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Re: Linux and 3Com905B-TX-M

The 3C905C is not a managed version of the 905B, but supercedes the 3C905B. The
905B also had a managed version (-TX-M). The 905B can still be had in the
"non-managed" version, as well in a combo form factor, and fiber-optic.

If you have a 3C90x NIC (900, 900B, 905, 905-T4, 905B,  905C, 980, etc.) NIC and
a ROM, you can extract version numbers and vendor and PCI IDs. Do this by
activating (enable) the ROM and press and hold both Shift keys  at boot time,
usually before the memory test.

Here is more info from the 3Com web site on what is available....

EtherLink 10/100 Mbps PCI NIC for complete PC management
10/100BA E-TX, RJ-45 3C905C-TX-M
25-pack 3C905C-TX-M-25PK
100-pack 3C905C-TX-M-100PK

EtherLink 10/100 Mbps NIC
10/100BA E-TX, RJ-45 3C905B-TX-NM
25-pack 3C905B-TX-NM-25PK
100-pack 3C905B-TX-NM-100PK

EtherLink 10/100 Mbps PCI Combo NIC
10/100BA E-TX,RJ-45, AUI,BNC  3C905B-COMBO
5-pack 3C905B-COMBO-5PK
25-pack 3C905B-COMBO-25PK
100-pack 3C905B-COMBO-100PK

EtherLink 100 Mbps PCI NIC
100BA E-FX,SC 3C905B-FX(SC)
5-pack 3C905B-FX(SC)-5PK
25-pack 3C905B-FX(SC)-25PK

Fast EtherLink XL 10/100 PCI T4
10/100BA E-T4 3C905-T4

Steve Marfisi
Manager, Technical Services
Lanworks Technologies / 3Com

Greg Beeley <> on 01/03/2000 09:37:04 AM

Please respond to

cc:    (bcc: Steve Marfisi/US/3Com)

Subject:  Re: Linux and 3Com905B-TX-M

Martin Klingler wrote:

> I followed the list for the last few days and I think this is the right place
> for my problem.
> I am just installing a Linux-cluster with 8 diskless knots. I have started
> with a 3Com905B-TX which works just fine together with Etherboot. But now this
> card is not longer available and Etherboot can not deal with the 905B-TX-M
> which seem to be a 905C. This type has a fixed Bootrom on the card.
> My momentary solution is to boot the kernel from a floppy with the help of
> loadlin. This is Ok so far but not very smart.
> Maybe there is anybody in this list with a solution or suggestion how to
> overcome this thing.

The ROM is soldered on the board?  Interesting....  The 905-B-TX-M I don't
think is a 905c.  It is a "managed" version of the 905b-TX-NM which the
driver was originally written for, and so it has things like wake-on-lan
support (if your motherboard support it).

What you will need to do is program the flash ROM onboard the card.  To do
this, use a little utility that John Finlay wrote early to mid 1999 called
"romutil".  It runs under Linux, so you will need to either boot from
etherboot floppy or from a vanilla installation-type floppy diskette.  Use
the .rom file output by etherboot/src-32.

Ken, perhaps you can include this utility in the standard distribution and
add a note to the main readme about it.  This utility has only been shown to
work correctly with Linux, but I've never tried it myself; nevertheless I do
know several people for whom this has worked quite well.  I'll send the
utility as a separate email to you, Martin, and to you, Ken.

John, if you're still on this list, perhaps you have an updated version?


------------------------------------------------------------------------        LightSys - Redeeming Technology...                    For God's Kingdom.
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