The highest priority is getting the network up and running. It is possible, though not certain, that this is at the root of other problems. If “many error messages” are related to the malfunctioning network, getting the network running smoothly should resolve them. If these errors are, instead, in addition to the problems with the network, then resolving the network errors should open up further resources to troubleshoot. The priority of these error messages depends on their nature – are they more or less critical than the errors with the Customer Service department or with the Vice-President of marketing’s email?
Assuming, that these error messages are related to the network malfunctions, the next priority is resolving the printer issues in the Customer Service department. Because of the conference, it is likely that people will need to print urgently. Again, chances are fair that resolving the network issue will resolve the issue with the printers, or, at worst, make resolving the printer issue a more straightforward task. If this doesn’t happen, it will at least open avenues for alternate solutions, like emailing print jobs to a nearby Kinko’s.
Finally, the VP of marketing. Without a functioning network, Jamie will not be able to check his email irrespective of the presence or absence of other technical errors. As mentioned above, if there are other errors, a functional network will be a good asset in resolving them.
I would have Jamie explain that we are currently experiencing some network connectivity problems, and that is why they are having trouble accessing the file. Jamie will take their phone numbers or email addresses, and reassure them that they will be updated when the problem is resolved. I would then strongly encourage Jamie to actually remember to update them once we think they should be able to access the file.
The first thing to do when troubleshooting TCP/IP problems is to determine whether the issue is related to the basic connectivity or name resolution. Begin by trying either to connect to a specific IP address, or if you do not know it, run the IPCONFIG/ALL command in command prompt. If unable to connect, it is time to start exploring your TCP/IP configuration. Check the event viewer system log for related error reports; if there are none, use ipconfig (which simply displays current TCP/IP network configurations and refreshes DHCP) to verify that the basic settings are in order. If this is not the issue, ping the loopback address using ping 127.0.01; if you receive an error message, you may have to remove and reinstall TCP/IP. Pinging simply sends an Internet Control Message Protocol Echo Request to a certain address and then waits for reply. By pinging a loopback network, the traffic one sends to a given interface is immediately received back on that interface. This is a simple way to test the transmission infrastructure with potential of quickly and effectively pinpointing the problem areas. For instance, by using a loopback interface the network client software on the Computer A can communicate with the server software also on the Computer A without relying on the network connection. If a problem was identified at this point, we would know to look at the computer, not the network itself. Other things to try: ping your computer’s IP address with ping <IP address>; clear the address resolution protocol cache with arp –a (remove any incorrect entries with arp –d <IP address>; ping the IP address of the other computer; type route print in command prompt to verify that all issues in your computer’s route table are valid; type tracert <IP address> into command prompt to see if the problem is with one of the routers.