Diagnosing And Resolving Strange Network Issues

By Tech Experts Staff
Everyone’s had them, you know those weird issues where one of your computers can get online or to your server but your workstation can’t. Or, when one building can get to the Internet or other network resources and your other building can’t.

Networking issues can be a real headache as they can be very difficult to track down. Without the proper equipment and knowledge, they can plague you forever. Fortunately we have solutions to those network gremlins that we see all too often.

This month we are going to touch on the common network issues we see and how we go about getting them corrected for you so that your network runs as it should.

Starting from your workstation and heading out to your Internet Service Providers (ISP) modem, we’ll work our way through some of the commonly seen issues.

Can’t reach the Internet.
This one we see frequently. When your workstation can’t get to the Internet (and other workstations on your network can), there are actually numerous issues that can cause this problem.

Some of the items your tech would (or should) be checking are:

Does the computer have a virus?
Viruses can cause all kinds of havoc when it comes to how your computer functions. Viruses can change the way that Windows networking acts and what it does.

If some of the aspects of your computer’s operating system (OS) are changed by a virus, it’s possible you may not be able to get online.

Is the connection from the computer to the router in good working order?
Sometimes people think that the answer to this question is as simple as “is the Ethernet cable plugged in tight,” and in most cases it is.

Sometimes the cables you may have been using for years might begin to cause connectivity problems. Cables that are constantly moved can have the wires within the cable ends worked loose. Ethernet cables used with notebooks and laptops are especially prone to this.

Once the right cables work themselves loose you are likely to either see sporadic connection problems or you may not have any connection at all.

These types of issues while not as common as virus or operating system issues tend to be more difficult to track down.

While a tech could go through all of the cables on your network when you have a connection problem, doing so can take a lot of time.

This isn’t normally the first course of action unless they specifically see symptoms that indicate this type of issue.

Some of the other issues that can cause a workstation to lose connectivity are faulty routers, switches or modems.

In the case of any of these pieces of network equipment, if the ports on them begin to fail users may have a lot of issues, from dropped packets resulting in slow Internet performance, to no Internet connection at all and everywhere in between.

The last possible place for connection issues is your ISP’s modem. Generally a tech can roughly troubleshoot this piece of equipment, but because your ISP manages it, there is only so much a tech can do to correct problems on this type of equipment. We can usually isolate the trouble to the modem, but after that, the ISP takes over.

If a tech finds an issue with your modem you would need to have your ISP’s techs come out and look into the issues with their modem.

No matter what issues your workstation is having we can trace them back to the root of their cause.

Give us a call and we’ll get you back up and running ASAP.

10 Warning Signs Of Impending Computer Disaster

These Tips Can Help You Avoid Expensive Downtime And Repairs

Computers rarely stop working overnight. In most cases, there are early warning signs that problems are brewing.

Here are 10 surefire signs that you need to get a professional to investigate your network ASAP:

  1. Your workstation or server starts running very slowly, freezes up, or crashes.
  2. Your web browser has been changed to another strange browser you’ve never seen before.
  3. You are getting an unusual amount of pop-up windows, even when you aren’t surfing the web.
  4. You don’t know if every computer on your network has the most current virus definitions.
  5. You don’t know if you have a firewall in place or the last time it was updated.
  6. You haven’t attempted to restore your data from a backup tape or other storage device in awhile, and you aren’t checking your backup log for errors.
  7. You receive e-mails accusing you of sending spam, and/or you find e-mail messages in your “outbox” or “sent” folder that you didn’t send.
  8. Your computer starts making a grinding, clicking, or loud whirring sound.
  9. The fan is constantly running.
  10. You are getting a growing number of error messages, and you are forced to create work-arounds to complete certain work tasks.

If any of these signs are present, you should contact a pro immediately to investigate further!

The old saying of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is especially true in the world of computers and all things digital; and if you are like most businesses, your computer network is critical to the operation of your company – so make sure you don’t procrastinate if any of these signs are present.

Ideally, you should perform regular health checks and maintenance on your network to make sure problems don’t crop up. Here’s why:

  • Critical security updates need to be applied at least once a month to protect you from a constant flow of new hacker attacks.
  • Firewall, virus and spyware protection need to be monitored and updated on a daily basis because new attacks are released daily.
  • Your data backup system needs to be monitored and tested frequently to ensure easy data recovery in the event of loss. The rate of tape drive failure is 100%; that’s why you need to frequently monitor your backups.
  • Servers and workstations need regular tune-ups to keep them running fast and error free.
  • Monitoring of disk space is important to avoid data loss, crashes, and storage problems.
  • Server event logs need to be monitored for early alerts to network issues.

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is taking a reactive approach to network support and maintenance rather than a proactive one.

In other words, they wait until something stops working and THEN they call in the professionals to fix it. This approach not only costs more in the long run, but it also leaves you vulnerable to more devastating crashes such as data corruption and loss, virus attacks, and extended downtime.

Even NEW computers and equipment need regular maintenance because new threats are constantly evolving.

Fortunately, there is an inexpensive and easy way for you to completely avoid – even anticipate and prevent – these problems while making your network far more secure, reliable, and problem free.

We call it our “No Problem Network Support” plan, and it’s designed specifically for the small to medium business owner that doesn’t have the time, expertise, or staff to perform this regular network maintenance.

Thanks to advancements in support technology, we can now monitor your network 24/7/365 days a year and provide all the maintenance your server needs for a fraction of the time and cost.

For a flat, monthly fee, you’ll get 24/7 remote monitoring of your network to not only ensure that it is running at peak performance, but also to guarantee that your data is being backed up and secured, that your virus definitions are up-to date, that your firewall is configured properly, that your server is optimized, as well as keep an eye on over 100 system processes and alerts that could spell problems brewing.

If you hired a technician – even a junior one – to perform these basic network tasks, it could easily cost you $40,000 in salary, insurance, and hiring costs. If you were to outsource this type of service, it would easily run you $800 to $1,000 a month in hourly, on-site fees.

However, thanks to the No Problem Network Support plan, we can deliver all of these services to you for as little as $189 per month.

We’re so certain that you are going to LOVE this service we are willing to give it to you for 3 months, absolutely FREE, and without any obligation whatsoever.

If at the end of those 3 months you aren’t absolutely convinced that this service is worth every penny you are paying for the fast service and peace of mind, simply call or send us an e-mail that says, “this just isn’t what I had in mind,” and we’ll stop the service immediately—no payment, no obligation.

That way, you have absolutely nothing to risk. What could be more fair than that?

But if you decide to keep the service, we’ll bill you a flat monthly fee that you’ve agreed upon up front — no surprises, hidden costs, or extra fees.

And, to make it even more of a “no-brainer,” we’re going to offer the first 5 clients a very special VIP discount to create an even greater incentive for you to sign up TODAY.

To take advantage of this FREE 3-month trial, contact us at 734-457-5000, or e-mail info@expertsmi.com.