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I'm trying to set up a small Ethernet network at home. Basically I have two rooms wired to a router through CAT5E cables. After putting on the R45 jacks all I got is orange light blinking next to the network card.

Though I double checked the cables and it seems that I got the order of the colors right, I'm not an IT specialist and I may miss something.

Is it possible to debug what goes wrong using software tools? I have linux laptops at hand.

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migrated from serverfault.com Oct 24 '12 at 18:19

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2 Answers

No. There are NIC's that do some testing (shorts, length measurement), but nothing that will tell you exactly how you wired the cables wrong.

From my 15 years of experience making Ethernet cables, my professional opinion is to not make custom Ethernet cables. Either buy pre-made cables or terminate the cables with jacks, not RJ-45 connectors. Spools of cable are meant to be terminated in jacks.

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I partially disagree. Granted I have only cabled for 5 years, but as long as you have proper equipment for making the cable and proper equipment for testing the cable, there is no reason you can't turn any length of cat5e into a standard cable. You are correct though, that longer lengths of cables are really meant to be jack to jack and not terminated with plugs, though there are definite instances where this does not occur, even on 300 ft cables (such as in COs for remote management connections - AT&T actually requires that you terminate with plugs). –  MaQleod Oct 25 '12 at 0:34
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What you need is a cable tester.

There are no software that will be able to tell you if your cable is properly bixed.

I don't know how far the two rooms are from each other, but I would recommend using a pre-built cable.

If not, at least get yourself female connectors and then two shorter patch cables.

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