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Neverending Hardware Issues when Creating a Backup Server

July 27th, 2006

My first attempt at creating a backup server left me with a dead motherboard. I replaced the motherboard with an old but reliable socket A EPoX board I had been using in my HTPC. After booting and changing eth0 to eth1 in my network config, the server was ready to go. I started the backup and everything looked good. It ran overnight and got about 500 GB off the server. I then started copying about 250 GB of data from the server to another computer. After a couple hours of this, my server went offline, and I was left sitting at work wondering why. I was hoping for a power outage, but when I arrived back at home, I discovered only the networking on the file server had gone out, leaving thousands of these lines in dmesg:

NETDEV WATCHDOG: eth0: transmit timed out
NETDEV WATCHDOG: eth0: transmit timed out
NETDEV WATCHDOG: eth0: transmit timed out

I’m not yet sure why my network card stopped working, Google or the Ubuntu forums should help, or I could just refer back to my pre-rma’d motherboard and remember that the Marvell skge network controller died on that motherboard completely, and move to other built in network card on the mobo, by NVIDIA. If all that fails, dropping some money on a quality Intel NIC will solve the problem. Unless the problem exists in my switch.

Update: Switching the the integrated NVIDIA network interface appears to have fixed this issue. Hooray for workarounds.

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