Most networking routers and switches have a console port that you can use to gain access to the operating system. This port is commonly used to configure other ways to access the component, such as by enabling the Ethernet port and defining an IP Address. The console port can also be used for troubleshooting.
Things You'll Need
Instructions to Connect a Router/Switch Using the Console Port
1. Routers and switches generally come with a serial cable to facilitate local access. Cisco typically ships a DB9-to-RJ45 cable with its networking equipment. Other vendors may supply a DB9-to-DB9 cable.
2. Attach the DB9 (female) connector of the supplied cable to the serial port on the PC. Attach the other end of the cable to the serial or console port of the router or switch.
3. Launch a terminal application such as HyperTerminal and define a new connection. Under the 'Connect Using:' option, select the appropriate communication port (COM1, COM2, etc) to which the console cable is attached.
4. Click 'OK.' A Port Settings window opens, prompting you to input the data rate and communication setting as defined by the vendor. Check your user manual for the required settings. Most vendors use the following settings: 9600 bits per second, 8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit and no flow control.
5. Click 'OK.' You are now in the Terminal Window. Notice in the top icon menu that the phone icon is showing the headset in the down position; lifted means it is disconnected. This confirms the application is communicating through the console cable.
6. Press the 'Enter' key several times until a menu appears in the Terminal Window. When the menu appears, you can proceed with configuring the router or switch as needed.
Tips & Warnings
Some vendors design their hardware to prompt you to enter your username and password. It is a good idea to review the Quick Setup Guide for your product before commencing the installation procedure.
If you are unable to make a connection, check that the cabling is securely connected to the computer and verify that you are connected to the appropriate communication port, such as COM1 or COM2. If garbage displays on the screen, check the port settings, especially the data rate. Adjust to 19,200, 38,400 or 57,600 as needed.
If at first you don't succeed, check connection to the computer. Make sure that you are connected to the appropriate communication port (COM1, COM2, etc.)
If receiving garbage on the screen, check Port Settings (specially, data rate). Adjust accordingly (19200, 38400, 57600)