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Establish What Has Changed
Given the symptoms youve observed and the affected area, analyze the network for any recent changes. Along with outright hardware failures, network changes are a likely cause of problems.
For example, if you replaced a length of cable and that workstation is now experiencing intermittent connectivity problems or slowness, it may be that you used the wrong type of replacement cable.
Similarly, if you just added a new PC to a network that uses statically-configured IP addresses (rather than relying on DHCP to hand them out), and another user who used to connect successfully now has difficulty, it may be that the IP address assigned to the new PC was already in use by that users PC.
Now, you get a chance to use the information you gathered regarding trouble symptoms, affected area and changes to the network. A general guideline is to go for the most specific potential cause, which you feel is likely. By likely, we mean that whatever resulted in the potential cause is likely to have happened. For example, if a hub is in a highly trafficked location, its entirely possible that the hub became unplugged when someone reached for papers stacked next to it. In contrast, it is less likely that the NICs of all 8 computers attached to that hub, or the cables connecting them to that hub, all decided to malfunction at the same time.
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Version 1.0 - Version Date: November 7, 2004
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