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Subject2.4.20 and 2.5.64 NIC missing interrupts in APIC mode

I just bought a new motherboard "ECS L7VTA" sporting a VIA KT400 chipset
and found an annoying bug which took me quite some time to track down:

As soon as I enable the APIC mode in the BIOS the onboard PHY seems
to ignore any packets which are thrown at it *after* the kernel
initialised itself which is especially nasty since the system is booting
from network effectively stopping its boot when trying to get an IP
using DHCP or mounting a NFS volume in case the IP is fixed. The onboard
NIC is a VIA Rhine II (VT6102).

The startup process looks like:
- BIOS check
- PXE BIOS initialisation
- PXE boot into etherboot
- Correct detection and initialisation of the NIC in etherboot
- Boot of linux kernel
- Correct initialisation of system including NIC (via-rhine driver from
Donald Becker as in the standard kernels)
- Endless loop like the following:

eth0: Setting full-duplex based on MII #1 link partner capability of 41e1.
Sending DCHP requests ...... timed out!

The NIC initialised itself with the correct interrupt according to the
BIOS screen. As soon as I shut down the APIC mode, everything works as


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