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How to check switch for problems?

I would like to find out how to check my switch for problems. I am troubleshooting a business gmail problem and have narrowed it down to a possible problem on my network. I have a simple network and the switch is the next in line for checking. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks

Model: GS116Ev2|ProSafe Plus 16 ports gigabits switch
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NETGEAR Moderator

Re: How to check switch for problems?

Dear hflson,

 

I concur with JohnRo, if you would like specifics it would be very helpful to know what switch it is that you are working with because the answer going to be very different depending on the exact product you are using.     Absent that, let me give you a few quick networking trouble shooting tips specifically for switches.

 

For most simple networks, switches are fulfilling a basic function of forwarding packets to all connected devices and as such they are typically not the problem when suddenly something stops working.   But here's the steps to walk through:

 

Activity indicators.   These should more or less be blinking regularly and mostly in unison for any ports which have cables plugged in an an active devices on the other end of the cable.  If the switch has a hardware or hard software fault these are going to be the first indicator of a problem.  If they aren't flashing a couple of things could be going on.  1. Port activity LEDs are turned off...most switches support a mode to disable the blinking.  2.  One specific port has a device which is turned off, or its LAN port is disables, or there is a back cable/connector...easiest way to check, swap the cable in a "dark" port with a cable in a healthy port.   If the problem follows the cable, then the problem is with the cable or the other end of the cable.  

 

Is the switch you problem, selectively swap devices and see if the problem changes.   In the case, you don't have an extra switch, connect your client device directly to something that you know is working.   The most common starting point is to connect your management client (or just your most reliable device with a web browser) directly to your router's LAN port.   If you can connect to resources on the internet, you then start moving that client to various points in your network until things stop working and this will help you find the blocked connection.   If nothing works even when you are connected directly to your router's LAN connection then the issue is with your client, your router or you internet.

 

With all that being said, all bets are off if you have VLANs, Layer 3 switches, other other active security devices on your network which might be blocking traffic in more complicated LAN environments.   A factory reset might be a reasonable step in eliminating issues with your network, but we would need to know the switch you have to provide you with specific process to walk you through those steps or solve the issues in more complicated networks.

 

A good rule of thumb is that if some things are working but not others in s simple network, it is almost never the switches...switches tend to be all or nothing faults.  

 

John

 

 

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NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: How to check switch for problems?

Hello hflson, 

 

Welcome to the community! 

 

What issues are you looking at on the network? What specific information are you looking to obtain on the switch? For layer 2 and 3 switches, they have logs you can check. You can also check your network by using an SNMP software. 

 

Thanks,

JohnRo
NETGEAR® Community Team
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Re: How to check switch for problems?

I am looking for errors, blocked connections, corruption; really any issues. I believe it maybe holding up my busines gmail, pop account sync. I am new to trouble shooting this and just need some simple direction to either do a factory reset or some way to test or see if there is any problems.

Message 3 of 4
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NETGEAR Moderator

Re: How to check switch for problems?

Dear hflson,

 

I concur with JohnRo, if you would like specifics it would be very helpful to know what switch it is that you are working with because the answer going to be very different depending on the exact product you are using.     Absent that, let me give you a few quick networking trouble shooting tips specifically for switches.

 

For most simple networks, switches are fulfilling a basic function of forwarding packets to all connected devices and as such they are typically not the problem when suddenly something stops working.   But here's the steps to walk through:

 

Activity indicators.   These should more or less be blinking regularly and mostly in unison for any ports which have cables plugged in an an active devices on the other end of the cable.  If the switch has a hardware or hard software fault these are going to be the first indicator of a problem.  If they aren't flashing a couple of things could be going on.  1. Port activity LEDs are turned off...most switches support a mode to disable the blinking.  2.  One specific port has a device which is turned off, or its LAN port is disables, or there is a back cable/connector...easiest way to check, swap the cable in a "dark" port with a cable in a healthy port.   If the problem follows the cable, then the problem is with the cable or the other end of the cable.  

 

Is the switch you problem, selectively swap devices and see if the problem changes.   In the case, you don't have an extra switch, connect your client device directly to something that you know is working.   The most common starting point is to connect your management client (or just your most reliable device with a web browser) directly to your router's LAN port.   If you can connect to resources on the internet, you then start moving that client to various points in your network until things stop working and this will help you find the blocked connection.   If nothing works even when you are connected directly to your router's LAN connection then the issue is with your client, your router or you internet.

 

With all that being said, all bets are off if you have VLANs, Layer 3 switches, other other active security devices on your network which might be blocking traffic in more complicated LAN environments.   A factory reset might be a reasonable step in eliminating issues with your network, but we would need to know the switch you have to provide you with specific process to walk you through those steps or solve the issues in more complicated networks.

 

A good rule of thumb is that if some things are working but not others in s simple network, it is almost never the switches...switches tend to be all or nothing faults.  

 

John

 

 

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