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I210 Operation in Flash-less mode

I'm trying to setup a system with two I210 controllers. The 2nd one operates in Flash-less mode

and I have problems to get it working.

I have successfully programmed the INVM using the eeupdate64e tool with:

eeupdate64e /nic=2 /invmupdate /file=I210_Invm_Copper_NoAPM_v0.6.txt

It now reports:

Using: Intel (R) PRO Network Connections SDK v2.25.20

EEUPDATE v5.25.20.03

Copyright (C) 1995 - 2015 Intel Corporation

Intel (R) Confidential and not for general distribution.

Driverless Mode

Warning: No Adapter Selected

NIC Bus Dev Fun Vendor-Device Branding string

=== === === === ============= =================================================

1 1 00 00 8086-1533 Intel(R) I210 Gigabit Network Connection

2 3 00 00 8086-157B Intel(R) I210 Gigabit Network Connection

The 2nd NIC is the one without flash.

However, when I try to program the MAC address, it fails:

eeupdate64e /nic=2 /mac=001395160935

NIC Bus Dev Fun Vendor-Device Branding string

=== === === === ============= =================================================

1 1 00 00 8086-1533 Intel(R) I210 Gigabit Network Connection

2 3 00 00 8086-157B Intel(R) I210 Gigabit Network Connection

2: Updating Mac Address to 001395160935...Failed!

Further more when I load the driver "igb" in linux, it reports an

invalid checksum on the 2nd NIC:

Intel(R) Gigabit Ethernet Network Driver - version 5.3.2

Copyright (c) 2007-2015 Intel Corporation.

igb 0000:01:00.0: irq 76 for MSI/MSI-X

igb 0000:01:00.0: irq 77 for MSI/MSI-X

igb 0000:01:00.0: added PHC on eth0

igb 0000:01:00.0: Intel(R) Gigabit Ethernet Network Connection

igb 0000:01:00.0: eth0: (PCIe:2.5GT/s:Width x1)

igb 0000:01:00.0 eth0: MAC: 00:13:95:16:09:34

igb 0000:01:00.0: eth0: PBA No: 000300-000

igb 0000:01:00.0: LRO is disabled

igb 0000:01:00.0: Using MSI-X interrupts. 1 rx queue(s), 1 tx queue(s)

igb 0000:03:00.0: irq 78 for MSI/MSI-X

igb 0000:03:00.0: irq 79 for MSI/MSI-X

igb 0000:03:00.0: The NVM Checksum Is Not Valid

igb: probe of 0000:03:00.0 failed with error -5

Basically I have two questions now:

1. Why does the MAC address programming fail?

2. Why does the driver complain about the checksum? As far as I know there isn't

a checksum in the internal memory.



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4 Replies

Hello Mephisto,

Thank you for contacting the Intel Embedded Community.

The information that may help you is stated at the following websites as a reference: Linux/drivers/net/ethernet/intel/igb/e1000_i210.c - Linux Cross Reference - Free Electrons Linux/drivers/net/ethernet/intel/igb/igb_main.c - Linux Cross Reference - Free Electrons

The I210 can be used without an external flash memory with very limited features. For example, no management interface or external PHY control via MDIO or I2C is available without flash memory. You can confirm this information in the answer to the question 2.9, on page 8 of the http://Intel® Ethernet Controller I210/I211 Frequently Asked Questions Intel(R) Ethernet Controller I210/I211 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please let us know if this information is useful to you.


Best Regards,



Hello Carlos

You're pointing me to the kernel 4.2 sources. Unfortunately I'm bound to kernel 3.14.

However, I also tested with igb driver version 5.3.2, which is even never than kernel 4.2 and it

issues the same error as igb driver version 5.0.5-k which is part of kernel 3.14.

Further more, even if the driver is buggy it doesn't explain why the MAC address programming fails.

Any other ideas?




Hi Mephisto

i had maybe the same problem with the eepromARMTool, i got also the Error 5 thing.

My I210 has a FLASH device an because i could not program it i tryed to use th INVM.

I changed the "tool" only to see that there is no flash device was pesent.

I could setup a MAC and fill the INVM but i got that Error 5.

I think the driver (igb.ko) is not looking for the vendor and device-id (8086-157B), i think he's asking the I210 if a FLASH device is present and try to check his ckecksumm.

My resolution was to remove the FLASH device... The I210 dosend found a FLASH and i get rid of Error 5.

Maybe your eeupdate64e does any same thing than the igb.ko.


My concusion: don't atach a FLASH if you want to use the INVM.




Community Manager


Sorry to reopen an old post but I am having the exact same problems. Did you ever get the issue resolved?