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AlmostSmartest
Aspirant

GS324 Possibly Blocking Traffic

Hello,

 

I purchased the GS324 a little over a month ago. My Internet connection comes through an Arris SB6121, then through an Ubiquity EdgeRouter X. From port 2 of the router, the GS324 is connected and receives access to the internet.

 

Now, the problem has nothing to do with internet access but instead it seems to be related to traffic going through the switch itself. The GS324 was installed for a couple of weeks and no issues of note were observed. However, as soon as I connected multiple Xbox and Xbox 360 systems to the switch for the purpose of system linking is when the problems became apparent.  For those unaware, system linking allows for local network play between multiple systems as a substitute to Xbox Live. If it makes any difference, the Xbox systems are all 10/100, and regular Xbox Live access works as expected through the GS324.

 

For some reason, the Xbox systems were able to see that there were lobbies available, but they could not join them, they would just timeout. Unfortunately since this is an unmanaged switch, I cannot tell you which port numbers were being dropped. However, I know it's the switch based on my experimentation and eventual solution. I was able to plug in the Xbox and Xbox 360 systems to an old and cheap Dynex 10/100 desktop switch and everything worked as expected.

 

I have attempted different physical ports on the GS324 and power-cycled, but neither solution worked. Again, internet and all other standard traffic passes through the switch just fine, but Xbox System Link does not. Should I return the switch for another of the same model, or am I missing something in the specification which would mean I need to purchase another switch entirely?

 

Thank you for any help you can provide!

Message 1 of 11
DaneA
NETGEAR Moderator

Re: GS324 Possibly Blocking Traffic

Hi AlmostSmartest,

 

Welcome to the community! Smiley Happy 

 

As per the data sheet of the GS324 switch here, it supports Auto-MDI/MDIX which eliminates the use of crossover cables as well as it is backward-compatible with 10/100 ethernet connection.  Let us isolate the problem.  Kindly try the following:  

 

1. Are you using crossover cables when you connect multiple Xbox and Xbox 360 directly to the GS324 switch, then configure a system link between the Xbox devices?  If yes, kindly try using the common CAT5e ethernet cable (straight-through cable) then check if the system link will work between the Xbox devices.

 

2. I found out online that there are some games (such as Gears of War) that won't work when multiple Xbox devices are configured as system link.  Kindly try other games and check if the system link will work while multiple Xbox and Xbox 360 are directly connected to the GS324 switch.  Also, kindly access this forum link as well and you may want to try the troubleshooting steps indicated as you read through.

 

 

Regards,

 

DaneA
NETGEAR Community Team

Message 2 of 11
AlmostSmartest
Aspirant

Re: GS324 Possibly Blocking Traffic

Dane,

 

Thank you for the response.

 

1) The systems were connected with straight-through patch cables, no crossover cables were used.

 

2) The games tried were Halo 2 and Halo 3. Originally I tried Halo 2 which was running on an original Xbox and an Xbox 360. I figured it could have been a problem between system generations which had previously not been a problem. I then booted up Halo 3 and attempted to link between two Xbox 360 systems and in the same way it was not able to connect. I troubleshooted for a couple of hours, eliminating the router and the patch cables. Once it was narrowed down to the switch, and like I mentioned in the OP, I swapped with an old switch and both games worked as expected.

 

Again, thank you for your input. The switch looks nice in my rack, I'm hoping I don't have to replace it.

IMG_20170730_163259.jpg

Message 3 of 11
DaneA
NETGEAR Moderator

Re: GS324 Possibly Blocking Traffic

@AlmostSmartest,

 

For me, this is kinda strange.  Since the GS324 is a pass-through, unmanaged switch, the system link configuration between the Xbox devices should work.  I searched my end here and found no issues logged between the GS324 switch and Xbox.  

 

Hope that someone here in the community who experienced the same problem and was able to resolve it would post here in this forum thread about what steps he did to make the system link work.  

 

 

Regards,

 

DaneA
NETGEAR Community Team

Message 4 of 11
Jedi_Exile
NETGEAR Moderator

Re: GS324 Possibly Blocking Traffic

Hi,

 

Based on your input that it worked fine when you used a different 10/100 switch.   Since the xbox and xbox360 both have 10/100 port, Can you attempt this test and see if works correctly as it might help narrow down the issue to one of few possible reason it might be happening.  Can you unplug everything else from the switch and only have 2 XBOX 360 plugged into the GS324 and see if the system link works.  It is critical that nothing else be plugged into the switch and reboot the switch for good measure.  Then connect 2 xbox360 and retest..

 

"Although darkness may surround you, if you seek it, there will always be a glimmer of hope shining strong."
Message 5 of 11
DaneA
NETGEAR Moderator

Re: GS324 Possibly Blocking Traffic

@AlmostSmartest,

 

In addition to @Jedi_Exile 's response, kindly try to log into Xbox Live and see if it will do some updates.  I found this suggestion online as one of the suggestions mentioned in this old forum link.  Let us know the results.

 

 

Regards,

 

DaneA
NETGEAR Community Team

Message 6 of 11
AlmostSmartest
Aspirant

Re: GS324 Possibly Blocking Traffic

@Jedi_Exile

I just got done testing this method. I had every other device unplugged, rebooted the GS324, and assigned both Xbox systems a static IP address. No change. I am still not able to join the system link games through the switch with only the two systems connected.

 

@DaneA

Neither system has issues with getting updates from Xbox Live or downloading content.

 

Should I RMA this switch and get an exact replacement to see if it's through the whole family or just this one funky incident? Kind of strange that it doesn't allow this traffic through.


 

Message 7 of 11
DaneA
NETGEAR Moderator

Re: GS324 Possibly Blocking Traffic

@AlmostSmartest,

 

Thanks for the feedback.  I suggest you to open a chat or online case with NETGEAR Support and state your concern.  Let them know about the troubleshooting steps that we did to isolate the problem.  You might need to submit a .doc or .pdf copy of the Proof of Purchase or Sales Invoice of your GS324 switch for warranty verification.  An online replacement will follow if ever the hardware warranty is still valid.  

 

 

Regards,

 

DaneA
NETGEAR Community Team

Message 8 of 11
AlmostSmartest
Aspirant

Re: GS324 Possibly Blocking Traffic

Well, as an update, I just got in the RMA replacement. I took it out of the box and only connected two Xbox systems with manually assigned IP addresses. Completely virgin, nothing else connected so no learned routes or conflicting devices. The same issue occurred, was not able to join the system link game.

 

The only thing I can figure is some obscure software bug in the GS324 which is either blocking some type of ICMP packet or a specific port. Perhaps I'll get a managed switch to replace this one and see what all is going on in the background.

 

Thanks everyone for your help.

Message 9 of 11
AlmostSmartest
Aspirant

Re: GS324 Possibly Blocking Traffic

@Jedi_Exile, @DaneA

So I did a little more research because this is an annoying issue to have. I have found from a few sources, including some scholarly articles interestingly enough that overview the implementation of the Xbox System Link protocol.

 

Apparently, the xbox system link uses ethernet addresses (Layer 2) to indicate destination address and UDP (Layer 4) to send data. System link packets come in two flavors: broadcast and unicast. In Halo 2, when searching for system link games, the client xbox will send ethernet broadcast packets probing for available games. Other xbox systems who are hosting games will respond directly to the client xbox using the xbox's ethernet address (MAC address) as the destination. Discovery is working as intended through the GS324. I can view the games which are being hosted, but cannot join them. Please read on.

 

After the discovery process completes and the client xbox knows about other xboxes hosting games on the network, it begins direct communication to the known xbox hosts. When joining a game, the client xbox sends packets directly to the other xbox you are connecting to. Direct communication continues until you quit the game. A special note needs to be made, becuase one can't simple skip over layer 3. We know now that addressed communication uses ethernet addresses, and we also know that the payloads are inside UDP packets, but what about the IP layer? The IP layer has addresses of its own, among other kinds of flags. Xboxes use the IP of 0.0.0.1 to communicate.

 

It is the direct communication that I am unable to accomplish through the GS324. Would ths 0.0.0.1 address possibly be dropped since the GS324 could see it as an invalid IP address?

 

Just trying to see if this could be solved. Below are some references which this post is based off of.

 

http://www.semicomplete.com/projects/xboxproxy

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/46fb/f89913fae36655f92a16a473c4998eda837d.pdf



 

Message 10 of 11
DaneA
NETGEAR Moderator

Re: GS324 Possibly Blocking Traffic

@AlmostSmartest,

 

It seems that its a compatibility issue between the GS324 switch and the Xbox System Link feature.  Since you already got a replacement GS324 switch and still the same problem, I suggest you to open a chat or online case with NETGEAR Support about this for further assistance.  This might get escalated to the engineering team for further investigation.

 

 

Regards,

 

DaneA

NETGEAR Community Team

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