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I'm currently trying to find if there's a way to do network cable testing (drops) software wise.

I know that the cable can be in 4 states : 1) working 2)slightly damaged 3 )damaged 4)unplugged.

  1. Is easy to test since I would get a network connection.
  2. Implies that one or more of wires can be damaged, but it can still work (ie missing say 1 in/out/ground)
  3. Too many cables are damaged / both powers are damaged
  4. Would be the same as case #3

While I don't care about separating case 3 and 4, I am wondering if there's any software way of testing the cable and checking if the cable is 100% (3/4) versus if it's only partially damaged (case 2).

Basically, something that would display if it's currently getting any information from any of the pins from plugged in ethernet cable. (Using only 1 end, the other one is assumed to be plugged into switch/router or case #4)

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With just PC-PC you could always send some pings with differing packet sizes, intervals, etc and see results. Try very fast intervals (5ms-30ms) with small packets and longer timeout. Also you could send large amounts of random data and do checksums afterwards. However, ECC makes software testing difficult and less accurate and because of that you may want to look at transfer rates and try to capture ethernet packets (for counting good ones) too. – Sampo Sarrala Sep 26 '12 at 7:07
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Not sure what you're specifically asking.

"Is there a way to do network cable testing (drops) software wise"?

Yes. There's a whole industry of tools that do cable testing via software.

"...if there's any software way of testing the cable and checking if the cable is 100% (3/4) versus if it's only partially damaged (case 2)."

Yes. In general terms, you can have the software signal each wire and test for continuity. If there's a break in any wire, the test will fail. Or you can run pattern/stress/load tests which usually indicate breaks or faults as well. Again, there's a whole industry of network testing tools that do this. I will point out that pin tests usually require a hardware termination device meant for testing rather than using a router/switch/patch panel/PC.

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I guess, I was vague in my description, could you provide me with name of any software of this kind, that doesn't have a hard-ware requirements outside of having an access to ethernet network card in a computer (be it desktop or laptop). – Gray_Hound Sep 26 '12 at 8:03

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