It should be noted that this is not limited to suse but potentially can affect all newer distro's.
Suse issued this warning today, it seems there is a drastic issue with the latest driver.
We have an important announcement regarding openSUSE 11.1 beta 1 and SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 beta 1:
The Intel e1000e driver on openSUSE 11.1 Beta 1 and SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Beta 1 might have a serious issue with the potential to damage the network card in a way that it cannot be used any longer.
Intel and Novell are currently working to analyze and solve the issue.
For the time being:
Please do NOT USE:
openSUSE 11.1 Beta 1
SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Beta 1
on systems with Intel e1000e hardware.
Any other hardware, including systems with Intel e1000 (without -e) network cards, is not affected by this issue.
We will keep you posted. Please watch news.opensuse.org and the opensuse-announce mailing list for more information.
Update: Check this page for a list of devices that use the e1000e driver. It may not be an exhaustive list. If you have an Intel PCI Express PRO/1000 gigabit Ethernet card, it uses the e1000e driver and you should avoid booting or using beta 1. Intel has instructions on how to identify your card.
Somehow this warning is really curious, as the problem was there over a month ago already. Basically those intel chips are onboard with Q35 (and soon Q45), which are not so widely spread + very rare pci-e intel cards. Basically every Ubuntu alpha with 2.6.27 would be affected with the same issue, why only SuSE users are warned is really funny...
Sounds like there is at least a workaround to be implemented in the Oct 2nd release of Beta2.