IT Employment

General discussion


Network drops connections to workstations connected to my IDF- (Win 2000)

By faisal ·
Connection drops after a certain amount of time in my network only for connection that are connected to a particular IDF. Users that are running network apps are dropped and they have to rerun apps. What could be causing this? Please, can anyone help...?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -


by UncleRob In reply to Network drops connections ...

forgive my stupidity (I ask the same from my wife daily but that's another ball o'wax!) but what is an IDF? Let me know when you get a chance.

Collapse -

Methinks, Intermediate Distribution Facility

by gralfus In reply to IDF?

That's a wiring closet.

Collapse -

What is an IDF?

by faisal In reply to IDF?

No question is ever stupid...I believe that the computer arena is growing at such a rate that it is almost impossible to always know everything...even for a seasoned IT person...anyways...IDF is the acronym for "Intermediary Distribution Frame". The main frame where all the wiring begins is called MDF = "Master Distribution Frame".
I hope that answers your question...

Collapse -

by DeN inc. In reply to Network drops connections ...

I dunno what an IDF does but all I know is that
If you;re just using a normal 10/100Mbps switch running on a really high data transfer rate, then there's no surprise if your network breaks down. Try moving on to a gigabit switch. Hope this helps

Collapse -

I'm glad that I'm not the only one ...

by stress junkie In reply to Network drops connections ...

... who's never heard of an IDF. It just reaffirms my conviction that acronyms are more of a problem than a solution.

Collapse -

Try this.....

by tlyden In reply to Network drops connections ...

I can think of a couple reasons that may be causing the problem. I hope I can shed some light.

First, I agree with another posting by evaluating your electronics. Also, I would ask if you have done any change outs or maintenance (MACs, etc.) in the IDF? Check the switch settings between MDF and IDF(depending on the type,capability and age of the switch, and/or,depending on network config.). See if the switch is auto-megotiating, or is hard-coded to a particular setting (10/100, etc.). You did not mention in your message what type of apps (bandwidth) you are running (ex. 10Meg, 100Meg, etc.) If you have a disparity between electronics you can see a serious drop in utilization in the pipe.

Second, what type of cabling infrastructure is installed? In a copper environment particularly, many do not realize how important continuity is between cable, patch cord, jack, etc. This may not be a big deal if you are not running big bandwidth apps, but can take your network down to nothing if you are. Impedence mismatch can cause bit error rates that bog down the pipe causing your electronics to essentially be too busy re-sending the data to get it across the pipe (a 1% BER equates to an 80% reduction/degredation in throughput). How many patch cords are plugged into the switch? Have you checked the port(s)? Could be a faulty switchblade. Just because you have link light does not insure everything is OK. It just means you have continuity (connection is recognized). Check your passive test results from the cabling installer. See if the testing indicated all 4 pairs in the cable runs themselves are in scope. A manufacturing defect, or installation error (cable stretched, kinked, sheath broken or cut) in cable which puts it out of spec can cause all data transmitting on respective pairs (depending on application) to cause the pipe to go down, or not function properly. Check patch cords. Are they worn? Is the RJ-45 plug crimped or bonded to the stranded cable of the patchcord itself? Crimped can wear out much faster than a bonded/snagless type cord. Are the cords "homemade" or generic, or manufactured and tested by a brand-specific manufacturer. In which case, depending on the age of the cord, more than likely can be replaced for free by the manufacturer if it is determined to be faulty. Patch cords are the weakest link in a network. A little extra money for good cords is definitley worth a few extra bucks to save you some grief.

Last, but certainly not least, if all else fails, go back to your software. I just find that starting with the physical layer and working your way up, more times than not, eliminates the problem.

I hope this helps. If you would like the name of an independent diagnostic service (not my company), please drop me an email at and I would be happy to assist.

My Best,
T Lyden

I realize there are diagnostic tools to monitor your switches/network, but not all tools are created equal. Maybe consider spending a little money to bring in an independent company to run diagnostic tests on all 7 layers on your network. It can be worth the investment to diagnose the problem within a couple hours versus the amount of time you will be spending bringing the network back up as well as try to find the problem. I have seen IT professionals become frustrated because they cannot track a network problem only to be relieved once they have had the diagnostic testing done. This is also a nice way to get a complete mapping of your network and ID all circuits,electronics, etc. Great to have on hand for future reference. In light of the fact you have taken over from another individual, it is nice to put your own stamp on network performance. Many times new IT managers take over for someone who spent less money and little time configuring the network properly by taking the path of least resistance.

Collapse -


by cakelloh In reply to Network drops connections ...

I would advice you check the IP addresses on the
machines connected to the network to see if there
are some which are used twice.

Using an IP address more than once would cause
a problem when both machines sharing the same
address are turned on.


Charles O. Akelloh

Related Discussions

Related Forums