Network Hardware Troubleshooting



Network Connection Problems and Solutions
ProblemSolution
Computer is not letting you log in to Windows.
  • Check the network cable, otherwise called a CAT 5 cable. The cable has an RJ-45 connector at the end, which resembles a thicker phone connector (Click here).
  • Check to see if the jack is live. Are the LED lights lit up at the ethernet port, this is where the Cat 5 cable is connected to the computer. (Click here) The lights should be blinking which indicates network activity.
  • If the LED lights are not on, your computer is not connecting to the network. Pull the cable, and try to reconnect it.
  • If that fails, try another network jack from the wall or the floor or another Cat5 cable (if you have one.)
  • If all of these steps fails to restore a network connection, contact your technology coordinator.
The Network activity LED lights are blinking, but you still cannot login to the network.
  • Make sure you are inputting the correct username and password.
  • Make sure the CAPS lock button is not activated. Passwords are case sensitive and will not work if the CAPS lock button has been activated.
  • Are you logged in somewhere else? If so, you should log off that computer before you try to log in to another. Most users cannot have multiple logins.
I cannot connect to the Internet through a broadband DSL or Cable connection.
  • Check the modem is turned on.
  • The Ethernet cable is plugged correctly into the Ethernet port on the modem and on your computer. Check for blinking LED lights.
  • If appropriate, check the phone line is plugged correctly into the modem and the phone jack.
  • Check the lights on your modem. This can show you where the problem is- Is it the Ethernet connection, the power to the modem, or the cable connection? (Click here)
  • Turn off your modem by pulling the cable. This will reset the modem. Turn off the computer. Wait for 20 seconds and then plug the modem back and turn the computer back on.
  • Connection problems can occur due to Winsock corruption. To work around in this case open Network Diagnostics.
  • Open Network Diagnostics by right-clicking the network icon in the notification area, and then clicking Diagnose and repair. (Click here)


  • ***If Necessary also ask your Internet service provider to verify if:***
  • The servers are functioning correctly.
  • You have an ISP user account, are using the correct username and password and have access to the ISP service.
Computer will not print to a networked printer in a classroom or computer lab.
  • Check the network cables. Sometimes network cables slip out of floor pods and wall ports.
  • Check the activity lights on the back of the printer. Are the lights flashing?
  • If Yes, the printer is connected and communicating with the network. Check to make sure you are printing to the correct printer.
  • In Control Panel, click on Printers and Faxes and look to see if the printer is set to default.
  • If No, the printer is not connected and communicating with the network. Use compressed air in the network port. Reconnect and test. If connection is not established, test the cable using a cable tester. Escalate if necessary.
Computers are hooked up to a router. The Internet cannot be accessed.
  • Disconnect your router and connect your computer directly to your modem.
  • Check to see if you have access to the Internet via the modem.
  • Reconnect router and log on to the router. Check the LED lights on the router.
  • Check all cables attached to the router and computer are secure and seated correctly.
  • Check the port LED. If it is not lit, move cable to a different port on the back of the router.
  • If all of the LEDs are lit. Power off and reset the router and wait 30 seconds. Power the router on again and check the lights. If no resolution, call the Router manufacturer for additional assistance.
Most issues with unmanaged hubs and switches are caused by connectivity problems. If you can see some computers on the network, the hub or switch itself is probably operating properly.
  • Check that the hub or switch is plugged in and power light is lit.
  • Check whether link lights are lit solid on hub or switch ports connected to other devices. If a port light is blinking, change ports or reconnect the cable.
  • If some computers on your network are connected, then check the network settings on computers that do not. (That is, troubleshoot that computer's connectivity.)
  • Change the speed of the network adapter card to 10 Mbs (if the card and your network support it).
  • If a link light is still blinking, reset the hub or switch.
  • Replace cables with known good cables.
  • Connect two computers together with a crossover cable, (removing the hub or switch) and see if data will pass between them.
  • Check your model's Support product page to see whether there is a software or firmware upgrade.

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Research Sources

Router Troubleshooting Primer

In this article the authors take a look at the proper steps to troubleshooting routing problems. The site lays out the foundation for the troubleshooting process and provides examples of how to resolve common routing problems.


Troubleshooting Internet Connections Problems

The purpose of this website is to give general tips on troubleshooting your Internet Connection. The site outlines how to access all of the necessary information via the command prompt. Information to be discussed include IP address, Subnet Masks, Default Gateways, and DNS Servers.


Basic Ethernet Troubleshooting

This website provides basic ethernet troubleshooting using cable testers, LAN testers, portable analyzers, etc.


Network Hardware Troubleshooting for Teachers by Teachers

This site provides teachers with basic network troubleshooting that anyone can do. The site also includes numerous links to other troubleshooting sites and basic computer troubleshooting processes.


Troubleshooting a Networked Printer

This site provides users with a series of troubleshooting procedures for networked printers. This site is broken down into "Physical LAN", "Internal LAN", "The Printer Network", and "Adding a Printer"