Previous Page: Troubleshooting the NetWare Server  Next Page: Creating a Core Dump

Using a Troubleshooting Methodology

Novell® Technical Support recommends that you follow the same basic steps in all troubleshooting efforts. Following a standard procedure helps you solve technical problems faster and in an orderly way.

The following tasks are those that any Novell Technical Support representative would ask you to perform if you called Technical Support. By following these steps on your own, you might be able to resolve problems without assistance. Then, if you still need to call Technical Support, you will already have the information prepared for the representatives to solve your technical problems more quickly.

You can find additional tips in TID 2938836, "Before Calling Support for OS Issues" at Novell's Support Web site.

Keeping Your Servers Patched

Many problems that might occur on your server will have already been solved by Novell and provided in the form of a patch file. It is essential that you load all server and client patches.

Novell provides regular Support Packs that contain patches for the complete operating system and associated products. To locate the latest patches for your network, see the Minimum Patch List page on the Novell Support Web site.

To locate specific patches for SERVER.NLM and updates for other NLMTM programs, see the Patches and Files page on the Novell Support Web site. Copy updated NLM programs to the server's startup directory where they will overwrite the previous versions.

In addition, be sure you use up-to-date drivers for the version of NetWare that you are using. Use drivers that ship with the product; drivers that are tested, certified, and made available on the Novell's Support Web site; or certified drivers released by hardware vendors. Check product certification bulletins on the DeveloperNet® Web site at Novell Solutions Search. In the Software category, select LAN adapters or WAN adapters to learn which versions are most recent.

ODITM HSM Specification 3.31 supports NBI (NetWare Bus Interface), HIN (hardware instance number), instance unload, and industry-standard PCI Hot Plug technology. Do not mix uses of a driver written to the 3.3x/1.1x ODI Specification with 3.2 ODI Specification support modules. The LAN driver certification bulletin will list the specification a LAN driver is written to. In some cases, you will need to contact the IHV (independent hardware vendor) that wrote the driver.

To verify the compatibility of the ODI modules with the LAN drivers on your server, download and run DRVSPC.EXE.

NetWare 6 drivers for storage devices and host bus adapters are written to the NWPA (NetWare Peripheral ArchitectureTM) specification.

Eliminating Obvious Causes

Be sure to eliminate any obvious causes for network problems---such as making sure that everything is plugged in and that the power is on. Consider the following:

Gathering Information

Start gathering information about the context of the problem. Ask the following questions:

Simplifying the System

If there is any danger of losing data, back up the system before you do any further troubleshooting.

Simplify the system and eliminate as many variables as possible to isolate the source of the problem.

When you have simplified the server as much as possible, note whether the problem happens again. To determine whether the operating system is the source of the problem, restore each component of the system, one at a time, checking to see whether the addition of the component generates the problem.

Using Troubleshooting Resources

Novell and other vendors provide research tools you can use to resolve problems.

For example:

Developing Hypotheses and Performing Tests

After you have gathered information, eliminated obvious causes, or simplified your system, you can determine what you think is the most likely cause of the problem. You might develop several hypotheses. If so, decide which is the most likely, the next mostly likely, etc. Base your hypotheses on the data you have gathered and on your own experience with the system.

After you have developed your hypotheses, test them, keeping these tips in mind:

Looking for Additional Help

Be prepared, when asked, to tell the Novell Technical Support representative what troubleshooting steps you have already taken.

Using Novell Authorized Reseller Representatives

Find Service Partners by locality or area. For a list of resellers and distributors worldwide, check the Novell Support Web site > Partner Services.

Using Novell Support Tools

Novell has additional support tools available. For a list of these tools, see the Novell Support Web site > Support tools.

Opening a Support Incident

You can open a support incident online. To access the form, see the Novell Support Web site > Electronic Incident.

Documenting the Solution

After you resolve a server or network problem, document the solution thoroughly. The information will be helpful if similar problems occur in the future. Be sure to document changes to the server or network configuration, software and hardware updates or additions, new version numbers, workarounds, etc.

  Previous Page: Troubleshooting the NetWare Server  Next Page: Creating a Core Dump