Network Verification: Logon, Drive Mapping and Printer Testing

After you have verified that basic network connections are working you can move onto testing the logon, drive mapping and printer functions. When your network passes these final tests you can declare victory, or at least be assured that your network works as expected.

Can you log on?

Testing logon is as simple as attempting to log on from each computer by using the correct user account for the computer. If you can’t log on, several things may be causing the problem. Here are the most common:

  • You may not have the right user account information. Double-check the username, password, and domain.

  • Make sure that the domain name is correct.

  • Passwords are case-sensitive. Make sure that you have typed the password correctly and that the Caps Lock key isn’t on.

  • You may not have a computer account for the computer. Double-check the computer name and make sure that you have a valid computer account on the server.

  • Double-check the user account policies to make sure that there isn’t something that would prevent the user from logging on, such as a time-of-day restriction.

Are network drives mapped correctly?

After you know the user can log on, you should make sure that mapped network drives are available. To do so, type net use at a command prompt. You’ll see a list of all the network mappings. For example:

C:>net use
New connections will be remembered.
Status  Local  Remote            Network
---------------------------------------------------------------
OK      M:     \DougProd       Microsoft Windows Network
OK      X:     \Dougadmin      Microsoft Windows Network
OK      Z:     \DougMarketing  Microsoft Windows Network
The command completed successfully.

Here, you can see that three drives are mapped, and you can tell the server and share name for each mapped drive.

Next, try to display a directory list of each drive to make sure that you can actually reach it. For example, type dir m:. If everything is working, you see a directory of the shared folder you’ve mapped to drive M:.

Do network printers work?

The final test for network verification is making sure that your network printers work. The easiest way to do this is to print a short document to the network printer. You can open Notepad (choose Start→Accessories→Notepad), type a few words (like “Yo, Adrianne!”), and then choose File–>Print to bring up the Print dialog box. Select the network printer and click OK.

If the network printer doesn’t appear in the list of available printers, go to the Printers and Faxes window and recheck the network printer. You may have incorrectly configured the printer. If the configuration looks okay, go to the printer itself and make sure that it’s turned on and ready to print.