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After much messing around with what appeared to be 4 faulty routers in a row I realized that I can reproduce causing my DLINK DIR-655 router to freeze up and require a hard reboot (to factory setttings) by simply plugging in my Lenovo W520's ethernet card.

I was also able to reproduce this on my old Asus RT-N16. I went through 4 routers (3 Asus and 1 DLink) and can reproduce this.

Does this sound like a possible?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, it's very possible. Loopbacks (typically caused by bad cabling, an actual network loop or a faulty NIC) can create a broadcast/multicast storm, which can put pretty much any network device to a halt.

We've had $1k routers going down because of this, so it's not only consumer grade stuff that freezes.

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Worth noting that unplugging the device and rebooting the router should fix even the worst storms. –  Mark Henderson Apr 12 '12 at 8:02

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