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{Advice offered} - Advice needed

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by edie209, Sep 18, 2000.

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  1. edie209

    edie209 Thread Starter

    Sep 18, 2000
    I hope someone can help me. I currently work as a Field Support Engineer for the Post Office, but I will soon be changing jobs and working for a local secondary school as Network Manager.
    There appears to have been no documenting of the network as it has grown, as many different people have been administering at different times.
    I would like your views on how to approach this situation, causing the least amount of disturbance to the network but enabling me to gather as much info as possilbe.

    many thanks to you all in advance

  2. Reuel Miller

    Reuel Miller

    Feb 17, 1999

    My advice: Go in on a weekend and re-install everything [​IMG]

    Ok, now onto more practical advice:

    Firstly, get a picture of the network. This means getting a floorplan of the buildings, walking around going from room to room, and writing down the number of PCs, the software OS (and service pack level, if applicable) installed, current hardware installed and the router they connect to.

    Do the same for your servers. It is vitally important to know what hardware is in each PC, and what the specs of the PC are.

    Next, you need to get a Logical map of your network. This is a picture of the IP addresses of the Routers, printers and servers (and workstations, if you are not using DHCP), and where the different subnet's are situated. You need to see what services are installed on your Servers (WINS, DNS, DHCP, IIS, Proxy etc). At this time, it is also a good idea to get a list of the accounts on the Server. You need to see which accounts are being used to run certain services, and make sure that only Service accounts are running those services. Next, you need to take away any user accounts that no longer correspond to people using the system (ie. if Mr Bradshaw last worked at the school 5 years ago, it is time to delete his user account). Ditto with any user home drives assigned to defunct users.

    Lastly, you need to compile a list of discepancies. Look at your list created in the forst step, and get an idea of what a standard PC is (ie: Standard PC = at least Pent 200, minimum 32 Megs RAM, 4 Gig HD, CD-ROM, 100 Meg Network Card, DHCP IP address, WINS enabled, Win98 First Edition, Office 97 SP2, IE5.0, McAfee 4 {Scan Engine 4.0.26 Definition file 4038}). Once you have decided on what is the current base, you need to see which PCs are below that spec: if all the workstations in one room have 32 Megs of RAM except for one PC which has 16 Megs, it needs to be noted. If all PCs use DHCP, except for one room, which are all on a different subnet, and have static IP addresses, it needs to be noted. Once you have a list of discrepancies, you should talk to your supervisor: First about bringing those PCs that are woefully under spec to some semblance of usability, and then see where you can upgrade slowly the software (get McAfee or Norton Antivirus up to the latest scan engine and virus definition files, Office to the latest service pack etc).

    This might take a while, but use the time to try and clean out all the bumpf (old programs, data, etc - just make sure that it is junk before you get rid of it) that accumulates especially from the server.

    I hope that gets you started

    Reuel Miller
    Windows NT Moderator (yes, that does make me biased :) )

    [email protected]

    Website: www.xperts.co.za/reuel/multiboot

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