I am the network administrator of a software testing firm. In our network we have 2 Catalyst Express 500 switches and we connect to them all kinds of equipment: PC, Laptops, printers, consoles: PS3s, Wii and all work fine, except for XBOX 360 Development kits (XDK).
When the XDKs boot up they cannot negotiate with our DHCP (a Windows Server 2003 machine) to get an IP so they auto-configure themselves with a 169.254.0.1 IP. In this case they are useless to us.
After investigating this matter we have found that the Catalyst Express 500 switches are blocking the ports of the XDKs due to "Spanning Tree Protocol". I tried assigning different smartport settings, but this did not help at all. Moreover, if I changed the smartport settings to "desktop", the ports will get blocked with the message "Access was blocked to one or more devices connected to this port", but I think I know why this is - because the "desktop" setting only allows one MAC address to connect through the port and the XDKs have two IPs and two MAC addresses (one is the normal console IP, used to connect to XBOX Live and the other one is a "debug" IP, used to connect the console to a PC for development purposes) - so in the end I have to leave the smartport settings to "other".
From what I read about these CISCO switches, the problem is the Spanning Tree protocol which has to get through a number of states before it decides whether to block a port or not, and the XDKs ask for an IP in the first 5-10 seconds after you power them on. If I manually disable and re-enable the port where the XDK is connected and then I manually set an IP for only one of the console`s IPs (either normal or debug), then the console works, but now we can only connect either to XBOX Live or to a workstation, but not to both at the same time. This happens most of the time.
What is strange is that sometimes the XDKs will successfully negotiate an IP from our DHCP server for both components (normal and debug) and then they will work properly and we can connect both to XBOX Live and to a workstation at the same time - the only problem is that only in about 15% of the cases this works and even when they do succeed to negotiate the IPs, at some point the switches will block them again (invoking the STP) and our connection drops - which you can imagine that it is very frustrating.
What can I do to disable the STP check (or whatever the problem is if STP isn`t) on the ports where I connect the XDKs, or is there any other way to fix this issue so that the consoles can boot up, negotiate both IPs and then connect to XBOX Live and to a workstation at the same time without interruptions?
Sorry for the long post, but I would really appreciate if someone could help me with this issue because this is really making the lives of the XBOX department a living hell (and mine too, as I am supposed to fix the problem )
From having a quick look at the product literature it says portfast is enabled by default on desktop phone and desktop printer and server smartport roles. I'm not familiar with these switches maybe try and select the phone and desktop setting for your xdk development this should allow two devices on the port. I think i saw something about being able to change security settings from cisco network assistant which might be worth a try.