Basic Symptoms of a network problem:
You can’t access network programs, network drives, email or the Internet.
Basic Hints of Any Troubleshooting (aka Problem Solving):
1. Clarify the problem – what is working and what is not.
2. Go from simple possible solutions to complex possible solutions – don’t
overhaul your car engine only to find out later it was out of gas or had a
bad spark plug.
3. Go sequentially through the checklist in order to isolate the problem.
4. Look for patterns that indicate associations.
Simple possibilities you can check before calling for help:
Is your computer turned on? If not, turn on both computer and monitor.
Has your computer been accessing the network or is this a new
installation? If this is a new installation, there are probably a few things that
your network guy has to setup.
Has your computer been moved recently? If it has been moved check all the
cables and also check to make sure that there is network access available (either
a jack on the wall or an available plug on a minihub).
Is your computer network cable plugged in both the computer and the
wall? (only applicable if you’re not using wireless) – If not, plug it in. If it is
plugged in, quickly unplug and plug in back in. You should hear or feel a slight
click when it is correctly in place.
Is there a light on the computer near where the network cable is plugged
in? If there is no light, and the network cable is plugged in, call your network
Are you logged in with your network password and domain name?
Sometimes people forget their passwords or the passwords have changed. Also
make sure that you have the correct spelling of everything including the domain
Have you tried restarting and logging in again? This simple action frequently
works like magic to resolve a variety of problems.
Is your caps-lock turned on? Many times the username and password
required of network access and network applications is case sensitive.
Has your computer given you virus warning messages? Sometimes network
problems are caused by a virus. Contact your network tech for assistance.
Was there anything new installed on your computer before it stopped
working? New programs can sometimes can problems with network access.
Try uninstalling the new software and rebooting.
Were any changes, no matter how apparently insignificant, made on your
machine before the problem started? A computer sometimes can be rather
fragile in both hardware and software. Try to determine if anything happened to
cause it. Be honest with your network support tech.
Are any other computers nearby having the same problem? If so it may be a
bigger problem than just your computer. If other systems are working, try
switching the network cable. If it works then, it could be a cable problem.
Possible Network Troubleshooting Resources from the Internet:
Lebanon, Missouri R-3 District Web site
This pdf file is part of a school district website to provide support for non-
technical users. It is starts with simple solutions and goes to complex
possibilities. It is very well laid our and simple to understand.
This web page provides no-nonsense methodology and network FAQ in an easily
understood format. It has a focus on potential questions that you can resolve
prior to calling for tech support.
University of Virginia
This PowerPoint file not only goes over the basics of network troubleshooting,
but also explains how some user actions can cause self-inflicted problems. It
goes on to explain how some software installations make your network
connection stop functioning.
Region III Education Service Center, Victoria, Texas
While this web page is self-described as basic network troubleshooting, it very
quickly escalates into more an intermediate level guide. Included are diagnostic
steps for both PC and MAC.
This site is a more advanced network troubleshooting guide, especially for
installation and configuration of network interface cards (Nics). It includes the
basic steps, but then also looks at higher-level potential problems.
This website is a huge database of device drivers for all computer components,
not just Nics. It is searchable by a variety of methods including manufacturer
and component identification numbers. In addition to links to manufacturer
websites, the database also includes user-submitted driver files as well.
UC Santa Cruz - Glossary of Network Terminology:
This webpage provides simplified explanations of terminology associated with
networking. Further links provide greater detail on embedded specific terms.
This pdf site is excellent to print out and laminate as a quick reference card on how to use
Microsoft Outlook 2000. This web site explains how to use the following features of
Microsoft Outlook: 1.The Outlook Bar, 2.The Outlook Screen, 3.How to understand a
basic message, 4.Keyboard Shortcuts, 5.Calendar, 6.Contacts, and 7.Tasks.
This web site is loaded with great information on how to use e-mail and how e-mail
works. You can read the information or you can watch the animation on how to use e-
mail. This web site has step by step information on how to create e-mail messages.
This web site has step by step tutorials on how to use web based e-mail. It includes
graphics with drawings to explain each part of the e-mail process.
This web site has videos that you can watch to help you to understand the e-mail process.
By watching these videos you will fully understand all the functions that are available for
you to use e-mail in your daily conversations.
Computer Fundamentals for Teachers Computer Competency list
This is a great web site for the teacher requiring computer competency basics.
There are links for troubleshooting basics, computer operation skills, how to set-
up a computer, connect peripheral devices (printers, scanners, etc.),. Also
includes how to diagnose hardware problems, printer problems, more. In
addition to providing how to’s for basic computer competencies, also includes
advanced computer competencies.
Exemplary Teachers Basic Computer Troubleshooting
This site has basic troubleshooting tips for teachers. This site also includes
preventive maintenance for your computer, tutorials, webtools, workshops, and
howto’s. The How To link is great it is filled with information on emails, adding
attaching, creating back-up disks and more. http://www.etwebtools.org/trouble.htm
This website contains helpful how-to guides that will help you fix problems, either
hardware or software problems, and learn more about Windows. Several
categories to choose from to help understand your PC better, in plain English,
not techie talk.
Some examples of the “How to” list are: How to download, how to burn a CD,
how to clean up your hard drive, what to do to zip or compress a file, how to
install a video card, or IDE drive, how to add more memory, how to back up your
data, how to create a back up image, even how to build your own PC. I highly
recommend this site. http://www.pcnineoneone.com/howto.html
This is an online guide to troubleshooting your pc, it contains links to go directly
to the problem area. Look under the table of contents for specific titles. Be
aware that this troubleshooting site requires the use of a screwdriver.
Basic Computer Troubleshooting Exam
This web site allows one to take a basic computer troubleshooting exam. You
can take this as many times as you like, and it is free. This enables one to gain
valuable information, while testing your troubleshooting skills.
PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE & INFORMATION
This is definitely a favorite bookmark, it is a one-stop page full of information and
fixes, in addition to being an online dictionary and search engine you need for
computer and Internet technology. See the menu on the left of the page for quick
links. Also supplies “Term of the Day” and “New Terms” to keep you updated on
computer terminology. There is also a “Quick Reference” link to assist one in
computer information on common Internet and computer facts and occurrences.
Preventative Maintenance for a PC
This is a great page to prevent failures that happen, and the ensuing repairs can
be costly and time-consuming. Preventive measures a user can take to
decrease the likelihood of running into problems. This page will show a beginner
how to setup preventative maintenance. Information on how to create backup
files, virus programs and much more is also provided.
System Care Guide for the PC
This guide explores the various ways that the system can be maintained and
cared for, to ensure that it gives you years of trouble-free service. This includes
topics such as data backup, hardware maintenance and cleaning, environmental
concerns and more. http://www.pcguide.com/care/index.htm
Macintosh Troubleshooting Basics
This is a wonderful web site geared for teachers that has links for troubleshooting
systems that freeze, won’t start, starts with a Sad Mac, wrong music, printer
problems, hard disk problems, monitor problems, and more. This is definitely a
page to bookmark as one your favorites. http://www.memphis-
Basic Macintosh Troubleshooting
This site contains basic troubleshooting procedures that will help you solve
common problems . If you have a flashing question mark, startup hang, or
missing custom icons, you can learn to fix it here.
PRINTER & DRIVER PROBLEMS
Fix your own printer
This is a website for printer problems, it takes you through a step-by-step
troubleshooting and includes a checklist. Also includes support and offers printer
kits if you need to parts for your printer. http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/networking.html
DriverZone | The Device Driver Guide
If your printer or scanner doesn’t work, you may have to reinstall the driver, this is
the software program that came with the hardware. You many also find and
download drivers for printers, scanners, digital cameras, etc. here.
OTHER GREAT LINKS FOR TEACHERS
Treasures for Teachers
For the K-8 Technology Teacher, this website is full of outstanding links to other
web sites, it is complete with ideas, resources and tools to help teachers do their
job. This is a great site for new and old teachers and contains resources/links for
teachers and students, curriculum based computing links, Internet tutorials,
Apple Education support, Webquests, Technology Coordinators resources and
much more. In addition contains links to e-magazines for technology, links for
technical support and more. This is definitely worth checking out and
bookmarking for future reference. http://www.tekmom.com/treasures/
Top 101 Web Sites for Teachers_
Bookmark this site, the Best 101 websites for teachers, filled with general
resources, projects and activities, science, math, language arts, current events,
U.S History, web guides and so much more. Also includes information on
compressing and decompressing files, teaching with the web, digital cameras in
the classroom, burning dvd’s, how to evaluate web sites and cite internet
Windows 95 Taskbar basic, must Task bar limitations
minimize and maximize
from window not from Must have disk to install all
Cannot perform diskcleanup
from c drive properties
Only one user style allowed
on the computer
Not a true operating system,
crashes on unstable
Windows 98 Taskbar advanced, shortcuts Must have disk to install
on it and can maximize and hardware
minimize from task bar
Basic disk clean up from C Not a true operating system,
drive properties crashes on unstable
Multiple User style allowed
Needs 4 patches to
Windows 98 Second
Edition to solve many
Windows XP Default Look and Feel very
different from any other
previous windows version.
Taskbar can be used in
classic mode to resemble
windows 95 or 98 but the
new XP taskbar has and
area for recently used
application that have not
been used in awhile in all
programs does not show.
You can see these
applications by pushing the
down arrow to see the rest.
Lots of hardware and
automatically, disk not
Hides unused icons,
automatically cleans up
desktop for icons not used
Computer has automatic
system restore points. To
fix potential crashing
problems. User can back
track to find out which
program caused the crash.
Advanced C Drive cleanup
Multiple User style allowed
on computer, administrator
access can be on all or one
Is a true operating system,
has the ability to control the
loading of programs,
crashes happen less
Microsoft side by side comparison
This site contains videos of comparisons between Windows XP, 98, 95.