Question how to clean up a mess

hamoo

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i just inherited a network, (or two,) and need a plan or walkthrough to get all my nodes on the same network and to 1gbs speed

i have:
  • one (1) dental office with about 15 nodes
  • one desktop producing a list of nodes using arp -a
  • this same desktop producing another arp -a table after running a virus scan
  • another desktop producing a similar list of nodes, with a few nodes that are not on the other list
i am suspicious why two different desktops in the same office would produce different arp -a tables

i want to use stepwise refinement to fix this office, but don't know where to start, because everything is broken. i am currently cleaning viruses. i know how to configure the desktops and check their connection speed, but do not know how to fix this mess with the network

is there a walkthrough or sop. i don't know where to start. many thanks
 

Ralston18

Titan
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My recommendation is to start with a physical inspection of the existing nodes and connections.

SOP suggestion:

Sketch out a diagram of the dental office with all computers, devices, (routers, printers, NAS, etc..) being shown along with the physical wiring connecting them all together via patch panels, switches, etc.

Does not need to be an immediate work of art per se, But the diagram should show each device and include, if at all possible, its' respective network name and IP address.

Suggestion: draw up a basic dental office floor plan (and there may already be one available) and make copies before doing your survey. For the most part you will likely end up making revisions as you go and learn what is what. Try to be roughly to scale and accurate. Not crucial but may reveal some inconsistency or discrepancy.

Not at all uncommon to find yourself to be going back and forth to figure things out. Even a couple days later....

Trace the cables through walls and ceilings, make note of any cable and/or wall jack numberings. Anything you find or see. Take a flashlight and mirror. Use your cell phone or a camera to take photographs.

Look at the office network router: its admin pages may provide a listing of connected devices by name, IP address, and MAC. Some devices may have static IP addresses - very important to identify.

Gather up as much documentation as you can find: manuals, other diagrams, installation orders. Anything and everything IT related. Read and organize as best you can.

Work out and understand the "big picture" (infrastructure) and then use the tools to do additional discovery and reconciliation.

Takes time and effort yes - the benefits and end results are worth it.
 
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Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
With respect to the switches, I cannot offer any specific answers as to the "why's" and how to fix.

Most likely the network was cobbled together on some ad hoc basis without much planning and forethought.

Which happens even with the best of overall intentions....

Again my suggestion remains: diagram the network, label all the components (makes and models) and post the diagram.

There are a number of very knowledgeable and experienced professionals within this Forum who follow and respond to threads based on the information provided by the poster.

A network map will certainly help evaluate the network infrastructure and provide a basis for meaningful suggestions. Or some relevant questions to help sort it all out.

I have no problems with other folks presenting ideas and suggestions - likely to be some options and trade-offs involved.

Objective is to get it all figured out and fixed. Information and details matter.
 
why are there imbedded, cyclic, and daisy chained switches, and how do i fix this ?
Am not familiar with those terms, but having ethernet switches one behind another is common. Sometimes this is by design, segregating the backbone from the edges, but in a 15 nodes office, most likely because there was only one cable run to a room, then all of a sudden boss stuffs 3 people in there, and BAM! adding a switch is easier and cheaper than running more cables. There is nothing to fix here.
 

hamoo

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the office network router: its admin pages may provide a listing of connected devices by name, IP address, and MAC
yes. great suggestion.
also, windows 7 network and sharing center -> "show full map" created the diagram that i hosted on google drive. if you hover over any of the nodes (in the control panel app, not on the google drive image), it will display configuration information
each of the workstations is not connected to a switch. there's only one switch
what is disconcerting is the part that says "the following discovered device(s) can not be placed in the map". all those devices should be attached to the same switch.
then, the routing tables are different depending on which workstation you're on
i need to get a win 7 install disc from dell, get my certificate of authenticity keys for each of my workstations, and reinstall a clean copy of windows, set it up, and then reimage it to all the other workstations in order to get a handle on how each of these things are configured. of course, i'm not looking forward to this. there's a reason this hasn't already been implemented. (could say the reason is entropy. ) also, i know it is going to take hours to get my coa keys from dell. i think there's a program to get them, i just haven't ever used it before. i'll also bet money that i can not get a win 7 install iso from microsoft
 

hamoo

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p.s., you guys need to stop staying up at all hours of the night. your posts are being timestamped at some ungodly hours
 

Ralston18

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One of the problems with "network discovery" software is that not everything is directly discoverable or likely to be correctly shown either physically and/or logically.

That Windows 7 tool being one of them.....

There are professional software tools that will do better but hold on using such a tool until some other time.

Sketch out the network diagram by hand.

Your diagram does not need to be a perfect sketch in an artistic sense.

The diagram just needs to be clear enough to show all of the network devices how they are physically connected.

Start at the beginning (ISP Gateway) and follow the wires.

Take your time tracing out the wires and learning what is connected to what.

Use a copy of the office floorplan and note network device locations and the connections between devices.

A flashlight and a mirror will be very helpful. Expect a few revisions to your sketch as you figure out the network structure.

Wires to "nowhere" and "where is that printer really connected"? Stuff hidden in suspended ceilings or forgotten in some closet.

You really do need to understand the current physical network layout within the dental office - otherwise you will have no certainty about the results of a "discovered" diagram created by a network tool.
 
are being timestamped at some ungodly hours
We speak English but people from all over the world post here, and then Tom's neatffy software still needs configuration since change 1/2 year ago, one the time stamp is fixed to something not local to poster.

Anywhoo, 15 nodes is nothing, u should be able to do old skool walk-through and fin out what they are.
 

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