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Ten Common Mistakes that Windows Network Administrators Make

written by: Baby Rani•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 2/25/2009

Windows network administration is the maintenance of many computers running on windows servers connected to each other. However knowledgeable an administrator might be, there are some common mistakes which are committed by the windows network administrators.

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    Introduction

    Windows is the most popular operating system produced by Microsoft, which is used in desktops, laptops, and servers. There are many versions of Windows like Windows 2000, Windows 2003 Server, Windows XP, and the latest being Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Windows Network Administration involves the administration and maintenance of Windows server based operating systems (Windows Server 2000, 2003, and 2008) in an environment of multiple computers connected to each other. This scenario exists in large offices where there are a number of computers connected and communicating with the server. The computers have to be regularly monitored and maintained. This is done by a Network Administrator.

    There are number of courses and certifications that one can opt for to master Windows Network Administration. The most popular certification is “MCSE”. A fresh Windows network Administrator will find that an environment in a huge organization with many computers is a real challenge with which to work. There are some common mistakes should be avoided in order to overcome the challenge. Let us take a look at each one of them.

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    1. Experimenting with new technology immediately

    When you are exposed to a new technology, you might be filled with ideas to implement it. Or if you are an experienced administrator, you will want to have things done the way you have done before. Applying both these ideas immediately will cause great trouble. It is always better to give time to yourself to adapt to the new technology, observe, learn, and then proceed slowly.

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    2. Being too optimistic about commitments and delivery

    Ensure that when you commit things to your superior, you also deliver it. If you have to perform a task and are asked for the time required to do it, ensure you give a realistic figure.

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    3. Being afraid to stop and ask for help

    Never be embarrassed or afraid to ask for help. It is always better to admit things which you do not know. That’s how you will learn.

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    4. Expecting the end-users to be technical experts

    In the business world, many people operate computers regularly, but have very little technical exposure. An administrator has to patiently help them out in case of issues; otherwise they will end up trying things out by themselves, resulting in more trouble for you.

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    5. Underestimating the end-users

    In the reverse case, it could also be that some end users are technically very sound. In such a case, the administrator has to respect their ideas rather than preaching to them. Making them understand the rules and restrictions will help in having a better relationship.

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    6.Failing to use auditing

    Windows server operating systems come with a built in security auditing. This is not enabled by default and hence is the responsibility of the auditor to turn it on (which most administrators tend to forget).

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    7. Failing to update the systems regularly

    Some system administrators tend to be careless while they update the systems on their networks. This can result in data loss or cause malware attacks. Hence, it is highly important to apply the latest security patches to keep the systems secure.

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    8. Not taking backups religiously

    One of the most common and costly mistakes is the failure to take back up of important data resulting in the loss of it in the event of a hard disk crash.

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    9. Being careless about security

    Some administrators overlook security issues that can lead to serious consequences. Hence it is important to keep every individual system fully protected.

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    10. Not documenting

    One of the things that administrators neglect the most is documentation of the changes and fixes that have been made. It’s difficult to keep everything inside your head, thus it is very important that you clearly document all the changes and fixes that you made.