Author Topic: ASUS M3A78-EM - Great for a Core, Great for an MD - Realtek 8168 Gigabit Solved!  (Read 8881 times)

seth

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Hello all. I have seen some posts about this motherboard, and there is the wiki entry http://wiki.linuxmce.com/index.php/Asus_M3A78-EM which I will be updating, as I get things going. Last evening I sat down and decided to resolve the issue I was having with my new Living Room MD System Board.

The problem I was having was the NIC (Realtek 8111B/8111C) was using the r8169 driver on a tftpboot. This was fine, the image loaded right up, and then prompty reported "eth0:link down" not unlike a lot of posts concerning the Asus Eeepc boards/systems, as well as some of the Atom systems. So I immediately hit up the forums and the wiki for the answer. I found the excellent wiki entry by totallymaxed http://wiki.linuxmce.com/index.php/R8168 and the unrecognized NIC wiki http://wiki.linuxmce.com/index.php/Unrecognized_NIC, and decided that I should start the process. I went out and downloaded the latest Realtek drivers from http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/downloadsView.aspx?Langid=1&PNid=13&PFid=5&Level=5&Conn=4&DownTypeID=3&GetDown=false#2 and followed the wiki. But after it was all finished up. I got the same results. And even a couple of times I got the kernel panic device not found error seen in these forums.

So here is how I solved it:

First I manually created the Media Director from the Web Admin page. Did not want it to build an AMD64 image, wanted to stay with i386, and I knew the MAC address of the new MD onboard NIC. Ran "Setup Diskless MD" when that completed I clicked the "Rebuild Image" for the new MD. While that was running I completed the next few things.

I went to Asus' web site and downloaded the drivers for linux for my board the M3A78-EM. The file was called "LinuxDrivers.zip" and contained the LAN as well as the VGA (ATI HD3200) drivers in the archive file. So I downloaded it, http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguage=en-us&model=M3A78-EM extracted it to my core's /usr/src folder, and then went into the LAN directory it created. From there I followed the 8168 wiki entry, and completed the steps.

Code: [Select]
sudo su
cd /usr/src/LinuxDrivers/LAN/r8168-8.003.00/r8168-8.003.00
make
cp src/r8168.ko /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/kernel/drivers/net/
mv /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/kernel/drivers/net/r8169.ko /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/kernel/drivers/net/r8169.ko.not
depmod -a
/usr/pluto/bin/Diskless_BuildDefaultImage.sh

Fired up top on the core to verify that the image was done building, no random bzip2's running and what not, and then...

Next I copied the driver from Asus over to my MD's filesystem:
Code: [Select]
cp /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/kernel/drivers/net/r8168.ko /usr/pluto/diskless/<moon #>/lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/kernel/drivers/net
vi /usr/pluto/diskless/<moon #>/etc/initramfs-tools/modules
added r8168 and saved
cd /usr/pluto/diskless
chroot <moon #>
depmod -a /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/kernel/drivers/net/r8168.ko
cd /boot
update-initramfs -uv
(scrolled up to verify the new module was added it was at the top of the output)
for S and G's ran depmod -a again
exit out of the chroot

Now I went into the living room and powered on the system. And it booted without a hitch. To my pleasant suprise, I was eventually greeted by Sarah, asking me if I could see and hear her  :)

Some info on this system, with current prices:

Motherboard - Asus M3A78-EM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131324&nm_mc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel&cm_mmc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel-_-Content-_-text-_-
CPU - AMD64 X2 5000+ 2.6GHz - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103211&nm_mc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel&cm_mmc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel-_-Content-_-text-_-

These were on a combo deal for $114.99 free shipping as of last week. Excellent buy, and now with this info it will boot  ;)

Memory OCz Platinum 2G 2x1G DDR2 1066 (Makes use of the native 1066 on the Motherboard) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227178&nm_mc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel&cm_mmc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel-_-Content-_-text-_-

This is currently on sale for $28.99, but there is shipping  :(

So the next thing I will be doing is using the Asus Drivers for the ATI card (HD3200) and see if I can get that working, wiki update to follow there as well.

Well I hope this helps someone. It sure made my evening.

Regards,

Seth

« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 03:17:42 pm by seth »
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hari

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same for the GA-MA78GM-S2H and the board in the TEO-X.

br, Hari
rock your home - http://www.agocontrol.com home automation

noltenp

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I will be watching your progress closely, as I just purchased an ASUS M3A78-EM and A64 X2 6000+ for an HTPC.  While I'm not new to Linux, I have not used LinuxMCE yet.  From what I've looked at I think it would meet my needs well, provided I can get the full capabilities out of it.  I would want to use the onboard video and the HDMI output.  I also have a Sony Blu-Ray BDUX10S that I would like to use but I have to research compatibility.  My other option for OS if LinuxMCE does not pan out is Vista Premium (perhaps 64 bit), but saving $100 means another terabyte of storage or a nice case!

If I dig in and get anywhere with anything, I'll you know.

seth

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Yes, I will be tackling this before the week is out. I am not sure if I will use the provided Asus ATI driver or getting the latest Catalyst from ATI.
Since I tried the latest Realtek driver for the LAN card, and failed, I may just start out with the Asus provided driver, as that worked swimmingly with the board. You can also find these drivers on the support DVD that came with the board.

I think the combination of Integrated HD capable video, and on board spidf optical, and the CPU's it supports make this board a good candidate for a core or an MD. I use it as an MD, but the CPU I got with it, X2 5000+, would be more than capable of core requirements as well.

At any rate. I will continue to work at this. I am confident that the next release of LMCE with Kubuntu 810, extra steps won't need to be taken to make it work on first install. I know everything works Out Of The Box with 8.04.

Regards,

Seth
".....Because Once you've LinuxMCE'd....."
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jimmejames

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Seth-

Have you tried using this as your Core?  I tried:  http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=5995.0  before, and haven't since.  But want to can my system and get the gigabit card working.  Process would be a bit different than configuring a MD, but probably not that different.  Maybe I'll try with a different harddrive and keep the working system accessible.


For anyone else thinking about this board- I have had excellent experience.  I've been running this as a core straight (no reboots that I can remember) since 8/18/08:  http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Asus_M3A78-EM

seth

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I have posted the instructions to get the on board GigE NIC working on this.
http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Realtek_8168#Asus_M3A78-EM
Summed up below:

Install system like normal. (I assume you have already done this)
Get some means to download and store http://dataless.jeromenet.org/r8168.ko, as you may not have internet (no 2nd nic)
I used a pen drive.
Once you have this file, boot the system in Safe Mode, using option 2 in grub (press ESC when system starts to get to grub)
after the system comes up, you will have your dcerouter# prompt. Insert pen drive, mount it some where: I did
Code: [Select]
mkdir /mnt/temp
mount /dev/sdx1 /mnt/temp (insert your letter for "x" in this, you can find it with dmesg
cp /mnt/temp/r8168.ko /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/kernel/drivers/net/
depmod -a /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/kernel/drivers/net/r8168.ko
vi /etc/initramfs-tools/modules
add r8168
cd /boot
update-initramfs -uv

Now reboot, and you should have it sorted.

Best of Luck and Regards,

Seth
".....Because Once you've LinuxMCE'd....."
System stats located at my user page:

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jimmejames

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Thanks Seth-

I can confirm that this works.  I setup the Core using the above instructions- pen drive, esc, safe mode, copy, restart method and now I have the core with 2 nics- 1 onboard and one pci.  This gives room to put a pci tuner in the core.

I will update the wiki

seth

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Excellent!!

Now I have another tip for you, if you can spare $20 US. This gigabit card works Out of the box (although I could not get it to PXE boot), in the PCI-E 1x slot that you have:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833166019&Tpk=33-166-019

It's $14.99 US, Uses the r8169 driver packaged with 710 release of LMCE. This allowed me to free up the second pci slot for an additional tuner card. I currently have it connected to my modem, and the on-board card connected to the internal gigabit switch I have.

This makes this board complete as a core, as now I have 2 tuner cards in it.

Just a thought.


Regards, and Happy Holidays,

Seth
".....Because Once you've LinuxMCE'd....."
System stats located at my user page:

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Seth

Marper

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Just purchased this board and using it with SATA drives and am currently getting error "busy box" and the system halts.  Here is config:

ASUS M3A78-EM
4X 1gb SIMM chips
Video XFX 6200 (worked in last system that was intel based 0704 & 0710)

Disabled on-board NIC
Disabled on-board Video (I guess as it does not really say enabled or disabled, provides options for the type of video card in system)

I've tried to install 0710 i386 and AMD64 with no sucess.

I've followed a number of threads here, with each getting a little closer to the issue.  This thread by Seth and another that indicated I should hit F6 and add:

acpi=off at the beginning of the line
nosplash at the end

taking the above two steps really got me further than I was, at least I'm not seeing the busy box any further.

I want to use this system as a Core - If it's not good for that, so be it and I'll buy another - however, I see the very same issues using this board as a MD, so I'm looking for help and direction.  No longer afraid to dig into Linux, I'll try anything you guys think might get me a little further.

Any advice as to what config or changes to make to help this system install ?

seth

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I am using this board with 2 SATA drives. 1 WD 500 G - Main and TV recording drive, and I threw an extra 80G SATA disk in there, also Western Digital. They are SATA 3 drives and the jumpers are set for spread spectrum, or what WD considers "Option1" or the default option. It is possible the drive(s) you are using may need to be jumpered to eliminate extra features like that. Also I am using the i386 version. I have never had much luck with the AMD64 version, and according to the devs, you do not gain any additional performance using it, so I would try again with the i386 version. Mine installed flawlessly. Only hiccup I had was the on board LAN card. But I posted here how to resolve that issue.

I would try the i386 version. I the long run, you will not regret it.

 ;D

Happy Holidays, and Regards,

Seth
".....Because Once you've LinuxMCE'd....."
System stats located at my user page:

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jimmejames

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Marper-

After Seth's postings, I got another harddrive and reinstalled LMCE and I ran into the same issue- I figured it was a bad disc, so didn't pay a lot of attention.

I got mine installed by when the bootscreen first appears you will see the three options ("Install..., Memory..., and Boot from first...") and at the bottom it has F1 through F6.  I pressed F6 at which time a bar opens up that starts with "Boot Options" followed by a bunch of info.  I deleted the "quiet slash --" part from the end of that command and pressed enter.  The installation then proceeded without a hitch.

Coincidence?  Maybe, but that's all I changed and the installed went smooth.

Also, thanks Seth for the Rosewill info.  Makes me 1 step closer to have a server closet with essentially everything in it and md's around the house streaming the media.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 05:18:04 am by jimmejames »

Marper

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Thanks guys - I used the F6 Option with some optional commands:  ACPI=off and Nosplash - and the system installed. 

I have 3 WD500AA drives and it will only read 2 of them with the Optical drive.  Maybe Seth is correct I need to check the jumpers to ensure they are set correctly.

Thanks again, you guys were a huge help.

slow_learner

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hi,

i've been following this post with much interest because i recently built my first dedicated lmce system using the asus m3n78-em board and want desperately to make it work. 

i've gotten through the alsa driver problem.  i'm now onto the onboard nic not working.  Seth, I've followed your directions (i thought) to the letter on how to update the r8168 driver and get it set up to load on boot.  but somehow i'm still screwing up.

everything seems to be in place where it should be, but when i run the update-initramfs -uv command, i don't see any reference to the r8168 module when i scroll up.  in the /etc/initramfs-tools/modules file, using the vi command, i've added the r8168 line under the example lines many different ways.  i've added it as:

# r8168
r8168
r8168.ko

then done the update command, but nothing seems to change.

can you give me any ideas as to where i might be screwing up? might there be some reason why the /etc/initrmafs-tools/modules file is being missed as part of the boot sequence.

if you need more info of my system to help diagnose, please let me know.

thanks,

slow

seth

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Hi. I am wondering if you are running the initramfs-update script from /boot ?

As long as the r8168 entry has been added to 'modules' file you should see it at or near the top of the output.

Regards,

Seth
".....Because Once you've LinuxMCE'd....."
System stats located at my user page:

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slow_learner

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Dear Seth,
I finally did see the module show up when i ran the update.  I'm a newbie, and i was doing this work from a prompt in recovery mode.  when i ran the upate, and then scrolled up to see if it loaded, I couldn't scroll all the way back to the beginning because that much history wasn't showing.  when i did the update from a terminal window off the desktop, i could scroll all the way to the beginning and there it was.

However, still no joy on the NIC working from boot, after seeing the module there.  running ifconfig at recovery or looking in the device manager in the desktop, no eth0 present.

Is there a boot log i could look at, or maybe post here that someone could look at, that will help me diagnose what's wrong?  I checked in the bios already and everything seems enabled.

thanks,

shane