AX88178 Driver gives network/internet connection but can't find local network servers


#1

On Mac OSX 10.6.6. The 3.4.0 driver is installed, and I can get to the internet; but I can’t see other server devices on the local network. If I switch to using wireless connection those other devices can be found.


#2

Hi Simon,

Thanks for this other question. This sounds like it’s probably a solvable problem of higher-level network configuration.

Quick questions:

* So you do have web access, and that appears to be working fine?
* What kinds of server resources are failing? Windows file shares? (NetBIOS name lookup) or Apple ZeroConf devices/services? Can you tell?

We’ll probably end up look at the “Advanced” settings for the USB gigabit ethernet network interface, to look closer at these different services.

Thanks for your patience while we get this figured out!
Bernie


#3

Bernie

Yes web access is working fine !

It seems that once the MacBook Air had slept and I awoke it, things seem to be working for a “while” (undetermined short period) but then disappears again. After a reboot one is unable to connect again. Perhaps a bug in startup and sleep logic.

I repeated this cycle three times to confirm the issue and my ability to reproduce it.

Both other mac device and Apple TV have sharing enabled - the later has been “tweaked” to enable this. All this works as expected from a Wi-Fi connection.

I’ve scanned the advanced setting and all is default.

Specific indications of the problem are from the Mac/OSX Finder Application. On the side bar a “SHARED” section appears when all is working and disappears when it fails.

The reason for having this device is to connect at a higher bandwidth than the equivalent Apple product offer, additionally the offer of Jumbo Frames support was also enticing; but I cant even get it to be stable with the basic default configuration.

BTW: The install/unistall is also ugly in that it moves a components in and out of a Apple provided System package, keeping the copy of said component in a temp directory in case of un-install for safekeeping…very fragile! What happens if some hard drive “maintainence” activities remove the “temp” folder in the root as its not necessarily obvious of it s purpose to anyone uniformed of the configuration, future un-installs will fail, leaving a broken configuration.

I’m no Mac Pro but there has to be a much more elegant way of doing this, perhaps by enabling and disabling different kext in the configuration ? Tampering with standard system packages seem very unconventional.

Thanks
-Simon


#4

Quick question: does web access (with only the USB wired connected enabled) work 100% of the time, or is that also tied to power transitions?

Thanks for checking on that, because that will let us hone in on whether it’s a low level or high level problem.


#5

USB/Wired to internet works 100% as far as I can tell.


#6

ok, great. We’ll do some searching to find any other instances of this (among ours or other network adapters, since we expect this will be a wider issue), and get back with some next steps. Thanks for your patience!


#7

Additional info:

Seems to not work if Ethernet settings are set to anything other than “Automatic”. Additionally any setting of a custom MTU does not stick, specifically to enable jumbo frames (MTU = 9000), a documented feature of the product.

My network is Jumbo Frames compatible and the other machines are configured for same.


#8

Hi Simon - Just to confirm, do I have this right:

With Jumbo frames off (everything “automatic”) web works, right? Does everything else (other mac device, Apple TV) also work?

With Jumbo frames on, Apple TV, etc. doesn’t work, right? Does web?

Thanks for clarifying - want to make sure I have it all accurately.

I don’t know the status of Jumbo frame support on Mac, but will ask and get back to you on that.

Thanks!
Bernie


#9

Jumbo frames works to Internet only that if one sets a custom MTU, that does not stick in the settings, and the sleep work around does not work either.

With jumbo frames off, the symptoms are as previously identified, the sleep, and wake up trick works. Additional refinement to this is that if the Air case is closed and reopened it behaves the same as a reboot, and needs the sleep to get things working.

Send me a private message if you want to discuss on a phone call as this seems like its going round in circles.


#10

Hi Simon - thanks for your patience in running through the issues! We’d be happy to give a quick call. If that could help, just email support@plugable.com with the best number to reach you.

Also, we contacted ASIX overnight based on the thread here, and we have bad news. The current Mac driver does not have Jumbo frame support. So unfortunately, if you’re trying to get every component on your network to be using jumbo frame (working around the fact that many Apple systems haven’t supported Jumbo frame for their built-in ethernet), our product isn’t going to be able to get you there today. Sorry.

ASIX’s 88178 Mac OS X support is improving, but still slowly (only this most recent ASIX 3.3.0/3.4.0 driver fixed the major problems that began with the Mac OS X 10.6.2 update).

On the good side, there is progress. Also in our query last night, we also asked about the .zip package, and they said the next driver version will be packaged as a .dmg, exactly as you were pointing out.

In any case, we never want customers stuck with product that doesn’t work with their setup, and it sounds like unfortunately that may be the case for what you need the product to do. Returns are no-hassle within 30 days, and processed by Amazon. Just visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/css/returns/…

Again, my apologies. And thanks again for the great detail and feedback - it’s already been a big help!
Bernie


#11

Brian

Please can I recommend that you have you marketing dept add a qualifier onto the product description/features on the http://plugable.com/products/USB2-E1000/ page to highlight that this feature does not work on OSX, as this was the sole reason that I ordered your product rather than a competitors.

ASIX AX88178 Controller – Jumbo packets up to 9KB, along with suspend mode and remote wakeup

This will hopefully avoid any other potential customer being mis-lead.

Jumbo Frames aside, is there a fix in the works for the other issues ?

I will look into a return.

-Simon


#12

Hi Simon - Agreed. We want the limitations as front-and-center as possible, so everyone comes in knowing what they’re getting, rather than stumbling across them as you’ve had to. We’re sorry - that’s frustrating.

The important ASIX 88178 Mac limitations that we know of right now were previously added to the description in the paragraph right below the bullet point you referenced on http://plugable.com/products/usb2-e1000/. And now we also updated that bullet point, too get the Mac message above the fine print.

Quick summary:

No Mac 64-bit kernel support: ASIX currently says they have no plan yet to support it. We’ll certainly be pressing them on this, since most MacBook Pros and some other boxes ship with 64-bit kernel by default, and most users aren’t aware of what kernel they’re running - so they just see this as a bad unit, when it’s really an unsupported scenario today.

No Mac Jumbo frame driver support: ASIX currently has no plans to support on Mac. Mac has a lot of jumbo frame issues, so I don’t know if this would be easy or hard for them to add the same class of support they have on Windows.

Mac .dmg rather than .zip installer: ASIX says they have this in the next release, to avoid problems with 3rd party .zip apps causing install problems.

Limitations aside, we know of no better chipset for supporting USB gigabit ethernet on the Mac. If you run across any, please let us know.

Again, my apologies. Returns are no-hassle within 30 days (http://www.amazon.com/gp/css/returns/…) and if you’re past 30 days, just email your amazon order number to support@plugable.com and reference this support history, we’ll take care of you.

Thanks for your patience and helpful info through this!

Best wishes,
Bernie


#13