[clug] Assistance with networking

Rob Bolin rbolin at dodo.com.au
Sun Jul 31 12:40:34 GMT 2005

Greetings of mighty gurus of CLUG:

I have a networking problem that is driving me up the wall, and refuses to be 
solved by my miniscule amount of knowledge. It's not exactly a Linux question 
- but I am running Debian etch on all relevant machines :-)

I recently had my house wired with Cat5 cabling by a contractor. For the kids 
bedrooms (x4), the contractor ran a single cable down the shared wall and 
wired up two pair to one socket, and two pair to the other. He then ran the 
other end to a "patch panel" mounted in the security system's container. From 
this panel, I have run short cables into a 5 port hub. Because of the way the 
contractor wired the cables, the northern 2 bedrooms run into one hub socket, 
and the southern 2 bedrooms run into another hub socket. The hub is then fed 
back to my main hub, via a cross-over cable (which research seemed to suggest 
should be used to connect two hubs together). The main hub then connects to 
everything else (a couple more computers and the firewall).

My problem is that the connection between the "front" and "back" sections is 
intermittent at best, with generally only one of the bedrooms being able to 
connect to the "front" at any one time. The bedroom machines have been tested 
to work properly and use DCHP for IP addresses on the network.

I have a suspicion that I can't run Cat5 in the way that it has been done and 
expect all four machines to run at the same time, but I have no information 
to back it up. Does any one have an idea why it might be failing, or, 
alternatively does any one have a clue stick to beat me with?

Thanks in advance

"Human errors can only be avoided if one can avoid the use of humans"
    -- Parnas and Clements "A Rational Design Process: How and Why to Fake it"

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