• 10GbE adapter for PCIe 2.0 slot, Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

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    #2480772

    Greetings,

    I thought I found what I needed from StarTech.com :  model ST10GSPEXNB

    But, after several trials and as many errors, I was unable to fix this error:

    “Windows cannot verify the digital signature”

    That adapter works AOK in an HP Z220 workstation with Windows 10.

    So, the problem appears to be a faulty Windows 7 x64 device driver.

    Anybody have any ideas where to find a 10GbE adapter for Windows 7, PCIe 2.0 slot?

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    • #2480776

      I ran into the problem described in #2470380 when dealing with Win8.1, but it bit @Microfix with Win7. It may apply to your case, depending on the hardware.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2480780

        Here a summary description of the problem I am trying to solve:

        (1) HP workstation Windows 10 –> Sabrent 5GbE USB adapter –> QNAP 10G switch –> router –> 1G cable modem

        (2) ASUS motherboard Windows 7 x64 –> USB 3.0 add-in card –> Sabrent 5GbE USB adapter — QNAP 10G switch –> router –> 1G cable modem

        The cable modem is brand new, installed last Monday, to upgrade my Internet speed to 1G.

        (1) Spectrum Speed Test measured ~950 Mbps

        (2) Spectrum Speed Test measured ~350 Mbps

        The ONLY difference in the hardware is the USB 3.0 add-in card in the ASUS motherboard, a model P5Q Premium.  The other PCIe slots have a video card and 2 x RAID controllers.

        So, I thought I could increase (2) by installing a 10GbE adapter in an empty x16 PCIe 2.0 expansion slot.  That should eliminate any overhead attributable to the USB 3.0 add-in card.

        (2) talks just fine over the LAN in my home lab.

        So, the problem to be solved is the relatively slow Internet access on (2) above.

      • #2480781

        This is a very probable explanation:

        https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/standalone-installer-script-for-windows-7-esu-regardless-the-license/#post-2470380

        “It wouldn’t surprise me if this is how they are going to kill Vista/7/8.1 – making it impossible for vendors to install “legacy” drivers.

        “Implying no driver updates and the inability to reinstall any older drivers.”

        • #2480864

          My thoughts exactly, when I ran into this two months ago.

          But it may effect Win10 as well, if there is old hardware involved.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2480916

            As part of my testing, I removed that NIC from an HP Z220 SFF workstation, where the NIC installed AOK and has been running AOK.

            So, the device drivers on the vendor’s CD-ROM, supplied with the NIC, are working fine in a Windows 10 PC.

            Trying that NIC in a Windows 7 PC was my attempt to determine if an add-in card with 10GbE will access the Internet faster via the new 1G cable modem.

            That Windows 7 PC has an ASUS P5Q Premium that runs and runs and runs just fine (best purchase I have ever made), but its empty x16 slot is PCIe 2.0:

            x4 @5G = 20Gbps  (plenty of upstream bandwidth for a 10GbE AIC).

            As far as daily operations are concerned, I don’t use that Windows 7 PC as my primary workstation:  I have modified it over time to function as a LAN backup storage server, somewhat like a “common denominator”:  XP can network w/ Win7, and Win10 can network w/ Win7.

            Also, one finding surprised me:  a newer HP Z240 workstation is wired to the 1G branch of our LAN (see wiring topology above).  Using a 2.5GbE AIC, that Z240 still measures >500 Mbps downloads with Spectrum Speed Test.

            (Over time, my plan is to upgrade the LAN switches and cabling, so I can exploit a newer 10GbE AIC in that Z240.)

            As such, my surviving hypothesis is that our USB 3.0 add-in card is simply adding a measurable amount of overhead when running Spectrum Speed Test.

            MANY THANKS FOR *ALL* YOUR HELP!!

        • #2480867

          Windows 7 ultimate move to windows 10 pro seems the only option.

          no cert driver signing, no play, game over!

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2480917

            Yes, I thought of that already.

            I do have a new OEM disc of Windows 10 Pro x64 (never installed), but migrating all software is MUCH MORE time-consuming than simply plugging an x4 AIC into an empty PCIe slot.

            The StarTech ST10GSPEXNB NIC works fine in a Windows 10 PC (see above):

            https://www.startech.com/en-us/networking-io/st10gspexnb

            Compatibility:  Windows® 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11

    • #2480849

      The easiest way is to check the catalogue file itself. Open the .cat file included with the driver and go to the Security Catalogue tab, click any tag and scroll down in the Entry details box below it. OSAttr will show the Windows versions that the driver is signed for, note that this is the kernel version so Windows 7 would show up as 6.1 for example. It’s probably 10 only.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2480909

        Re:  “probably 10 only.”

        Yes, that same NIC installs AOK the first time in an HP Z220 SFF workstation w/ Win10.

         

        Re: “open the .cat file included with the driver”

        I’ve never done that before.  How to do?

        Here’s a list of the NIC’s driver files after being extracted from the vendor’s .zip download,

        written with DIR >log.txt in Command Prompt:

        Directory of E:\StarTech.ST10GSPEXNB\driver\Previous Driver Version

        09/22/2022 07:36 AM <DIR> .
        09/22/2022 07:36 AM <DIR> ..
        02/07/2017 10:39 AM 490 Readme.txt
        07/14/2018 12:44 AM 12,545 TN40xxmp.cat
        07/09/2018 01:09 AM 38,015 TN40xxmp_.inf
        07/14/2018 12:44 AM 1,084,744 TN40xxmp_32.sys
        07/14/2018 12:44 AM 1,096,008 TN40xxmp_64.sys

         

        I would like to learn how to do what you recommend.

        May I impose upon you for a little instruction, please?

        • #2481038

          Looks like you got sorted but for reference.

          The file you highlighted in bold is the correct one. You just double-click it and follow the steps. Should see something like the screenshot attached. The driver I used here was an NVidia display driver supporting Windows 10 only, but if it supported other versions they’d been shown here too.

          • #2481050

            I tried gpedit.msc and at “Code Signing for Device Drivers”

            Windows 7 Ultimate x64 says:

            Supported on:  Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 OS ONLY.

    • #2480894

      You need to disable Driver Signature enforcement in Group Policy.

      Open Group Policy and goto User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System > Driver Installation.

      In the right-hand panel select Code Signing for Device Drivers and click policy setting.

      Select Enabled and set the drop-down to Ignore.

      Click OK to apply the setting and reboot your PC.

      You should now be able to install the “unsigned” driver.

      FYI, the same Group Policy also applies for Win10 but requires the following “additional” steps to actual install the unsigned driver after you’ve set it.

      Boot into recovery mode, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Start-up Settings > Restart and then select Disable driver signature enforcement (press 7 or F7.)

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2480914

        Yes, you can install the driver that way.
        But Group Policy is not available for Home Edition.
        And, the caveat is that it leaves the computer exposed with an insecure setting.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2480979

          But Group Policy is not available for Home Edition.

          Windows 7 Ultimate does not have Group Policy?  I thought 7 Ultimate had everything.

          Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2480980

            Windows 7 Home and Windows 7 Ultimate are/were not the same.

            There was also a Windows 7 Professional version.

            • #2480981

              Windows 7 Ultimate is what’s mentioned in the name of this topic.  So it would seem that’s what version you were referring to.

              Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2480985

              The explanation above seems (to me, at least) to be the leading theory: MS is disabling device drivers as a way to “motivate” PC Users AWAY from Windows 7 entirely.

              I had an almost identical experience this past year, evaluating 2.5GbE USB 3.0 “dongles”:  vendor websites almost always listed compatibility with XP, but their downloaded drivers NEVER WORKED!

              They’re all in spare parts now, because we found the Sabrent 5GbE dongle w/ Aquantia controller to be much more reliable with our USB 3.0 ports — either integrated at rear I/O panel, or PCIe x1 add-in cards.

              So, here we are, trying to install a 10GbE add-in card in an available PCIe 2.0 x16 expansion slot, and Windows 7 does detect that device i.e. it shows up in Device Manager with a yellow bang sign (“!”).

              If you haven’t see the error messages, I’ll attach them again.cannot.verify.digital.signature.Paul15
              failed.error_.message.Paul15

               

            • #2480992

              I’m referring to the reply #2480894 from alejr which describes a work around using Group Policy.  PKCano replied to it saying it would leave the driver vulnerable.

              Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2480997

              without reaching one desirable goal (faster downloads w/ Spectrum Speed Test), disabling signature enforcement MIGHT result in installing the stock device driver;

              BUT, then the Speed Test still needs to be run, to confirm that all this tweaking was worthwhile

              if not worthwhile, another general option is to upgrade that Windows 7 PC to Windows 10 (as advised above).

              with Windows 10 installed on an older HP workstation, the Sabrent 5GbE dongle is plugged into an integrated USB 3.0 port on the rear I/O panel, and its RJ-45 port+cable is connected directly to a 10G port on a QNAP switch via CAT-6 cabling.

              while the Spectrum installer was here, we both witnessed the first Speed Test report a download speed of ~950 Mbps

              And, that was our very first test — no tweaking or tuning whatsoever!

              I told him I was truly THRILLED!  We were both very happy, and I commended his A+ service to his retail office staff.

      • #2480925

        Many thanks:  I would try your solution, but after trials-and-errors AND the wrong advice from the vendor’s CHAT Tech Support, I removed that StarTech NIC and reverted to the 5GbE USB 3.0 adapter that has been working AOK with Windows 7 Ultimate x64.

        I’ll archive your solution, in case I need to try it at some point in the future.

        Meanwhile, StarTech NIC is re-installed in an HP Z220 SFF workstation, running Win10 x64, where it functions correctly.

         

        Also, my shopping yesterday found the following similar NICs,

        and I’m waiting for answers to my requests for pre-sales Tech Support:

        Trendnet model TEG-10GECTX

        https://www.trendnet.com/products/pcie-adapters/TEG-10GECTX

        StarTech model ST10000SPEXI

        https://www.startech.com/en-us/networking-io/st10000spexi

        TP-Link model TX401

        https://www.tp-link.com/au/home-networking/pci-adapter/tx401/

        ASUS model XG-C100C

        https://www.asus.com/Networking-IoT-Servers/Wired-Networking/All-series/XG-C100C/

        ASUS model ROG AREION

        (can’t find a product page at the ASUS website)

        https://www.newegg.com/asus-areion-10g/p/14U-005F-000T7?Description=asus%20ROG%20AREION&cm_re=asus_ROG%20AREION-_-14U-005F-000T7-_-Product

        And, at eBay and Newegg, there are several “also rans” but I don’t recognize the vendors;  I much prefer name brands like ASUS.

        Also, our Win7 PC has an ASUS P5Q Premium motherboard, so chances are better that ASUS will reply with a correct answer re: model XG-C100C .

      • #2480933

        Re:  “Boot into recovery mode, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Start-up Settings > Restart and then select Disable driver signature enforcement (press 7 or F7.)”

        See also:
        The problem about this method is you have to do that every time you boot up Windows and if you forget to select this option, you won’t get to load the unsigned drivers and the software that needs the driver won’t work.
        • #2480996

          The problem about this method is you have to do that every time you boot up Windows and if you forget to select this option, you won’t get to load the unsigned drivers and the software that needs the driver won’t work.

          Not true, you only need to do it once per driver!

          Once the unsigned driver is installed and working, Windows will not disable it during subsequent reboots and/or updates (BTDT for various different drivers on both Win 7 Pro and Win10 Pro.)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2480999

            I may still choose to purchase a second StarTech ST10GSPEXNB.

            can I launch the following sequence with gpedit.msc ?

            [REPEATING FROM ABOVE]

            disable Driver Signature enforcement in Group Policy.

            Open Group Policy and go to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System > Driver Installation.

            In the right-hand panel select Code Signing for Device Drivers and click policy setting.

            Select Enabled and set the drop-down to Ignore.

            Click OK to apply the setting and reboot your PC.

            You should now be able to install the “unsigned” driver.

            [END QUOTE]

            I presume restoring default settings requires reversing “Ignore“, yes?

            • #2481001

              like this?

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn6VxHoY58g

              this next one is clearer and in English:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhkCBWazUl8

              p.s.  I apologize to everyone here for my ignorance of these internal details.

              I’m learning a LOT, thanks to everyone — MUCH APPRECIATED!!

            • #2481262

              I presume restoring default settings requires reversing “Ignore“, yes?

              Actually, to restore the “default” setting, you need to change the state from Enabled to Not Configured.

              You could also leave it Enabled and change “Ignore” to “Warn” which will cause a popup notification like this whenever you try to install an “unsigned” driver

              Which allows you to decide whether you really want to install it or not.

              BTW, that’s how I have it set for my PC but, unlike Win7, for Win10 the popup only appears if I use the Recovery Mode method I mentioned above to install an unsigned driver.

              If I try to install it without going the Recovery Mode route, there’s no warning or any other sort of notification, the driver simply doesn’t get installed!

              Also, as I also indicated above, once a driver is successfully installed and working, Windows will load and use it regardless of whether it’s signed or not (i.e signature enforcement only happens during the installation process.)

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2481279

              gpedit.msc in my version of Windows 7 Ultimate x64 shows this list of OS “supported on”:

              gpedit.supported.on_.1

            • #2481282

              Also, if you read all of the text, the last line says:

              “click the Driver Signing Button”

              That “button” does NOT show up when I follow those directions!!

              (It was a rough day yesterday  🙂

            • #2481292

              see text inside green rectangle:

              our version of Windows 7 Ultimate x64 does not support this sequence:

              gpedit.supported.on_.2

          • #2481003

            after successfully installing an UNSIGNED driver,

            do I launch gpedit.msc again to change the settings back to defaults?

            this video does not answer that question:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhkCBWazUl8

             

            • #2481270

              do I launch gpedit.msc again to change the settings back to defaults?

              Personally, I left it set as indicated in my post #2481262 in case I need to install other “unsigned” drivers.

              Win10 always uses signature enforcement when installing drivers unless you take the Recovery Mode detour, so leaving it set that way isn’t really a problem.

              Win7 only gives the warning if a driver is unsigned which “should” mean it also uses signature enforcement when installing other drivers, so leaving it set that way also shouldn’t be a problem.

              BTW, having it set to give the warning popup is a good way of ensuring “unsigned” drivers don’t sneak onto your PC without your specific approval.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2480993

        dumb question / thinking out loud:

        it would be nice if it were possible to

        DISABLE DRIVER SIGNATURE ENFORCEMENT

        on a driver-by-driver basis, YES?

        In other words, tell Windows to exempt a particular device driver from that test.

        such an option in the OS would

        ENABLE DRIVER SIGNATURE ENFORCEMENT

        for all other device drivers which already pass that one test

         

    • #2481058

      Windows 7 Ultimate x64 makes reference to a “Driver Signing Button” under the Hardware tab in My Computer > Properties

      I can’t find “Driver Signing Button” anywhere that discusses how to access it or where to find it.

      (I’m glad I’m bald now, or whatever hair I still had would be LONG GONE after today!)

      p.s.  repeating:  I tried the recommended procedure with gpedit.msc

      BUT it too FAILED!!

      • #2481301

        see text inside green rectangle

        see also second paragraph:

        “Users can use System in Control Panel to select a more secure setting”

        gpedit.supported.on_.2-1

    • #2481076

      TN9710P controller manufacturer has gone out of business:

      https://github.com/acooks/tn40xx-driver/issues/20

    • #2481116

      moving on now by leaving the Tehuti TN4010 controller far behind;

      our Sabrent NT-SS5G 5GbE USB 3.0 adapter is working great with Windows 7 ;

      it has an Aquantia controller, now acquired by Marvell.

      Syba, Gigabyte and ASUS all sell a 10GbE PCIe adapter that uses the same Aquantia controller,

      I believe it’s a model AQC-107 or AQC107.

      So, I’ll wait to hear back from ASUS Tech Support: they should be able to confirm whether or not they provide a signed Windows 7 x64 device driver for that adapter and controller.

      Very LONG day today:  I do appreciate all of the help you all offered:

      I learned a lot too  🙂

       

      • #2481123

        Re: ASUS 10GbE adapter model

        XG-C100C
        (see above)

        controller is AQC-107 (formerly Aquantia, acquired by Marvell)

        Here’s what I get after extracting the correct .zip driver file:

        Directory of E:\marvell\AQN-107\driver\20211220_Marvell_AQtion_Win-64_3.1.6\Marvell_AQtion_x64_Win_ver3.1.6.0

        09/22/2022 07:43 PM <DIR> .
        09/22/2022 07:43 PM <DIR> ..
        09/22/2022 07:27 PM <DIR> win10
        09/22/2022 07:27 PM <DIR> win11
        09/22/2022 07:27 PM <DIR> win8
        09/22/2022 07:27 PM <DIR> win8.1

        NO folder for any Win7 driver(s), however!

        I’m starting to feel like a baseball batter

        who strikes out every time at the plate.

    • #2481179

      So, I thought I could increase (2) by installing a 10GbE adapter

      This will not fix the issue.
      A 1Gb card will happily download at 950Mbps if everything else is running at full speed.

      Your 5Gb card is not running at full speed, probably because the USB adapter is slow. You need to test it on the LAN to find out what speed it will run before testing the internet.
      LAN speed test software

      Also, what do you think you need to download from the internet faster than 350Mb on that PC? (That’s about 11 seconds for a Windows image.)

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2481242

        >  the USB adapter is slow

        That is my diagnosis too.

         

        >  what do you think you need to download from the internet faster than 350Mb on that PC?

        I can see you are more pragmatic than I.

        (Also, I find myself in a smaller and smaller group of people who value the scientific method e.g. it is not being taught in public schools now.)

        “That PC” is not my regular workstation;  and, my regular workstation measured ~950 Mbps with the very first Spectrum Speed Test — no tuning or other “tweaking”.

        For example, if I want or need to “block” download a large set of sub-folders in our website, a download speed that is 3 TIMES faster is preferable;  but, not absolutely necessary.

        Since I am paying extra now for 1G Internet, as compared to what I was paying for slower ~100 Mbps Internet, I was expecting this home lab hardware to demonstrate a Spectrum download Speed Test closer to 1G LAN speed.

        So, for me it’s more of a question of what I am getting for what I am paying.

        Spectrum’s “Ultra” Internet service is rated at 500 Mbps, and it’s somewhat cheaper.

        Also, there’s a scientist in me who simply “wants to know” what’s going on, and to seek and find a better explanation for why my expectation was not realized.

        I must have been lucky with the Sabrent 5GbE USB to Ethernet adapters (model NT-SS5G), because they came with drivers that installed AOK on Windows 7 PCs:

        https://www.newegg.com/p/0XP-008X-00013?Item=9SIAKVHD9S6531

        And, compared to other “also rans”, that Sabrent NT-SS5G is made with an excellent aluminum housing the dissipates heat very well.

         

        Aquantia was acquired by Marvell, but their documentation continues to mention “Windows 7” as one of several OS that the Aquantia AQN107 controller is compatible with (see attached .pdf documentation):

        cf. Windows 10, 8.1, 8.0, and 7 (32-Bit/64-Bit)

         

        MANY THANKS, Paul, for your valuable insights and excellent question.

        • #2481244

          p.s.  you probably did NOT notice this text at Newegg:

          https://www.newegg.com/p/0XP-008X-00013?Item=9SIAKVHD9S6531

          System requirements: • Windows XP or higher. • Mac OS 10. 4 or higher. • Linux 2. 4 or higher.

           

          That NT-SS5G definitely does NOT install on Windows XP PCs (BTDT!!)

          This is one aspect of the overall problem I am trying to troubleshoot:

          incorrect advertising and product specifications at retail sales websites.

      • #2481263

        Many MANY thanks for the link to “LAN Speed Test” (I LUV useful tools like that!)

        here’s my first measurement:

        both PCs have Sabrent 5GbE USB dongles,

        but the target PC also has a USB 3.0 add-in card (no integrated USB 3.0 ports):

        test was run from an HP workstation with integrated USB 3.0 port + Windows 10 x64:

        Paul27.to_.Paul15.1

        • #2481272

          second “LAN Speed Test” changed target NIC

          to an integrated 1G NIC hard-wired to our 1G router

          (Sabrent 5GbE dongle is bypassed on target PC):

          path to target is now:

          HP workstation integrated USB 3.0 port –> Sabrent 5GbE dongle –> 10G port on QNAP switch –> 2.5G port on QNAP switch –> 1G router –> integrated 1G NIC on target PC

          Paul27.to_.Paul15.2

    • #2481260

      Try Amazon… and people answer questions.

      Carpe Diem {with backup and coffee}
      offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
      online▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.521 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0b4 MicrosoftDefender
      online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.608 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox106.0b7 MicrosoftDefender
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2481306

      Your motherboard seems to have a Marvel Yukon 1Gb adapter that has W7 drivers. Try that adapter in your LAN test and see what you get without the USB adapter in the way.

      cheers, Paul

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2481307

        Yes, I already did that “LAN Speed Test” both ways.

        See 2 x screen shots

        2 of 2 removed the Sabrent USB dongle on Win7 from the test, and reverted to the 1G NIC on the target Windows 7 PC.

        My HP workstation still has a 5GbE USB 3.0 dongle wired directly to the QNAP 10G switch.

        (I believe I also added a similar “bypass” CAT-6 cable on the latter, for troubleshooting, but that path is a more complex “cascade” across older Linksys 1G switches which terminate at the 1G router and bypass the QNAP 10G switch entirely.)

        That QNAP switch locks up on occasion, and these “bypass” Ethernet cables provide a method of troubleshooting which bypasses that switch and permits a LAN client to access the router via a different path to the cable modem.

      • #2481308

        Bottom Line:  USB 3.0 adapter + 5GbE USB dongle is somewhat faster than older 1G NIC

        USB 3.0 clocks @ 5G  (some sources say 4.8 Gbps)

        1G integrated NIC clocks at 1G

    • #2481313

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVfbqYscr6w&t=58s

      10GbE Low Cost Network Card Mini Shootout

      16,644 views May 19, 2019

      A short comparison between different 10Gbe cards and how they perform.

    • #2481359

      found this:

      https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/security/en-US/74b60544-cf46-4621-8724-58ae2a592f94/windows-7-ultimate-driver-signature-not-working?forum=w7itprohardware

      Follow these steps:

      1. Open a command prompt with Administrative privileges and type this command:

      bcdedit /set nointegritychecks ON

      2. Restart your computer

      3. Install the unsigned driver.

      • #2481370
        • #2481371

          “LAN Speed Test” 3 bypasses 5GbE USB 3.0 dongle and

          connects to StarTech ST10GSPEXNB on Win7 Ultimate x64 @ 10G:

          lights on QNAP switch confirm 10G speed on 10G port 1 of 2 on that switch:

          Paul27.to_.Paul15.3

          • #2481380

            numerical details for “LAN Speed Test” 3 above:

            Paul27.to_.Paul15.4

            • #2481383

              “LAN Speed Test” details:

              Date: 2022-09-23 11:33:20
              Version: 4.4.0
              Serial Number: (Lite)
              Operating System: Windows 10 Build 18363
              Computer Name: DESKTOP-KSPU6U0
              Window ScaleFactor: 1
              Network Cards: 1
              HP Timers: 0 = 0.00 1 = 0.02 10 = 12.13 100 = 100.27
              CommandLine:
              App Location: C:\Program Files (x86)\LAN Speed Test v4\LAN_SpeedTest.exe
              PrefsFolder: C:\Users\supre\AppData\Roaming\Totusoft\LAN_SpeedTest\
              PrefsFile: C:\Users\supre\AppData\Roaming\Totusoft\LAN_SpeedTest\LSTx_Settings.ini
              LogFolder: C:\Users\supre\AppData\Roaming\Totusoft\LAN_SpeedTest\
              LogFile: C:\Users\supre\AppData\Roaming\Totusoft\LAN_SpeedTest\LSTx_Log.csv

              Date: 2022-09-23 11:33:24
              Folder or Server IP: T:\TotuSoft
              Packet Size: 1 MB to 1 MB
              Packet Size Avg: 1,000,000 Bytes
              Packets: 1
              Total Test Time: 0.5327268 sec
              Throughput: Average
              Write: 0.0304 (263,090,391)
              Read: 0.0103 (774,068,699)
              Write Speed: 263.09 Mbps
              Read Speed: 774.07 Mbps
              Write Cache: Enabled
              Read Cache: Disabled
              Status: Finished…

              Date: 2022-09-23 11:33:36
              Folder or Server IP: T:\TotuSoft
              Packet Size: 1 MB to 1 MB
              Packet Size Avg: 1,000,000 Bytes
              Packets: 1
              Total Test Time: 0.5193302 sec
              Throughput: Average
              Write: 0.0288 (277,329,044)
              Read: 0.0094 (855,038,851)
              Write Speed: 277.33 Mbps
              Read Speed: 855.04 Mbps
              Write Cache: Enabled
              Read Cache: Disabled
              Status: Finished…

            • #2481393

              2 simple Windows BATCH files:

              rem dobcd.1.bat
              bcdedit /set nointegritychecks ON

              rem dobcd.2.bat
              bcdedit /set nointegritychecks OFF

               

              Further details:  see Method 1 here:

              https://www.trishtech.com/2011/05/installing-unsigned-drivers-in-windows-7/

    • #2481498

      The integrated 1Gb card is 600/260Mb and the 10Gb is 850/280.
      Seems to me like you have gained very little, certainly less than I would be happy with given the complexity of the new setup. 🙂

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2481580

        Indeed!

        I also changed a longer CAT-5e cable to a newer/shorter CAT-6 cable, but that change made no difference.

        Here’s what’s odd and still dogging me:

        Spectrum Speed Test is reporting ~950 Mbps EVEN WITH a Sabrent 5GbE USB 3.0 dongle wired to an integrated USB 3.0 port.  Of course, I made sure to SET the link speed in Windows 10 Network Connections to 5G instead of AUTO.

        That dongle is wired to an integrated USB 3.0 port on an HP Windows 10 x64 workstation, and to a 10G port on a QNAP switch.  Both the switch indicator light and Windows 10 Network Connections confirm a 5G connection.

        Spectrum Speed Test is STILL reporting ~300 Mbps EVEN WITHOUT a Sabrent dongle and EVEN WITH a 10G NIC and Windows 7 x64 driver wired to a 10G port on the QNAP switch.  Both the switch indicator light and Windows 7 Network Connections confirm a 10G connection.

        To further isolate the overhead, I do remember trying the StarTech 10G NIC in an HP Z220 workstation running Windows 10 x64, and Spectrum Speed Test measured ~700 Mbps even with a very long CAT-6 cable wired to a QNAP 10G port.

        The latter test used a PCIe 2.0 expansion slot, to maintain an apples-to-apples comparison.

        At present, my theory reduced to 3 suspects:

        either

        the difference now is due to different Operating Systems (where exactly, I still can’t say), most probably in the device drivers

        or

        the difference is due to an ISP policy that detects and “throttles” download speed when a WAN client is running Windows 7

        or

        the difference is due to a very inefficient driver for the Tehuti controller in the StarTech ST10GSPEXNB x4 NIC:

        https://www.startech.com/en-us/networking-io/st10gspexnb

         

        Now for some potentially good news:  browsing StarTech’s website yesterday, I noticed a new x2 PCIe 3.0 network adapter that uses a newer Marvell controller instead (formerly Aquantia brand).  Here’s that product web page (so new, I can’t find any retailers just yet):

        https://www.startech.com/en-us/networking-io/st10gspexnb2

        Marvell AQC113CS

        Marvell acquired Aquantia recently.

        The latter controller would be a good NIC to try in our HP Z240 workstation (still in development here):  all of its expansion slots are PCIe 3.0.

        One of the x16 expansion slots in the HP Z220 is also PCIe 3.0, so I’ll try that new NIC in both workstations, next payday.

        Z220:

        PCIe2 x16 (4)   <— means x4 lanes in chipset

        PCIe3 x16

         

        THANKS for hanging in there with me!

      • #2481599

        latest “LAN Speed Test” measured LAN speed over 1 x CAT-6 cable and 1 x CAT-5e cable:

        thus, the cabling topology of that test was relatively simple:  2 x RJ45 cables as follows:

        (1) 10G port 1 of 2 on QNAP switch –> StarTech 10G NIC in Windows 7 PC

        (2) 10G port 2 of 2 on QNAP switch –> Sabrent 5GbE USB 3.0 dongle –> integrated USB 3.0 port in Windows 10 PC

        This test did NOT access the Internet at all;  in fact, it didn’t even need to access the router at all!

        SO, WHERE’S ALL THE OVERHEAD???

         

        • #2481602

          just to be absolutely sure I have not erred somewhere, I triple-checked all of the cable connections:

          QNAP 10G port 1 of 2 is wired to StarTech 10G NIC on Windows 7 PC

          QNAP 10G port 2 of 2 is wired to Sabrent 5GbE USB 3.0 dongle, which is wired to integrated USB 3.0 port on Windows 10 PC

          “LAN Speed Test” STILL measures only ~950 Mbps !!!

          Paul27.to_.Paul15.5

          • #2481605

            what COULD be happening is something like this:

            Despite being rated at 10G, 2 x QNAP ports are relatively dumb:

            they MUST need to poll the router where routing tables are located

            if that is happening, THEN the QNAP switch must talk to the router via a 2.5G port on that switch;  HOWEVER, the router’s ports are all 1G !!

            accordingly, the QNAP’s 2.5G port is down-clocked to 1G, in order to communicate via the router’s 1G downlink

            WHAT SHOULD BE HAPPENING is a direct connection over 2 x 10G QNAP ports withOUT needing to poll the router at all:  “this packet came from port 1 and goes to port 2 / next packet please”

            BOTTOM LINE:  “LAN Speed Test” is correctly measuring 1G minus normal overhead.  This result is either a “feature” or a bug in the QNAP unmanaged switch’s firmware.

            • #2481606

              (1) read next packet from input port

              (2) poll router’s routing table

              (3) write packet to correct output port

              (4) GOTO (1)

               

              The above sequence FORCES a 10G switch to access a router’s routing table at a significantly reduced rate of 1G, because all ports on the router are rated at 1G.

              The router’s routing table must be accessed FOR EVERY PACKET read and written by the 10G switch.

              That’s either a “feature” or a firmware bug in our 10G QNAP switch.

              WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!

    • #2481581

      HP Z220 SFF PCIe expansion slots:

      Z220.PCIe_.expansion.slots_

    • #2481587

      HP Z240 Tower PCIe expansion slots:

      HP.Z240.Tower_.PCIe_.expansion.slots_

      the socket inside green rectangle is a real sweet option:

      it supports a standard x4 M.2 NVMe SSD, which is a great place to host an OS

      the PC experts at https://pcserverandparts.com/ will pre-load Windows 10 to that drive, before shipping = VERY NICE!!  This requires ordering a “custom configuration” from them.

       

    • #2481593

      https://pcserverandparts.com/workstations/hp-workstations/hp-z240-workstation/

      When the retail cost of Windows 10 OEM is subtracted from these refurbished prices, the core hardware is almost free i.e. chassis, motherboard, PSU, internal cabling etc.

      The Z240 supports up to 64GB of DDR4.

      It’s super EZ to add 2 x 3.5″ HDD and/or 1 x 2.5″ SSD in empty internal drive bays.

      Plus, the PCIe 3.0 expansion slots also support M.2 adapters for NVMe SSDs.

      Lastly, the PCIe 3.0 x16 expansion slot #18 should accommodate a slick NVMe RAID card like the Highpoint RocketRAID models SSD7103 and SSD6202.

      https://www.newegg.com/highpoint-ssd6202-pci-express/p/N82E16816115318?Description=highpoint%20SSD6202&cm_re=highpoint_SSD6202-_-16-115-318-_-Product&quicklink=true

      https://www.newegg.com/highpoint-ssd7103/p/N82E16816115298

      We have the SSD7103 hosting Windows 10 in an HP Z220 Tower workstation: no need for a ramdisk in that PC because the RAID-0 array exceeds 11,000 MB/second!

    • #2481627

      next “LAN Speed Test” targets a different Windows 10 workstation, an HP Z220 Tower with 2.5GbE Realtec NIC in x1 PCIe 2.o expansion slot;

      NTFS file system is a RAID-0 on Highpoint SSD7103 in PCIe 3.0 x16 expansion slot;

      “LAN Speed Test” was changed to READ and WRITE a 1GB file:

      Paul27.to_.Paul28.2

      Paul27.to_.Paul28.3

       

      • #2481631

        so, this test appears to DISPROVE my theory about polling the router

        the READ speed is just short of 2.0 Gbps, which appears to reflect the ceiling imposed by a Realtec 2.5GbE controller operating in an x1 PCIe 2.0 expansion slot with Windows 10

        time and funds permitting, that HP Z220 Tower has other PCIe 2.0 expansion slots in which to install that same StarTech ST10GSPEXNB x4 NIC

        (So, I may take a rest from this thread, until I can afford to purchase another of the latter.)

        theory now shifts to an inefficient Windows 7 device driver supplied with the ST10GSPEXNB.

    • #2481648

      more good news:

      Spectrum Speed Test w/ HP Z220 Tower workstation, Windows 10 x64 and 2.5GbE NIC with Realtec controller in x1 PCIe 2.0 slot, cabled to 2.5G switch ports:

      Spectrum.Speed_.Test_.Paul28.1

    • #2481834

      At present, my theory reduced to 3 suspects: either the difference now is due to different Operating Systems (where exactly, I still can’t say), most probably in the device drivers or the difference is due to an ISP policy that detects and “throttles” download speed when a WAN client is running Windows 7 or the difference is due to a very inefficient driver for the Tehuti controller in the StarTech ST10GSPEXNB x4 NIC:

      When you run the speed tests, have a Task Manager window open and monitor CPU/disk/Network activity. You’ll probably find a CPU bottleneck.

      ISPs don’t throttle per Window version because they can’t reliably know what the OS is. The only way to know machine details is from a browser session and if it’s https then the ISP can’t read it anyway.

      It also can’t be the switch contacting the ISP – that’s not how networks/switches work. Once a switch knows what IP maps to what MAC then all traffic is sent to the correct port without intervention.

      Have you managed to get a NIC into the PCIe port of the slow machine, instead of the USB3 adapter?

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2481913

        Spectrum Speed Test / Windows 7 Ultimate x64 / Intel Q9550 CPU overclocked to 3.4GHz

        StarTech ST10GSPEXNB 10GbE adapter installed with drivers supplied on CD-ROM

        latter adapter is cabled directly to QNAP 10G switch w/ CAT-6 cable

        switch is cabled directly to Cisco router w/ CAT-5e cable

        router is cabled directly to brand new 1G Spectrum cable modem

        see full screen shot:

        that’s a LOT of overhead for an overclocked 4-core Intel Q9550

        (400 MHz clock x 8.5 multiplier / max SpeedStep)!

        Spectrum.Speed_.Test_.Q9550.Win7_.Ultimate.x64

        • #2481932

          in Windows Task Manager, the first core (on the left) appears to be running FLAT OUT!!

          BIG UGH!

          This may partially explain why the controller manufacturer went out of business  🙂

      • #2481920

        >   have a Task Manager window open and monitor CPU/disk/Network activity.

        >  You’ll probably find a CPU bottleneck.

         

        I THINK YOU NAILED THE OVERHEAD!

        75% of a 4-core 3.4GHz Intel Q9550 CPU

        nothing else running

        many MANY thanks for ALL your patience and skill

      • #2481929

        One other thought occurred to me this morning:  chipset overhead

        the ASUS P5Q Premium has 4 PCIe x16 expansion slots,

        but the chipset does not assign x16 lanes to all 4 slots.

        The StarTech NIC is installed in the first black x16 slot

        designated “PCIe x16_2”  and the chipset assigns max x4 links

        which matches the x4 edge connector on the NIC:

        PCIe.2.0.expansion.slots_

         

      • #2481944

        >  The only way to know machine details is from a browser session

        Spectrum Speed Test must be run from a browser e.g. Firefox:

        https://www.spectrum.com/internet/speed-test

        BUT, as you say:

        if it’s https then the ISP can’t read it anyway

         

    • #2481910

      My apologies for posting an off-topic REPLY here.

      Many MANY thanks for your patience and willingness to pursue this bug.

       

      >  Have you managed to get a NIC into the PCIe port of the slow machine, instead of the USB3 adapter?

      Yes, that required a search for the tweak that disabled signature enforcement during driver installation.

      Your latest advice is very valuable, in part because the StarTech 10G NIC is now working;

      but I’ve also learned that the company that designed it and wrote the driver for it has gone out of business.

      StarTech now advertises a newer version that uses a Marvell/Aquantia controller after Marvell acquired Aquantia.

      Newer version w/ Marvell chip is model # ST10GSPEXNB2 :

      x2 PCIe 3.0 6-speed up to 10GbE

       

      I finally found a sequence that allows the StarTech device driver to be installed without any errors, using the BCDEDIT command in elevated Command Prompt.

      Repeating from above:

      2 simple Windows BATCH files:

      rem dobcd.1.bat
      bcdedit /set nointegritychecks ON

      rem dobcd.2.bat
      bcdedit /set nointegritychecks OFF

       

      After executing each, a restart is required.

       

      Further details:  see Method 1 here, which worked FIRST TIME for me:

      https://www.trishtech.com/2011/05/installing-unsigned-drivers-in-windows-7/

    • #2482181

      Now go back to the internal 1Gb adapter and check the CPU while running the test.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2482303

      screenshot of Spectrum Speed Test w/ internal 1G adapter:

      Spectrum.Speed_.Test_.Q9550.Win7_.Ultimate.x64.1G.integrated.NIC_

       

    • #2482336
    • #2482337

      and, the motherboard manual has a table which confirms x4 lanes are always assigned to the second x16 slot, regardless of how other x16 slots are populated;

      but, I would prefer to avoid trial-and-error costing another $200, only to confirm that the problem I’ve been fighting originates deeper in the chipset and/or Windows 7 internals!

      PCIe.2.0.operating.mode_.2

    • #2482735

      Looks like the CPU load is mainly the test software. To confirm that, copy a large file to and from the PC and watch the CPU.

      I’d save my pennies and stick with the simplest configuration – cabling and network switches as well as PC software and hardware. Your speeds are more than enough for real world work.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2482773

      I contacted ASUS with a question about a similar 10GbE adapter, model XG-C100C:

      https://www.asus.com/Networking-IoT-Servers/Wired-Networking/All-series/XG-C100C/

       

      I believe that adapter has a Marvell/Aquantia model AQC-107 chip.

       

      the answer from ASUS Product Support this morning:

      “Based on the response from our team, the Ethernet adapter may not be compatible with the old chipset.”

      I infer from that diagnosis that upgrading our ASUS P5Q Premium to Windows 10 probably will NOT cure the Internet overhead.

      I could try a double-boot setup, but an obsolete chipset is an obsolete chipset!

       

      So, after all that troubleshooting, it’s time to demote P5Q Premium to backup storage.

      The good news:  that motherboard has been an amazingly reliable PC for years and years;  I’ve probably done more work on that one workstation than any other computers I’ve touched since grad school!

      The general error of my approach is to expect “forward compatibility” in old PC hardware!

    • #2482775

      p.s.  After all that research, I’m now planning to purchase 1 or 2 TP-Link model TX401 initially, and install them in our HP Z240 workstations:

      https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/pci-adapter/tx401/

       

      The Z240’s PCIe expansion slots are all PCIe 3.0, and HP does an excellent job honoring industry standards.  Plus, I can replace a Z240 without too much expense here:

      https://pcserverandparts.com/workstations/hp-workstations/hp-z240-workstation/

       

      After delivery, I can always install a TX401 in that ASUS P5Q Premium, just to see what happens, and revert to the StarTech ST10GSPEXNB after testing the TX401.

      My current primary workstation is an older HP model that does not have any PCIe 3.0 expansion slots, however.  That PC connects to the LAN w/ a Sabrent 5GbE USB 3.0 dongle.

       

    • #2483039

      2.5GbE is BETTER than 10GbE – Here’s Why

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIOfRAKovRo

      Jul 12, 2022

      This tutorial goes over why 2.5 GbE is probably way better for you than 10GbE

    • #2483075

      I’m still toying with another element of one hypothesis:

      PCIe 2.0 continued to utilize the 8b/10b “legacy” frame: 1 start bit + 8 data bits (1 byte) + 1 stop bit  =  10 bits per byte transmitted.

      That frame layout dates back to dial-up modems.

      PCIe 3.0 changed the frame to a 128b/130b “jumbo frame”: 1 start bit + 16 bytes @ 8 bits + 1 stop bit  =  130 bits per frame, 16 bytes per frame.

      A NIC controller designed primarily for PCIe 3.0 expansion slots would need extra logic to support the PCIe 2.0 “legacy frame”, and that logic would necessarily induce more overhead during normal operation.

      As such, the P5Q Premium motherboard was built with a PCIe 2.0 chipset so; plugging a PCIe 3.0 x4 adapter into a PCIe 2.0 expansion slot necessarily requires constant “frame” translation because that older chipset simply cannot recognize a PCIe 3.0 jumbo frame.

      That PCIe 2.0 chipset wants to see 10 bits per byte.

      Something like this needs to happen in the low-level firmware: each of the 16 sequential bytes in one jumbo frame must be separately “pulled” from that jumbo frame, and both 1 start bit and 1 stop bit must be prepended and appended to each byte, respectively, before a PCIe 2.0 chipset can process it further.

      Thus, this “loop” must repeat 16 TIMES for every jumbo frame being processed by a newer PCIe 3.0 controller that must communicate with a PCIe 2.0 chipset.

      Whether that “looping” occurs in the motherboard’s chipset, and/or in the adapter’s controller, is immaterial as far as the resulting overhead is concerned.

    • #2483087

      Compare StarTech model ST10000SPEXI PCI-Express  Rev 2.0

      https://www.startech.com/en-us/networking-io/st10000spexi

       

      Of course, it would have been much more expensive, having been designed for motherboards manufactured during the PCIe 2.0 era!

      STILL $396.99 USD today!

      Less expensive: $351 at Newegg:

      https://www.newegg.com/startech-st10000spexi/p/N82E16833114177?Description=st10000spexi&cm_re=st10000spexi-_-33-114-177-_-Product

       

      Bottom Line:  much too expensive now, if only to isolate further the overhead observed in Spectrum Speed Test with a StarTech model ST10GSPEXNB w/ obsolete controller.

    • #2483346
    Viewing 29 reply threads
    Reply To: 10GbE adapter for PCIe 2.0 slot, Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

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