Identifying a 3COM switch

Posted on 2005-05-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-03-10
Hi experts,

My boss is getting rid of stuff, so i grabbed a 3COM switch that says SuperStack II, Dual Speed Hub in the corner.

It has 12 ports in a row, 6 and 6...
It has 1 "100 MII" port in the back...
And I can choose between 'MDI-X', 'MDI' and 'MII'

Does anyone know what this is, so i can dl the driver for it?  The 3COM website has dozens of these Superstacks with no pictures.
Does anyone know what 'MDI-X', 'MDI' and 'MII' are?

Question by:dbrownell83

Accepted Solution

bstrauss3 earned 1200 total points
ID: 13921737
(1) It's a hub, not a switch
(2) It's 10BaseT with a single 100BaseT upload

MDI-X means auto select, MDI and MII are the regular and cross over cables (I forget which is which)...

You shouldn't need drivers - it's just a network hub.

On the bottom is a label with a part # - it will either be 3Csomething or nnnn-nnn-nnn

3Com used to use the nnnn-nnn-nnn number but the 3C one (e.g. 3C16593) is the one everybody will recognize.  Once you have the #s you can find the manuals on 3Com's site.  Use google - with the various reorgs, 3Com's indexes are pretty useless.


Expert Comment

ID: 13921752
Oh yeah, 3C16593 is the 24 port (Baseline Dual Speed hub).  So your unit might be a 10/100 Switching hub.

A switching hub combines a 10 Mbps hub and a 100 Mbps hub (auto selected on a port by port basis) with a 2 port switch between the 10 and 100 sides.

LVL 32

Assisted Solution

harbor235 earned 400 total points
ID: 13921754
 Short for medium dependent interface crossover (the “X” representing “crossover”), an Ethernet port connection that allows networked end stations (i.e., PCs or workstations) to connect to each other using a null-modem, or crossover, cable.

MDI - medium independent interface,


The MII is an optional set of electronics that provides a way to link the Ethernet medium access control functions in the network device with the Physical Layer Device (PHY) that sends signals onto the network medium. An MII may optionally support both 10-Mbps and 100-Mbps operation, allowing suitably equipped network devices to connect to both 10BASE-T and 100BASE-T media segments.

The MII is designed to make the signalling differences among the various media segments transparent to the Ethernet chips in the network device. The MII converts the line signals received from the various media segments by the transceiver (PHY) into digital format signals that are then provided to the Ethernet chips in the device. The optional MII electronics, and associated 40-pin female connector and MII cable, makes it possible to connect a network device to any of several media types, providing maximum flexibility.

The MII electronics may be linked to an outboard transceiver through a 40-pin MII connector and a short MII cable. The MII cable for use with outboard 100-Mbps transceivers is specified as a 40-pin cable with a 40-pin plug on one end, equipped with male jack screws that screw into mating female screw locks. The cable can be a maximum of 0.5 meters in length (about 19.6 inches). It is also possible for the outboard transceiver to be attached directly to the MII connector on the device with no intervening cable, if the design of the transceiver allows it.

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LVL 50

Assisted Solution

by:Don Johnston
Don Johnston earned 400 total points
ID: 13921799
It's a hub. Plug it in. :-)

The MDI, MDX has to do with whether you use straight though or crossover cables.

You can find manuals and drivers here:



Author Comment

ID: 13921935
Does anyone know if I just plug the cable modem into the first one, and then plug the rest of my computers into the other ports?

Expert Comment

ID: 13922089
Assuming you have multiple IPs from your ISP - yes.

But more likely, you want to use a gateway/router in between.

CM -> Gateway/Router -> 3C ->>> computers


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