Is it true that computers only need three of the four pairs to transmit data? I have the third pair on a very long wire, goes through conduit, etc. Can I switch one of the pairs and make it work?
It was the bluewhite and green pair.
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Of the four pairs, you use only 2 for normal 100base operation. Some forms of Gigabit ethernet uses all four pairs. If one pair went bad, you should be able to substitute another pair, but it isn't an ideal thing to do since it becomes a non-standard color code (potentially) and it limits your future speed. Which pair died - what colors on the wires?
As long as you switch both ends correctly, that should work just fine.
If not, devices such as these (which use the spare lines in a Cat5+ cable to run a second set of signals) would not work.
If the cable goes through conduit i would think that the termination on the ends of the cable are the problem - try re terminating both ends first.
Your standing cabling goes:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 O O/W G Bl/W Bl G/W Br Br/W
The Orange and Green pairs are used — pins 1, 2, 3 and 6. You could replace the Green with Blue and the Orange with Brown if you wish.
But regardless, I recommend attaching a new cable to the end of the existing one, and pulling it through (with someone feeding). Non-standard cabling is just asking for trouble down the road.