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I am attempting to enable web-management functionality on my Dell PowerConnect2824.

From what I can tell by reading the manual I need to connect via the serial port to enable web functionality.

I picked up a serial to usb connector and installed the drivers onto my Win7 machine. It now shows up in my Device Manager under Ports 'Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port (COM5).

However when I fire up Putty and choose 'serial' and enter COM5 the resulting terminal window simply hangs.

The PowerConnect uses VT100 protocol which from what I understand Putty recognizes. My serial settings are as follows:

Serial: COM5
Speed: 9600
Data bits: 8
Stop bits: 1
Parity: None
Flow control: XON/XOFF

Thanks any help is appreciated.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Most switches that I have worked with do not use any flow control, so I double checked the Dell PowerConnect and it indeed does not use flow control.

From page 33 of the manual: 9600 baud 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, and no parity Set flow control to none Under Properties, select VT100 for Emulation mode

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+1 flow control is probably the problem... also 8N1 is pretty much standard for switches ... except for some low end biz models (i'm looking at you linksys!) – Zypher Jul 17 '10 at 3:01

Try pressing Enter after connecting. As far as I know, there's no way for the device to know when PuTTY opens the serial port; an Enter keypress would serve as a "attention" message and you should receive a reply.

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For those curious about how serial putty v0.60 “ALWAYS” fails: Putty v0.60 running on Vista (core 2 Duo 2.2Ghz, 4GB) connected to Linux 115200bps, translation UTF-8, running MC (Midnight Commander). Keep alternatively pressed your keyboard up and down arrows, this will generate full-duplex traffic; continuous outgoing up/down arrow commands and continuous incoming screen refresh while directories and files scroll. In less than 60 sec putty will stop sending command and updating the screen. If I restart putty on the same COM the Linux session is still alive and working. I’m always using MC under serial connection and I was struggling with this putty issue for long time.

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This sounds stupid, but did you make sure that your serial to USB cable is also a null-modem cable?

I've had the same issue, until I figured out that I had to get a small null-modem bridge in order to actually communicate with a server with a serial console.

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I can highly recommend making or getting some Yost adaptors and using the suggested cable type. They make life so much simpler if you're using serial much. Serial should be burned at the stake. – Dennis Williamson Jul 16 '10 at 23:44
Hmm, the package makes no mention of a 'null-modem' or 'crossover' cable, and I am using the cable supplied with the switch which makes no mention either, I will pick up a null-modem cable and see if that is the issue. Thanks. – user30875 Jul 17 '10 at 1:23

You probably need to read the switch's manual to see what serial options need to be set for Flow Control, Parity, etc. It should be in there somewhere.

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