The fix is in for the Intel ethernet chip that keeps dropping out

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Intel has a driver update for newly launched 700-series motherboards with 1226 ethernet controllers, which customers reported would randomly drop ethernet connection. This should hopefully offer a temporary fix for Raptor Lake motherboards as Intel continues to work on the issue. 

In January, we reported that a design flaw on the Intel ethernet 1226-V 2.5 Gbe controller would occasionally cause it to lose an ethernet connection for a few seconds. At the time, the only workaround was switching to wi-fi or installing a spare PCIe network card. 

Last month Intel posted on its community forum it had "reproduced the issue and is diligently working on a root cause and fix," but the post didn't really address the issue with the I226-V itself, which is the successor to its occasionally problematic I225 ethernet 2.5 GbE controller. 

If you have disconnection issues on a 700-series chipset with a 1226 ethernet controller, Intel suggests doing the following:

"For any of our customers experiencing this problem, a mitigation option to explore is to disable the “Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE)” mode in the Advanced Windows/ Linux driver setting."

The new driver update will disable EEE by default. However, Intel is still working to figure out a more permanent solution which could prove troublesome if it is an issue with the chip itself that can't be fixed on the software side. Benchlife reports that MSI has also released driver updates with Intel's latest networking chip on their motherboards, with other OEMs likely following soon. 

In the meantime, if you own a new 700-series chipset motherboard, you can check if you're experiencing these random drops by diving into your Windows Event Viewer and looking under "Windows Logs" then "System" and searching for "e2fnexpress" and see if and when your network link has been disconnected.


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Jorge Jimenez
Hardware writer, Human Pop-Tart

Jorge is a hardware writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, he's reviewing all sorts of gaming hardware, from laptops with the latest mobile GPUs to gaming chairs with built-in back massagers. He's been covering games and tech for over ten years and has written for Dualshockers, WCCFtech, Tom's Guide, and a bunch of other places on the world wide web.