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AR# 33229

SP601 - Problems running Base Reference Design on Windows Vista


When I run the Base Reference Design that is shipped with the SP601 on my Windows Vista OS, I see the following message in the Status window:

Figure 1. Ethernet communication to SP601 is not possible


There are a few possible ways to troubleshoot this status message.

Diagnostic Step 1:

  1. Ensure that the Ethernet cable is secure on both sides and that the SP601 board is powered up.

Diagnostic Step 2:

  1. Two sequential steps:
    1. Unplug the Ethernet Cable from the SP601 board.
    2. Run the on-board BIST routine. This checks the connectivity between the Marvell PHY and the Spartan-6 FPGA.

Diagnostic Step 3:

  1. Two sequential steps:
    1. Once the BIST routine passes, plug the Ethernet cable back onto the SP601 board and connect other end to the PC Ethernet port.
    2. Verify that the Ethernet link is active by checking for the green flashing lights on the Ethernet port. Since the BIST has passed, red / orange flashing lights on the Ethernet port should flag issues with the PC-end Ethernet PHY / port.

Diagnostic Step 4:

  1. Once the Ethernet port shows that a link has been established (green lights flashing at about data rate), re-engage the connection to the FPGA by re-launching the Base Reference Design. This step should connect to the Spartan-6 FPGA; see image below:

    Figure 2. Ethernet communication to Spartan-6 FPGA succeeded
    Figure 2. Ethernet communication to Spartan-6 FPGA succeeded

Solution 1:

If all the Diagnostic Steps do not establish connection to the FPGA, and if you are using a PC running Windows Vista, re-install the Base System Reference Design (.msi file).

You can find the ".msi" and related README file at:

AR# 33229
Date Created 07/31/2009
Last Updated 01/28/2013
Status Active
Type General Article
Boards & Kits
  • Spartan-6 FPGA SP601 Evaluation Kit