MVME 162-262 VxWorks Ethernet Communication Problem


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MVME 162-262 VxWorks Ethernet Communication Problem

Postby benjamin.arrow » Tue, 16 Sep 2008 12:40:58 GMT

Hi Guys

Last resort posting:

I have one MVME board that has come in from the field, the board will
boot and load the OS from our BootP server just perfectly.  I can ping
the ethernet interface of the MVME card with correct response however
whenever i try to communicate with the MVME card using our specific
software which tries to communicate over IP , the software will

I have a second MVME card with exactly the same revision chips and
firmware, this card will communicate just fine.  I am beginning to get
stuck as I have never seen an MVME card until last week.

Is there any diagnostic functions or any help you may be able to
provide in regards to troubleshooting an MVME card using VxWorks and
running across Ethernet?


Re: MVME 162-262 VxWorks Ethernet Communication Problem

Postby noisetube » Wed, 17 Sep 2008 03:34:40 GMT

n Sep 14, 8:40 pm, XXXX@XXXXX.COM wrote:

The very first thing you should have done is gone out and gotten
yourself a copy of Wireshark ( and captured the
traffic between the target board and whatever host it is that runs
your "specific software" so that you can analyze and diagnose the
actual communications failure. It sounds like this problem is
repeatable, so you should be able to capture several runs (the more
failure cases you can examine the better), and you can compare it to
successful runs from working boards.

There are certain key pieces of information which you have not
provided (or possibly considered):

- What kind of host is your BootP server running on? (Windows? UNIX?
What version?)
- What kind of host is your "specific software" running on? (Windows?
UNIX? What version?)
- How is the target connected to the BootP host and the "specific
software" host? (Are they all on the
same subnet? On different subnets? All plugged into the same switch?
All plugged into a hub?)

My money says that the MAC address on the bad board has been corrupted
somehow. This is something you would be able to detect by sniffing
packets from the target using Wireshark. There are some MAC addresses
which are invalid to use as station addresses, e.g.:


or various combinations thereof. Check the first 3 bytes: if they
don't match the vendor OUI for the board, then the address is
definitely wrong. (You can check the OUI for a given manufacturer by
checking the IEEE database here:
Note however that not every OS, protocol or piece of networking
hardware fails in the face of an invalid MAC address in the same way.
Some may allow the bad frame through, while others may discard it. So
it is very possible that the bad address does not stop the target from
being able to download a VxWorks image, but does interfere with your
"specific software." I have seen this happen before, and it always
leads to confusion until someone finally decides to capture a packet

As to how the MAC address may have been corrupted, that depends on
where it's stored. According to the information I have, the MVME162
board uses an Intel 82596 ethernet chip, and the MAC address, along
with a few other pieces of board-specific information like the CPU
speed, is stored in an ST Microelectronics MK48T08 battery-backed RAM
chip (BBRAM). This chip also contains the time of day clock. I found a
copy of the datasheet here:

Depending on the age of the actual part that you have, it could be
that the built-in battery has reached the end of its useful life. (If
the device was manufactured in the early 90s, then it'd be maybe 15
years old now.) If this is the problem, then you'll need to replace
the whole chip since the battery isn't meant to be removable. I don't
think the original MK48T08 is still in production, but it looks like
the Dallas Semiconductor/Maxim DS1643 is a drop-in replacement. You
can order them here:;jsessionid=c0a80b0130d8309aaf362d9e4ad881f6a14abadcdfdc.e38Kb34Ta34PbO0LbN8SaNuKchmPe6fznA5Pp7ftolbGmkTy#

(Note: Tornado 2.2.x/VxWorks 5.5.x was the last release to support the
m68k CPU (and the MVME 68k-based boards). If you are the one who

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