I have 64-bit Official SuSE 10.0 (2.6.13-15-default) running on a File/Printer (Samba/Cups) server, an 64-bit Athlon 3500+. The box has been running well for about 6 months from new, but today has developed something of a show-stopper.

The on-board gigabit adapter appears to have died - red LEDs on the server, and no connection on the router - no amount of starting/re-starting the network services seems to revive it. A separate 100T card in a free PCI slot starts up fine, negotiates a connection and speed, and works fine, but - only for a minute. Then, the network services shutdown and refuse to start from the command line, such as with "rcnetwork restart", or with YaST tools. However, if I remove and immediately replace the network cable, the network is immediately available (no start up delay), and I can ping the router and addresses on the Internet, but (you guessed it) only for another sixty seconds, and so on. I can just see the SysAdmin's gofer sitting there at the patch panel pulling out hundreds of cables in strict order...

Weird eh? I have tested all the hardware side of things, different cables and a new port on the router. Neither the cable not the router is the problem: the problem occurs with a new cable, too, and the backup server is now running just fine on the same router. I have also shut down Samba and Cups daemons one at a time to see if they were causing the problem (for example, after updates to the packages). The problem remains whatever I do...

Does anyone have ANY idea what might be happening here? Is there some kind of timer that might be doing something weird (and automatic) that I do not know about?

Any help or thoughts welcome, as long as they are polite and helpful!

Gee