Connecting B85M Pro3 based on RTL8111GR to LAN w/ FreeNAS 8.3.0

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Oct 1, 2011
Hopefully I'm posting this to the correct forum.
I've replaced a dead motherboard that was running FreeNAS 8.3.0 (from USB) with Asrock B85M Pro3 and an on-board NIC based on Realtek RTL8111GR. Yes I know the board does not support ECC RAM.
I understand newer versions of FreeNAS might support that NIC out-of-the-box but I would like to backup the data before attempting to upgrade.
I'm posting to the forum in order to consult on what will be a better option:
1) Connecting an external drive to the box and copy over the data, then upgrade until the NIC is supported.
2) From the release notes I understand FreeNAS 8.3 is based on FreeBSD 8.3 and according to this list the included driver should support the card D-Link DGE-528(T) which I think I can get my hands on. In theory any card from that list should work? Will it be easiest to just get a card from that list?
3) Compiling an updated driver for that NIC myself. I wasn't able to locate the exact source for the RTL8111GR driver. The best I got was this from the realtek website but I'm not sure which of those version I should get or if that is recommended.

Any help will be appreciated.


Documentation Engineer
Nov 14, 2014
Even with working drivers, the Realtek network cards are not great. I would suggest backing up the data, installing an Intel Ethernet card, then upgrading to FreeNAS 11. Because FreeNAS 8.3 is so old, this will probably have to be done in a couple of steps.
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