Broadcom TOE, Dell, ISA 2004 and my headache….

A while back I posted about how Broadcom and it’s TOE system in the Dell PowerEdge 2900 stops ISA from functioning on Small Business Server 2003.

Well, since then I have installed a few more Dell servers, all with Intel cards and have had no problems.   However, once recent order managed to slip through the net and came with only the Broadcom Netextreme II card.

Researching the web, I found that people have tried removing the TOE connector that disabled this feature at a hardware level on the PowerEdge box.   They have also tried installing the Broadcom drivers, as well as the most recent Dell ones.  Some have even gone as far as to upgrading the firmware on the device.   I even tried the Scalable Networking Pack from Microsoft.  Nothing seems to work…  

What is worse is that if you call into Dell Technical support about this issue, they will not easily acknowledge that this is their issue.  In fact, just today I had to purchase the Intel replacement.  (I conceded with my account manager that this would be the easier and less stressful process).

This stuff needs to be easier.   But for the moment my recommendation is still to avoid the Broadcom solution.


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