I have a problem with a new ASUSPRO B8430UA laptop: its Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V does not work under Linux. In fact, I tried two different laptops of this model, and both had the same problem.
The Linux driver used is e1000e, it produces the following messages during Linux (Ubuntu 16.04) boot:
$ dmesg | grep e1000e [ 5.643760] e1000e: Intel(R) PRO/1000 Network Driver - 3.2.6-k [ 5.643761] e1000e: Copyright(c) 1999 - 2015 Intel Corporation. [ 5.644308] e1000e 0000:00:1f.6: Interrupt Throttling Rate (ints/sec) set to dynamic conservative mode [ 5.877838] e1000e 0000:00:1f.6: The NVM Checksum Is Not Valid [ 5.907340] e1000e: probe of 0000:00:1f.6 failed with error -5
I have tried installing the latest version 3.3.4 of e1000e, but this didn't help (I have tainted the kernel, though).
I have posed questions about this on e1000-devel mailing list, and it was advised that I contact my laptop manufacturer, because "The NVM Checksum Is Not Valid" means that the contents of the non-volatile memory of my Ethernet chip is corrupted, or at least that it does not match the checksum (unfortunately, I am not a specialist and cannot explain this more precisely).
I have posed the question to Intel customer support, and they replied that they do not take care of OEM systems (on-board Ethernet chips in laptops) and that I should contact ASUS:
Unfortunately as your system is OEM our support options are extremely limited. The laptop manufacturer may have altered the software or the hardware and this is why support and drivers for such systems is provided directly by the laptop manufacturer.
I have contacted ASUS customer support, but they replied that they have no tools for checking or reparing the contents of the NVM, and that if I find such tools, they would be glad to know about it. They also explained that they are only supposed to support the original hardware and software configuration, and this laptop model is sold with Windows 7. Under Windows 7 my Ethernet seems to work fine. According to what I've learned, Windows simply doesn't check the NVM checksum.
I have found that in one similar case in 2011, the problem could be fixed using Intel Ethernet Connections Boot Utility:
However, the DISCLAIMER in the last paragraph warns:
You probably need to know that the Intel(R) Ethernet Connections Boot Utility WAS NOT designed to be used with on board (also know as OEM) lan cards (is for the PCI cards) therefore there is no sure way to predict it’s interactions with others on board components like USB or SOUND controllers.
The description of BootUtil version 126.96.36.199 also seems to say that it is not exactly intended for use with on-board Ethernet controllers:
The Intel(R) Ethernet Flash Firmware Utility (BootUtil) is a utility that can be used to program the PCI option ROM on the flash memory of supported Intel PCI and PCI-Express-based network adapters, and to update configurations.
OEMs may provide custom flash firmware images for OEM network adapters. Please refer to the instructions given by OEMs.
There is however a paragraph I didn't understand:
PXE+EFI and iSCSI+EFI image combinations are supported for all OEM generic adapters, however support is limited to devices which support both technologies as discrete images.
Please DO NOT run ibautil as some sites on the web suggest to try to fix this issue. It will likely cause you to have to replace your motherboard to get LAN functionality back.
IBAUTIL is one of the predecessors of BootUtil.
In any case, I decided to run BootUtil from under Linux without command-line options to get the "list of all supported Intel network ports found in the system." This is what I've got:
$ sudo ./bootutil64e Intel(R) Ethernet Flash Firmware Utility BootUtil version 188.8.131.52 Copyright (C) 2003-2016 Intel Corporation Type BootUtil -? for help Port Network Address Location Series WOL Flash Firmware Version ==== =============== ======== ======= === ============================= ======= 1 D017C2201F59 0:31.6 Gigabit N/A FLASH Not Present
I would like to understand what "FLASH Not Present" means in this context, and what options I have for fixing the checksum.
Update 1. According to a comment I received from e1000-devel mailing list about "FLASH Not Present",
The flash and NVM are two separate items. The flash enables things like PXE booting and iSCSI whereas the NVM stores things like the Network Address.
Update 2. I have found Intel's datasheet for I219, Section 10.3.2.2 Checksum Word Calculation says:
The Checksum word (Word 0x3F, NVM bytes 0x7E and 0x7F) is used to ensure that the base NVM image is a valid image. The value of this word should be calculated such that after adding all the words (0x00- 0x3F) / bytes (0x00-0x7F), including the Checksum word itself, the sum should be 0xBABA. The initial value in the 16 bit summing register should be 0x0000 and the carry bit should be ignored after each addition.