HowTo: Fix a Broken Netgear GS108

About a year and a half ago, I bought myself a Netgear GS108 gigabit switch to upgrade my in-apartment “backbone”. Unfortunately, it gave up the ghost last week, starting slowly flashing its lights on and off, and dropped all the PCs in our apartment off the net. I tried a few things, determined that it was, in fact, the switch that was broken, and took it out of service. Fortunately, just before throwing it out, I tried searching for any similar problems, only to find out this particular model is known for this failure.

The Problem: A Netgear GS108 is Broken

Broken, here, means that the switch appears to slowly flash all of its lights, at a rate of maybe once every two seconds. The computers connected to the switch cannot communicate, or at best, are communicating for a fraction of a second, and then report that a cable has been unplugged.

Under the Hood: This symptom indicates failed capacitors on the GS108’s circuit board. For more information, see the comments on Newegg’s product entry (with thanks to the users there who found the problem). If you open your switch up you will see two dark green capacitors with bulging tops (these are broken).

The Solution: Replace two failed capacitors

Supplies
  • Broken GS108
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Two replacement 1000μF capacitors, (at least 10V rating)
  • Soldering iron
  • [Optional] Hookup wire, heatshrink tubing, electrical tape
Procedure
  1. Begin by unplugging your switch from the wall, removing the power cable from the back, and removing all network cables from the front.
  2. Open the switch by removing the two small black screws with a Phillips screwdriver.
  3. Slide the top/back panel off of the switch by pulling it toward the rear.
  4. Locate the two dark green 1000μF capacitors and verify that the tops are bulging outward, indicating that this is likely your source of failure.
  5. Remove the circuit board by unscrewing the four silver screws at its corners with a Phillips screwdriver.
  6. Desolder the two existing capacitors, being careful not to damage nearby components or burn yourself ;-)
  7. Solder the two new capacitors in place. Below is roughly how this looked after I replaced mine. (Sorry for the terrible photos… my new camera is arriving sometime this week)

    For me, the replacement capacitors I was working with were too tall to place vertically, so I ran hookup wire to connect them in place and allow them to lie flat. As a precaution, I used heatshrink tubing on the leads to be sure they were not exposed, and wrapped the sides of the capacitors in electrical tape, as they got a bit nicked by the hacksaw used to harvest them from their previous home…

  8. Place the circuit board back in the shell, and replace the 4 silver screws.
  9. Slide the cover back on and secure with the two black screws.
  10. For safety’s sake, reconnect just the power first to be sure the switch will power on, before connecting your valuable computers & other devices.
  11. Reconnect your computers and you’re done.

Disclaimer:

This worked well for me, and based on the comments at Newegg, seems to be a common successful fix. BUT, I don’t claim that your broken switch is necessarily plagued by the same problem, nor that this fix will work for you. Also, I am not responsible for the actions you take to fix your switch: be careful with soldering irons, flux, and lead!

57 thoughts on “HowTo: Fix a Broken Netgear GS108

  1. Brad

    Just performed this surgery on GS108 with exact same symptoms. Only one of the 1000uF caps was domed, but replaced both. Up and running again. cheers.

    Reply
  2. Dale

    Nice! Thanks for taking the time to post this in digested form – I saw some Google hits from NewEgg, but clicked on your link first. Came in this morning to slowly blinking lights and no network on my GS108. Assumed it was some sort of firmware failure. Found this article, replaced the two caps as suggested and am submitting this through the repaired GS108 now!

    Reply
  3. aBud

    Just did the same for mine. Both caps were busted. I releace them with the same part that was on the unit which is 6.3v instead of the 10v specified in your instruction.

    Is it why they bust, because 6.3v is not enought and 10v would be OK ?

    Thanks

    Reply
  4. Colin M Post author

    Hi aBud-

    No, I do not believe that these capacitors burst because 6.3V was too low of a rating. If you are using a quality replacement part, you should have no problem. I am quite sure that the original capacitors failed due to poor manufacturing quality, which has been a significant problem in the electronics industry for several years. For a summary of this issue, see the Wikipedia page on the so-called “capacitor plague“.

    To give more explanation from this particular circuit:

    The power for the circuits is ultimately provided by the wall wart that you plug in to your wall. If you look at this adapter, you’ll see printed on it that it transforms “100-120VAC 50/60Hz 0.3A” input into “+12V (DC) 1A” output. That is: U.S. AC wall electricity into 12V DC.

    However, these wall warts are notoriously “noisy”, that is: the 12V output they provide is not very consistent: it may jump up and down in voltage when you turn on or off other devices in your house, or even when the Netgear switch itself consumes more or less power. Noise, unfortunately, is extremely bad for integrated circuits, which need very smooth input to be reliable.

    So, Netgear designed a second power circuit inside of the switch itself. This circuit is all of the large components located on the triangular part of the circuit board near the power jack. If you look closely at the vertical brown capacitors there, you’ll see that they are rated for 25V. These capacitors are dealing with the 12V supply coming in from the wall wart, and are following the rule-of-thumb that your capacitor rating should be double the voltage of the circuit. Why double? Because if you exceed the voltage rating of a capacitor, the electrolyte inside of it breaks down, leading to broken components. Since we know that the 12V input is going to be “noisy”, it’s not safe to rate the capacitor at 12V, or even 15V, because there could be spikes much higher. Hence the 25V rating.

    This power circuit inside the switch is controlled by the FP1451 chip that you can see tucked among the 3 vertical brown caps. This part, as described in its datasheet, drives two DC/DC step-down converters, which can take input voltages anywhere from 3.6V to 40V DC and produce nice clean output at 2.5V. The two inductors you see, along with the two nearby power diodes, the two 9435A transistors and the two capacitors that you replaced, are the major components in these two output circuits. Since the output voltage there is at most 2.5V, doubling this value gives you a minimum capacitor rating of 5V, hence the 6.3V chosen by Netgear’s original design, and why your 6.3V replacement should also be fine. In fact, on my switch, the output closest to the back of the board is actually being run at 1.00V, and the other at 2.5V, so 6.3 will be more than enough.

    Given that, why recommend 10V? Well, primarily I just didn’t look through the board that closely when trying to get mine up and running, so I wanted to err on the safe side. Plus, my existing board didn’t work, making it hard to take measurements :) I guessed Netgear might have been cutting it close on their capacitor rating, causing the old ones to fail. Getting a replacement rated for higher voltage was not likely to cause any problems in this sort of device. Plus, the two 10V ones were all I could get access to without going to a store… they came off either an old VCR or an old stereo amp circuit, I don’t recall which. :)

    Hope that helps explain what was going on, a bit! A very long answer to say: your 6.3V replacement should be just fine, and the original ones died because they were just poor quality components.

    Reply
  5. jimbobuk

    I just suffered the same fate as this and think i’ve replaced the caps and got it working again. Its certainly better than it was, holding a stable gigabit connection.

    I am a little worried as the only caps available were physically larger than the originals, and also 1000 mF, but 16V. I know 10V was recommended, and 6V was the original caps.. Will 16V be ok? What exactly does the voltage mean in this application, its been too long since i studied physics/electronics :)

    Reply
  6. Colin M Post author

    Hi Jimbobuk-

    The short answer:
    Yep, your 16V caps should be just fine, as evidenced by the fact that your switch is working again :)

    The (much) longer answer:
    The important characteristic of the capacitors in this circuit is their capacitance, in this case, 1000uF. Capacitance measures how much charge the capacitor can store per volt. You can think of voltage as being like water pressure in a pipeline (for instance: pounds per square inch), and charge as being a quantity of water (for instance: gallons or liters). Capacitance, then, is like a measure of the “size” of a water tank. It tells you how many liters of water you have to place in the tank to raise the pressure at the bottom of the tank to a certain level. For instance, if a tank has a “capacitance” of 100 liters per psi, this would tell you that putting 200 liters of water in the tank will raise the pressure at the bottom to 2 psi. (I just picked these numbers… this may be an extremely unrealistic tank size :))

    Typically in a circuit, you choose capacitors based on their capacitance, for reasons I’ll discuss in a bit, and once you have chosen the desired capacitance, you pick your part based on its rated voltage, to make sure that your circuit will never exceed this voltage in its operation. Think of this voltage (water pressure) rating as the pressure rating of the tank: if you put in so much water that it makes a pressure at the bottom higher than the tank’s pressure rating, the tank bursts open catastrophically. This metaphor is not perfect, but the key idea is that the voltage rating is like an upper limit on the system, but is otherwise unimportant as long as you don’t exceed it.

    In our case with the Netgear switch, you can think of our 1000uF capacitors as really big water tanks with very high capacitance: the tanks are so huge that they can take hundreds and hundreds of liters of water per psi: think how putting the 100 liters in a very small tank would pile all the water up and increase the pressure a lot, while putting the 100 liters in a swimming pool would barely increase the pressure at all. This is like our capacitor in this circuit. The voltage rating of 6V from the original design, and 10V that I and others have recommended, is setting the maximum pressure of our pool. As I mention in my comment above, the 6V rating would actually be sufficient for a replacement part, but 10V is “even safer”, as the pressure limit is higher. Likewise, using 16V capacitors is “even safer still,” setting the limit quite high indeed: the switch’s circuits will definitely never burst the bottom of the 16V swimming pool, so to speak :)

    So using the 16V capacitor is quite safe. The reason that your capacitor is noticeably larger than the 6V capacitors originally used is that inside capacitors, there are essentially two thin sheets of metal separated by a non-conducting material called a dielectric, all rolled up in a little cylinder. The capacitor stores charge (volume of water) on these two sheets of metal, and the “strength” of the dielectric is what determines the voltage rating (pressure rating of the pool). There are different ways to change this strength, for instance by using different materials, but one easy way is to just make the layer of dielectric thicker (like making the walls of the pool thicker). However, in the electronics world, there are side effects to doing this, which require you to use more total area of metal sheets if you move them farther apart. In other words, to build the same capacitance at a higher voltage rating, you can separate the metal sheets, but must then use bigger metal sheets to compensate. You’ll note that even my 10V capacitors are bigger than the original 6V, and were too tall to put in the original holes: I had to lay them down flat. Also, note from my above comment that the reason these capacitors failed is not because they were charged to too high a voltage and “burst the tank,” so to speak. Rather, the problem was that this dielectric separating the metal sheets was of poor quality, and simply broke down over time when it should have remained in good condition for a dozen years or more.

    Lastly, one more issue for completeness. You might be wondering whether using a part with a much higher voltage rating is still “good enough” for the circuit, or whether these much larger capacitors could really be doing the same job. The answer here is two parts. First of all, it is true that there are some side effects that make this not strictly a perfect replacement – you can read about parasitic inductance and resistance if you are interested – but the effects are negligible in the circuit we are looking at. The worst case is that they will decrease the efficiency of the power converter slightly, but still provide nice stable supply voltages to the switch circuits themselves.

    The second part of the answer is that in these power converter circuits, the capacitors are being used, essentially, as storage tanks for electric charge. The idea is that we will take the 12V coming in from the wall wart, turn it on for a brief amount of time to energize the inductor (the small coil components that you can see in the switch), and then turn it off, letting the inductor power the circuit. There is, however, a serious problem with this idea: the amount of current (water) flowing through the inductor (which in turn is the charge actually powering the switch) is continuously increasing and decreasing as the supply is turned on and off. Circuits do not like this. To fix the problem, we connect a big capacitor across the inductor in parallel (side by side) with the circuit. Now, when the switch is first plugged in and starts turning on and off the inductor, the capacitor is filled up with charge in short order, and thereafter for every increase in current (think water flow) from the inductor, the capacitor (“tank”) stores up the extra charge, and when the current from the inductor sags, the capacitor makes up for it by releasing some of its stored charge to keep powering the circuit at the same level. When using a capacitor this way, the key characteristic is its capacitance, because the capacitance determines how much energy can be stored up at a given voltage level, and therefore how much buffering the capacitor can provide. Other parts of the circuit are placing their own limits on the voltage they are willing to have build up in the capacitor (such as 2.5V in the converters here), and as long as that voltage is within the bounds of the capacitor’s voltage rating, how far within the bounds you are doesn’t matter. What matters is how much charge you can store up at that particular voltage.

    I hope that answers some questions!

    Reply
  7. Timbo

    It seems like my GS108 suffered a similar fate but oddly enough it does the “flash of death” when I only plug in a gigabit device. If I only plug in 100Mb devices, things flash away and look like they’re talking (I didn’t verify this at the computers), but as soon as I plugged in a 1Gb device it would do the flash of death. The caps look domed but not vented but it sounds like the same problem. I was going to try for a warranty replacement as I have seen others who have had success with that, but I wanted to share my observations to see what you thought. Thanks!

    Reply
  8. Colin M Post author

    Hi Timbo-

    I agree- it definitely sounds like your GS108 is on its way out. The fact that it will run with 100Mbit devices but not with Gigabit suggests that perhaps the switch chip has some power-saving features built in to clock itself down when no gigabit devices are connected; and that perhaps your capacitors are not completely ruined yet, such that they can support the chip in lower power modes, but not when it clocks up to full gigabit speed. As far as domed vs. fully vented goes: in normal operation a capacitor should be neither, so your caps are definitely dying, even if not catastrophically/climactically enough to vent completely.

    As far as getting a warranty replacement vs. fixing yourself: it’s really up to you :) Given the number of folks that have had this exact problem with this exact switch, it seems very likely that replacing the caps would fix your device. On the other hand, that almost certainly voids the warranty, taking that option away forever. If you’re more comfortable going the warranty route, no problem doing that: your switch is clearly suffering a manufacturing defect!

    Reply
  9. Matt

    Thanks for this info. Same issue, out of the blue. Sure is much cheaper to R&R the caps than replace the switch. Again, thanks.
    Matt
    Phoenix, AZ

    Reply
  10. Petros D

    Thanks this was great advice. Had all the same flashing light symptoms and changed both the leaky capacitors and it works great again.

    Reply
  11. Alan

    Where did you guys get your caps, my unit went out (not entirely just the giga part and it’s making peircing noises) and I want to fix asap, I’m in Chicago.

    Cheers

    Reply
  12. kyry

    Colin,
    I replaced mine with the 1000MF 16v capacitors, and it worked for about a second then as I kept testing it won’t give me any lights on the cable inputs. Do you have any other ideas as to maybe how to fix it or is it a tosser?

    Reply
  13. vuong pham

    I just found your site…
    The switch was lit up like a xmas tree.. all leds on flashing.

    opened it up.. saw the two capacitors with a distinct ‘bulge”

    then…
    Called Netgear .. it is still under warranty. 20 bux for replacement unit.

    Early units like mine have 5 year warranty. Later units have lifetime warranty.

    Thanks!!

    Manufacturer Response:NETGEAR regrets the problem you experienced with your GS108. The problem which caused some units to exhibit odd blinking lights and a high pitched sound was identified and resolved through a component change in late 2007. Units manufactured in 2008 will not exhibit this problem.

    Lifetime Warranty: All NETGEAR ProSafe products are backed by a Lifetime Warranty. Please contact Customer Support (888-NETGEAR : 888-638-4327) and we will gladly assist you in bringing resolution to the problem. We regret any inconvenience caused by the failure and would like to rectify it as quickly as possible.

    Thank You,
    NETGEAR Support

    Reply
  14. Pingback: Netgear GS108 gigabit switch repair | The Curious Utterings of Lloyd Griffiths

  15. ratheous

    My unit quit working one day out of the blue. When I plugged it in all the lights would flash once (the ‘boot’ cycle I suppose) and then all lights except the power light stayed dark, no matter what I plugged into it. Opened it up and one can was domed–the one farthest to the rear of the board. I replaced it with one pulled from an old dead motherboard and it worked like a charm. I didn’t bother with the other ‘problem’ cap; I can always replace that if it goes out again. Thanks for the info.

    BTW, mine is one of the newer models which were supposed to have been fixed =/

    Reply
  16. Robert Owens

    Just a note for a beginner that is attempting this. I did not see it explicitly mentioned about these capacitors being polarity sensitive devices. Be sure that they are put in with the positve side of the capacitor aligned with the (+) mark on the circuit board. Most electronic tinkerers would know this. It might explain the one failure to work mentioned above.

    Reply
  17. Gavdalf

    Success!
    Having read the above, lid off, and found the 2 bulging caps as described… 2 minutes and 1 soldering iron later, they were out.

    There were no 10-16v caps available, so I bought 2x “PC Elect 1000uF 35v” from Maplins @ 72p each.
    (Their part VH51F )

    They were much bigger, but there’s plenty of room to lay them down on their side, and the legs are long enough to bend sensibly into position. Small dab of silicone sealant between each cap body and the pcb just to make sure they don’t rattle about… Lid on… Job done.

    My switch was actually still ‘in warranty’, but since the repair was so easy and offered a ‘better’ result than sending away, I opted for the DIY approach.

    Thanks very much for the advice and information
    Best wishes
    Gav

    Reply
  18. Gavdalf

    Success!
    Having read the above, lid off, and found the 2 bulging caps as described… 2 minutes and 1 soldering iron later, they were out.

    There were no 10-16v caps available, so I bought 2x “PC Elect 1000uF 35v” from Maplins @ 72p each.
    (Their part VH51F here)

    They were much bigger, but there’s plenty of room to lay them down on their side, and the legs are long enough to bend sensibly into position. Small dab of silicone sealant between each cap body and the pcb just to make sure they don’t rattle about… Lid on… Job done.

    My switch was actually still ‘in warranty’, but since the repair was so easy and offered a ‘better’ result than sending away, I opted for the DIY approach.

    Thanks very much for the advice and information
    Best wishes
    Gav

    Reply
  19. Andy

    More Success!
    Started getting a really intermittent connection on my GS108 on Friday, but was initially rather confused when unplugging a device would bring it back to life. Looking at the switch I saw that whenever there were more than 3 devices active at a time all the ports would do the slow LED flash, so it must have just started to get too much. :(

    Found this page, took the lid off and saw a slightly bulging cap straight away. Just like Gav above, Maplin had no 10-16V caps available, so I had to plump for two hefty 35V ones. Did you go to the one in Bolton too, Gav?

    Bit of heat shrink and some lead-bending and we’re back in action! There’s a pic of the repair showing the new and old capacitors here.

    Excellent info and advice on this page – thank you!

    Reply
  20. tzotz

    Bought 2 1000/16V caps.

    I have limited soldering experience so I practices removing and reinstalling caps on an old unsed pc board.

    Went for the real thing, worked like a charm right of the bat.

    Great thread, thanks.

    Reply
  21. GlitchBoy

    My netgear GS108 gave the flash ‘o death close to a year ago. I replaced the caps with 35v caps from radio shack. Now I get the flash of death again but those caps I put in still look fine. I too noticed it seems to go into the flash of death when I have a GB network card plugged into it. MB cards don’t cause a problem.

    Also, I have a printer that has a GB ethernet port. That no longer works in Auto mode, even when connected to a brand new HP gigabit switch. I have to manually set it for 100Mbs and then it is ok. I am thinking this Netgear switch screwed up the network interface in that *very expensive* ($8k) printer.

    Reply
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  23. jimbobuk

    I wrote a reply about this about a year ago and its come full circle..

    Basically the switch seems to be working fine but i’ve got some issues.

    I’ve just swopped the hdd in my macbook pro and started to notice bad network performance via the switch. I was usually getting around 1gigabyte a minute transfer speeds but all of a sudden i was maxing out slowly at 11MB/s whilst copying files. This was download, only a bit later did i notice that my upload was screaming fast, like 80MB/s .. don’t think i’ve ever seen it so fast. So i have this situation, vastly different speeds download vs upload.

    I was worried that perhaps i’d broke something when tinkering inside the mac, but after some fiddling it seemed to be ok. I’ve just tried again today tho and it was the same 11.7MB/s slow. So i’ve set about some serious testing to identify it, restarting my mac over and over, trying different protocols, different machines. Nothing worked. The last time it seemed to fix itself when i restarted my router that’s connected to the switch providing wifi and internet, this sadly didn’t work.

    Finally i noticed that a lot of the lights seem to pulse, not in the fatal not working sense but perhaps more than i’d expect. I started unplugging devices and have basically got to the place where i’ve noticed that any 100MB/s devices connected to the router generally cause this 100MB/s upload linkspeed on my macbook pro. It’s not 100% recreateable but generally i can get it to be fast and slow on a plugin unplug of the offending devices.

    This device shouldn’t have this problem should it?! As in the speed of one port shouldn’t affect any other ports speed?

    The offending 100MB/s devices i have is

    i) an old original DG384G wireless router
    ii) a develo ethernet over power adapter

    it seems that combinations of these can cause it.

    I’m wondering to glance inside or to just call it quits and buy another router and switch. Anyone’s help on this kind of behaviour would be appreciated. Sorry to write so much, this page has so much value i wanted to be detailed and also to explain that i’m 1 year in to the fix and encountering (perhaps) related problems.

    Cheers

    Reply
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  25. Roy

    Just a quick thanks for this… I was chuffed when someone gave me a Netgear 108 and really disappointed when it showed the symptoms you described.

    Two capacitors later – and it’s as good as new :-)

    Thank you !

    Reply
  26. Soldering

    I am not sure if you will have success, but it looks feasible. The condition is that you know what exactly the fault is. As in your case, you knew which capacitors to de-solder first and then rejoin them, however, I would certainly not advise just anyone to perform surgery on your Netgear if they are not sure of the problem. Also, if you have never soldered anything then it is better to hire some expert or the last option: replace your gadget.

    Reply
  27. SettledDnRoamer

    This worked for me too! I installed two new capacitors (16V) and the unit work fine now. It cost me $2.50 plus 30 minutes of my time; sure beats buying a new switch.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  28. Pingback: All Leds flashing on a Netgear GS108 Switch - But it works on my PC!

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  30. net-r-us

    How about this one? Caps look OK as far I can tell. Tested with multiple PSU. Five Light stay constant on on the front of the unit?

    Reply
  31. Pingback: Netgear GS108 8 port switch — flashing lights « Jon Giffard's Blog

  32. ferenc

    Another success. Mine had been out of service for two years, and only lasted a month when I started to use it again.

    Just to show how non-critical the cap values are, I took a flyer and dragged two *axial* (leads out the ends) antiques from my part stock. They’re 5000 mf at 6V, and US-made Spragues, so they have to have been born in the mid-seventies. There’s not much DC across them, so I “formed them up” with an AA cell for a few minutes, then discharged them, then trimmed the leads and sleeved them with 1950s nylon cambric tubing. The solder seems lead-free, so I had to prime the through holes with illegal 63/37 1070s solder to suck the excess out. Reamed the holes slightly with a fine dentist’s pick. Installed caps. Fit fine.

    I now have the only gigabit switch that would qualify for an old-time radio museum.

    Reply
  33. sergio

    Just wanted to say thanks about the explanations about the capacitors, the tanks and the twice the voltage rule.

    Those are great tips for hobbyist like me.

    thanks

    Reply
  34. Roop

    my gs108 died a year ago. it made . i had tried replacing the 6.3v caps but it didn’t help. i had taken one of the large diodes from it for another project.

    today i ran into the switch in my box of junk. i stumbled onto two brand new 10v 1000 uf caps. i took a random diode that looked to be of the same size and dropped it into place. low and behold it powered up and linked to another device at 1gb!

    the caps i originally tried may have been bad or the diode may have been bad. the project i was going to use the diode in didn’t work. i will test it some day to confirm.

    lesson learned:
    if you’re going to try and fix something, ensure the parts you’re using to fix it with are confirmed to work to spec. this applies to me trying to originally fix the gs108 with questionable caps and then me stupidly using the diode from the gs108 board which wasn’t working.

    Reply
  35. Niclas

    Thanks. I was given a S108 that turned out to be dead. But thanks to you I got it up and running again

    Reply
  36. David

    We had exactly the same problems with the 8-port GS608 V2. Transfer speeds between connected devices suddenly dropped off the radar. Followed the instructions here and found two bulging capacitors inside that we replaced and hey presto – we’re back to normal! Thanks, very much for all the tips here – hugely appreciated :-)

    Reply
  37. ps3Lover

    NETGEAR uses for routers,modems,switches,access points,repeaters shitty capacitors. Example: Teapo,G-Luxon,CapXon,Taicon and other crap caps.

    Reply
  38. randomfactor

    I had the problem with a GS108 and the flashing lights. When I opened the box, I could not identify any bulges on any capacitor. I replaced the two 1000 uf caps anyway. The switch does not work reliably. It will still go into flashing light mode unpredictably.

    Any other ideas?

    Reply
  39. merge03

    Same problem, two bulged caos, replaced them with the 6.3V parts.
    Back in business! Fifteen minutes total to fix the issue.

    Reply
  40. Tonysz

    ColinM
    thanks.
    I cant believe that I was just about to throw this unit out and then I saw your post.
    I haven’t replaced the caps yet but it is doing the same thing. I removed the PCB looking for any obvious issues and didn’t see any. The bulge in these caps is only small so didn’t raise doubt when first seen.
    Can’t wait to get my gigbit switch back tomorrow.
    Nice one. Thanks for taking the time.
    Tony

    Reply
  41. Kent_Diego

    The GS108 has a lifetime warrantee so RMA to Netgear. Changing the capacitor will likely void the warrantee.

    Reply
  42. Gerald

    I destructively opened a GS608v2 today (case is not made for opening) that was exhibiting strange problems.
    Found two brown bulged 1000uF capacitors inside. Sad!

    I wonder if they died because they were faulty from the start or because the switch did get too hot and this caused the premature aging…

    Switch has been replaced by a GS108P, let’s hope this one is built to last…

    Reply
  43. Nick

    Another satisfied customer – my symptoms only showed themselves when the switch was connected to a 1Gb uplink, in 100Mb it was fine. When trying to function at 1Gb speeds the link state light flickers constantly and the network throughput is appalling with a massive amount of collisions on the network (couldnt autonegotiate speed/duplex ?).

    Having inspected the PCB, the two capacitors featured were slightly bulged. despite doing a terrible job of removing the failed components, replacing the two capacitors sorted the problem (maplin part DT69A in my case) – another switch kept from landfill ! – thanks!

    Nick.

    Reply
  44. Chris

    Unbelievable! Yet another happy capacitor-replaced person here, and the symptoms were *exactly* as Nick stated above. 100 Mbit would connect and work fine. Connect it up to gigabit though, and throughput would be abysmal, in the 2-3 Mbit range.

    My switch model was the GS608 v2 specifically, however after opening up the box through a couple torx screws behind the feet on the bottom, the exact same two capacitors were bulging with just a touch of brown corrosion on top. I found it funny that the ‘feet’ weren’t even glued and just unplugged (but stayed tethered!) almost as if they expected people would be pulling these apart to fix them :) There isn’t any indication that it has been opened even. Not only that, but there was a perfectly good quality capacitor right next to the two crappy caps!

    Works beautifully at 1 Gbit now, with great throughput as it should be!

    Reply
  45. Dominic Clifton

    I fixed my netgear gs608 v2 by replacing the caps. I didn’t have any 1000uf caps handy so i used two 470uf caps in parallel for each 100uf cap that needed replacing. The old bulging capacitors measured 170uf and 800uf. Everything works perfectly now.

    Many thanks for taking the time to post and comment everyone!

    Reply
  46. FM

    Thanks for posting the problem and the fix. One of the PCs on our LAN has been losing its connection intermittently. Thought it was a software problem until I looked at my GS108v2 and saw all the lights blinking, like it was resetting itself. Tested the power supply first and measured 10.65V with no load. Seemed low, but at least it was steady, so replaced the 2 1000uF caps as described here. After which the switch didn’t work properly at all: the green power light came on but flickered somewhat, and no port lights ever lit. After re-checking my soldering, I finally swapped in a different power supply, and voila, switch works fine. So yeah, I should have swapped the power supply first. But at least I have some nice Rubycons in there now, so there’s that.

    Put the failed Netgear power supply in the freezer for a couple of hours, then whacked the seams with a mallet to crack the (brittle when cold) glue holding it together. Guess what’s inside? Yup – another bad capacitor, in this case a 470uF 25V that’s clearly bulging. Total of 4 electrolytics in there, probably all should be replaced. Not sure that it’s worth it. I’ve already ordered a nice (300khr MTBF) replacement power supply from Digi-Key: CUI EPSA120100U-P5P-EJ. With that and the new Rubycons in the switch, hopefully I’m good to go for many more years.

    I bought my switch only a month before Netgear instituted the lifetime warranty. $20 for warranty replacement vs. about the same for replacement caps and power supply, guess I’ll call it even.

    Thanks again for the info!

    Reply
  47. PAul

    i have a GS108 v2 which has just died on me too…. but my network lights don’t light up when plugged in…. but my power led flickers at a fast rate…. could this also be the problem of the caps??

    any help? please

    Reply
  48. Seth Purdy

    Just reporting success using this fix on a GS108 v2 I’d purchased in mid-2006 (so outside of the 5-year warranty for units sold at that time). It had recently begun exhibiting the “blink of death” with any more than 2-3 devices connected, and mixing 100Mbps and 1Gbps devices triggered it more readily. Had a couple spare high-quality caps (Nichicon HZ 16v 1000uF) I’d bought as a hedge against failure of the same on a motherboard I own. Upon opening the switch the existing caps appeared fine, with no bulging or leakage at all. But since the symptoms lined up so well with the problems described here and elsewhere I went ahead with the replacement. Happy to report everything’s back to normal now. And the replacement capacitors ended up being a great physical fit too, no special positioning required. Cheers!

    Reply
  49. Pingback: GS108 Capacitor Replacement | bat54s electronic components

  50. Mike

    I wish I found this post before I did my own research and fixed the problem. Newer high-temperature electrolytic capacitors are now available from NTE that fix the problem nicely. The model number is NTE VHT100M10. These are higher voltage (10) units that fit perfectly in the same space as the existing capacitors. The only problem I had was that the soldering job required a slightly higher wattage soldering iron than I usually use for these repairs. It only took a few minutes for the repair and the cost of the parts was less than $3.50. Everything is working well now.

    Reply

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