In order to troubleshoot network problems, it is important to have a basic understanding of how the network is set up. There are three categories of network problems: physical, configuration and software. The first step to follow when you are going to troubleshoot network problems is to determine which type of problem you have. This decision is the first of many that will help you to resolve the issue.
There are two simple rules that are critical if you are going to troubleshoot network problems successful. The first rule is to only change one thing at a time and then test. A logical, methodical approach is the only efficient way to troubleshoot a technology problem.
There is often more than one cause to a network problem. If you cannot identify the action and related result, you have no idea if you are on the right track or not. A series of changes can also create an unexpected outcome. One step at a time is the best way to proceed.
Writing everything down is the second rule for troubleshooting. Make clear, legible point form notes that explain the steps you took and the result. These notes are invaluable and help you build a base of knowledge to rely on when you are trying to troubleshoot.
When experiencing network problems, always start with the physical network. Check the devices, connections and power. Make no assumptions and check every connector thoroughly. These problems are the easiest to fix and the most common. Follow the cable to make sure that everything is plugged into the right outlet.
If the problem is not hardware,look at the configuration. The first step is to create a system restore point in the configuration software. This will allow you to start over at the same point, should it become necessary. Look at your notes from the installation and make sure to take new notes.
To start troubleshooting, you must check the configuration of every computer on the network. This information can be accessed by typing “ipconfig" at the command prompt for each computer. To get the full level of detail, type “ipconfig/all.” Review the details and compare to the original setup. Errors or inconsistencies will be the cause of most problems.
The most common software issues are related to the firewall installation. Check your anti-virus software, as they are often bundled with a firewall. Multiple firewall installation will create a cascading series of network problems. Look for any settings that may have been adjusted or changed.