Often the fix is the easy part of IT support, getting to the cause of the problem quickly is the key to being an effective IT engineer. In this post, I have listed some of my personal favourite tools and tips that can help to save time when supporting clients.
When needing to move files from machine to machine, rather than messing around with USB disks or predefined network shares, use the PC name, followed by the driver letter, followed by the dollar symbol $ and then the folder you want to browse.
For example: \\PCNAME\c$\Users\Beth\Desktop
When working with network devices, I like to scan my clients network to ensure I have the full picture. What I particular like about SoftPerfect Network Scanner, is its ability to work out the devices manufacturer using the MAC address. Useful tool to have deployed on every clients server that can save you time locating PCs, Servers and Routers etc.
Most time you’ll be hitting CMD to do a few network pings, but here are some other useful commands
Since the days of Windows NT 4, booting into safe mode is one the most common ways to get around viruses, malware, corrupt drivers and Windows updates going haywire. Something I found out recently, was how to do this in Windows 10.
Not always straight forward to complete, but has helped me a number of times when a user can’t login and we don’t have our preferred remote support software pre-installed. Only works in domain server environments.
This is an open source network scanning tool that allows you to discover hosts and identify services running on them. Excellent tool for working with firewall configurations, security audits and checking internet facing services. Works on all platforms, Apple, Linux and Windows.
This is a two-fold time saving tip, coming up with yet another password for your client, and two hopefully a fun but secure one that they will remember.
Whenever I’m configuring a new PC or server, I like to download and install some of the basics that will more than likely be used by our support team or the end user. Ninite not only downloads a wide range of freeware and open source applications, it also installs them automatically. A business edition is also available, which can integrate with Active Directory.
When we started the company we looked at RMM solutions but didn’t implement any for a number of reasons. We changed that a number of years and wish we’d done it sooner. RMM provide a wealth of information about your client’s devices, that you should arm yourself when supporting them.
When tackling issues with domain names, external DNS, email problems and connectivity issues with Exchange clients, I have used the following sites:-
This is one I find engineers can lose a lot of time with troubleshooting. With businesses moving to cloud based email such as Office 365, this can often cause issues with scan to email feature of your office printer or other 3rd party applications that are traditionally sent email via an onsite Exchange server. Yeah you can use Telnet to test SMTP connections, but a tool SMTP Prober is just a lot quicker for taking things back to basics.