December 14, 2012

Not Claimed by Any Active Driver

Posted in Hardware Adventures, Zaurus Trials and Tribulations at 12:05 am by sdjf

Well, the bad news is that while my Startech USB to Ethernet Adapter 2016S has arrived, Ethernet is still not showing up in the Networking GUI when I plug the adapter in to my Tosa’s USB hub.

And, if I examine dmesg output, I see that it is “not claimed by any active driver.” No matter what I do, I am having trouble getting it to bind to a driver.

It also is heating up very, very quickly, making me wonder if it is a defective unit. The box it came in was not properly sealed and there was not anything in the box to keep the adapter from getting jostled around and damaged during shipping.

I called Startech, and confirmed that they always package their products very carefully to protect them from damage during shipping. So, my best guess is that Amazon got sloppy and sent me a returned unit as “new” without checking to see if the prior purchaser of the unit had repacked it as it was originally. Or, the other possibility is that something went wrong when the unit was getting packed at Startech and the packaging was not done properly.

Anyhow, back to the issue of getting the unit to function properly, silly me, I just assumed that if the adapter worked on Linux, it would work on my Tosa. I forgot that there has to be an appropriate driver, and that not all drivers are created equal. If the hardware talks a different language than the software is written to talk to, then it just plain and simply will not work.

Searching the net, I found a great thread at OESF where someone had put up a driver for the Realtek 8150 chipset USB Ethernet adapters, that works on the SL6000.

Searching further, I found a list of adapters that are supposed to be based on that chipset.

I randomly selected adapters from that list, and most were no longer available or very expensive. Then I thought I found a winner in the Trendnet USB to 10/100Mbps Adapter TU2-ET100. However, it is getting to look like the manufacturers change the chipsets over time that they use without changing product names or numbers. The last version of the Trendnet adapter used AX88772 chipset, and it is hard to say what version I am seeing liquidated at Amazon.

So, at this point, I probably will be returning the Startech 2106S and not getting a replacement adapter until I find one that I can be sure
will have a driver that will work on my Tosa.
If I can find a way to do what I need to do without running Ethernet, I may just completely forget trying to find Ethernet hardware for the Zaurus.


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