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shin7772
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Help me to find out which cable goes where.

Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:29 am

I work in big building and they have cubicles all over the place. I have to locate which cable/port goes which seat.

We are using cisco 2950 switch(24 ports) and cisco 2821 router. I don't have any maps or marking of this building. I only have an access to server room and each computers. Most of cables are inside the walls so there is no way for me to follow the line. What's the fastest and easiest way to do this?

Step by step guide from experienced person will be appreciated. Thank you.
 
Darthutos
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Re: Help me to find out which cable goes where.

Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:55 am

0. every cubicle should have someone at their computer.

1. stand in the server room and start disconnecting Ethernet cables from the ports. one at a time.

2. via cell phone or walkie talkie, ask which computer isn't able to connect to the internet.

3. now put t he cable back in the ethernet port and move onto the next port.

after a long time, you will be able to figure out exactly which port controls which computer.
Last edited by Darthutos on Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
bthylafh
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Re: Help me to find out which cable goes where.

Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:59 am

Get some of those plastic labels that look like zip ties, and when you've figured out which goes where, mark both ends of the cable - on the switch end, which computer it goes to, and on the computer end, the port# on the switch.
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ludi
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Re: Help me to find out which cable goes where.

Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:04 am

You didn't mention whether you have access to the router console or the computers, but if I had to do this alone without buying any new tools, I would do it after business hours when I can unplug all the workstations without affecting any users. Start by sketching up a map of the cubicles and a second map of the switch ports. Unplug every computer at each cubicle, see which switch ports went dark, and mark them on the sketch. Also note any that did not go dark as you will have to chase those ones later.

Then go plug in one computer, verify that its network lights came on, and go see which switch port turned on. Mark that one on your sketch, and add a unique label on each end of that Ethernet run. Now plug in the next computer and do it again. Repeat until the job is done.

If you end up with any ports that don't go dark, then you may have a device lurking somewhere unexpected. For example, WiFi APs sometimes live inside a suspended ceiling, and then you have to go push up on random tiles until you see the blinky lights.
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Chrispy_
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Re: Help me to find out which cable goes where.

Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:28 am

Need more info, but that sounds like a nightmare that is better handled by a network testing firm.

1) Do you have patch panels or do bare wires come out of the wall and connect directly into switches?
2) Is anything labelled at all?
3) Are all the cubicle ports wired to switches/patch panels or do you have some disconnected?
4) Can this be done with office downtime (ie, can you disconnect everything) or must this be done non-disruptively?

I have experience with this but it's hard to know what your best approach is without more info.
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cynan
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Re: Help me to find out which cable goes where.

Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:37 am

Perhaps not a necessity, but if you do work like this on any sort of a regular basis, a line tester/toner is a helpful tool. Never used it in an office environment, but many years ago, when I worked as an installation technician (mostly residential phone and internet) during the summer while in school, these things were invaluable.

Apparently you can get ones with basic functionality that are not too expensive.
 
ludi
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Re: Help me to find out which cable goes where.

Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:46 am

cynan wrote:
Perhaps not a necessity, but if you do work like this on any sort of a regular basis, a line tester/toner is a helpful tool. Never used it in an office environment, but many years ago, when I worked as an installation technician (mostly residential phone and internet) during the summer while in school, these things were invaluable.

Apparently you can get ones with basic functionality that are not too expensive.

Don't forget the fine print:

"In stock. Ships from China. Most customers receive within 9-18 days."

Chinese mail from the SEZ is remarkably reliable based on my eBay experiences, in that it does arrive eventually, but the turnaround time can be spotty. I've had small parts in little e-packet envelopes arrive in as little as a week while others took three-ish.
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shin7772
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Re: Help me to find out which cable goes where.

Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:57 am

I have an access to console port of switch and router. They have wires punched downed to 110 block and then they used ethernet cables to connect those from 110 block to cisco 2950 switch. Nothing has been marked on cables, cubicles, or wall and there aren't anyone to help me on this as everyone is so busy doing their own work here. I was looking for other way to do it rather than plug and unplug each cables and check for lights on switch. :(
 
curtisb
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Re: Help me to find out which cable goes where.

Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:58 am

You don't need to unplug anything if you can log into the switch and know the computer names. You should be able to get the MAC address of each computer. How you do this depends on several things, but there are multiple ways to get it without having to be physically at each computer. One such way is to look at the DHCP Server for the leases. Once you have the MAC address then you can look at the forwarding or MAC table on the switch. Each MAC address should correspond to a unique switch port (note that it can also be seen on other switches uplink ports). Using this method you can gather that part of the information from the comfort of your desk.

Since you know the physical location of each PC, now you just need to trace from the switch port to the patch panel port and label that patch panel port with the cubicle number. If there are multiple ports in each cubicle (and there probably are), then you do need to see if they standardized how things are plugged in at each cubicle (i.e. we always put the workstation in port 1, VOIP phone in port 4, printer in port 3, etc.). You'll want to make sure that you label the patch panel ports accordingly. For example, if a PC is in port 1 of cubicle 1, then I might label that port on the patch panel as CUB1-1, or something along those lines.

For the times when that method doesn't work, you should really invest in a good toner set. We use the Klein Scout Pro 2 for generating the tone, and just about any tone receiver will work for finding the signal. The Scout Pro 2 also has the ability to put identifiers in your source ports (the cubicles) and you can move from port to port on the patch panel to identify each one. The identifiers are faster when you know which patch panel you're going to. If there are multiple ports at each cubicle, you could start with identifying the unused ones. You'll likely notice a pattern and be able to identify the other ones without disconnecting anything (if the MAC address method I mentioned above doesn't work).
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notfred
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Re: Help me to find out which cable goes where.

Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:09 pm

Start with what curtisb suggested.

Also look at things like CDP, I can see I'm on port "Gigabit 2/3" of the Cisco 4506-E here at work. You may need to tone through the last few ports, but use the software first of all to get you the majority of conncetions mapped.
 
just brew it!
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Re: Help me to find out which cable goes where.

Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:18 pm

If you can't figure it out from logging in to the switch, can you at least aim a webcam at the switch that you can access remotely from your laptop, so you can see the lights as you walk around and unplug/plug each computer?
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The Egg
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Re: Help me to find out which cable goes where.

Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:20 pm

just brew it! wrote:
If you can't figure it out from logging in to the switch, can you at least aim a webcam at the switch that you can access remotely from your laptop, so you can see the lights as you walk around and unplug/plug each computer?

That's exactly what I was thinking. Or Facetime/Skype with a phone aimed at the switch.
 
curtisb
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Re: Help me to find out which cable goes where.

Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:55 pm

I also forgot to mention that you probably should invest in a good label maker. I prefer the Dymo Rhino line. You can get away with the 4200 or 5200, but do yourself a favor and splurge for the 6000 Kit. The kit comes with the rechargeable battery and charger, as well as a carrying case and USB cable to connect it to a laptop (you can't connect the 4200 or 5200 to a PC). They have software that will let you batch print for cable wraps or patch panels, and it includes an automatic cutter to cut between your batch printed labels. You can batch print directly on the 6000 itself with the serialize feature, it's just much easier to do in the software in my opinion.

Brother also makes industrial label makers, but I have no direct experience with them.
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Dposcorp
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Re: Help me to find out which cable goes where.

Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:11 pm

The Egg wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
If you can't figure it out from logging in to the switch, can you at least aim a webcam at the switch that you can access remotely from your laptop, so you can see the lights as you walk around and unplug/plug each computer?

That's exactly what I was thinking. Or Facetime/Skype with a phone aimed at the switch.


Not only that, but record the video and dictate what you are doing as you are going to each workstation. Then you have some to refer to when u are back in the network closest.

Also, post on youtube so we can chuckle

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