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2017/02/10 MacOSX

A quite common scenario: An update of Mac OS X breaks some driver, usually it is the printer driver, but this time it was the USB-to-Ethernet device that stopped working (a Macally U3HUBGB). I checked for driver updates but Macally latest driver is for MacOS 10.9, however it uses a Axis chip (AX88179) and the latest driver can be downloaded directly from the suppliers website:

http://www.asix.com.tw/download.php?sub=driverdetail&PItemID=131

My problem was that Network settings showed the "cable unplugged" status. I reinstalled and rebooted multiple times but could still not get it to run.

I tried to remove the AX88179 device from the "Network settings" and then reinstall the driver. Now it didn't show up at all! After removing the NetworkInterfaces.plist I managed to get it back again, but this still didn't solve the "cable unplugged" error. 

sudo rm /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/NetworkInterfaces.plist

In the end I manually removed the kext (sudo rm -rf /Library/Extensions/AX88179_178A.kext), rebooted, reinstalled the latest driver and finally rebooted again. After that it started working again (the network LEDs on the USB hub lit up directly on reboot). I am running MacOS Sierra (10.12.3) at the moment.

Debugging information:

  • Terminal command: kextstat | grep asix
  • "About This Mac" -> "System Report ..." -> "Software" -> "Extensions"
  • "About This Mac" -> "System Report ..." -> "Hardware" -> "USB"