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1. Hardware Annoyances > TROUBLESHOOTING AND TECH-SUPPORT ANNOYANCES

TROUBLESHOOTING AND TECH-SUPPORT ANNOYANCES

LIGHTS FLASH DURING COMMUNICATION

The Annoyance:

When I move a group of files between computers, sometimes I’m not sure the computers are actually communicating. Isn’t there some way to tell?

The Fix:

Follow the flashing lights. Most network hardware comes with LEDs that glow or flash, depending on what’s going on. Usually a steady green light means that all connections are working properly, and a flashing green light indicates data exchanges between computers. If you look at your hub or switch and see two flashing green lights, those two computers are talking to each other.

If you use Windows 2000 or XP, you can put an icon for your network adapter on the taskbar. The icon looks like a monitor, and when the computer is communicating over the network, the monitor color changes from black to green. To add the icon to your taskbar, open the Network Connections applet in the Control Panel, right-click Local Area Connection, and choose Properties. On the General tab, check the “Show icon in notification area when connected” box.


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