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SubjectRE: e1000e: sporadic "hardware error"s with Intel 82563EB on Supermicro X7DB3
Hi Gernot,

I think that the system with the SuperMicro IPMI card is configured as
having an "external BMC" from the perspective of the INTEL-based system.
My experience of such configurations is that the IPMI traffic is handled
by the BMC in the card, but routed in/out of the system over the "eth0"
on-motherboard esb2 interface. I looked at the AOC-SIMPL-B card
described in the SuperMicro link you provided and see that it too has an
ethernet interface. I'm not sure if the interface on the card provides a
second IPMI interface to the system, or that IPMI to the mainboard eth0
is disabled. I have IPMI management contacts here in INTEL, and am
trying to find out.

If this system does route IPMI traffic between the SuperMicro card & the
mainboard LAN eth0, the onboard LAN now has two clients, one on the
SuperMicro card, and one in the host OS. INTEL provides APIs to external
BMCs so that they can use the LAN, and hidden behind those APIs is code
to allow each client to operate without having to be aware of the state
of the other. There is a bug in this code that can be exposed when the
host resets the LAN. The bug is resolved by a patch to the API code,
which is applied as an EEPROM update to the system. I am working with
Jeff Hockert & others in-house to find out details of how we are
deploying that EEPROM update.

I continue to review - with help- the information that you have already
provided, to determine whether this system does match the IPMI
configuration that I think it does. I'll keep you up to date.

OK, now for the system without the IPMI card. Probably that one does
have an active INTEL BMC. And, if it does, the core bug that I (sort-of)
explained above is also relevant there, though it's not fixable in the
same way because the buggy code in this case is integrated directly as
part of the INTEL BMC. In this case, you'll need a BMC upgrade. But
first, just like for the other case, I need to confirm that the
configuration is what I think it is.

It would help if you could provide a little more information. Could you
provide (for one of each of the two configurations that you have - one
with the IPMI card, one without):

lspci -t
lspci -vvv -xxxx
ethtool -e eth0
BIOS "IPMI" menus (I know you already gave us one, but both
would be good)



-----Original Message-----
From: Gernot Hillier []
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 2:18 AM
To: Graham, David
Cc:;; Allan, Bruce
W; Hockert, Jeff W
Subject: Re: e1000e: sporadic "hardware error"s with Intel 82563EB on
Supermicro X7DB3

Hi Dave!

Sorry for the delay (and the self-follow-up), but now I can hopefully
provide answers to all your questions...

Hillier, Gernot wrote:
> However, one detail confuses us: we can currently reproduce this
problem on
> two machines. One of them is equipped with an optional IPMI card, the
> one isn't. (The Supermicro X7DB3 doesn't include full IPMI support
> but has a "LP IPMI 2.0 (SIMLP) Slot" where you can place an optional

The "IPMI card" we use is a "Supermicro AOC-SIMLP-B".


> The box with the IPMI card shows the hardware errors quite often (in
one of
> about 200 tries) while the other box still shows the problem, but much
> seldom (in one of >1000 tries). Now we wonder if the BMC is on the
> card or on the board itself - in the first case, I'm not sure if you
> fully explains the problems we can see.

However, after digging through some manuals, I'm quite sure the BMC is
integrated in the Intel ESB2 I/O Controller Hub used on our board, not
on the IPMI card. So we should have an Intel BMC.

> And there's another detail I'd like to mention: we first found the
> by doing continuous reboots as originally described, but we found we
> also reproduce it with an endless loop of "rmmod;sleep 3;modprobe".
> this somehow contradict with your thesis?
>> There have been further improvements made to the driver
>> code since the driver, and it is possible that a newer
>> would resolve the issue. It'd be good for us to know if that's the
>> The driver version is not yet (AFAICS) upstream, but is already
>> available in the standalone e1000e- driver on sourceforge.
>> (google "sourceforge e1000e"). Would you be able to try that, as a
>> step ?
> Yes, I did. Unfortunately, still shows the problem - on both
> e1000e: Intel(R) PRO/1000 Network Driver -
> e1000e: Copyright (c) 1999-2008 Intel Corporation.
> ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:06:00.0[A] -> GSI 18 (level, low) -> IRQ 18
> PCI: Setting latency timer of device 0000:06:00.0 to 64
> 0000:06:00.0: 0000:06:00.0: Hardware Error
> 0000:06:00.0: eth0: (PCI Express:2.5GB/s:Width x4) 00:30:48:66:c7:06
> 0000:06:00.0: eth0: Intel(R) PRO/1000 Network Connection
> 0000:06:00.0: eth0: MAC: 5, PHY: 5, PBA No: 2050ff-0ff
> ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:06:00.1[B] -> GSI 19 (level, low) -> IRQ 19
> PCI: Setting latency timer of device 0000:06:00.1 to 64
> 0000:06:00.1: eth1: (PCI Express:2.5GB/s:Width x4) 00:30:48:66:c7:07
> 0000:06:00.1: eth1: Intel(R) PRO/1000 Network Connection
> 0000:06:00.1: eth1: MAC: 5, PHY: 5, PBA No: 2050ff-0ff
> 0000:06:00.0: eth0: Hardware Error
> 0000:06:00.0: eth0: Hardware Error
> 0000:06:00.0: eth0: Hardware Error
> 0000:06:00.0: eth0: Hardware Error
> 0000:06:00.0: eth0: Hardware Error
> Is there any further debug code I could add to narrow down things?
>> If this does not resolve the issue for the Supermicro board, you
>> also require a "FW-side" fix, and this comes in one of two flavors.
>> the board has an INTEL BMC, then we will need to update it with a new
>> BMC version. If the board has a Supermicro BMC (I expect that it
>> then we can provide a patch to some of the platform microcode using a
>> EEPROM update. To determine which is appropriate for you, we'll need
>> know more about the platform. There's probably a BMC version number
>> one of the BIOS menus. I can work with you to find the info we need,
>> then, to help you to perform the necessary steps to perform an
Still no helpful contact within Supermicro, but we found the following
information in the web interface provided by the "IPMI card":

Device InformationProduct Name: Supermicro Daughter Card
Serial Number: 02969601ac46a6df
Device IP Address:
Device MAC Address: 08:15:08:15:08:15
Firmware Version: 01.59.00
Firmware Build Number: 5420
Firmware Description: Sep-29-2008-09-45-NonKVM
Hardware Revision: 0x22

The BIOS IPMI menu itself says:

IPMI Specification Version: 2.0
Firmware Version: 1.59

I hope that those details answered your questions, so that we can
proceed with your suggestions. Think we now need the "new BMC version"
you mentioned, right?

If there's anything I can test or lookup from the software side to
speedup things (like additional debugging of the driver, etc.), please
don't hesitate to ask!


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