AdminChallenge: Can you identify Marsha's mistake?

Should Marsha have been an architect? Can you spot the problem with her client's network? If you can, it could earn you a brand new TechRepublic T-shirt.

Every other Monday, AdminRepublic poses a systems or network problem requiring a solution. Some challenges are routine, while others may be more difficult. We then conduct a random drawing from the correct responses and send one lucky winner a fancy new TechRepublic T-shirt. You'll be the envy of the office. Let's start with the solution to our previous challenge.
Kendall's oversight
Two weeks ago, we presented Kendall’s little problem. Somebody had come into the office over the weekend and run off hundreds of copies of color printouts for personal use.

Kendall’s boss asked him to check the server log to learn who the culprit was. However, Kendall couldn’t find any entry. What had he forgotten?

Kendall failed to enable auditing of the print object. His problem could have been prevented by selecting the Success and Failure boxes for the Everyone group from within the Printer Auditing dialog box. He should have done so by right-clicking on the color laser jet printer in Start | Settings | Printers and selecting the Security tab, then Auditing.

Congratulations to Mark Jackson, whose winning entry was randomly selected from the correct submissions received.

The next challenge
Marsha’s been losing sleep over a problem one of her clients is experiencing. About two months ago, she designed and implemented a simple client-server network for a client.

It was one of Marsha’s first jobs as an independent consultant, and it was important the customer be satisfied so she could use it as a reference. However, she started receiving calls describing erratic network performance, and she was at a loss to explain it. Maybe she should have been an architect, like her dad.

Once again she reviewed the setup. She’d designed a simple star network with two servers, seven clients, and a new hub. She’d saved a little money by buying some 10 Mbps NICs, while the hub auto-sensed 10/100 Mbps.

All the hardware had been checked, and everything appeared to be operating normally. She’d reviewed the permissions, server logs, and more. She was definitely at a loss to explain why network connectivity often failed.

She was preparing to call a colleague in to investigate whether the use of IPX/SPX and AppleTalk on the internal LAN, and TCP/IP for Internet connectivity, could be responsible for the problem. She also wondered if there was an issue connecting the seven Windows 2000 Professional desktops to the Windows NT 4.0 Server, running SP6a.

She’d even replaced all of the category 5 cables, including the one running from the server to the hub via the utility shaft adjacent to an elevator shaft.

Certainly, the single G4 Mac on the network wasn’t causing trouble. AppleTalk works fine with NT 4, right?

What is Marsha’s colleague going to tell her is responsible for the network’s difficulty?

Send your answer to TechRepublic by Monday, March 20, 2000. We’ll send a TechRepublic T-shirt to the individual whose name we select randomly from all the correct answers received.

Now the legal stuff
By submitting your answer, you agree to let TechRepublic publish your solution on its Web site. You also agree that TechRepublic may adapt and edit and authorize the adaptation and editing of each submission as it deems necessary. TechRepublic may or may not publish a submission at its sole discretion.
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