Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dell PowerConnect 5448 Switch 100mbps?

I have a Dell PowerConnect 5448 Switch with random workstations connecting at 100mbps instead of 1gbps. This is a new internet cafe with brand new CAT6 cabling. 12 workstations have intel network cards, 28 have broadcom network cards.

If I do a show running config on the switch we can see that the speed is set to 1000 by default for all ports.

One of the PC's that is syncing at 100mbps is on port g33 of the switch. Below I manually configured g33 to force it to be 1gbps.

I then unplugged the CAT6 network cable out of port g33, then plugged it back in so it could re-negotiate speed. Again it came up as 100mbps. I then plugged the machine into a TPLink switch.. it negotiated at 1gbps straight away so it is not the cabling.

The firmware i'm running as of this writing is on the PowerConnect 5448 switch which is the latest at this time.

Please note that this is a random occurrence. If I continue to unplug the network cable and plug it back in, it will eventually negotiate at 1gbps.

This is not the only problem I have found with the Dell PowerConnect 5448 switch. It also delays up to 10 seconds when passing on DHCP requests. Please see:

I believe the hardware in the Dell PowerConnect 5448 is fine... however I would avoid purchasing this switch until they release another firmware update resolving these problems.


  1. thats why you dont cheap out and you buy cisco mate

  2. Hi!
    do you still have problems with that switch ?
    because I whant to buy 3 of them and I do whant to know I they work as supposed to...
    please reply

  3. Yes - Dell ended up taking it back then giving us a 2848 48 port gigabit switch. This switch has problems multicasting - machines only get 1mbps per second. Also machines randomly sync at both 100mbps and 1gbps - even though all ports are synced at 1gbps.

    Worst of all, the 2848 switch had a problem:

    Device will reboot after running for a while. Error message displayed "FATAL ERROR: SW2M: ABORT DATA exception"

    Yeah great work Dell! We are currently in the process of getting our money back and going HP.

  4. In total they have given us 3 switches all with problems!

  5. Nothing wrong with the switch Clint, you just didn't configure it correctly.
    You need to use RSTP with Portfast (Fastlink) in order to avoid the DHCP errors you mention.
    I'd recommend applying this config.

    console> enable
    console# configure
    console(config)# port jumbo-frame
    console(config)# spanning-tree mode rstp
    console(config)# interface range ethernet g1-48
    console(config-if)# spanning-tree portfast
    console(config-if)# exit

    Make sure to write the working config when you are done so that it remains in place after a reboot.

  6. All our switches (desktop connectivity, server racks, core switches) are DELL 5324, 5424/5448, 6248'sand they all works just fine. They cost us the yearly maintenance cost of our old cisco gear 3 years of support included. Just test you configuration before using in production. Only the older 5324 had a firmware issue that made us loose HTTP config access but we still had shh, console and a firmware upgrade sored that out.

  7. By default most ethernet drivers will try to negociate the speed, so if you configured port speed to 1000 you should do the same for your NICs, because the switch is not expecting to negociate the speed and doesn't respond.

    Use speed auto for both or speed 1000, but never mix.

  8. I tried setting machines to 1000 manually... it did not negotiate. With a TPLink switch it worked fine.

  9. have all these problems be resolved now?