Some coworkers came across an interesting problem with Dell OptiPlex 7010 desktops and there wasn’t much out there on the issue beyond a thread on Dell’s support forums. Apparently, one of the original drivers that shipped with the OptiPlex 790/7010/9010 and Latitude E6520/E6530 for the Intel network card can error out in quite an interesting way. Version 188.8.131.52 of the Intel E1C network controller driver was identified as the culprit in a Dell support article.
The problem could occur in a perfect set of circumstances when the system goes to S3 sleep or standby. The bug causes the NIC to start transmitting a sequence of 0’s to incrementing MAC addresses (starting at 00-00-00-00-00-00, 00-00-00-00-00-01, and so on). At one point, our network technician caught the problem with 3,500 MAC addresses in the logs and causing intermittent issues on the network.
If any of these affected systems (all are systems equipped with the Intel 82579 network interface controller (NIC), including the OptiPlex 790, 7010, 9010 and Latitude E6520/E6530 systems) go into sleep state, there is a high possibility that the NIC will start transmitting a sequence of 0’s across the network. If proper security/data storm control is not enabled, the data can propagate and possibly bring down a switch or an entire section of a network.
The problem has been isolated to version 184.108.40.206 of the Intel Net E1c62x64.INF and Intel Net E1c6232.INF drivers. The solution is to upgrade to version 220.127.116.11 or newer of the NIC driver to resolve the issue. The OptiPlex 7010 is currently listed at version 18.104.22.168 in a March 2014 driver update on Dell’s page for the OptiPlex 7010.
Now, just to come up with an automated means to inventory computers that match this driver version and push an updated driver to them.