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Date:      Thu, 16 Mar 1995 17:19:39 UTC+0100
From:      Javier Martin Rueda <>
Subject:   Network connection halts for a while, then resumes (2.0R)
Message-ID:  <634*/S=jmrueda/OU=diatel/O=upm/PRMD=iris/ADMD=mensatex/C=es/@MHS>

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I'm trying to setup a computer that will act as a file server under FreeBSD.

The main details of the hardware configuration are:

Motherboard: 486DX2-66 PCI+VESA, Opti chipset
PCI SCSI adapter: Buslogic Bt946C
SCSI disk: Conner CFP1060S
PCI Ethernet card: SMC EtherPower 8432BT
DSP 550: serial card with two 16550A ports.

Originally, I planned to install FreeBSD, but I found that the
network card was not supported in that release. So, I went with 2.0R.

At the moment, the computer is in the first stages of testing. I'm the only
user, using it from the console, but making some network connections too.
I'm using a customized kernel that only has my hardware equipment, with
ktracing activated, no SysV sems, shared memory, etc. 

To resolve host names, I use YP, served by SunOS 4.1.1.

My problem is that, suddenly, the network ceases to work for about 5-10
minutes. After that time, it begins to work again. This may happen when the
system has been up for just 10 minutes, or when it's been up for an hour.
It happens again after a while, and so on. I may be telnetting, or
maybe ftping. I haven't been able to find a clearly repeatable pattern.
By the way, I don't think that it is a problem of cables or connections.

When the network is "dead", if I try to ping some host on the network, after
waiting for a while I get responses such as this (and the other system does
not answer a single time, of course):

yp_match: clnt_call: RPC: Timed out
clnttcp_create: RPC: Port mapper failure - RPC: Unable to send

Or if I execute "arp -a", or "netstat -r", the command halts and I don't get
any answer (at least, until I get tired and interrupt it).

Another thing that sometimes happens and is probably related with this, is
that when the system is booting, the initial ifconfig command sometimes takes
longer than usual to run, and also one of the network daemons does the
same thing (maybe inetd, I don't remember now). Sometimes I even have to hit
Ctrl-C once or twice after a minute or so waiting, so that the boot sequence
can continue.

Does anybody have any idea of what can be going on? Has anybody experienced
similar problems?

I'll try switching the cards from slot and things like that, but any help or
suggestion is welcome.

Thank you for reading this :-)

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