Software tip

Recently a few pc's in a small network often get disconnected from network applications and they cannot even browse the network resources. The network protocols are OK, we also changed the network switch and some UTP cables but it didn't help.
Is there a specific software to monitor such an inconvenience? Someone suggested Ethereal, but that's a sniffer, correct?! I mean, a specific software tool(either freeware or shareware) to retrieve corrupted packets and hardware errors.

Thanks.
sabrinakkAsked:
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Steve JenningsConnect With a Mentor IT ManagerCommented:
You can't get hardware level information from a software product. Your router may provide some basic i/o error stats, or crc errors or the like, but it won't help you isolate them to a single station because you need specialized equipment (calibrated ethernet cards) like you find in an HP Internetwork Analyzer or the old Network General Sniffers. You should be able to use Ethereal to help isolate your problem . . . which will be a little tougher in a switched network. Decent hubs and switches will "eat" a lot of ethernet layer garbage without ever reporting it.

So if you have Cisco routers and switches you may have access to raw data that could help you determine your problem . . . which from your description could be just about anything including a misconfigured domain controller.

Supply some more data. Can individual stations ping one another during the loss of connectivity you described? Ping by IP address or machine name? Do you have an internal DNS? Are the w/s configured with multiple DNSs?

Good luck.
Steve

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SunBowCommented:
There are many tools, variety of functions. What you want?

Sounds like you have platform configuration issues to address. Probably routing, having placed/moved equipment from one subnet to another. Moral: don't move servers too far from the workstations that need them.  Beware the glasshouse albatross - all that glitters is not gold.
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sabrinakkAuthor Commented:
The workstations and the servers have not been moved in ages and I think it's not a routing issue since it's just a unique subnet with 25 workstations. All I need is a software tool that can monitor corrupt packets and hardware devices such as switches, hubs and network cards. A software tool that can detect problems coming from a workstation or a faulty port in a hub.

Thank you.
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FlamingSwordConnect With a Mentor Commented:
For a small network, it is simple enough to just read the LED indicators for HW, whether green, amber, red, blinking, black, etc.

If there is nothing but noise of the wire, software does not deal well with random elongated noise. Try HW.
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FlamingSwordCommented:
For a small network, it is simple enough to just read the LED indicators for HW, whether green, amber, red, blinking, black, etc.

If there is nothing but noise of the wire, software does not deal well with random elongated noise. Try HW.
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DABOMBCommented:
You say you just get disconnected? do you have a server on the network? or is it just a peer-to-peer? i've had that same issue before untill i sneakily put in a server to act as a "browse master" it keeps the list of computers and shares and nobody has noticed, however it does seem to stabilize things.

--DABOMB
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