Orange LED on network card. What does it mean?

Posted on 2002-05-22
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Network card in one machine.....there is an intermittent problem with network access. I note from the back of the machine that the LED on the NIC is orange...I would expect green.
Strange thing is that if I move the machine to another room and plug in to another point, with a fresh working cable also, the LED IS green. I moved another working machine onto the "problem" socket and got a green light on that one too.
So from that I can deduce......what???

I think the key here is what does that orange LED actually I chasing a red herring?

Question by:MTindill
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions

Expert Comment

ID: 7027400
Sounds like a negotiation issue.  Is it connecting back to a switch or a hub?  

Author Comment

ID: 7027443

It connects back to a 10 base hub.

Further info....I tried the working machine I mentioned previously back on the problem connection. This time rather than just watch for a green LED on the NIC (which I got no problem....) I tried to actually log on. Doesn't work.
Based on that then, we would say that the connection is indeed at fault, possibly the terminations in the wall socket, although I have replaced this once. Or the cable between hub and wall socket, or the hub port.

Clearly the colour of the LED in this case has no bearing on what the problem is.

Does this give you any more of a clue?

LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 7028521
Clearly the colour of the LED in this case has no bearing on what the problem is
rather this is a symptom of the problem
since it works in another location, I think you are on the right track with the cabling. IMHO the cable just isn't fitting in the NIC properly. While in a perfect world, all connectors and receplticles manufactured would always fit together perfectly, alas this is not a perfect world.there may be a slight mismatch, with errors on both the connector and the female end on the nic, so that the combination is causing the error, but switching either the NIC (different machine) or the cable then it works
Revamp Your Training Process

Drastically shorten your training time with WalkMe's advanced online training solution that Guides your trainees to action.


Author Comment

ID: 7029300

Thanks for replying....I think the cabling somewhere is source of problem....if you look at my last comment, another machine tried on the same connection doesn't work.

Watch this space!!


Accepted Solution

hangman earned 50 total points
ID: 7031746
When a LED goes from green to orange, it means that the network speed has dropped from 100 Mbps to 10 Mbps. The network card has been set to auto speed, and when it has encountered a high level of noise, it will drop to 10 Mbps as it is more reliable. ie. The max transmission distance for 100 Mbps is about 100m, but for 10 Mbps, it about 2 km !!

Author Comment

ID: 7036721

Thanks a bunch...that's what I was looking for.


Expert Comment

ID: 7039054
Just curious - how did Hangman's half-incorrect answer even help?  Since you were connecting back to a 10Mb, hub the fact that the orange led was coming on to tell you it was connecting at 10Mb, shouldn't have fixed the problem that you couldn't connect.  It SHOULD be orange if it is connecting to a 10Mb hub.

Also, Hangman's comments about distances are not entirely accurate.  Both 10Mb and 100Mb have roughly the same limitations based on the media used.  100 meters is the limit on UTP copper.  2Km is the distance limit on single-mode fiber.  The differences in distance have nothing to do with speed.

Author Comment

ID: 7039129

Look at my first posting. The question I asked at the close was related to the LED...I needed to know what it meant so I could eliminate it from my enquiries if it was irrelevant. You tell me that it SHOULD be orange, but I didn't know that otherwise I wouldn't have asked the question.

hangman answered it directly, therefore I think it's only right to award the points.

Nonetheless I thank you for your input.


Featured Post

PeopleSoft Has Never Been Easier

PeopleSoft Adoption Made Smooth & Simple!

On-The-Job Training Is made Intuitive & Easy With WalkMe's On-Screen Guidance Tool.  Claim Your Free WalkMe Account Now

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
Internet testing device? 5 52
HP network exams 3 62
Dell Laptop dropped and Network plug or wireless dont work 7 41
Unidentified Network 12 57
Let’s list some of the technologies that enable smooth teleworking. 
If your business is like most, chances are you still need to maintain a fax infrastructure for your staff. It’s hard to believe that a communication technology that was thriving in the mid-80s could still be an essential part of your team’s modern I…
After creating this article (, I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…
In this tutorial you'll learn about bandwidth monitoring with flows and packet sniffing with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor ( If you're interested in additional methods for monitoring bandwidt…

733 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question