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Switch Troubleshooting

By Ace Winget

Although Ethernet switches are easy to maintain some network issues may arise from time to time. Some of the more common problems are listed below. I’ll offer some suggestions that will help you when troubleshooting these problems.

Status lights – these come in handy when you’re trying to troubleshoot your network. There are usually two different types of status lights on switches. One light tells if the unit has power and the other light tells if devices are attached to the switch’s Ethernet ports. The first part of your troubleshooting should be a quick glance at these lights to be sure everything is functioning.

If Status Lights Not Accessible – your situation may be such that you do not have access to the status lights. By using the following method you can quickly check to see if two computers on your network are connecting as they should. This method is for the windows operating systems, although it works basically the same way with Mac and Linux operating systems.

Once in the command prompt type in “ipconfig”. Look for the IP address which looks similar to Go to the computer you want to test and get the IP address for that computer as well. If the response comes back with all zeros then you have a problem with your network adapter.

To make sure that the network connections to the computers are working we will next ping one of the computers from the other. Type “ping″ substituting the correct IP address in the Command Prompt and then press enter. If you either put in the wrong IP address or you have a hardware issue in the network you will receive a destination host not reachable message. You can narrow down where the issue is by using one of the computers to ping its own IP address.

File Sharing – perhaps the most common problem of a network is how to share your files with other computers on your network. How to share files varies by operating system so it’s best to look up a guide on how to do it. It can be a bit complicated to get things working, especially with other operating systems, another reason to go to a more in depth guide than can be included here.

Internet Sharing – the easiest way to allow all computers access to the internet is with an Ethernet router. Another option is to use software to bridge and share an internet connection. In order for this to work the sharing computer needs two network adapters.

Other Issues -the max cable length of an Ethernet cable is 328 feet. The switch usually requires you to connect the Ethernet cord from the router to the uplink Ethernet port on the switch if you will be connecting a switch to a router. When connecting it to the router, it doesn’t matter which Ethernet port you plug the cable into.

Prime Electronics is an Earth-friendly business that focuses on recycling consumer electronics and replacement parts, including Directv Tivo Remotes, Avaya Phones, Cisco Modules, and Wireless Networking Equipment.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Winget, Ace "Switch Troubleshooting." Switch Troubleshooting. 2 Jul. 2010. 2 Dec 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Winget, A (2010, July 2). Switch Troubleshooting. Retrieved December 2, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Winget, Ace "Switch Troubleshooting"

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