Tracking Down Undocumented Cables Efficiently

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Tracking Down Undocumented Cables Efficiently

The Situation:

After being hired to my current workplace, I found that while some documentation was superb, other documentation was non-existent. One such case of non-existent documentation is the physical cable routes from switches to their endpoints. Due to the number of cables involved and the size of our building it would take a great deal of time to follow each cable individually, so I am hoping to find a more efficient way to complete the task and significantly reduce the amount of time involved.


Steps Toward a Solution:

So far, this is what I have done:

  • Under the menu headings Switch>Monitor>Switches I selected the Ports tab (right-hand side) and selected each port that reported having a client attached to it. From there I was able to discern some end-point locations based on which client was located where (specific office phones, for instance). Based on these findings I updated the port names under the menu headings Switch>Monitor>Switch_ports.
  • After all of the easy labeling, I walked around to each known wall-jack (excluding those whose cables were already determined) and plugged my laptop in via ethernet. In the same Ports tab mentioned above, I observed the change in status from offline (colored black) to online (colored green) among all the ports displayed for the switch that manages the particular area. Those ports which changed were then labeled in >Switch_ports accordingly. Those ports which did not change (primarily Cat5 connections that have allegedly been disconnected at both ends) are the ones I am now trying to discover.
  • Using the cable-test feature (also under Switch>Monitor>Switches, Ports tab), I have been able to determine the lengths of some cables and thereby narrow the distance from the switch to a certain radius. However, other cables reported to be 1m in length with either no twisted-pair readings or reporting that all twisted-pairs were "ok". Additionally, I have visually verified that at least some of these "1m" cables are much longer than 1m, as the drop from the ceiling to the switch is longer.

In the latter instance, what more can I do (if anything) to determine the destination of the cables without physically tracing them?

David Carroll | I.T. Associate, SVBC
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2 Replies 2
Meraki Alumni (Retired)
Meraki Alumni (Retired)



I would physically track them down, and it's not that hard. Go buy a toner (below) and you'll track these cables quicker than you'd think.


If you have never used a toner:

Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

Do you know about the magic url:


If you go to any machine plugged into a Meraki switch, open a browser and go it will tell you the switch name and port you are plugged into.


More info about magic URLS:


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