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SGI troubleshooting ec0 no carrier

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Tips for troubleshooting the following problem (these notes specific for SGI O2):

[ESP System Information Notification]:$(0x111)ALERT: ec0: no carrier: check Ethernet cable
ALERT: ec0: no carrier: check Ethernet cable


  • Power-up the machine, stop at maintenance, select 'Enter Command Monitor' and run 'ide'. Sometimes this has helped to revive the network service.
  • If ISDN is installed: check that the RJ-45 ethernet cable is not plugged into the ISDN port.

The SGI documentation has some more generic suggestions. Some may apply to your machine:

  • Make sure 'hinv -c network' reports Integral Ethernet: ec0, version 1. Does it also report Integral ISDN: Basic Rate Interface unit 0, revision 1.0 ?
  • Make sure that the hub supports 10BaseT 1/2-duplex or 100BaseT as needed.
  • If you attach both an Ethernet AUI cable and an Ethernet 10-BASE T cable to your system, and if the Ethernet 10-BASE T connection is live, the system will use Ethernet 10-BASE T.
  • There are earlier versions of cabling similar to 10-BASE T. These may mechanically fit the Indigo 2 connector, but do not work electrically.
  • Check the physical connections to the Ethernet cables for tightness and connection. If your Ethernet hardware is loose or disconnected, the /var/adm/SYSLOG file and your system console should both show messages such as 'ec0: no carrier: check Ethernet cable'.
  • After determining that the transceiver cable is plugged into the back of the machine and also into the transceiver box, look for other possible reasons for failure:
    • Check the machines transceiver.
    • Check the transceiver cable, and try swapping it out with one that is working on another machine.
    • Check for a problem with a 10baseT hub.
      • Try a different port on the hub.
      • Try a different cable.
      • Try a different hub.
    • If you try all the troubleshooting techniques and you still cannot access the network, contact your service provider; the network itself may be temporarily out of order.

Most common failures:

  • Wrong hub or hub not working.
  • 10BaseT ethernet cable plugged into ISDN port.
  • 10-BASE T port dead but AUI port is working.
  • Hub supports 10BaseT 1/2-duplex or 100BaseT only.
  • Hub *PORTS* support either 10 or 100 but not both while *HUB* connects both 10 and 100 segments internally.