[SOLVED] Wired NIC Constantly Dropping Connection

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May 10, 2020
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Hi there,

Back in November, I built myself a Windows 10 20H2 computer that is operating as a "server"/host for various applications. Every now and then, the PC's wired NIC will randomly disconnect from the network. This PC is headless, so to resolve the issue, I simply unplug the Ethernet cable and plug it back in and then it suddenly comes back to life. I have a Lenovo PC operating in the exact same headless way without a single issue.

The problem happens whether someone is using the PC or not or an application installed on the PC.

The PC is running a Gigabyte B550M Aorus Pro-P and this motherboard has a 2.5GB NIC installed. For troubleshooting purposes, I've done the following:
  1. Installed the latest Realtek Driver
  2. Updated all AMD chipset drivers
  3. Set the Duplex to 1.0 GB
  4. Swapped the "dumb" switch for a Unifying one
  5. Installed Imsonmia so the PC actively has something preventing sleep, even though Windows is set to not sleep.
Once the Ethernet cable is unplugged and then immedately reconnected, the Windows Event Log remains clear. Only a simple entry on how Windows can now communicate with the Time server.

Before I drive myself crazy and reinstall of Windows on this machine, I'm hopeful to see if there are any other troubleshooting steps or ideas that may help me solve my issue. Thanks for any help in advance.

Gigabyte B550M Aorus Pro-P
-Realtek LAN Driver 10.046.1231.2020
-BIOS F13c
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
16GB of Corsair 3600MHz
 
I would carefully inspect the jack maybe you get lucky and there is some dirt or a bent pin.

At this point I would look for a USB3 ethernet nic. Since you already have the latest patch you say it leaves little to try. The 2.5g stuff seem to have a lot of issues maybe they get a patch in the future.
 
Can you tell if ethernet port is actually going down or if it just stop communicating. If you issue ipconfig /all what is the status.

Be sure you do not have any of that QoS or any form of so called network accelerator software loaded, this comes packaged with the motherboard most times.

There has a been a history of problems with both intel and realtek 2.5g nics. Intels is so bad it can only really be fixed by replacing the chip...ie the motherboard. Realtek if I remember correctly had a issue with the port restarting itself but I thought that was patched 6 months or more ago.
 
May 10, 2020
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Can you tell if ethernet port is actually going down or if it just stop communicating. If you issue ipconfig /all what is the status.

Be sure you do not have any of that QoS or any form of so called network accelerator software loaded, this comes packaged with the motherboard most times.

There has a been a history of problems with both intel and realtek 2.5g nics. Intels is so bad it can only really be fixed by replacing the chip...ie the motherboard. Realtek if I remember correctly had a issue with the port restarting itself but I thought that was patched 6 months or more ago.
I can't actually tell, no.

I'd imagine QoS is a BIOS setting? I don't think I've ever seen something like that, but I'll poke in the BIOS.

I considered reaching out to Gigabyte next to see if they had any answers too. It might just be a bad board, totally true.

More often than not these things are caused by bad cables or some other physical layer issue.
Funny enough, I didn't consider this, but the cable was being used by the previous computer without an issue. Regardless, I'll try swapping it.
 
The QoS software is in windows. You may not have it, it is just one of those things that causes very strange issues for people.

I am not sure why I did not suggest the cable also. That is the most common cause of problem. Be sure to use a quality cat5e or better cable. If you are actually trying to run 2.5g you need cat6 but I would go to cat6a. There is a lot of fake cable on the market. That flat cable tends to be the one you see the most and is not a certified ethernet cable.
 
May 10, 2020
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The QoS software is in windows. You may not have it, it is just one of those things that causes very strange issues for people.

I am not sure why I did not suggest the cable also. That is the most common cause of problem. Be sure to use a quality cat5e or better cable. If you are actually trying to run 2.5g you need cat6 but I would go to cat6a. There is a lot of fake cable on the market. That flat cable tends to be the one you see the most and is not a certified ethernet cable.
I don't think QoS is any issue. I don't get that crazy in my networking here; it's pretty basic.

I was going to swap in another CAT5e cable, but your comments are correct once more. So I bought a certified Monoprice 24AWG CAT6 3FT cable on Amazon. Will be here Wednesday and I'll give an update then!
 
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Well, I installed the new cable and thought things were going well, but today the PC is again offline and missing internet. A quick reconnect of the cable resolves the issue. :(

Any other thoughts here?
 
I would carefully inspect the jack maybe you get lucky and there is some dirt or a bent pin.

At this point I would look for a USB3 ethernet nic. Since you already have the latest patch you say it leaves little to try. The 2.5g stuff seem to have a lot of issues maybe they get a patch in the future.
 
May 10, 2020
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Alas, I even reinstalled all of Windows to see if that was the issue. I think you're all right, these 2.5g NICs just suck....

I bought a USB 1g nic, but I also submitted a ticket to Gigabyte. Thanks to all!
 
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As for the solution, it wasn't an ideal one. I ended up buying a TP-Link USB Ethernet adapter of which I returned because the adapter kept going to sleep. Even though I set everything not to (Windows, drivers, etc.).

In the end, I bought a PCIe NIC and it's been working great. No issues. These 2.5G NICs are just too buggy for mass production right now and I wish that motherboard manufacturers wouldn't do it.
 
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