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I just got a new Toshiba Satellite C650 and set it up to dual boot Ubuntu 10.10 and Windows 7. Ubuntu will be my primary OS, but I'm having a weird problem with wired ethernet: when plugged into my home LAN, ethernet works fine on startup, but eventually fails. When it fails, I can't restart it -- not by disconnecting/reconnecting the cable, playing with options in the network manager, or running /etc/init.d/networking restart.

Some other symptoms:

  • No trouble at all in Windows 7.
  • The problem seems to happen more frequently when other devices (e.g. my other laptop) are also using the modem. None of the other devices has this problem though.

A side note: at the moment, wireless isn't working at all, but I plan to cross that bridge later -- unless it turns out to be a related problem.

lspci gives me this:

...
01:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications AR8152 v2.0 Fast Ethernet (rev c1)
02:00.0 Network controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. Device 8176 (rev 01)

Looking up the specs in windows, I find that the Realtek controller is an RTL8188CE.

After the ethernet fails, the last line of /var/log/syslog will be something like:

Dec 27 20:29:05 abe-Laptop kernel: [ 1661.352824] eth0: no IPv6 routers present.

Last but not least, here's the tail end of /var/log/syslog after I try to reconnect:

Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) starting connection 'Auto eth0'
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> (eth0): device state change: 3 -> 4 (reason 0)
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 1 of 5 (Device Prepare) scheduled...
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 1 of 5 (Device Prepare) started...
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 2 of 5 (Device Configure) scheduled...
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 1 of 5 (Device Prepare) complete.
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 2 of 5 (Device Configure) starting...
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> (eth0): device state change: 4 -> 5 (reason 0)
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 2 of 5 (Device Configure) successful.
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 3 of 5 (IP Configure Start) scheduled.
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 2 of 5 (Device Configure) complete.
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 3 of 5 (IP Configure Start) started...
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> (eth0): device state change: 5 -> 7 (reason 0)
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) Beginning DHCPv4 transaction (timeout in 45 seconds)
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> dhclient started with pid 2177
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 3 of 5 (IP Configure Start) complete.
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop dhclient: Internet Systems Consortium DHCP Client V3.1.3
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop dhclient: Copyright 2004-2009 Internet Systems Consortium.
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop dhclient: All rights reserved.
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop dhclient: For info, please visit https://www.isc.org/software/dhcp/
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop dhclient: 
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> (eth0): DHCPv4 state changed nbi -> preinit
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop dhclient: Listening on LPF/eth0/00:26:6c:df:1c:f8
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop dhclient: Sending on   LPF/eth0/00:26:6c:df:1c:f8
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop dhclient: Sending on   Socket/fallback
Dec 27 20:46:34 abe-Laptop dhclient: DHCPREQUEST of [An IP address] on eth0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67
Dec 27 20:46:51 abe-Laptop dhclient: last message repeated 3 times
Dec 27 20:46:51 abe-Laptop dhclient: DHCPDISCOVER on eth0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 3
Dec 27 20:46:54 abe-Laptop dhclient: DHCPDISCOVER on eth0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 4
Dec 27 20:47:06 abe-Laptop dhclient: last message repeated 2 times
Dec 27 20:47:06 abe-Laptop dhclient: DHCPDISCOVER on eth0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 10
Dec 27 20:47:16 abe-Laptop dhclient: DHCPDISCOVER on eth0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 19
Dec 27 20:47:19 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <warn> (eth0): DHCPv4 request timed out.
Dec 27 20:47:19 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> (eth0): canceled DHCP transaction, DHCP client pid 2177
Dec 27 20:47:19 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IP4 Configure Timeout) scheduled...
Dec 27 20:47:19 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IP4 Configure Timeout) started...
Dec 27 20:47:19 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> (eth0): device state change: 7 -> 9 (reason 5)
Dec 27 20:47:19 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Marking connection 'Auto eth0' invalid.
Dec 27 20:47:19 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <warn> Activation (eth0) failed.
Dec 27 20:47:19 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IP4 Configure Timeout) complete.
Dec 27 20:47:19 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> (eth0): device state change: 9 -> 3 (reason 0)
Dec 27 20:47:19 abe-Laptop NetworkManager[997]: <info> (eth0): deactivating device (reason: 0).

I've hunted around through several forums and found various discussions about problems that seem similar, but none of them seems to match exactly. Any suggestions on how to diagnose and fix this problem?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Well, the answer was disappointingly simple: start over with Ubuntu 11.10. I reinstalled the OS and everything works fine now. Doesn't solve the mystery, but I can get on with my life now.

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