People will be amazed about what we as support engineers can get out of a network trace.
In general logfiles are the first thing to look at when you run into some issues, logfiles however do not always get you to the root cause of an issue. In some situations a network trace is the perfect way to get the information about what happens and at what exact point thing’s go wrong. Taking a trace however isn’t always easy, many customers are using high-end ethernet switches and taking a network trace will often require some assistance from the people managing the infrastructure so that they can take the trace from a monitoring port on the switch.
The first thing I always ask to a customer if they need to take a trace on the workstation side is if they have an old ethernet hub available somewhere. Just connect the problem workstation to the hub and connect a second workstation to take the trace. Unfortunately these day’s it isn’t that easy to find an old hub, many customers replaced their old hubs with a switched environment and the old hubs just get thrown away as garbage. So now you know, if you still have some hubs available, please don’t throw them away but keep one or two as a troubleshooting tool, at some point in time it might save you some time.