Summary: tbds out of sync ??? (the solution)

From: Sam Cole, Computer Wrangler (
Date: Fri Feb 02 1990 - 15:50:00 CST

A short while ago I posted the following request for help:

   I am having problem with a Sun 4/280 835E0598) server crashing due to
   what appears to be an Ethernet problem. The Sun is running SunOS 4.0.3
   and is a file and boot server for five 4/110's and four Sparcstation 1's.
   Our Sun repair person has been out twice in the last week and has replaced
   the CPU board on both occassions. The information in /var/adm/messages
   from last night's crash is as follows:

   vmunix: ie0: tbd: ff09c1fc, es->es_utbd: ff09c1ec
   vmunix: es->es_tbdring: ff09c1ac, tfd: ff09c26c
   vmunix: tfd->ietfd_tbd: fc01, es->es_base: ff09c000
   vmunix: panic: iexmitdone: tbds out of sync
   vmunix: ie0: tbd: ff09c20c, es->es_utbd: ff09c1ec
   vmunix: es->es_tbdring: ff09c1ac, tfd: ff09c2ac
   vmunix: tfd->ietfd_tbd: c02, es->es_base: ff09c000
   vmunix: panic: iexmitdone: tbds out of sync
   vmunix: dumping to vp ff005a98, offset 52097

Several people responded. My thanks to Chris Barry, Daniel Trinkle
and also the SunBugs people. Sun's hardware support people also tracked
the problem down. As for the solution, there is a patch for the IECHKCCA
problem (I also had iechkcca crashes). Call usa4sun to get it.
I installed the patch 4 days ago and haven't seen the problem again.
Following is most of the README file that comes with the IECHKCCA patch.

Once again, many thanks to the people on this mailing list.

Sam Cole
Chemistry Computer Center
University of Utah

------------------------ from the README file ------------------------------
Bug Report Id:

Bug Fix Id:

        This patch may fix problems with "panic: iechkcca" occuring
        on sun-4 machines.

        In 4.0.3, a machine will panic with "iechkcca" if the
        82586 (ie) chip does not clear it's command register within
        an expected "time frame". In general, system panics of
        this type have most often been found to be the result of
        network problems (e.g., a bad transceiver, DELNI box, or
        ethernet cable) or other hardware problems (e.g., a bad or badly
        configured disc controller) on the system itself.

        A bug has been identified in the 4.0.3 ie driver which
        causes the "time frame" mentioned above to be shorter
        on a sun-4 than on a sun-3. And, that is, of course, shorter
        than had been intended. This patch correctly adjusts the

        In addition, this patch attempts to reset the chip up to
        three times, if the time limit expires before the command
        register is cleared.

        It is important to note that that this fix may not have
        any affect on iechkcca panics which are a result of the
        types of possible network and/or hardware problems indicated

        This patch was originally generated for the SunOS 4.0 release,
        and has been recompiled for the 4.0.3 release.

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