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We have a problem with one of our switches that is showing collision or loop in an unusual manner.

We have a problem with one of our switches that is showing collision or loop in an unusual manner. Normally when it shows a collision in a switch or a hub the collision or loop light blinks, but here the case was totally different.

The port was showing a green light (which it should). After some time it started turning orange and then back to green. This was due to an output that was going to another part of my network. When I took that output out then there was no collision, and as soon as I put it in the same thing would happen. Could you tell me what exactly is the problem?

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It is very difficult to make an adequate diagnosis on the basis of the information provided. But is sounds suspiciously like a duplex mismatch. That is, under load, collisions take place that otherwise would not appear during quiet times.

Do you manually hardset all your interfaces to full (or half) duplex? Or do you use auto-negotiation? DO NOT TRUST AUTO-NEGOTIATION. Always hardset your ports. As troublesome as that can be, it will save you a lot of time in the long run.

This was first published in November 2003

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