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Ethernet Switch(s) locking up

Posted on 2006-06-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05

We've been having an issue with a switch at a specific location on site, locking up seemingly at random.

The switch has been replaced several times and the problem persists, so we're fairly certain it isn't a hardware issue.

The power has been routed to a UPS, which has also been swapped out, so we're fair certain it is not a power fluctuation issue.

Which leaves either invalid line voltage or invalid frames.

Neither of which we have a simple method to test for.

Does anyone know of a tool, handheld and portable if possible, that can test for either of those conditions.
I'd like to say money is no object, but... well, let's stick with a $300 price cap if possible.
(kind of an off the cuff price, but really, higher than that and we might as well replace the switch with a managed one that should ignore invalid voltage or frames)
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Question by:dgary
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7 Comments
 
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Scotty_cisco
ID: 16954125
What is the type of switches you have used?  
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Marakush
ID: 16954272
I think the more importiant question is have you replaced the switch with the same type of switch each time? I would try a differant vendor if you haven't done so already. I had the same condition and switch manafactures and the problem hasn't come back.

Marakush
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Author Comment

by:dgary
ID: 16955308

different models, different companies

heck, different decades of manufacture

all non-managed, and none what I would call a "name brand" item
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Expert Comment

by:scrathcyboy
ID: 16955946
FIrst thing is to try to bypass the current network cabling -- new cables, new FO if needed -- and also see what switches this current "problem" switch is linked to.  It is very likely that either a PORT on the master switch that links to this "problem location" is intermittently defective, or the cabling is.  It will be tough in either case.  Go to the master switch and see if there is any limits put on this port.  If not, change to a spare port, see if the problem vanishes.  Else edit the port limitations or IP switch limitations.  other than that, you might be stuck with a log debug sessions on cables or network links.
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Author Comment

by:dgary
ID: 17126665

Turned out to be a Dell laptop Port replicator

Thus my second concern was justified, "invalid frames" causing a switch to lock up.

Port replicators shouldn't be sending ethernet traffic if they aren't hooked up to a powered on laptop, kind of a big FBI clue and I caught it on pure luck that I was in the same room, at the right time to catch a hub flashing its little uart out.


Questions still open however, if anyone is willing to answer it, which I will reiterate.

"Which leaves either invalid line voltage or invalid frames.

Neither of which we have a simple method to test for.

Does anyone know of a tool, handheld and portable if possible, that can test for either of those conditions."


Handheld tool to test bad ethernet frames. Dig? Cool.
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