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Chapter 4: Monitoring and Diagnostic Tools

Resolving problems requires knowledge of what tools to use in each unique circumstance. Think of driving a car without having knowledge that the brake pedal helps you stop. Instead, you plan ahead and put the car in neutral about a half mile before each intersection. This approach may get you where you want to go (and maybe a few tickets as well) but will certainly take a lot longer.

The same can be said for troubleshooting. For most situations, there are likely dozens of tools available for use, some that you are aware of and others that you may have never heard of. This chapter begins to build your troubleshooting toolbox, outlining the use of the most frequently used troubleshooting tools for Microsoft networks. The chapter shows you tools that are available with the operating system, the OS support tools, and the OS resource kit. Also, you will see a few popular freeware troubleshooting tools that are included on the companion CD.

In subsequent chapters, additional tools that are specific to the chapter's content will be added to your toolbox. Choosing the right tool for the job will go far in helping you to resolve that 3:00 PM problem so that you're home in time for dinner.

With an understanding of the common troubleshooting tools at your disposal, you can then work through the remaining chapters of this book in any order that is appropriate. Client-server troubleshooting is the first troubleshooting topic covered, primarily because many of the troubleshooting tools in this chapter are useful in many other scenarios. The topics discussed in this chapter are covered next.

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