Netgear GS108 8 port switch — flashing lights

My home office network has a NetGear GS108 dumb switch which has been running my network at gigabit speeds perfectly fine for last 3 years until early last week when I noticed some really strange going ons.  Copying files between my workstation and laptop suddenly took significantly longer than usual;  not just a cup of coffee but an entire 5 course lunch could be consumed.  My gigabit network had started behaving  like dial-up line with an acoustic coupler modem.  As I had deadlines to meet, I used a USB key to transfer the files and pencilled in some time for Monday morning to dig into this a bit deeper.

Today the NetGear GS108 has really shamed itself by randomly flashing all of its lights and dropping ports causing the link to my garage based  private cloud to be lost , no internet and all my network devices to report no link.   It looked more than just rolled up newspaper was going to be needed to correct its behaviour.

As it happens I have a pile of these switches so the offending article was swapped out for an identical unit and normal service was resumed.  Some Google searches later it appears that NetGear GS108 8 port switches manufactured before 2008 have issues with 2 x capacitors used within them.  Symptoms include:-

  • All lights flash on the ports at the sametime with dropped links
  • Mixing 100mb/s & 1000mb/s devices cause everything to run slowly

That is an exact match for what I was experiencing.  And I have 2 x 100mb/s devices with everything else running at 1000mb/s.  A short term solution is to turn everything down to 100mb/s or remove the 100mb/s devices.  Not something that will work for me.  You can replace 2 x capacitors on the motherboard as a longer term fix but I’ve seen several posts where this fixes the port light flashing but not issues when you have mixed speed devices connected.

The identical unit is working so far and gives me time to search for a replacement .  If you want to see the fix involving the capacitors, look here: How to fix a broken GS108


About Jon Giffard

Husband, father, motorcyclist , amateur runner ( on hold due to knee injury ) - now trying not to drown whilst swimming. Senior Product Manager - Cloud Platform Not available for yodelling. Please do not ask.
This entry was posted in NetGear GS108, Networks. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Netgear GS108 8 port switch — flashing lights

  1. Quick question. Would the switch connecting gigabit devices at fast ethernet speeds be the same problems? My Macbook Pro with gigabit ethernet and cat6 cable is connecting at fast ethernet speed directly to the switch GS108

  2. jgiffard says:

    If you have the same symptons, then most likely yes.

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