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Lecture Summary
The following points summarize the key concepts of this chapter:

Understanding the Problem

It is essential to take a structured approach to troubleshooting in order to resolve network problems.


Collecting information lays the foundation for isolating a problem.
Asking the users the right questions will provide the most information. Use open-ended questions.
The troubleshooting process includes five steps: defining the problem, isolating the cause, making the repair, confirming the
solution, and documenting the outcome.
If a problem is not obvious, it will be necessary to divide the network into logical groups such as clients, adapters, hubs,
cabling and connectors, servers, connectivity components, and protocols.
Repairing network problems sometimes requires working on several problems at once. Because it is not possible to repair
everything at the same time, you will need to establish priorities.
The network administrator should establish the priorities that affect the integrity of the network.

Troubleshooting Tools

Hardware tools are used to identify network problems, network-performance trends, and to help isolate network
malfunctions.
The most common tool for troubleshooting hardware is the digital voltmeter.
A time-domain reflectometer (TDR) can be used to find breaks, shorts, or imperfections in network cabling.
Some advanced cable test equipment can display message-frame counts, excess collisions, late collisions, error-frame counts,
congestion errors, and beaconing.
Oscilloscopes are used with TDRs to display precise measurements of voltage and time.
Network monitors track all or a selected part of network traffic, while protocol analyzers perform real-time network traffic
analysis.
Network General Sniffer can decode and interpret frames from 14 protocols.
Novell's LANanalyzer works like Sniffer, but is limited to NetWare.
The scope of a network management program depends on the size of the network, the capability of the staff, the
organizational budget, and the expectations of the users.
Several monitoring utilities are available to manage network performance. Among these are performance monitors, network
monitors, and network management protocols.

Where to Find Help

Network technology is constantly evolving. Knowing when and where to get help is an important part of being an effective
network administrator.
Useful sources of help include bulletin board services, user groups, and periodicals.
Joining a local users group can provide the contacts needed to solve problems.
Internet services include WWW, FTP, e-mail, news, and Telnet.
Dial-up lines and ISDN connections are two methods by which to physically connect to the Internet.

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