Chapter 17

Solving Network Problems


Checking the obvious things

Fixing computers that have expired

Pinpointing the cause of trouble

Restarting client and server computers

Reviewing network event logs

Keeping a record of network woes

Face it: Networks are prone to breaking.

They have too many parts. Cables. Connectors. Cards. Switches. Routers. All these parts must be held together in a delicate balance, and the network equilibrium is all too easy to disturb. Even the best-designed computer networks sometimes act as if they’re held together with baling wire, chewing gum, and duct tape.

To make matters worse, networks breed suspicion. After your computer is attached to a network, users begin to blame the network every time something goes wrong, regardless of whether the problem has anything to do with the network. You can’t get columns to line up in a Word document? Must be the network. Your spreadsheet doesn’t add up? The @#$% network’s acting up again. The stock market’s down? Arghhh!!!!!!

The worst thing about network failures is that sometimes they can shut down an entire company. It’s not so bad if just one user can’t access a particular shared folder on a file server. If a critical server goes down, however, your network users may be locked out of their files, applications, email, and everything else they need to conduct business as usual. When that happens, they’ll be beating down your doors and won’t stop until you get the network back up and running.

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