While 10nBaseTx cable is much less prone to failure than 10Base2 and 10Base5, and failures in it tend to result in problems for a smaller portion of a network, failures in UTP cabling can still affect network connectivity from time to time. Note that when there is a 10xBaseTx cable failure, only the device using that cable is affected.
All other workstations on the network continue to operate normally, with the exception of not being able to reach the affected station. Here are some examples of troubleshooting activities involving 10nBaseTx cabling:
As with coax cabling, UTP cabling can break or become damaged. When this happens, only the station connected to that cable segment loses network connectivity. Generally, if a station has lost network connectivity and its NIC link light is not on, the workstation is not seeing the network, and the problem is likely to be somewhere in the cable. To fix the problem, replace the cable with a known-good cable.
Many types of UTP and STP look very similar. If you have a new installation that isnt working, check to make sure youve used the right type of cable that matches the other hardware and cabling in the network. The symptoms here are similar to those with a cable break. To fix this, replace the cable with the proper type.
Sometimes a 10nBaseTx connector becomes damaged, or dislodges its self from the cabling. Another variety of connector issue is one you might have experienced in the RJ-11 telephone jack world, where the little plastic latch breaks off the jack. The connector can still be plugged in to the wall jack and will often stay in the wall jack most of the time. A connector that is not well-seated and clicked in to the jack will cause an intermittent connection that may show itself as a high number of packet errors on that PC, or cause the NIC link light on that workstation to sporadically blink on and off. To address this, pull out your cable crimper tool, and a new RJ-45 connector, and replace the loose or broken connector on the end of the cable.
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