Computer with PCI express timing card hangs on reset

A certain type of message without a data payload after a long idle period such as a reboot (such as a power management enable signal) from a computer's PCI express controller to the Spectracom TSync-PCIe timing card can prevent the OS from booting up, or cause the card to 'disappear' from the OS
September 22, 2014
Affected Products: 
TSYNC
TSYNC-PCIe

Symptom: Upon reboot of a computer with a Spectracom PCI express timing card (model TSync-PCIe), the computer hangs or the PCI express device disappears.

Fix: Update the card firmware to version 2.2.3

Description: Firmware versions below 2.2.3 incorrectly processes a PCI express message without a data payload after a long idle period such as during a reboot. The problem was observed in new generation computers targeted for large data centers to minimize power consumption. While we associate the problem with the power management enable signal, the symptom could be a result of any ‘msg’ packet without data. These packets embedded with other traffic on the PCI express bus did not cause a problem.

The following model computers have experienced the problem. In all cases a firmware update to 2.2.3 fixed the issue. The following model computers had experienced the problem:

  • HP ProLiant DL380p(Gen8)
  • Dell R310, R720, R820, and PET320
  • SuperMicro X9SRW-F