How to connect 2 workgroup switches together?

September 2, 2010 at 06:23:39
Specs: Windows XP
Here's the setup and the problem between SwitchA and SwitchB:

I've got a simple DSL Modem which connects to a PIX firewall/router unit in the closet. I have a Linksys 5-port workgroup switch(SwitchA) in an office which is connected to the firewall/router via a straight-through cable on regular port 1. SwitchA has a desktop connected to regular port 2, a printer connected to regular port 3, another desktop on regular port 4, and a crossover cable is connected to regular port 5 which is going to regular port 5 on switchB. SwitchB has an access point connected to regular port 1, and a desktop connected to regular port 2. Ports 3 and 4 are open on SwitchB. I was going to use these ports to connect two ethernet cables for some ladies that dont have wireless on their laptops. Once I connect a laptop to either port 3 or 4 on SwitchB, then everything connected to SwitchB goes haywire and nothing can connect. My first thought was collisions but aren't switches supposed to eliminate that? Need help! Thanks!


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#1
September 2, 2010 at 08:06:28
You may have a bad port on switch B, or the switch itself may be going bad.

You need to do some testing and report back your findings. Starting with neither laptop plugged in, first plug one into port 3 and test. Does the switch go haywire? If yes, unplug that laptop from 3 and plug it into 4. Does the switch go haywire? If yes, unplug that laptop and redo the two tests with the other laptop. I'm trying to ascertain if it's the switch or a laptop that's causing the issue.

If the test with the first laptop fails on both ports, but doesn't with the second laptop, then it's a fairly safe bet, the first laptop is the issue.

If the switch goes haywire when either laptop is plugged in to port 3, but not 4, then it's the port.

So run through the port/laptop tests and let me know what you find.

If you have one, or two bad ports on the switch, I'd just replace it with a new switch. They're relatively inexpensive and if it is a port (or ports) then you can't fix it anyhow.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#2
September 2, 2010 at 08:29:23
Hey Curt, Thanks for the reply! I did what you asked and both laptops caused the switch to go haywire on port 3 and 4. I even rearranged the other ports to where the access point was on 3, the incoming connection from the other switch was on 4, and the desktop was on 5. I plugged in the first laptop to port 1 and the switch went haywire as well. It's almost as if the switch can't handle more than 3 connections? So I switched it out with a Cisco 5-port switch and SAME results. I'm beginning to think I should just install a Cisco Catalyst switch in the closet and spend a day running cable. Just kind of stumped as to why my current setup is not working because in theory, it should! In case, of course, both the linksys and the replacement Cisco switch are bad.... :/

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#3
September 2, 2010 at 09:02:47
You're right, this is an odd situation. From what I can see, you have the switches linked correctly and there's no reason for them to go nuts like they're doing.

The only thing I can think of trying that you haven't yet is maybe moving the uplink from Switch B to another port in the router.........if that's possible. It isn't likely to be the issue, but if it's as easy as moving the plug an inch, it's also worth a try.

If possible, you might want to watch the traffic on switch B with a packet sniffer.

Regardless, the managed switch should fix the issue so you're probably best off to use it.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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