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Trouble Shooting Connectivity

Updated on December 3, 2014

Troubleshoot Physical Connectivity

Following is one way to troubleshoot this problem:

  1. In Office 1, begin troubleshooting the problem by pinging each workstation in the network. This should verify the connectivity problem between Office 1 and Office 2 (i.e., pinging the computers in the Networking Closet and Lobby succeeds, but the ping to Office 2 fails). The scope of the problem could be isolated to the computer in Office 2.
  2. In Office 2, ping each workstation in the network. Each ping attempt fails regardless of the remote workstation. Again, the scope of the problem could be isolated to the computer in Office 2.
  3. In the Networking Closet, confirm that the scope of the problem is limited to Office 2 by pinging each workstation in the network (pinging Office 1 and Lobby succeeds, but the ping to Office 2 fails).
  4. In Office 2, check the Networking and Sharing Center or the status lights on the NIC. The diagram in the Network and Sharing Center shows the network connection as disconnected from any network, and the link and status lights on the NIC also show it is disconnected. A disconnected status is displayed when the NIC does not have a connection to the network. Possible causes for a disconnected status include:
  • Bad NIC
  • Faulty cable
  • Unplugged cable
  • Switch or hub port either disabled or faulty
Because the scope of the problem is currently limited to the Office 2, you should look for common errors or solutions that can be tried quickly. Confirm that the network cable is connected to the NIC and the wall plate. Both ends of the cable are connected correctly. In Office 2, replace the cable between the workstation and the wall plate. After replacing the cable, the disconnected status is still displayed in the Network and Sharing Center. You could replace the NIC in Office 2, but you should continue to replace cables because of how quickly you can test the results. In the Networking Closet, check the switch to ensure that it is powered on. The power light for the device indicates that it is powered on. Also, since Office 1 can communicate through the switch, you know that the device is not turned off. In the Networking Closet, observe the activity lights for all ports on the switch. There are activity lights for other ports, yet there is a lack of activity for Port 4. Possible causes include:
  • The cable between Office 2's patch panel port and the switch is bad or disconnected.
  • Port 4 on the switch is disabled or shutdown.
In the Networking Closet, confirm that the network cable is connected to Office 2's patch panel port and the switch. Both ends of the cable are connected correctly. In the Networking Closet, replace the patch panel cable, as this solution can be tried quickly. The activity light for Port 4 now indicates network activity. In Office 2, check the Networking and Sharing Center or the status lights on the NIC. The diagram in the Network and Sharing Center shows a connection to the network and Internet, and the link and status lights on the NIC also show it is functioning normally. In Office 2, ping each workstation in the network. Each ping attempt now succeeds regardless of the remote workstation. In Office 1, ping Office 2 to confirm the resolution of the original problem. The ping attempt is now successful.

Note: Replacing the NIC in Office 2 and making a console connection to the switch to confirm if port 2 is disabled are two viable approaches for this problem, yet as indicated earlier, you should look for common errors or solutions that can be tried quickly.

Biggest Errors With Physical Connectivity

Following is one way to troubleshoot this problem:

  1. In the Support Office, begin troubleshooting the problem by pinging the workstation in the IT Administration office and other workstations in the network (pinging to all other workstations in the network fails). With the information from the Support manager and these ping results, the scope of the problem may be isolated to the workstation in the Support office.
  2. In the IT Administration office, verify the problem by pinging the workstation in the Support Office and other workstations in the network (pinging all other workstations in the network is successful, but the ping to the Support workstation fails). This verifies that there is connectivity between all other workstations in the network, except for the Support Office. This confirms that the scope of the problem is limited to the Support Office.
  3. In the Support Office, check the Networking and Sharing Center or the status lights on the NIC. The diagram in the Network and Sharing Center shows the network connection as disconnected from any network, and the link and status lights on the NIC also show it is disconnected. A disconnected status is displayed when the NIC does not have a connection to the network. Possible causes for a disconnected status include:
  • Bad NIC
  • Faulty cable
  • Unplugged cable
  • Switch or hub port either disabled or faulty
Because the scope of the problem is currently limited to the Support Office, you should look for common errors or solutions that can be tried quickly. Confirm that the network cable is connected to the NIC and the wall plate. Both ends of the cable are connected correctly. In the the Support Office, replace the cable between the workstation and the wall plate. After replacing the cable, the disconnected status is still displayed in the Network and Sharing Center. You could replace the NIC in the Support Office, but you should continue to replace cables because of how quickly you can test the results. In the Networking Closet, check the switch to ensure that it is powered on. The power light for the device indicates that it is powered on. Also, since the workstation in the IT Administration office can communicate through the switch, you know that the device is not turned off. In the Networking Closet, observe the activity lights for all ports. There are activity lights for other ports, yet there is a lack of activity for Port 6. Possible causes include:
  • The cable between the Support Office's patch panel port and the switch is bad or disconnected.
  • Port 6 on the switch is disabled or shutdown.
In the Networking Closet, confirm that the network cable is connected to Support Office's patch panel port and the switch. Both ends of the cable are connected correctly. In the Networking Closet, replace the patch panel cable, as this solution can be tried quickly. The activity light for Port 6 still does not indicate network activity. Note: Making a console connection to the switch to confirm if port 6 is disabled is a viable approach for this problem, yet the lab does not provide a console application to confirm the switch's port settings. In the Support Office, open the case and add a known good spare NIC. Connect the cable to the new NIC and power on the workstation. In the Support Office, check the Networking and Sharing Center or the status lights on the NIC. The diagram in the Network and Sharing Center shows a connection to the network and Internet, and the lights on the NIC also show it is functioning normally. In the Support Office, ping each workstation in the network. Each ping attempt now succeeds regardless of the remote workstation.

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