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Changing Link speed of NIC in OS X

Posted on 2006-11-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-29
Hi folks:

I am a systems professional, though not a Mac expert. I have an end user whose router is in bad shape. It's a cheap Linksys puppy, and will only work at 10Mbps right now, though it is a 100Mbps-capable box... I have a new router on order for them. However, this network has 2 PCs and 1 Mac.

The Mac is a new iMac running OSX. I was able to get the PCs online by changing the NIC speed to 10Mbps full duplex.

I tried doing this on the Mac. I couldn't find it. I saw an article about how to do it from a terminal window..and that'd be FINE for me. I wouldn't want to walk an end-user through that..the possibilities for typos..and just LONG phone sessions are...well, you all understand, I'm sure.

Anyway...I looked on here for articles about how to change the link speed of the NIC in the Mac GUI, and couldnt' find anything. There MUST be a way to do this other than the command line. Right?

I was able to do it for the user in the Windows partition of this Mac, but it didn't translate over to the OS X partition.

Can anyone help with an EASY way to change the Link Speed of this Mac?

Thanks!
Dana
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Question by:dragonflytech
11 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
strung earned 500 total points
ID: 18012710
Pull down the Apple Menu to System Preferences.
Open the Network Preference Pane.
Click on the Ethernet Tab.
Change "Configure Automatically" to "Configure Manually".
Change the Speed from "Autoselect"
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by:strung
ID: 18012736
By the way, are you sure the problem is the LinkSys and not the ethernet cables. I had exactly that problem with a LinkSys router once and it turned out the problem was the ethernet cable. It was a "home made" cable, by which I mean our local computer shop had cut a 75' length of cable and crimped ends on it, rather than selling me a pre-assembled cable from someone like Belkin. Whoever crimped the ends didn't know that it was essential to wire the twisted pairs to pins as (1,2),(3,6),(4,5),(,7,8) rather than  the more obvious (1,2),(3,4),(5,6),(7,8) and when you miswire a cable in that fashion, you will get one that will work at 10BaseT, but not at 100BaseT.

See:  http://www.incentre.net/incentre/frame/ethernet.html

and http://www.bluemax.net/techtips/networking/Wiring_Tips/Wiring100TX/alittletheory.htm


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Author Comment

by:dragonflytech
ID: 18012767
It would have to have been with all of them, including one I'd just bought that was certified Cat 5e. I somehow doubt it, but I'll bring new cables when I come back with a new router just in case.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 18012972
If the one you bought was a cable with prefabricate moulded ends from someone like Belkin, I would think you could be pretty safe in assuming that the cable is okay. If all the other cables were fabricated by the same guy who bought a roll of cable and some wire crimpers, my guess is that they are all wrong.
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Author Comment

by:dragonflytech
ID: 18014055
Nope. These are from good manufacturers. I'm using the same cables in my office, and they're all working at 100 Mbps.

Thanks!
Dana
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Author Comment

by:dragonflytech
ID: 18014058
Also, I had the user try "strung"'s answer, and so far, that's not solved the issue either. (I haven't verified that the user did it correctly, though).  I will bring cables with me just in case, and I'll report back to you.

Thanks!
Dana
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 18014255
Good luck
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Expert Comment

by:dalesit
ID: 18016026
Make sure they have also changed the interface to half-duplex.

You can also do it manually from the command line:

sudo ifconfig en0 media 10baseT/UTP mediaopt half-duplex

Cheers,

Joel
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Author Comment

by:dragonflytech
ID: 18016114
Yeah...I saw the command line option, but am dealing with an end-user. I woudln't have wanted him to try it on his own, lest he mess it up. He bought a Mac because he didn't want to see a command line :).

As such, I'd prefer to guide him via a GUI. We'll see how that works out.

Best,
Dana
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Expert Comment

by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 18018529
dragonflytech  -- just a little note but if you've a Mac also .. you can create a tiny Applescript that Opens Terminal, runs the precise string you enter and all the end-user has to do is enter the password ... it takes about 30 seconds to create the Applescript , you save it as a Run-Only applet and then you can email it to them.

I've done this a load of times .. saves them making any errors

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Author Comment

by:dragonflytech
ID: 18026733
Just as a "by the way", the cables, old as they are, turned out to have been fine. Replacing the router did the trick..But thanks, strung. The GUI way of making the change was highly preferable to having to do it from the command line :). After we replaced the router, we changed the setting back to AutoSense, but found that the Mac can't do DNS to the router's local IP, it must take DNS servers from the outside. Fun! But that's not on point :). Thanks again to all!
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