Troubleshooting Advice - Daisy chained switches will not connect

Longtime lurker but first time poster here. I’ve always enjoyed reading the posts of the knowledgeable and friendly community here and I was hoping to get some networking advice. While I consider myself somewhat computer literate, I will admit my networking knowledge is extremely limited. But from what I’ve read, daisy chaining switches is supposedly as easy as running a ethernet cable between the 2 switches. Unfortunately, I cannot get them to connect at all.

I’m aware that daisy chaining switches is not a great idea but for my situation it seems like the best solution. I have a small older home with need for 3 or more wired ethernet connections in my living room and my home office . I have run a 50 foot cat5e cable from the living room to my office. The setup I’ve been running successfully for years is modem > wi-fi router > switch (in office). However, I wanted to get a more powerful/faster wi-fi signal to the rest of the house because the living room is on the opposite end of the house. So, I purchased an Asus OnHub (only 1 LAN port) and a switch to connect locally to the OnHub to replace the wi-fi router. Not so simple I guess. Windows diagnostics on the computers connected to the 2nd switch says the IP address is not configured properly.

The current equipment is the Asus OnHub connected to a Cisco 8 Port Gigabit Ethernet Desktop Switch SG110D-08 wired to a D-Link 16 port Gigabit Ethernet Desktop Switch DGS-1016A rev. B (in office). I have tested that all of these devices work properly independently of each other.

Previously, I used a Zyxel VFG6005n gigabit wi-fi router (it died) and then a Cisco RV110W wi-fi router (only 100 Mbps - another reason to replace it) connected to the D-Link switch. Both of these setups worked flawlessly.

The OnHub doesn’t seem to be the issue since it functions correctly with the either switch connected directly. So, I’ve reached out to Cisco and D-Link to assist in troubleshooting and when their attempts failed they just blamed the other vendor’s equipment. Imagine that. :angry:

Troubleshooting I’ve attempted so far includes:

  1. Exchanging the switch’s locations

  2. Powering down the entire network and then powering up in this order - modem > OnHub > 1st switch > second switch

  3. Only connecting the OnHub and both switches prior to powering up (no devices connected to either switch - initially anyway).

  4. Attempted to manually configure the LAN IP addresses on the PC connected to the 2nd (office) switch to match the network to see if I could at least ping them. No luck. The ethernet status listed in windows just states “no network connection”. The status lights on the 2nd switch are solid and not blinking. I’m colorblind but I believe all the status lights on the 2nd switch are red.

I really would like to keep the OnHub / switch combo in place of the wi-fi router because the wireless signal is remarkably strong and I really want to ditch the RV110W’s 100Mbs wired speed. Plus, all of the ports on the wi-fi router in the living room are occupied and I need to add at least one additional device (PS4). So, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my lengthy post.

Edit: 50 foot cable NOT 50 meters. Don’t know what I was thinking. :flushed:

Could be spanning tree taking a bit. I would suggest you power it up and wait for 5 or so minutes.


From my quick google search, it doesn’t appear that either of these switches are managed, so that takes most of the higher level troubleshooting out of the mix. Are you using the same cable to connect the switches when you swapped them in different locations? Have you tested connectivity from the first switch after the OnHub to see if you can connect there when both switches are connected? I would start by having the setup the way you want it and then taking a laptop and connecting to the farthest switch (which you said didn’t work), then trying the nearest switch, then directly from the OnHub and just work your way up to see exactly what part isn’t talking. To test the cable, I would just use the same one to plug into the laptop to prove you have connection to the second switch. Let us know how those tests work and we can try to help you from there. My gut is saying the cable between the switches is the problem.

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Thanks so much for the advice. I did as you suggested using BOTH switches (exchanging their physical location). I plugged in only the OnHub > 1st switch > 2nd switch (no devices connected to either switch) and waited 10 minutes. Then attempted plugging in one PC (laptop) to the 2nd switch and waited 10 minutes. Unfortunately, no connection still.

However, I noticed that whenever the D-Link switch is connected to the Cisco switch in either physical location the status light for the 50 foot connector cable is OFF and never turns on (as if nothing is plugged into the port at all). I did not notice this previously because I had the cables plugged in immediately next to each other and the lights on the D-Link are so close together (and behind a plexi-glass cover) that the lights will illuminate the neighboring readout. Of course it is lit when it is connected by itself because everything works as intended. The Cisco Router’s (2 lights per port) “connected” status light will turn on at the port connected to the D-Link (in either physical location).

However, the Cisco’s 2nd “activity” light stays off. So, now I’m thinking maybe their is a compatibility issue between the two switch models. I didn’t know this was possible. Maybe I should just get either a matching D-Link or Cisco switch to pair up. Honestly, I’m not really sure what my next course of action should be.

I will go into a little more detail in my next response (below this one). Any additional thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks again.

Edit: 50 foot cable NOT meters. I’m an idiot.

Thank you so much for all the assistance. And yes, you are correct. These are both unmanaged switches. Sorry, I should have mentioned that before.

So, I did as you instructed with the following results:

  1. OnHub > wired laptop = Good

  2. OnHub > via 50m connector cable > wired laptop = Good

  3. OnHub > D-Link switch > wired laptop & other PC’s (wired locally AND via the 50ft connector cable) = Good

  4. OnHub > Cisco switch > wired laptop & other PC’s (wired locally AND via the 50ft connector cable) = Good

  5. Cisco RV110W wi-fi router (connected to local machines) > D-Link switch (via 50ft connector cable) = Good

  6. Cisco RV110W wi-fi router (connected to local machines) > Cisco switch (via 50ft connector cable) = Good

If I introduce BOTH switches in either physical location into the network, that is when the connection between the switches fails (regardless of their physical location, i.e. 1st or 2nd). As I mentioned in the post above this one, I just noticed that when the switches are connected to one another the 50ft connector ethernet cable port on the D-Link is OFF. This is the case regardless of it’s physical location (i.e. 1st or 2nd switch). Whereas, the Cisco switch at least recognizes that a cable is plugged in on that port whether it’s the 1st or 2nd switch.

As mentioned above, I’m starting to believe there may be a compatibility issue with these 2 switches. Would you agree? I’ve never read anything about switch incompatibility. Is that a thing? Maybe my perceived “passing the buck” mentality of the D-Link and Cisco support agents was misguided.

Do you think having 2 of the same model switches would be the next logical course of action? I’m at a loss. But then again, as I said, my networking knowledge is quite limited. So any additional advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

Edit - Corrected wiring order for #5 & #6 (i.e. deleted OnHub entry as it was NOT connected in this scenerio).

Edit #2 - I also forgot to mention that the 1st switch (the one connected directly to the OnHub) in the daisy chained setup works correctly. This is the case for BOTH the Cisco & the D-Link when connected as the 1st switch. All of the 1st switch’s wired connections work properly and can be identified in the OnHub app.

Edit #3 - 50 foot cable NOT 50 meters. Sorry. Don’t know what I was thinking.

Not sure if this is a solution but its always best practice to connect to similar devices together with a cross-over cable (standard A on one end and standard B on the other) instead of a regular straight through cable. Most devices these days are auto-sensing and will auto configure to whatever cable you are using. Just something i thought of that i don’t think you’ve tried yet.


This hasn’t been the case for many years actually. Ports auto-sense which one to become these days. That said, not all switches are created equal. If OP doesn’t have dedicated uplink ports on his switches then they are likely auto-sensing.


I literally said that m8… lol

I haven’t read every reply, just OP’s.

Thanks for the information. I hope that is not the case because I had that dedicated ~50 foot cat5e ethernet cable from the living room to the office professionally installed through the wall/attic. I would probably look for another solution before I pay to have the wiring replaced.

Also, in reading the owner’s manuals for both switches there is no mention of dedicated uplink ports. In fact, both manuals instruct just to use an ethernet cable to connect to another switch with no mention of using a specific port. Also, they are both fairly new. The D-Link is less than 5 years old and the Cisco is brand new.

Although I’m not familiar with crossover cables, I did run across crossover adapters when googling the term. Would trying those be worth a shot since replacing the entire cable is less than desirable? Or would those only be needed if the switches have dedicated uplink ports? Thanks again.

Relying on auto-sense for cross-over is bad practice. If everything is gig, it SHOULD work, but if you have the correct cables, use them. If you have troubles, i’d start with putting the correct cables in…

If you’re going switch to switch it is BEST practice to use the correct cable and not simply rely on the fact that the network hardware should figure it out.

In theory, negotiation is part of the gigabit ethernet standard, but it wasn’t part of the official 100 megabit standard (or shudder 10 megabit) and plenty of 100 megabit hardware does not implement it.

Especially if troubleshooting something that DOESN’T WORK, (as per the OP), i’d strongly suggest starting with rectifying things like this.

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I do this sort of thing for a living… describing networks via a wall of text is a little wordy. Its both difficult to describe in words and difficult to visualize when reading it.

I’d suggest drawing yourself a diagram (or maybe diagrams of what works, and what you’re trying to achieve) of what plugs into what (including port numbers/names) and maybe post that up as well.

Often i find that drawing things out is a good basis for troubleshooting myself - you can follow the traffic flow and find out where it stops. Its the first thing i ask any of our level 1 or 2 guys if they come to me with some random network problem they’re trying to solve.

If not - it’s a lot clearer for everyone than trying to do a mental picture. If you’ve somehow done something like create a loop - i don’t know if any or all of those devices you mention will be running spanning tree (if they’re consumer: probably not) and this could cause your network to not work. Drawing out all your connections will make this clear :slight_smile:

on the crossover cable thing:
normally switch ports are wired differently from end device ports (e.g. network cards). the send and receive pairs are flipped so that send from a PC goes into receive on the switch and vice versa.

This means that if you connect either PC to PC or switch to switch, the pairs need to be flipped as both of the devices have the same internal wiring for send/receive (and your send pair on one port would be wired to the send pins on the other end device, ditto for receive).

Modern network hardware can do this in software via auto-sense, but whilst it is standard on gig ethernet, on 100 meg it’s a crapshoot. And if your network isn’t working for reasons unknown it’s a variable you can easily rule out by using the correct cables.


Waiting sometimes really helps ive upgraded our old 100mbit swiches at home some time ago with some 1gbit unmanaged cisco ones. Initially i thought im gonna go 10gbit straight away then found out it cost a fortune to do that still. My rooms PC is behind 3 switches with all non-crossed-over cables. Took like half an hour to work properly at 1gbit (was 100mbit at the start for some misterious reason and before that nothing), ever since then no problems what so ever.

Spanning tree or not it can take a while to work I can at least confirm that.

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I appreciate your time and assistance. I apologize for the wordy posts and I see how that can make things more confusing. And no I’ve never drawn a networking diagram or chart. So, I will attempt to explain the problem in concise a manner as possible.

Based on my troubleshooting, the traffic flow stops between the switches. Full stop.

I will go into further detail as to how I determined this, in case it provides some additional useful information. Keep in mind that I’ve tested the daisy chain setup in BOTH configurations (i.e. Cisco 1st + D-Link 2nd and vice versa).

When daisy chained there is no traffic/signal on the 2nd switch whatsoever. Any and all devices (i.e. laptop, desktop, printer) plugged into the 2nd switch have no connection (cannot ping anything on local network or internet). While the 1st switch plus all connected devices works properly. The status light for the port used for the ethernet cable connecting the switches is either not lit or shows no activity whatsoever on BOTH the 1st and 2nd switch. This is the case whether they are connected across rooms or sitting side-by-side using a 3 foot ethernet cable.

When only 1 of the 2 switches (either the Cisco or the D-Link) is used then everything works correctly. Again, this works fine whether it’s across rooms or connected via a 3 foot ethernet cable to the OnHub (or my other router, Cisco RV110W).

I hope that helps. I’m not sure how to draw a diagram that would be helpful to you. But if I did, then I imagine the daisy chained setup it would have a red X through the cable that connects the switches along with any/every device connected to switch #2. While the modem, OnHub, 1st switch and everything connected to the 1st switch would have a green check.

As far as spanning tree goes, I must confess my ignorance. But I can say that all of my devices (i.e. desktops, laptops, NAS, printer, All-In-One printer/fax/scanner, game consoles) are consumer grade equipment. I don’t have any enterprise (or enterprise-type) equipment.

In regards to the crossover cable, thank you for the explanation. I believe I understand its purpose now. Initially, I was under the false impression that it was a specific type of cable that would have to run the entire distance between the switches. But if I understand correctly, it simply crosses the send/receive pairs. And as long as this is done ONCE anywhere along the chain then it will achieve the desired crossover effect along the entire distance of the cable.

If that is correct, then I don’t believe I would have to replace the wiring in the wall/attic to achieve the crossover. I have a box in the living room and one in the office to plug an ethernet cable into. The in-wall cable is connected to the boxes directly and runs between the 2 rooms. So, if I plug in ONE crossover cable into a wall-mounted box and a switch then the entire wiring run between the rooms will effectively become a crossover. Is that correct? If so, does it matter where in the chain (i.e. living room with router & 1st switch OR office with 2nd switch) or in which “direction” the crossover cable is used? If this is possible, then it would be a simple thing to implement. I would just need to order a crossover cable. Would that be your recommendation?

Thanks again so much for all your time and advice. :slightly_smiling_face:

Edit - I forgot to reemphasize that both switches are gigabit and they have no dedicated uplink ports. So, they SHOULD work with auto-sense.

Edit #2 - When you were talking about spanning tree in your post, I believe you were implying that one or more of my connected devices may be causing the network to fail. But wouldn’t testing all the connections using only ONE wired laptop with NO other devices connected eliminate any possible conflicts? I detailed how I did this in my response to DigitalBytes post above. I not sure if that is what you meant or not. I just wanted to mention it in case it was relevant.

Thanks so much for the advice. This one is simple enough to test. I can just set it up prior to going to bed and leave it overnight. While I have attempted the setup for at least 20 minutes so far, I’m willing to try any and all suggestions at this point.

Thanks again. :slightly_smiling_face:

Quote from wikipedia regarding cross-over: “Gigabit and faster Ethernet links over twisted pair cable use all four cable pairs for simultaneous transmission in both directions. For this reason, there are no dedicated transmit and receive pairs, and consequently, crossover cables are never required for 1000BASE-T communication”

Now… Some “professional” installers are actually incompetent, it’s true it doesn’t matter what pairs you use, or which pair is which color, or which pair goes where, but it matters that pins that are supposed to be paired up, are actually paired up.

It’s worth double checking.

Once in a blue moon, it happens that for some reason I haven’t managed to get to the bottom of, with a perfectly fine, nice short cable, two pieces of gear won’t talk to each other. (ISP provided broadcom based piece of s*** router with an old meh tp-link router in this case).

Indulge me, get a $10 , 5-port gigabit tplink switch and put it in between the two proper switches, let me know if things start working.

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Yeah, i’d forgotten about the 4 pairs for gigabit thing.

It’s worth checking any building cabling for sure, because 100 meg only used to actively use 2 pairs. And that meant that in a pinch, some installers may have actually only connected two pairs to a given wall port. Why? because sometimes if you had one port and then needed two, rather than pull a new cable, the dodgy installer could have just used the “Spare” pairs on the existing cable for a new socket.

That works OK on 10 or 100 meg, but as above, not on gig.

Thanks for the reply. If I understand correctly, then using a crossover cable is not the answer with my gigabit equipment. So, trying a crossover cable would be fruitless. Is that correct?

As far as the wiring not being installed correctly to leverage the gigabit standards, is that something I can test on my own? Keep in mind I have no knowledge about the wiring diagrams or how to make a proper ethernet cable.

I can definitely try your suggestion of the $10 TP Link switch. That’s very reasonable. But are you suggesting that, if it works to leave the TP Link switch permanently connected between the other 2 switches? Or is this just a way to get them to “talk” to one another and if it works then remove the TP Link switch to see if they will “talk” own their own?

Thanks again for all your time and assistance. :slightly_smiling_face:

You can unmount a wall plate and have a look, there’s 8 color coded wires, they need to be set in the right order (same order, pairs correctly) on both sides.

Here’s wiring diagrams:

Your wall plate will be different, once you take off the plastic take some pictures with your phone and we can have a look.

(Strictly speaking they should be inserted correctly and have good contact and be unwound from the pair the minimum amount and not showing much, and so on blah blah standards, in practice however Ethernet is actually fairly resilient, so either the wirings a complete horror or it’s fine, at least when it comes to gigabit, 10G over cat5e is more sensitive to that than 10G over cat6 that’s again more sensitive than 10G over cat6a, … The worse the cable, the tidier job the installer has to do)

Re: cheap switch, I left mine in the middle for no good reason really (mine was a 5 port metal Netgear), but you can use yours instead of one of them - who knows maybe you end up needing more ports somewhere.

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