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■    Broken cables

   Incorrect connections

   Interference levels

■    Total cable length (for length restrictions)

■    Cable shorts

■    Connector problems

As a matter of fact, cable testers are so sophisticated that they can even indicate the exact location of a cable break, accurate to within 6 inches or better.

Check for Viruses

Many troubleshooters overlook virus scanning because they assume that the network virus-checking software should have picked up any viruses. We’re reminded by the network virus-scanning software of the bio-filters in the transporter on Star Trek: The Next Generation. They work great as long as the computer has the latest information on what the virus is and how to eliminate it. On many occasions, though, the ship’s doctor or engineer had to reprogram the bio-filters to recognize some new virus that the crew of the Enterprise had come across.

The same thing happens with network virus-scanning software; to be effective, it must be kept up-to-date. Updates are made available almost daily. As we discussed in Chapter 9, “Fault Tolerance and Disaster Recovery,” you must run the virus definition update utility to keep the virus definition file current.

If you are having strange, unusual, irreproducible problems with a workstation, try scanning it with an up-to-date virus scan utility. You’d be surprised how many times people have spent hours and hours troubleshooting a strange problem, only to run a virus scan utility, find and clean one or more viruses, and have the problem disappear.


In this chapter, you learned about the proper methods of troubleshooting network problems. In the first section, you learned the proper method to start to fix any network problem by eliminating what the problem is not. You learned how to narrow the problem down to its essentials and therefore further define it.

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