Ethernet crashes board and USB unreliable

I have a Smoothieboard V1.0a purchased back in 2014-15 and have used if for both 3D priting(Proterface) and CNC(bCNC).
I am using the latest firmware Edge 14 Aug, 2021,CNC and latest config from Git, with a brand new SD card.
My laptop is running debian which I use control over serial USB and had the occasional communication disconnect. I see this is has been a common problem.
I have used ethernet before but not for a long time, but am sure that it did work once.
I have a CNC job that I am trying to complete and the USB keeps disconnecting, which is driving me crazy.
I tried to setup the ethernet again but when I set ‘network.enable’ to True, the firmware will not start up. 2 red light illuminate but nothing else. Ethernet socket shows orange light constantly.
Does anyone know if there is a way to revive the ethernet on my board?
If I connect to the UART will I get the same reliability issues?
Is there a way to make the USB more reliable? (I am using shielded USB with Ferrites)

UART should be more reliable than USB/Serial.

But if USB/Serial fails, it likely means you have either strong interference (are you running any motors, fridges, power tools, neon lights, etc in the same workshop? try using a much shorter cable, and have the cable shielded and with ferrite), OR you have a ground loop issue (google ground loops, make sure the machine/smoothieboard and the computer that talks to it both have their power supply plugged into the exact same power strip, with all power cables being as short as possible).

Can we see pictures of the setup?

About Ethernet not working, if you plug in the UART adapted, you should be able to see debug messages at boot, and those should tell you what’s going on there.

Thank for the Reply Arthur, I am running 2 fridges in the workshop but nothing else. I will try turning them off while I run an air program to see how it goes. You think there is a spike when the fridge turns on?
My USB is already short cable and has ferrites. All my power cables to stepper motors and the Spindle are earthed at both ends and all control cable earthed at one end, to stop ground loops going into the controller.
Just found a problem with UART idea and that is that I am controlling the VSD via the UART. This is on pins P2.4 → P2.6

You can disable your VSD (or control it manually) during testing just while you use UART to get debug information.

About ground loop, did you see what I said about reducing the loop between the computer and the machine’s power supply (short power cables, both the machine and the pc in the same power strip) ?

One of my fridges is a fermenting fridge which has a heating and cooling cycle (eg PWM and SSR). I turned both fridges off and the mill ran without a hitch. We will see if it continues.
Both machines are on the same power supply and have as short a cables that are practical.
I will have a look later at the UART to see what errors come up with the Ethernet setup and will repost.
Thanks for your help

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