OK, so having fiddled with high contrast, how do you turn it off!?
Edit - Found it; personalise.
Last edited by Andrew_C; 21st May 2014 at 01:32 PM.
I went to an interview and came out feeling exactly the same so I clearly need to learn a lot more. Would be good to know more about the things that both @sonofsanta / @tmcd35 and some others have mentioned.
I know how to find the event viewer, however making sense of the random error codes and short messages that are in the event viewer etc must be an art in itself ( other than using google to google the error code / message ), I know basics of dns / dhcp as far as setting those set up and what they are used for etc but would be good to know more about both of these
There was a lot of other items mentioned ranging from permissions ( NTFS / Share permissions ) etc etc and would also be good to know / learn more about the other items
Last edited by mac_shinobi; 21st May 2014 at 01:33 PM.
Remember that the lesson going to h3ll in a handcart 'cos the projector died is possibly the only chance that teacher is going to get to put that point across to that class. That is why they are stressed. Showing that you can empathise with losers, sorry, users, is important.
Ephelyon (3rd June 2014)
As requested by @mac_shinobi, a brief overview of the points I made (how I wish I'd made fewer now! - though I'll add some more that are useful)
Running ipconfig /all
At a command prompt, type ipconfig /all and you get all the network details you need for some basic troubleshooting - IP address, subnet mask, gateway, DNS, if the address is static or DHCP etc. etc. - run it now and you'll see.
At a command prompt, type ping [ip] or ping [hostname] e.g. ping 192.168.1.1 to see if you can talk to the remote address. Great for checking connectivity of the host you're on (ping your DC for local, ping google.com for internet) or a remote host from wherever you are (useful when someone rings up and says "my PC isn't working", ping it before you go to get an idea of the problem - if it doesn't talk back, try pinging the computer next to it or the switch it's connected to, to see if you have a bigger problem).
ping [ip/host] /t
Use the /t flag to leave a ping running indefinitely - useful if you're restarting a server and want to see when it's alive again. Ctrl+Break will give you some statistics without stopping the ping, Ctrl+C will stop altogether.
tracert [ip/host] traceroute - pings every hop along the route to your destination, so you can work out where the fault is (e.g. you get replies from everything on your network, not from your ISP, thate fault is at their end). Not always that useful though as not every host will respond to pings.
Looks up an IP in DNS and returns the hostname. If you need to get an IP from a hostname, just ping it as above and it'll tell you.
If your device doesn't know where to send data - if it can't see the device directly because it's not on the same logical network - send it here, and the gateway will know what to do with it. Most of your network will have your core switch as the default gateway, and your core switch will have your internet gateway as the default gateway - because for most of the network, the core switch will know where a device is, and if it doesn't, it must be something on the internet, so pass it upstream.
Bit difficult to explain briefly without getting into binary maths and really boring IP nitty gritty, but basically tells a device how big the network it is on is, and what the address range is. Google it up if you want to know more, but basically: it has to be right for network connectivity. If you've not got a connection and the IP seems right, check this.
Domain Name System. A phone book for computers - we use names for machines (e.g. files1.domain.local, google.com) but computer need numbers (IP addresses). When you create a record locally you tell it the name and the IP address - that's a forward lookup. There are also Reverse Lookup records, where you lookup an IP address and get the name related to it. These are usually done automatically when you create the forward lookup entry (Automatically create PTR record (PTR = pointer)).
You'll have a DNS server on your network (probably your DC). That will be authoritative for all local addresses in your domain. Anything it doesn't know, it will pass up to servers it has defined as DNS Forwarders - which will be your ISPs DNS server, or Google's servers (188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206).
You can troubleshoot DNS with a combination of ping and nslookup - if either of them fail or give you a funny answer, it's a big clue.
Dynamic Host Control Protocol - a server handing out IP addresses automatically so you don't have to faff around telling each computer what its number is. Usually your DC. Usually configured to automatically create the relevant DNS records everytime an address lease is handed out. Leases are usually 8 days long; if a DHCP server is offline when a computer comes to renew its lease, the computer will be unable to get an address and drop off the network (they make attempts to renew at 4 days, 6 days etc. though so they have time to avoid this problem).
You can renew a DHCP lease manually with ipconfig /renew which is useful as a troubleshooting tool. If a network connection isn't working, try giving the device a static address instead (with the correct gateway & subnet mask); if the device then works, you know DHCP is the cause.
DHCP is a bad idea for servers as some services need to know where they can contact a server by IP - e.g. if your DNS server had a dynamic address, not a static address, you'd have to reconfigure every computer every time it changed address. You can, however, set DHCP reservations, which basically say "everytime the device with this MAC address asks for an address, give it this one". It's a different way of setting a static address, in essence, one that self-documents in your DHCP server, but is a bit more long winded and relies on your DHCP server remaining online. It's largely a matter of personal preference which method you use to assign static addresses, DHCP reservations or just providing them on the connection of the device.
Permissions propogate downwards - if you set Full Control on a folder for a user, then all sub-folders and files inside inherit that automatically. You can turn this off, but that's mostly how it works.
Deny always takes precedence over Allow. Be careful with denies - better not to give the Allow in the first place (denies are fairly rare IME).
Are different from NTFS permissions. Best way to use them is to always set them to Everyone - Full Control and just use NTFS permissions to control access - less confusion that way. NTFS is also more fine-grained than share permissions.
is a command line tool to check disk. If a hard disk/USB stick is acting suspiciously, it's worth running as it can repair issues (I have saved whole drives before from broken file tables). First step is chkdsk [letter]: /f (e.g. chkdsk e: /f ) which runs 3 steps and fixes problems it finds. Shouldn't take too long. The next step, if you still have problems, is to use /r instead of /f (e.g. chkdsk e: /r ). This does the first 3 steps as before, then an extra 2 that take forever as it scans for bad sectors. Once you've started chkdsk you can't interrupt it, so it's not one to do when you're in a rush, though you can leave it to it.
If you run chkdsk on your boot disc (C then it has to restart your machine. It boots up automatically when it's done; the report of what it did is logged in Event Viewer (Application or System, I forget which).
Type chkdsk /? at a command prompt to see more. /? is a flag useable for any command when you need help.
Clearing a profile in Win7+
Roaming profiles have claws in the registry now, so if you only delete the local folder you'll break things. Go to System Properties (Windows + Pause/Break is a useful shortcut here), Advanced System Settings, click Settings in the User Profiles section, find the user in the list and Delete from there. Then delete the server copy of the profile folder. Next time they log on it will recreate from the default profile, then log off to save that back to the server. Make sure the user isn't logged on anywhere else, otherwise the old profile from that session will write back to the server and overwrite the fresh new profile you just set up.
Finding a file in temporary internet files
Navigate to C:\Users\username, make sure you can View Hidden Files and have unhidden protected operating system files, then go into AppData and do a search for the document type (e.g. *.docx). By far the easiest way.
Setting up a local user
Go to Computer Management (easy way: open Start Menu, right click on Computer, Manage), expand Local Users and Groups, right click on Users, New User.
Using .\ at the logon screen to quickly see the name of a computer
At the logon screen (after Ctrl-Alt-Del) type .\ in the username box and it will show the computer name underneath the password box (it will change from Log on to [DOMAIN]to Log on to [Local]. If you've just set up a local user called Bob, you would log in using .\Bob as the username, else the machine will try to log on to the domain. XP used to have the dropdown, Win7 needs you to use this format.
Given how few local users are ever set up, I mostly use this to get the computer name without having to log in.
Computer shutting down and you don't want it to? Hit Win+R to get a Run prompt then type shutdown /a to abort any shutdown. Useful if your network shuts all PCs down at a certain time with a minute or two warning, and you're working on a PC when it happens.
EDIT: crikey - wall of text or what? tl;dr: you need to read the above, there is no shortcut to knowing stuff except learning it.
Last edited by sonofsanta; 21st May 2014 at 03:36 PM.
Last edited by sonofsanta; 21st May 2014 at 03:36 PM. Reason: I keep getting my tl:dr; and tl;dr: mixed up. These things matter!
mac_shinobi (21st May 2014)
Nice to see a few replies here. First time checking since the original post. Glad that others are thnking this is a good idea. Time to list everything that has been compiled thus far, me thinks?
For my tuppence worth, lots of good stuff. What @Andrew_C has said in particular is spot on!
I like the points here from an individual perspective, but maybe a "whole team" perspective is important as well?
The problem is that IT is an umbrella field; in terms of how we employ IT staff, it's meant for specialism. In this sector we have little recourse for that (partly because we've never been very good at getting the message across), so whoever you get in a Technician role - or indeed an NM role or higher! - will have somewhat of a "mixed bag" of skills. Where you have a need to employ generalists the key is to find the skillsets that best interlock to create a dynamic team, if you're lucky enough to have one at all. You may have people who specialise (or "have the most experience") in Networking, System Administration, Support, Web, Hardware, Databases, Storage, etc... and all of those areas can be broken down several times for sub-specialisms as well. Support is a very common background as it's a typical route into the sector, as long as we remember that's only part of the game.
It may be worth doing a radar chart for yourself of the many areas of IT and how your own skillset could be depicted there. It's a good tactic for schools to use when they are making several appointments at once within a team, or creating a new team from scratch where a mixed bag of skills can be expected. You list the major skill areas (as they pertain to your needs) around the outside and then you have the candidates draw an arrow shape as close or far from it as would depict their skills/confidence in that area. But the key is, you get them to do it on tracing paper and you prepare a blank one in advance, so at the end of the interview process you can overlay them all in different combinations to get a very visual picture of how well-equipped such a team might be to support the school's needs (though of course I'd never suggest this as the sole means of candidate selection). You can repeat the process for annual CPD reviews too (because we all get those), to identify both how a team has developed and where it needs further development now.
At the end of the day, we're all going to have our own different experiences and skillsets... to an extent it's all by-the-by. What's important is that the team providing the service is well-proportioned for what it's expected to deliver.
At least 10 keyboard shortcuts. Whether it's tabbing through open apps, cutting\copying and pasting, locking a PC or closing a program the scope is huge.
If you really want mean you should have seen my Data Manager excel practical test. Ohhh that was mean but very, very illuminating.
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