A user calls the help desk with the following situation. “I added a new PC to my LAN. I can ping other devices on my LAN but not any remote devices.” What advice should the help desk agent give to the caller?

  • Check the IP address configuration on the new PC, because the default gateway may be incorrect.
  • Set the file permissions to read and execute.
  • If using Windows, set the idle timeout and screen lock.
  • Create a virtual machine with an OS that supports the application.
Explanation & Hint:

In this case, where a user has added a new PC to their Local Area Network (LAN) and can ping devices within the LAN but not remote devices, the help desk agent should focus on connectivity and network configuration issues. Here’s an evaluation of the provided suggestions:

  1. Check the IP address configuration on the new PC, because the default gateway may be incorrect: This is a relevant and likely effective suggestion. The inability to connect to remote devices but being able to communicate within the LAN typically indicates an issue with the default gateway configuration. The default gateway is responsible for routing traffic from the local network to external networks (like the internet). The user should verify that the IP address, subnet mask, and especially the default gateway are correctly configured on the new PC. These settings should match the configuration of other devices on the network that can connect to external networks.
  2. Set the file permissions to read and execute: This suggestion is not relevant to the issue. File permissions relate to the accessibility and security of files within the system and have no bearing on network connectivity problems.
  3. If using Windows, set the idle timeout and screen lock: This advice is unrelated to the problem at hand. Idle timeout and screen lock settings are for power management and security purposes and do not impact network connectivity or configuration.
  4. Create a virtual machine with an OS that supports the application: This suggestion does not address the stated problem. Creating a virtual machine is an unrelated process and would not resolve a network connectivity issue on the host machine.

Additional steps the help desk agent might suggest include:

  • Checking DNS Settings: If the default gateway is correct, the user should also check the DNS settings. Incorrect DNS settings can prevent access to remote networks and the internet.
  • Firewall or Security Software: Verify that no firewall settings or security software on the new PC is blocking outbound connections to remote networks.
  • Network Troubleshooter: If using Windows, running the built-in network troubleshooter can help identify and possibly resolve connectivity issues.
  • Restarting the Router/Modem: Sometimes, simply restarting the network hardware (router/modem) can resolve connectivity issues.
  • Contacting the ISP or Network Administrator: If the problem persists, the user might need to contact their Internet Service Provider or network administrator for further assistance, especially if there are specific configurations or restrictions in place for the network.

The help desk agent should guide the user through these steps, starting with checking the default gateway and then moving on to other potential issues if the problem persists.

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