You are on page 1of 11




Troubleshooting is a logical, systematic search for the source of a problem so that it can be solved. Troubleshooting in this lesson refers to both Network and computer based problem solving.

When troubleshooting a network, it usually involves recognizing and diagnosing networking problems with the goal of keeping the network running optimally.
Effort should therefore be put on both the networking equipment and the computers or nodes on the network as well. There are several tools and methods that can be used when troubleshooting a network. Below are some of them.


Ping : Ping is a program that sends a series of packets over a network or the Internet to a specific computer in order to generate a response from that computer. The other computer responds with an acknowledgment that it received the packets. Ping was created to verify whether a specific computer on a network or the Internet exists and is connected. Ipconfig or ifconfig in Linux: There are three main commands: "all", "release", and "renew". Ipconfig displays all current TCP/IP network configuration values and refreshes Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS) settings. Used without parameters, ipconfig displays the IP address, subnet mask and default gateway for all adapters. If there is a response of IP Address of starting with 169.x.x.x is signifies that the DHCP server cannot be contact or is not available

TOOLS. . . . .

Netstat: provides a way to check if various aspects of TCP/IP are working and what connections are present.

TOOLS .......

Nslookup: nslookup is the name of a program that lets an Internet server administrator or any computer user enter a host name (for example,") and find out the corresponding Ipaddress . It will also do reverse name lookup and find the host name for an IP address you specify..

Getmac: Displays NIC MAC information.

Remote login: This helps in troubleshooting a computer remotely as it may always be easy to access all computers physically.

Baseline Normal Behavior Define Problem Document Symptoms Collect Information Gather Facts

Improve Processes and Procedures

Document results, Restore configuration Narrow possibilities - Component Test Divide/Conquer

Consider Possibilities Create Hypothesis Create Action Plan and Fall-back Plan Perform Action Plan Test Prediction Observe Results of Action Plan


Problem Resolved? Yes

Document Results


If several users are reporting problems from different areas of the network at the same time, there is a chance that they are reporting elements of the same problem. Sometimes changes performed during troubleshooting have a greater negative impact on the end-user population than the original problem. It is therefore important to document changes as your proceed not as an afterthought:

Document the tests performed and the results in case a bug is found. Document any changes made to the network during the troubleshooting procedure so that the network can be properly restored to its original condition.


Document any workarounds that were left in place so that other support personnel will be able to understand how and why the network changed.


Other tools that can be used for troubleshooting





You are a system Administrator in Computer Science Department Egerton University for a very busy network with over 300 computer science students users and staff. A student had just called you stating that they are unable to access internet. Name five option that you would use to troubleshoot that problem clearly stating the tools you would use to assist student. Two computer are connected and they are both showing a light on the network card. Is it possible to know the type of cable that is being used based on light that is being shown. Clearly explain Your computer is set to pick an IP address automatically but unfortunately the DHCP server is down. What will happen when your computer tries to request for the address? You have been assigned an IP address by the DHCP server. Unfortunately someone on the network has put the same IP address manually and now there is IP an address conflict. What commands would you use to get rid of the address that the DHCP server gave and also to request for a new address from the same DHCP server.