Network cabeling issue

Posted on 2008-10-15
Last Modified: 2011-10-19
HI people,

I have a strange problem. Basicaly I have jsut taken over the network in our new building from the building company. And I am having problems with the network cabeling.

basicaly we started getting some of our PC's dropping there network connection a few times each day. And when testing it with a Network IQ tester I get bad terminations at the floor port end of the cabeling. However I have had the company back in and when they test the cables with there tester it all looks fine.

when I went back to the points I have noticed that if i move the testers slightly in the points, some times the test pass and some times they fail. which suggests to me that the problem is with the sockets them selves and not a termination error, just the leads don't sit in them snugly and there are lose connections.

My question is how can I prove that the floor ports are at fault? I can swap patch leads and swith the ports in the switch, but the problem is intermittent so it is very hard to prove where the problem lies. but common sence, a few years of networks under my belt and a very strong hunch tell me that it the floor ports.

Dose any one know of some softwear that I can load on to a pc/'s that can monitor the link over time and tell me any problems that get thown up. windows event viwer shows network errors but about losing connection to the DC's and dhcp. not about actuly network drops.

I am also gettign a lot of aligment erros on the switch but this may indicate cabeling problems but it is not proof of it.

Any idea how I can get a definitive answer either way. If i can show the floor ports are at fualt it would cost this company about £60k+ so as you can understand i want to be absoultly sure it is there responsability before I take it any further.

Thank you

Question by:Aaron Street
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 22723022
I would just run a ping x.x.x.x -t
let it run. lightly giggle the cable slowly. see if you get any timeouts.
I would expect its only a handful of connecitons. Seems odd that all of them would be bad?  Chances are its wired with a keystone jack.
You could just get a few and prove out it fixes the problem. easy to change, and cheap. 

Assisted Solution

devlex earned 200 total points
ID: 22723031
You could download the 30-day free trial of Solarwinds Engineer's Toolset and use the network monitor to watch the connection status. This should give you a good idea of how regularly the connection is being dropped. Check it out:
LVL 11

Assisted Solution

Eric earned 200 total points
ID: 22723049
We had a similar issue once.  We had all our cables run under the ground in conduit.  It must have cracked.  over 5 years one cable after the next would act crazy.
sometimes just noise (noticed on phones)  other times suddenly stops working.  Sometimes it was intermittent.  Just a thought.
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LVL 16

Author Comment

by:Aaron Street
ID: 22724283
I would use "free ping" if i want to do that. you can leave it running for as long as you want and it will give you stats on aqll the pings how many failed, when they failed and you can run it on multiply PCs at the same time.

But having said that a ping is a very inefficent way of testing an intermittent network failer. there are many resons a ping might fail. I don't want to tell a company that they have done a rubbish install, and i want them to do it all again on the basices of a ping failing.. I need to be able to show that the fault is as the patch panel..

The fact is i know the floor ports are cheap and nasty and thats what causing the errors, but I need a bit more than my feelings to call into question a company that have played a large part in the 35 million pound building project. If I want to get them to sort it out i need concreat proof that the ports are at fault. A 5,000 pound cable tester is saying that they are fine... I need something that can show historic data that one port works fine, and another port using the same pc ans switch gives me errors.

I going to look at the solar wind tools though. I did down load them before but that ws for a differefnt problem and they didnt do waht i needed

I had tried to capture the data, trouble is that most desktop nics dont forward error packets, so capture softwear never sees them, and theres no way to see any errors on the NIC, only on the switch!! Microsoft didn't make the network engineers job easy did they!! ;)

Assisted Solution

dkarpekin earned 100 total points
ID: 22727749
Solar winds is create to use, but it will be more efficient,if SNMP supported switches used, in order to pull statistics from.

LVL 16

Accepted Solution

Aaron Street earned 0 total points
ID: 22894210
Sorry i havent updated this call for a bit, but to be honest nothing so far has been able to show up any thing intresting.

are there any cable installers around that could help me.

I have a list of the test restults for the points in our new building. and some of them list the head room, as negitive db's ?? is thsi right??

B/G/A118        PASS           ISO11801 PL max Class E 8.1 (m)             -1.4 dB              07/05/2008      10:03am

what dose that mean? any one got any ideas?


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