Data Centers

Tech Tip: Troubleshoot dial-up errors/Improve disaster recovery

Windows 2000 Professional: Troubleshoot dial-up errors

If you use a dial-up connection to the Internet or your office and you travel frequently, Windows might occasionally fail to complete the dial-up connection and display "Error 678—There was no answer."

This is a general error that can appear in varying circumstances. For example, you might experience this error if you use the wrong driver for your modem, in which case the easy solution is to install the correct or updated driver.

The error can also be caused by PPTP filtering at the server for VPN connections. Turning off filtering at the server can cure the problem.

If the problem is intermittent, a simple dialing problem could be the cause. For example, if you're calling long distance, and the line from which you're dialing doesn't support long distance calls, you'll receive this error. You might also experience this error if you're dialing with a credit card and haven't entered all the necessary numbers in the dialing string.

To troubleshoot a dialing problem, make sure you're using a line that includes long distance service (if needed), and check the dialing string to make sure you're dialing the access number if needed, along with any other items such as a PIN. Also, turn on the modem's speaker so you can listen to the dialing string and any voice prompts that might indicate the cause of the problem.

Windows 2000 Server: Improve disaster recovery

Remote Installation Services (RIS) enables users to install Windows 2000 across the network. If the client computer contains a Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE) compliant network adapter, that adapter enables the computer to obtain a boot image from an RIS server and start the OS installation process. Users who don't have PXE-compliant network adapters can use a PXE emulation boot disk created from the RIS server.

RIS can serve as an important tool in disaster recovery. If a user's computer dies, you can provide a new system with a clean hard drive so all the user has to do to install the operating system is plug it into the network, turn it on, and answer a few prompts.

Installing the operating system with RIS is just one facet of disaster recovery. You should consider combining OS installation via RIS with folder redirection in order to simplify users' data restoration, as well as operating system restoration. You can redirect user folders and deploy applications through group policy.

By redirecting users' folders from their own computers to a network server, you effectively secure all of their data on the server. If a computer fails, RIS restores the operating system, group policy reinstalls the user's applications the first time the user logs on, and folder redirection points the user to his or her documents, still safe on the server. The result is a relatively painless recovery for the user and little effort on the administrator's part, beyond the initial setup of RIS and group policy definition.

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