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I have a 5 port 10/100 ethernet hub (cheap "Dynex" brand sold only at FutureShop) at home, and it has started going into a weird failure mod, I call it the "reset loop" but I have no idea if I'm right about what it is that's going on. I have changed ethernet cables, moved them around, and generally experimented to try to figure out what's going on.

My best guess is that when you have the power light (red) on solid, and all five ethernet port lights are lit and blinking rapidly, and then every 5 seconds all five ethernet port lights (green) go off for about .75 of a second that something is "faulting" inside this 10/100 ethernet hub, or that the power draw increases with the number of cables attached, and that since this thing is either nominal or its power supply (wall wart) may be nominal, or functioning at its limits, it may be resetting due to a near-failure condition on the power supply. Is that a reasonable assumption?

I've changed the cables, tried different cables and different ports and scrambled around settings, and the particular ethernet adapter that appears to be triggering this is a Broadcom gigabit ethernet on my dell laptop. It has configuration settings inside windows device driver settings to let me force 100baseT operation, instead of its default gigabit, and I tried turning that on, and it didn't solve the problem initially, but after a bit more twiddling cables, I now have something which appears not to be going into a reset-loop (blocking 90% of network traffic, it seems, and letting 1 ping through per 10 tries, when it's in this failure mode).

has anyone seen anything like this? My best guess right now is to throw out this 10/100 ethernet hub and buy a gigabit router. But the general question that I think is useful to the broader community is: What does it mean when all the green 10/100 PORT lights go out, and it seems that when this happens, the lights on my laptops ethernet connector cut out too, but the red power light on the ethernet switch stays on? (I'm guessing an internal crash and reset of the electronics inside the hub, I'd like confirmation from someone who knows more about these cheap 10/100 ethernet switch boxes than I do.)

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Seems to me that we'd need to know the brand/model of your equipment. There isn't a standard "reset every 5 seconds" mode that i'm aware of. –  cHao Nov 10 '12 at 19:13
    
cheap "house brand" Dynex DXESW5 5 port 10/100 ETHERNET, circa 2005 era, Dynex is a house brand of FutureShop, in Canada. Cheap. –  Warren P Nov 10 '12 at 19:32

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