In the Linux 2.6.27 kernel
code was a rather serious regression where a faulty driver is killing Intel network hardware
. Specifically the e1000 and e1000e network adapters were getting their EEPROM corrupted by the driver, which renders the network interface permanently inoperable unless that non-volatile memory can be restored. The e1000 problem was patched but the Intel e1000e remains problematic. Fortunately, Intel has now provided a workaround so that no further Intel network hardware is damaged.
A patch was proposed by Intel last night on the Linux kernel mailing list
that prevents the e1000e non-volatile memory (NVM) from being corrupted when the respective Linux driver is loaded. There is no proper fix yet to this situation but Intel is continuing to explore the problem. Intel is also preparing patches that help users with damaged network hardware restore their EEPROM. For the Linux 2.6.28 kernel
, Intel will push forward patches that clean up the network driver's use of
the hardware/software semaphore.