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Next, you learned a systematic approach to troubleshooting, using an eight-step troubleshooting model to troubleshoot almost any problems you may encounter on your network. After that, you learned about several resources that you can use to help you during the troubleshooting process. You learned about the websites and other support tools available for most vendors’ products.

Finally, you learned a few troubleshooting tips that will help make the troubleshooting process go more smoothly. As you venture out into the “real world,” keep these tips in mind, as they will help make you an expert troubleshooter.

Know the eight troubleshooting steps, in order. The steps, in order, are:

1.    Establish symptoms.

2.    Identify the affected area.

3.    Establish what has changed.

4.    Select the most probable cause.

5.    Implement a solution.

6.    Test the result.

7.    Recognize the potential effects of the solution.

8.    Document the solution.

Be able to identify a link light. A link light is the small, usually green, LED on the back of a network card. This LED is typically found next to the media connector on a NIC and is usually labeled “Link.”

Understand how proper network use procedures can affect the proper operation of a network. If a user is not following a network use procedure properly (e.g., not logging in correctly), that user may report a problem where none exists. A good network troubleshooter should know how to differentiate between a network hardware/software problem and a “lack of user training” problem.

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