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Thread: Ethernet cable detection issues ("activation of network connection failed")

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    2

    Question Ethernet cable detection issues ("activation of network connection failed")

    Hello there,

    I have a Lenovo Thinkpad W530 which is dual-booting Windows 10 (fully updated) and Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS

    I am getting "Activation of network connection failed" notifications regularly while using Ubuntu and can't really figure out why, since networking works (almost) without issue.
    Hardware:
    Ethernet - Intel 82579LM Gigabit NIC
    WiFi - Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205

    I usually get the notification when I am connected via WiFi and it seems to be a problem with the Intel NIC.

    Scenario 1
    If I boot the laptop with the network cable unplugged, WiFi is connected and going to Settings -> Network shows "Wired - Connecting 10 Mb/s"
    When I plug in the cable, it shows "Wired - Connected 10 Mb/s" although I tested the network and it's actually connected at 1000 Mb/s
    If I close and reopen the Networking window, it correctly shows "Connected 1000 Mb/s"
    If I pull out the cable, it still shows "Connected 1000 Mb/s" although ping no longer works, and I have to manually disable the wired connection to get traffic to go through WiFi

    Scenario 2
    If I boot the laptop with the network cable plugged, it shows "Connected 1000 Mb/s" and I don't get the notification.
    If I pull out the cable now, it goes into "Connecting 1000 Mb/s" and switches over to WiFi, and I start getting the "Activation of network connection failed" notification every couple of minutes or so.
    After a while, the Wired connection turns off and I get a "permanent" notification (doesn't go away until I click it)
    If I plug in the cable after this, the "Wired" connection does not turn back on, although the status LEDs on the ethernet port light up and ifconfig shows flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST> albeit with no IP address (neither IPv4 DHCP address nor IPv6 link-local address). Packet counters do increase. If I turn it on manually, it comes back up normally (full speed, IP addresses etc.)
    After a while, it does seem to turn back on by itself, but it takes > 5 minutes to do so.

    Seems like the media detection (i.e. Windows' "Network cable unplugged") is not working correctly

    P.S.: Windows has hibernation disabled (and consequently fast startup is disabled as well)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Beans
    2

    Re: Ethernet cable detection issues ("activation of network connection failed")

    I also have an ancient Fujisu-Siemens Esprimo Mobile V5545 with a Realtek RTL8111 NIC running Xubuntu 18.04.2 in which the same cable gets detected when it's plugged/unplugged without issue (unplugging takes ~2 seconds to register)

    Also, I've tried booting the Thinkpad with a Ubuntu 18.04.2 Live USB pen drive, and the issue remains (cable is not plugged - connecting - connection failed - wired turns off)

    I've also tried booting with Ubuntu 18.10 from USB. When the cable is not plugged during boot, first time I tried, there was no "Wired" connection, second time it behaved exactly like 18.04.2. When the cable is plugged during boot, it connects and works correctly, although when I pull out the cable it remains "Connected" - does not detect that the cable has been unplugged
    Last edited by vladk2k2; 3 Days Ago at 06:50 AM. Reason: added ubuntu 18.04 and 18.10 live USB info

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Metro Boston
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    13,880
    Distro
    Kubuntu Development Release

    Re: Ethernet cable detection issues ("activation of network connection failed")

    If you just want the Ethernet connection to remain idle, find the option in the Network Configuration GUI to turn off the "automatically connect to this network" option for the Ethernet adapter.

    You don't really say what you want the configuration to be. You don't want to have both the wifi and Ethernet adapters connected to the same router as that can create routing problems and provides no performance improvement. But I can't tell from your description whether you want just Ethernet or just wifi. Disable the "automatically connect" option for the interface you want to remain idle.
    If you ask for help, do not abandon your request. Please have the courtesy to check for responses and thank the people who helped you.

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