Physical Side of Cisco Switches

Posted on August 15, 2009. Filed under: CCNA, ICND1 break down | Tags: , , , |

ICND1 and ICND2 break down

LEDs on the front panel of the switch provide information on switch status during startup, normal operation, and fault conditions.




Speed LED



Status LED

Mode button

Duplex LED

Port LEDs
1 The PoE LED is only on the Catalyst 2960 PoE switches.

The following table details switch LED status indicators.

System LED

The System LED shows whether the system is receiving power and is functioning properly. Table 1-2 lists the LED colors and their meanings.


Table 1-2 System LED  


System Status
Off System is not powered on.
Green System is operating normally.
Amber System is receiving power but is not functioning properly.




The RPS LED shows the RPS status. Table 1-3 lists the LED colors and their meanings.

Note The Catalyst 2960 8-port switches, and the Catalyst 2960-24-S, 2960-24TC-S, 2960-48TC-S, and 2960-48TT-S switches do not have an RPS LED.


Table 1-3 RPS LED 


RPS Status
Off RPS is off or not properly connected.
Green RPS is connected and ready to provide back-up power, if required.
Blinking green RPS is connected but is unavailable because it is providing power to another device (redundancy has been allocated to a neighboring device).
Amber The RPS is in standby mode or in a fault condition. Press the Standby/Active button on the RPS, and the LED should turn green. If it does not, the RPS fan could have failed. Contact Cisco Systems.
Blinking amber The internal power supply in a switch has failed, and the RPS is providing power to the switch (redundancy has been allocated to this device).

Port LEDs and Modes

The port LEDs, as a group or individually, display information about the switch and about the individual ports (Table 1-4):


Table 1-4 Modes for Port LEDs

Selected Mode LED

Port Mode

STAT Port status The port status. This is the default mode.
DUPLX Port duplex mode The port duplex mode: full duplex or half duplex.
SPEED1 Port speed The port operating speed: 10, 100, or 1000 Mb/s.
PoE2 PoE port power The PoE status.
1 When installed in Catalyst 2960 switches, 1000BASE-T SFP modules can operate at 10, 100, or 1000 Mb/s in full-duplex mode or at 10 or 100 Mb/s in half-duplex mode.2 The PoE LED is only on the Catalyst 2960 PoE switches.



Even if the PoE mode is not selected, the PoE LED shows PoE problems when they are detected (Table 1-5). The PoE LED applies only to Catalyst 2960 switches that support PoE.


Table 1-5 PoE Mode LED 


PoE Status
Off PoE mode is not selected. None of the 10/100 PoE ports have been denied power or are in a fault condition.
Green PoE mode is selected, and the PoE status is shown on the port LEDs.
Blinking amber PoE mode is not selected. At least one of the 10/100 PoE ports has been denied power, or at least one of the ports has a PoE fault.



To select or change a mode, press the Mode button until the desired mode is highlighted. When you change port modes, the meanings of the port LED colors also change. Table 1-6 explains how to interpret the port LED colors in different port modes.


Table 1-6 Meaning of Port LED Colors in Different Modes on the Switch 

Port Mode

LED Color

(port status)
Off No link, or port was administratively shut down.
Green Link present.
Blinking green Activity. Port is sending or receiving data.
Alternating green-amber Link fault. Error frames can affect connectivity, and errors such as excessive collisions, cyclic redundancy check (CRC) errors, and alignment and jabber errors are monitored for a link-fault indication.
Amber Port is blocked by Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) and is not forwarding data.Note After a port is reconfigured, the port LED can remain amber for up to 30 seconds as STP checks the network topology for possible loops.
Blinking amber Port is blocked by STP and is not sending or receiving packets.
Off Port is operating in half duplex.
Green Port is operating in full duplex.

10/100 and 10/100/1000 ports
Off Port is operating at 10 Mb/s.
Green Port is operating at 100 Mb/s.
Blinking green Port is operating at 1000 Mb/s.

SFP ports
Off Port is operating at 10 Mb/s.
Green Port is operating at 100 Mb/s.
Blinking green Port is operating at 1000 Mb/s.Note When installed in Catalyst 2960 switches, 1000BASE-T SFP modules can operate at 10, 100, or 1000 Mb/s in full-duplex mode or at 10 or 100 Mb/s in half-duplex mode.
PoE Off PoE is off.If the powered device is receiving power from an AC power source, the PoE port LED is off even if the powered device is connected to the switch port.
Green PoE is on. The port LED is green only when the switch port is providing power.
Alternating green and amber PoE is denied because providing power to the powered device will exceed the switch power capacity. The Catalyst 2960-24PC-L, 2960 48PST-L, 2960-48PST-S, and 2960-24PC-S switches provide up to 370 W of power. The Catalyst 2960-24LT-L and 2960-24LC-S switches provide up to 124 W of power.
Blinking amber PoE is off due to a fault.

Caution PoE faults are caused when noncompliant cabling or powered devices are connected to a PoE port. Only standard-compliant cabling can be used to connect Cisco prestandard IP Phones or wireless access points or IEEE 802.3af-compliant devices to PoE ports. You must remove from the network the cable or device that causes a PoE fault.

Amber PoE for the port has been disabled. By default, PoE is enabled.
For more detail, check this Cisco document about Catalyst 2960 Switch Hardware.

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7 Responses to “Physical Side of Cisco Switches”

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Everything in your post is quiet nice and giving some valuable information, it would have been still much better if u had shown the colours which you mentioned even in the pictures.

Nice post great explanation about the product.

Thank you! I find the info very useful.

Very nice details for troubleshooting .


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