In-Depth

Tales from the Trenches: Network Nemesis

Only a hunch saved the day.

I went to a client site where users were having problems logging on to the network. We had just installed WatchGuard Technologies, Inc.’s WatchGuard SOHO and a Hewlett Packard ProCurve switch (the 4000M) two weeks before the problems started. User workstations running Windows 95 were purchased off-the-shelf from CompUSA, so the workstations still had the usual freebie home programs.

We hadn’t optimized the PCs yet, so we did that. I then pummeled the servers and workstations for problems. I found that the server had only 95M of free space left on the boot partition (a possible problem, but probably not the cause of our current error). Servers and workstations had IPX/SPX on them along with TCP/IP and NetBEUI. I removed IPX from all and rebooted. I ended up downloading the latest firmware for the HP switch and assigning it a static IP. Still the issue of intermittent connection to the network persisted.

After many hours and days poring over the system at the client site, I questioned all users again. Again, no new details.

On a hunch, I decided to wipe out the Network Neighborhood properties and see if that helped. Upon reboot, PnP detected the NIC; halfway through install, it asked for Client32 disk No. 1. What?! I asked the folks at the client site if the network used to be Novell-based. Of course! Whoever had changed over the network to Microsoft hadn’t done it properly, yet had successfully removed all visual signs of Novell and Client32 from the servers and workstations. I used Novell Client32 uninstall on all workstations and deleted all Network Neighborhood properties, and the network logon problem was solved.

About the Author

Ted C. Beard, MCSE, MCP+I, is a Senior Technician for Network Business Systems.

Featured

  • How To Replace an Aging Domain Controller

    If the hardware behind your domain controllers has become outdated, here's a step-by-step guide to performing a hardware refresh.

  • Azure Backup for SQL Server 2008 Available at Preview Stage

    Microsoft added the option of using the Azure Backup service to provide recovery support for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 when those workloads are hosted on Azure virtual machines.

  • Microsoft Suggests Disabling Old Protocols with Exchange Server 2019

    Exchange Server 2019 with Cumulative Update 2 (CU2) can help organizations rid themselves of old authentication protocols, which constitute a potential security risk.

  • Microsoft Previews New Edge Browser on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

    Microsoft announced this week that it has released previews of its Chromium-based Microsoft Edge Web browsers for use on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 systems.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.