. I'd have to say now that this is statistically significant. These
    are a mixture of PNIC and ne2000 systems. Identical systems running 2.0.36
    reboot an average of once every 8 unit days. These 9 systems have run over
    6 days now (54 unit days without a crash).

    We now appear to have a good method for inducing a reboot failure: running
    netperf between two PNIC-tulip.89K/2.0.36 systems will cause a reboot in
    12-24 hours. Throwing a hdparm -f -t /dev/hda3 into the background on the
    same system will induce the failure reboot time to 5-15 minutes on the same

    My guess is that the VIA chipset is going into a state that ends up
    asserting the processor reset signal. I just setup a digital o-scope to
    trigger on the processor reset. After running the test for about 15
    minutes, I plugged a USB keyboard into the client netperf system and it
    rebooted (this is an interesting datapoint in itself). The digital o-scope
    got the trigger on reset. We should have schematics for the motherboard
    tommorrow to figure out exactly what is tied into reset to trace it back.
    Epox is also contacting VIA about erratas for the chipset and should get
    back to us tommorrow.

    Other tests we're starting today:

    Run netperf/hdparm test on Intel TX-based motherboards with
    PNIC-tulip.89K/2.0.36 (running now, no failures after 2 hours)

    Run netperf/hdparm test on VPX-based motherboards with ne2000/2.0.36
    (running now, no failures after 2+ hours)

    Run netperf/hdparm test on VPX-based motherboards with PNIC-tulip.89K/2.0.31

    Run netperf test on VPX-based motherboards with Win98/PNIC-driver

    I think we're getting close on this. Your ideas and comments on the above
    are welcome and appreciated.


    Al Youngwerth

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