what to do if the network documentation is not available.

By pasadem ·
A LAN within the office building has been set up by one of the private company but they have lost the documentation. i want to add my computer to this network but since i dont know the domain and the IP address i dont know how to go about it. the server is Red Hat Linux and the clients use Windows XP. how should i solve this problem? Please help.

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Windows Settings and Systems Administration

by Toivo Talikka In reply to what to do if the network ...

Does the same private company look after the internet modem/router? You need to urgently make sure that your system is secure and that you know which ports are open on the router firewall and that only the minimum of people have access to the system from outside the network. Your management should have some idea what the situation was before.

You can check the settings in one of the other Windows XP clients. Go to Windows Explorer and right click My Computer. Under the Computer Name, which is important (your computer needs to have a unique name), you will see the name for either a Workgroup or a Domain. If the other PC belongs to a domain, your PC needs to join that domain. Joining the domain can only be done if you have the password for the Domain Administrator, which may be the same as the password for the server, in this case Red Hat.

Other settings you need to look at in some of the other PCs are the network settings. Go to Control Panel - Network Connections and right click the icon Local Area Connection, then select Properties. Make a note what has been selected (or take a screen snapshot by clicking the blue line at the top of the small window and then press Alt-Print Screen simultaneously and paste the picture to a Word document) and click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and then Properties. Do write down or take a screen snapshot from all the settings there.

If the PC has been set to 'Obtain an IP address automatically' and 'Obtain DNS server address automatically', just duplicate these settings to your PC. Once you have done that, you can right click My Computer and then click 'Join Domain'.

If the IP address and the DNS server address are not obtained automatically, you need to allocate to your PC a unique IP address in the same subnet as the other computers are, set the same subnet mask and default gateway as the others are using, set the same DNS server address as the others have and click the Advanced button. Duplicate to your PC the settings from the WINS tab, if the other PCs have an address or selections there.

If you need to allocate a static (fixed) IP address for your PC, you need to find a free IP address by checking the IP addresses already in use in the other PCs: on each PC, right click the Local Area Connection icon and select Status, then click the Support tab and the information is there.

I have not used Red Hat as Windows server for quite some time and I may have missed some steps on the server side. You need to get someone to show you how the server administration is done. It can also be done remotely, if required.

By the way, you need to make sure the server backups are done regularly (on a daily basis) and that the media is stored securely in an off-site location like a bank safety deposit box. At least five daily tapes to be rotated and a monthly backup to be kept indefinitely.

Did you have a chance to talk to your predecessor or the network company you mentioned? I have been in a situation where my predecessor had left 'under a cloud' and I had to create all the documentation of the infrastructure and IT procedures from scratch.

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