Bad NIC? Howto SWAP ports and keep configuration.

  • Question: I believe I may have a NIC issue.  Before swapping out boxes, I was wondering if there is a way to swap the logical interfaces.  I have a Intel Dual Port Ethernet card.  My issue only happens on one of the ports.  I’d love to keep the interface configurations by just swap the physical ports.  Can I do this via the web configuration or do I have to be at the box?

    Details of Issue:  We have two wireless networks, a private and a guest. The private never goes down. The public goes down frequently (like 1 time a week).  This network is never under load. It will go down with nobody on it.  What I mean by ‘goes down’ is that I cannot ping any of them.  What I found is if I unplug the public waps from the switch and then plug them in 1 by 1 I usually find one that causes all the others to stop responding to a ping. If I unplug that WAP the others stop timing out and respond to the ping.  I’ve swapped the WAP a couple of times thinking I have a bad WAP but that doesn’t do it.  If I go to the bad WAP and unplug it and plug it back in, all is well … for a couple of days.

    • I have replaced the cabling going from the public switch to the port of the Intel Dual port card.

    • I have replaced the switch I am using for the public network

    • I think my next step is to isolate it down to the card.  Since the private switch is plugged into the other port of that intel card, and never goes down, I want to swap the ports and see if the private network starts to experience this.

    My hardware and software details

    • WAN - ATT U-verse modem

    • Enterprise Firewall/Router - pfsense 2.1 latest build on a dell box with 3 ports (WAN, and a dual ethernet card intel that has ports for private and public)

    • Private switches(2) - Netgear Prosafe 24-Port Gigabit Switch

    • Public  switch(1) - Netgear Prosafe 24-Port Gigabit Switch

    • WAPS(5) - public WAPs Cisco WAP300N. BTW, the private WAPs are the same make/model and have same load but never get into this situation.  I am using Captive Portal turned on the public network with no authentication just a welcome screen and a connect button.

    Thanks so much for your insight!

  • Go into interfaces, assign. Switch the ports and save. You will then need to swap the cables.

  • I swapped boxes and the problem still exists.  We are a church; toward the end of the first service and start of 2nd, things stopped working like they normally do –> users can't connect to the portal ... they choose the guest network and things spin.  All of the public WAPs timeout on a ping.  To date, I've replaced the cabling, the switch and now the actual server box with new cards.  The only way I can avoid this intermittent non-response situation is to disable the captive portal.  Once I do that and the firewall is synced the public waps all become accessible.  I didn't have to power them or the server/switches down.

    So, I believe it is a configuration/software (captive portal) bug.    Any tips on what debugging to turn on in order to nail this?  I really don't need the captive portal except for limited the up/download bandwidth the pubic interface gets.


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