Driving me crazy - Asante NIC for SE/30 (LCII) problem

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Joined: Nov 28 2014
Posts: 11

Hello dear Applefritters,

Some time ago, i bought an Asante network card for my SE/30 (running 7.5.5 and equipped with 16mb ram and a 10.1 GB harddrive (using a Acard 7720u scsi bridge)). I installed the nic and setup the drivers from the Asante driver disc that came with it.

When reading about the MAC having problems negotiating speed with modern routers, i also bought a 10Base-T hub from Ebay. When i start the mac, the lights on the hub (as well as downstream) indicate that there is some kind of connection. Looking at the daughter card on the backside of the mac, i can see one of them lighting up (the bottom one). The other light never comes on.

When i try the diagnostics tool supplied by asante, everything up until the nic transmission test work. The Transmission comes back with an error (telling me that the link does not work).

I run MacTCP version 2.0.6 and i have also tried OpenTransport. I have switched from appletalk to ethernet in the "control panel".

I was thinking that it perhaps was my 10base-t hub that was incompatible so i ordered (yesterday) a AUI transceiver to try that one as well. Don't know if this helps or not.

Any ideas or pointers how to perhaps get this to work?

best regards

Daniel

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Offline
Joined: Nov 28 2014
Posts: 11
Re: Driving me crazy - Asante NIC for SE/30 (LCII) problem

Tried the transciever with negative results. The light(s) on the 10mbit switch and my regular (10/100/1000) one lights up, but no connection.

are there any ways to diagnose this problem (the assante diag-tool dont give any more clues unfortunately). Is the NIC broken? should i reinstall using system 6.0.8 and try something else? reinstall 7.5.5 (can i make a new installation that "overrides" my ole one btw).

Any pointers much appreciated.

eeun's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1891
Re: Driving me crazy - Asante NIC for SE/30 (LCII) problem

You could try making a crossover cable and connecting two Macs directly to at least rule out the hub.
http://en.kioskea.net/contents/198-creating-an-rj45-crossover-cable (about half-way down)

Also make sure the cables you're using aren't crossover when connecting to the hub. Some newer routers and switches will auto-configure around this, but older ones can't. If your hub/switch has an uplink port, don't be using it.

__________________

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quickthyme's picture
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Joined: Dec 11 2014
Posts: 35
Re: Driving me crazy - Asante NIC for SE/30 (LCII) problem

Hmm... not sure if I can be of help here or not, but I currently use an Asante ethernet card with my SE/30 on System 7.1 and have never had any problems getting it to negotiate with any of the modern switches I have, including ones made by Netgear, Kerio, and Apple Airport Extreme. In fact, I currently have it plugged in directly to a Raspberry Pi (no cross-over cable) which I have setup as a WiFi gateway to my home network.

It sounds like you have covered much ground in troubleshooting, and have gotten to the point of running the Asante diagnostic utility. I'm sure you have already tried the basic/obvious stuff, so forgive me if any of these question-suggestions seem redundant. However, not being able to analyze it first-hand means that we can't make any assumptions and have to start from square one. That being said...

Have you tried other cables?
Sometimes a simple kink in the cable can break a strand, and depending on which one, can give a false positive on the other end. (i.e. switch shows connection, but the NIC does not.) I've even had a situation where some ethernet cables received some water damage once, and eventually exhibited a symptom where they were not negotiating at full speed. Lots of ACKs getting resent due to dirty signal, etc.

Have you visually inspected the pins on the Asante's ethernet port to ensure that none of them are bent or corroded?
Those tiny pins are fragile, and with age, may become weak or brittle, especially if they have a long history of cables constantly being plugged in and out. One time, while troubleshooting poor network performance for a job, I found that a small piece of paper had (assumed accidentally) gotten crammed into the port and the cable was not making a solid connection.

Have you tried bypassing the hub and going straight into the switch?
HUBs and Switches are very different animals, despite looking similar. If you're plugging directly in to the switch, then a cross-over cable is probably not the source of your problem. As eeun pointed out, most modern switches and routers are auto-sensing and will automatically correct it so that signal lines 3 and 7 are appropriately cross-connected, though this behavior does not necessarily lend itself to Hubs. This test should also rule out the HUB as a culprit.

Have you tried other ports on the switch?
In some cases, managed switches have individual ports configured in non-standard ways, depending on who had it last and what it was used for. Other times, (not common) switch ports simply go bad.

Have you tried factory resetting the switch?
For the same reasons I just mentioned.

Have you verified the correct installation of the card?
Depending on how it was installed, another thing you might check is that internally, the daughter-card's ribbon cable is correctly oriented. One of the more fun aspects of installing a PDS card inside of an SE/30 is the fact that space is severely constrained. As such, any card that provided external ports had to be designed as two separate pieces so that it would fit. The Asante card is one such card, so the ribbon cable needs to be connected properly on both ends. Also BE SURE that the card is FULLY seated in the PDS slot! PDS is far more finicky than NuBus, and given the congestion of parts inside the SE/30, it can be difficult to visually determine if it is down all the way.

Have you tried switching it off and on again?
Ha ha.. Just kidding. (Unless you haven't.)

I sincerely hope that some of this may be useful to you in your quest to solve your networking woes. Getting vintage computers to interface with modern ones is a challenging journey that is bountifully filled with equal parts joy and frustration.

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Joined: Nov 28 2014
Posts: 11
Re: Driving me crazy - Asante NIC for SE/30 (LCII) problem

Hi quickthyme,

thank you for the response Smile

I have tried three different cables this far. I have also inspected, cleaned (using electronics cleaner) and re-seated both the main card as well as the daughter card (which is marked by a white dot to align pin "1" on both sides). Same problem.

I have also tried to switch ports on one of my switches as well as having tried to connect directly into the broadband modem that i use (a netgear CG3100). I sometimes DO get different results from the diagnostics on the Asante driver disk: Most often it just complains with a "transmission failed" but sometimes i also get either a "carrier sense lost" or a "transmit collided". Only the topmost led lights up in green. The bottom led on the daughter board stays off.

Daft question: I noticed someone writing on an old mailing-list that the Asante drivers where no good and that he used the native drivers included in system 7.x (and it worked). Being a classic mac newbie (i used macs at the university writing documentation, etc only), how can i remove the Asante drivers and use the apple ones? Afaik, there is no option to "remove" driver when using the Asante driver disc.

Also, i noticed that i can't select the "ethertalk" option in the control panel, only the "apple talk" one (trying to switch gives me an error and it won't let me). Perhaps it will work better when the asante drivers are removed (??)

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Joined: Nov 28 2014
Posts: 11
Re: Driving me crazy - Asante NIC for SE/30 (LCII) problem

eeun wrote:

You could try making a crossover cable and connecting two Macs directly to at least rule out the hub.
http://en.kioskea.net/contents/198-creating-an-rj45-crossover-cable (about half-way down)

Also make sure the cables you're using aren't crossover when connecting to the hub. Some newer routers and switches will auto-configure around this, but older ones can't. If your hub/switch has an uplink port, don't be using it.

eeun,

I will try that. I do only own one mac currently (sold my SE) but i guess it will work as good when connecting it, using x-over cable, to my windows machine too. Thx.

br

Dan

resman's picture
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Joined: Feb 9 2006
Posts: 213
Re: Driving me crazy - Asante NIC for SE/30 (LCII) problem

my03 wrote:

Daft question: I noticed someone writing on an old mailing-list that the Asante drivers where no good and that he used the native drivers included in system 7.x (and it worked). Being a classic mac newbie (i used macs at the university writing documentation, etc only), how can i remove the Asante drivers and use the apple ones? Afaik, there is no option to "remove" driver when using the Asante driver disc.

Also, i noticed that i can't select the "ethertalk" option in the control panel, only the "apple talk" one (trying to switch gives me an error and it won't let me). Perhaps it will work better when the asante drivers are removed (??)

This sounds like a good plan. I have two SE/30s with the Asante Ethernet running 7.5 and A/UX using the built-in drivers without issue. When you installed the drivers, did you just drop them into the System folder? They might show up as extensions you can disable. Try booting up with the shift key pressed to come up in safe mode, then peruse the System folder and sub folders looking for any obvious driver file.

Dave...

quickthyme's picture
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Joined: Dec 11 2014
Posts: 35
Re: Driving me crazy - Asante NIC for SE/30 (LCII) problem

my03 wrote:

Daft question: I noticed someone writing on an old mailing-list that the Asante drivers where no good and that he used the native drivers included in system 7.x (and it worked). Being a classic mac newbie (i used macs at the university writing documentation, etc only), how can i remove the Asante drivers and use the apple ones? Afaik, there is no option to "remove" driver when using the Asante driver disc.

Also, i noticed that i can't select the "ethertalk" option in the control panel, only the "apple talk" one (trying to switch gives me an error and it won't let me). Perhaps it will work better when the asante drivers are removed (??)

Well, that is definitely a good possibility to consider. In my scenario, I am using System 7.1, which does not include any ethernet drivers. Therefore, the Asante drivers that you installed may in fact be intended for System 7.0 or 7.1, but not 7.5 as Apple began to provide native ethernet drivers by then. If so, then removing them and reinstalling the ones provided with 7.5 instead might solve it. Worth trying I guess. (But for the record, I do know that the Asante drivers work great on pre-7.5 Macs, and there aren't really any other options.)

BTW, I thought the Asante installer offered a removal script, but I could be mistaken. I seem to recall it being accessible from within the normal installer as either a custom or advanced option.(?) If not, you will probably just need to locate which System Extension drives the card and then move it somewhere else before you go and reinstall from the OS disks. You might also want to go ahead and remove MacTCP from your Control Panel, and have the System 7.5 installer reinstall all of the networking stuff, including OpenTransport, just to make sure you have everything at the correct version.

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Joined: Nov 28 2014
Posts: 11
Re: Driving me crazy - Asante NIC for SE/30 (LCII) problem

quickthyme wrote:
my03 wrote:

Daft question: I noticed someone writing on an old mailing-list that the Asante drivers where no good and that he used the native drivers included in system 7.x (and it worked). Being a classic mac newbie (i used macs at the university writing documentation, etc only), how can i remove the Asante drivers and use the apple ones? Afaik, there is no option to "remove" driver when using the Asante driver disc.

Also, i noticed that i can't select the "ethertalk" option in the control panel, only the "apple talk" one (trying to switch gives me an error and it won't let me). Perhaps it will work better when the asante drivers are removed (??)

Well, that is definitely a good possibility to consider. In my scenario, I am using System 7.1, which does not include any ethernet drivers. Therefore, the Asante drivers that you installed may in fact be intended for System 7.0 or 7.1, but not 7.5 as Apple began to provide native ethernet drivers by then. If so, then removing them and reinstalling the ones provided with 7.5 instead might solve it. Worth trying I guess. (But for the record, I do know that the Asante drivers work great on pre-7.5 Macs, and there aren't really any other options.)

BTW, I thought the Asante installer offered a removal script, but I could be mistaken. I seem to recall it being accessible from within the normal installer as either a custom or advanced option.(?) If not, you will probably just need to locate which System Extension drives the card and then move it somewhere else before you go and reinstall from the OS disks. You might also want to go ahead and remove MacTCP from your Control Panel, and have the System 7.5 installer reinstall all of the networking stuff, including OpenTransport, just to make sure you have everything at the correct version.

You're right. I found the uninstall option. Here is what i have tried so far:

- I removed the drivers and re-installed them again without success.
- I reinstalled mac os (6.0.8 this time) and tried to install the drivers. No go.

I have ordered an crossover adapter now so when that arrives, i'll try the direct connection to my pc. I have also contacted the person selling it to me and according to him, it worked flawlessly on his se/30 running system 7.1, so i might try to download 7.0.1 + the update to 7.1 and try that out too.

If that doesn't work, i'll extract the main nic and verify everyting on the pcb (don't know if there might be any broken solder-joints, etc). I have also ordered a new switch (8-port netgear) which i need anyways since my 4-port is to small now. I don't know if that will make any difference at all (guess not since i have tried other switches in the past). I also tried using a tranceiever connected to the AUI port of the Asante with the same result.

What i haven't tried yet is to connect an AUI cable from the SE/30 to the ancient t-base10 hub i got from ebay a month ago. That hub has a AUI port too. I don't know if that will differ from the rj45 it also has?

I'll write back here as soon as i have tried some more variants Smile Thank you for the pointers and advice.

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Joined: Nov 28 2014
Posts: 11
Re: Driving me crazy - Asante NIC for SE/30 (LCII) problem

Hi,

Longest latency in known history (i think). Terribly sorry for my late return to the thread.

Still haven't been able to get something working. I did get one of those cross-over adapters from ebay (that lets you use a normal rj-45 cable and then crosses the signals) but i'm not sure how to setup either the SE/30 side (or the other side/computer) to get a local lan running.

I also got a new cat6 cable to try out (same issue). The link-led lights up and blinks on both the Se/30 as well as on my unmanaged netgear switch. I have been experimenting with the mactcp settings (basically have followed the advice from various places regarding this - setting the "C" subnet, manual settings, assigning an ip-adress myself (with regard to my network), etc -> no change.

One of the last things i will do now is to try to replace the flat cable that goes from the NIC to the daughter board to rule out that component.

Btw, how probable is it that the glass fuse on the daughter card has gone bad? Could that cause these issues? By visual inspection, it looks good, but should i replace it just to make sure?