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MountainX
Token Ring
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎11-21-2013
Location: US
Views: 4,953
Message 1 of 9

Unreliable Ethernet via Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type-C

Is anyone else having trouble maintaining a wired network connection via the Thunderbolt 3 port?

 

I have a Yoga 370 with Thunderbolt 3 and a T470s with Thunderbolt 3. I also have a Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 dock. On both laptops, the Ethernet connection "goes to sleep" (even without any power management options enabled in my KDE System Settings GUI) after some time. I have even had it happen while in the middle of working and browsing the web.

 

The T470s also has an RJ45 jack. Ethernet is totally reliable through this port. The Yoga 370 has a proprietary mini Ethernet port. I have the Lenovo dongle and Ethernet is totally reliable through this port. I tested two other USB Type-C Ethernet adapters (Plugable brand) and both showed problems, similar to the Thunderbolt 3 dock.

 

The pattern is that Ethernet over this Thunderbolt 3 connector is unreliable with multiple ThinkPads and multiple docks/adapters. It is only Ethernet over The Thunderbolt 3 connector that has a problem. Other Ethernet ports do not have issues.

 

What I hope to understand next is whether is is a Linux issue or a hardware issue.

 

Now

MountainX
Token Ring
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎11-21-2013
Location: US
Views: 4,872
Message 2 of 9

Re: Unreliable Ethernet via Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type-C

Nobody else has a problem with Ethernet via the Thunderbolt 3 dock?

 

Here is how I am seeing (and reproducing) the issue:

 

I'm running Arch Linux on my ThinkPads. I have been performing the Thunderbolt 3 dock testing with both a T470s and a Yoga 370 running a fully updated Arch Linux install. Both laptops have the most recent BIOS updates from Lenovo. For these tests it does not matter if I boot up on the dock or dock after having logged in.

 

1. connect the supplied short Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 cable from back Thunderbolt port on the dock to the laptop.

2. verify that the laptop is receiving A/C power

3. verify that the laptop has Ethernet connectivity via the dock

4. verify that the laptop is not set to suspend or hibernate while on A/C power.

5. verify that all network operations are functioning normally. I usually run the 'ip address' command, run a speedtest, connect to a local NFS fileserver and mount shares.

6. leave everything as-is overnight. Don't suspend or hibernate. Don't log out, etc.

 

In the morning, the Ethernet connection will be non-functional. I have seen various degrees of non-functionality, but all are non-recoverable. Either the Ethernet hardware device has disappeared (typical) or (rarely) it is still there but is non-functional and cannot be made functional through commands such as `ip link set dev eth0 up` or `dhcpcd -k` or anything else I have tried.

 

Over the last two days with my T470s, the only way to recover has been to force shutdown the system. Upon reboot, everything is working again. However, this is not a problem related to the laptop itself. Both the T470s and the Yoga 370 function 100% normally when connected to the network through other devices.

 

For example, the T470s has an RJ45 Ethernet jack. When using this connection, there are no problems. On the Yoga 370 I have used both the Lenovo Ethernet dongle and a USB 3.0 (Type A) Ethernet adapter and both of those function without problems. However, I have also tried a USB-C to Ethernet adapter on the Yoga 370 which connects to the same Type-C port the Thunderbolt dock connects to. With this adapter, I see the same problem as wth the dock -- the Ethernet device becomes non-functional after some time.

 

With earlier BIOS versions I saw problems with external monitors connected via the Thunderbolt 3 dock. I'm not seeing that issue now. It is also interesting that the other dock functions (including external mice, keyboards and monitors) all continue working. It is only Ethernet that stops working.

 

That information leads me to believe that USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 Ethernet connections are powered off after some time and do not properly resume.

 

Can anyone else reproduce this?

 

Is it related to Linux in any way?

 

 

radiaator
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-12-2018
Location: EE
Views: 4,735
Message 3 of 9

Re: Unreliable Ethernet via Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type-C

I've got the exact same extremely frustrating issue. Happens definitely overnight + usually additionaly once or twice during the day as well even if I'm continously being active without any breaks. And have not managed to recover either without a reboot.

 

The setup:

I did not use to have this issue in April this year until some point this summer I think. My memory is hazy but I guess I've had this problem since the beginning of August or perhaps even a few weeks earlier. Does not seem to correlate with any kernel updates. If I remember correctly.

 

History of kernels with install dates:

linux-image-4.10.0-38-generic
linux-image-4.13.0-38-generic
linux-image-4.15.0-13-generic (2018-04-14)
linux-image-4.15.0-32-generic (2018-08-16)
linux-image-4.15.0-34-generic (2018-09-13)

I have not used the dock for the past couple of weeks because I just can't afford to waste time and nerves on these reboots anymore. But I will try to deal with this issue again at some point. Will keep you updated.

MountainX
Token Ring
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎11-21-2013
Location: US
Views: 4,717
Message 4 of 9

Re: Unreliable Ethernet via Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type-C


@radiaator wrote:

I've got the exact same extremely frustrating issue. Happens definitely overnight + usually additionaly once or twice during the day as well even if I'm continously being active without any breaks. And have not managed to recover either without a reboot.

 

The setup:

I did not use to have this issue in April this year until some point this summer I think. My memory is hazy but I guess I've had this problem since the beginning of August or perhaps even a few weeks earlier. Does not seem to correlate with any kernel updates. If I remember correctly.

 

History of kernels with install dates:

linux-image-4.10.0-38-generic
linux-image-4.13.0-38-generic
linux-image-4.15.0-13-generic (2018-04-14)
linux-image-4.15.0-32-generic (2018-08-16)
linux-image-4.15.0-34-generic (2018-09-13)

I have not used the dock for the past couple of weeks because I just can't afford to waste time and nerves on these reboots anymore. But I will try to deal with this issue again at some point. Will keep you updated.


My issue is resolved. The dock works well now. Lenovo serviced both the dock and my laptop under warranty. I also updated the firmware with the dock attached. No more problems!

radiaator
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-12-2018
Location: EE
Views: 4,539
Message 5 of 9

Re: Unreliable Ethernet via Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type-C

Thanks for the reply, great that you solved your problem! I didn't have that much luck unfortunately. Updated the dock firmware, didn't work. Got the unit replaced under warranty, didn't work either. Not sure how to proceed..

 

Did they replace your laptop under warranty as well?

MountainX
Token Ring
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎11-21-2013
Location: US
Views: 4,512
Message 6 of 9

Re: Unreliable Ethernet via Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type-C


@radiaator wrote:

Thanks for the reply, great that you solved your problem! I didn't have that much luck unfortunately. Updated the dock firmware, didn't work. Got the unit replaced under warranty, didn't work either. Not sure how to proceed..

 

Did they replace your laptop under warranty as well?


Yes, Lenovo had to replace the system board in the laptop (not the whole laptop). There were times when I felt exactly like you -- it seemed like nothing was going to work. I gave up a couple times. However, now that everything is working I'm really happy I persisted until we resolved it. The laptop and the dock are great. Lenovo's support was great overall. I could not be happier.

 

However, the process of arriving at a solution was bumpy. For example, even after the systemboard and the dock were both replaced, the dock did not initially work correctly. The tech who replaced the systemboard (my warranty is on-site) told me that the firmware was updated. I should have checked, but I took his word for it and when the dock still did not work correctly I was so frustrated that I didn't (at least for a couple days) do any further troubleshooting. I just gave up. Turns out the firmware with the new systemboard was not up to date, and I had to update the firmware again. Ultimately, with the new systemboard and firmware fully updated on the laptop and dock, everything is working great.

 

We have a 2nd Yoga 370 in the household now. On this one, all docking functions work great except charging. I think the systemboard will have to be replaced on this laptop too but I have not filed a warranty ticket yet. I am comfortable that Lenovo will make it right. I think Lenovo is the best major laptop manufacturer out there. The missteps along the way, instead of leaving a bad taste in my mouth, actually increased my confidence that Lenovo tries hard to resolve the issues.

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velrest
What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-16-2019
Location: CH
Views: 2,123
Message 7 of 9

Re: Unreliable Ethernet via Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type-C

Hi,

 

I have the exact same problem. Do you know if the latop board replacement was required or was it just a guess from lenovo?

Also how did you update the dock driver? I dont see it in the lvfs lists.

 

Do you know any specifics about what was wrong with the board? If i have to replace the board i would like to be able to tell lenovo what exactly is wrong since i want to minimize the absence of my laptop and spare them some trial and error work.

radiaator
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-12-2018
Location: EE
Views: 2,094
Message 8 of 9

Re: Unreliable Ethernet via Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type-C

We ended up returning the replacement dock as well. Unfortunately Lenovo has still not solved this issue Smiley Sad. A year has passed, no updates.

MountainX
Token Ring
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎11-21-2013
Location: US
Views: 841
Message 9 of 9

Re: Unreliable Ethernet via Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type-C


@velrest wrote:
Do you know if the latop board replacement was required?

Also how did you update the dock driver?


 

The systemboard replacement was required, according to Lenovo. However, that could have been a guess. I can't add any specifc details.

 

I have been doing firmware updates the old fashioned way. Here are my steps:

https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-P-and-W-Series-Mobile/Unable-to-update-w550s-BIOS-Linux/m-p/40...

 

If you update the bios while the laptop is connected to the dock, the dock firmware will also be updated. It's automatic. No extra step is required.

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