strange network card issue in debian etch

Gregory Nowak greg at
Thu Aug 2 00:22:47 EDT 2007

Hash: SHA1

Yes, the windows update seems to be the problem. From what I've seen,
after installing the new driver, windows runs just fine. Rebooting
into gnu/linux, debian testing specifically, with the same network
card, I see the result you
described. Powering off the machine and then powering backup into
gnu/linux still doesn't fix it. The only thing that does fix it
is to power off, unplug the machine from the power source, press the
power switch to make sure that power is fully drained, (this is
necessary on this system at least), plug back in, and everything will
work just fine, as long as you don't boot back into windows, or should
I say windblows.

Warning, Warning, if you are in windows, and then reboot directly back
into windows, without rebooting to gnu/linux first or power-cycling
the machine, it is likely that
if you have a copy of windows requiring activation, you will be told
that your copy of windows isn't activated, and you'll be asked to
activate it. My system told me I had 3 days to do so. Since my 120-day
period between activations from my initial activation of this install
isn't yet over, I now ended up with a system I couldn't activate
without picking up the phone to call macroslop. It's possible that you
can roll back the driver, or go back to an earlier restore point to
get rid of the network card issue, but I just used partition image to
restore a working backup of my windows partition, and instructed
microsoft update to not show me that particular update again, in case
I ever forgot the headache it causes. If you are in gnu/linux, and the
network card works fine, you should still be able to boot into windows
just fine, without the out-of-box-experience smacking you. Whatever
you do, from my experience with this at least, don't simply reboot
from windows back into windows, unless you don't need to worry about
having to reactivate your particular copy. When I told a friend of
mine about this, he said it sounds like microsoft is trying to enforce
genuine advantage validation through hardware drivers. Hth.


On Wed, Aug 01, 2007 at 11:46:16PM -0400, Nick Gawronski wrote:
> Hi, I am having a very odd issue with a realtek 8139 network card on my 
> debian etch system.  The card use to work just fine until I upgraded 
> one of my windows xp professional drivers.  The card still works on 
> windows xp professional service pack 2 with Internet explorer 7 and all 
> updates.  Until I installed this update to windows I was able to use 
> the network card in debian to get on line.  Now all I get is that the 
> dhcp server is not working.  I can telnet to port 67 and I 
> get the message network is unreachable.  If I try to telnet to another 
> address or do anything else on the Internet I get the message from 
> telnet when I telnet to a host telnet name or service not known.  Could 
> the upgrade of the windows driver burned new firmware on my network 
> card and now linux does not work with it?  My system is a system with 
> removable hard drives so windows does not see linux and linux does not 
> see windows but I think windows caused this issue with my network card. 
> Any help would be great! thanks in Advance Nick Gawronski
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