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  1. Junior Member cyberjunkie's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Interview Questions for CCNP level Interview.

    Hi,

    Please share your interview experience and questions you faced recently(Cisco).

    After 2 years I am looking for a change so It will be very helpful if I can get a idea of what kind of questions I expect. It will help me in my interview preparation .
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    #2
    It varies from company to company but here are a set of was asked to candidates applying for an open Network Engineer II position:

    1. You have two links between R1 and R2. One link connects over frame relay via OSPF Area 0. The other link is a dedicated PPP link that rides over area 45. The PPP link will primarily be the backup of the Frame Relay circuit between R1 and R2. How would you configure this network to keep OSPF operational over the PPP link when the Frame Relay circuit is down?


    2. A client has asked for your expertise in building a new network. They have chosen to use EIGRP since it provides more granularities in its metric calculation. In order to get the maximum benefit of EIGRP a CCNP that works for the client suggests using Bandwidth, Delay and Load metrics within the IGP. As the Consultant, you want to ensure that bandwidth is always the major factor in metric calculation. How would you configure EIGRP to ensure that all three metrics are used and bandwidth is three times more significant than delay or load?

    3. You have arrived at Company "X" to provide top-notch network consulting on an issue they currently have. Company "X" has 3 separate satellite sites, all of which need eBGP connectivity. Since Company "X" owns BGP as <#> you don’t want to apply for 3 additional AS numbers so you decide to use local AS numbers of 65001 64512 and 65010. All AS’s will connect back to AS <#> before entering the public BGP cloud. What would your solution be to prevent the locally significant AS numbers from leaking out into the rest of the BGP cloud?
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    #3
    I dont know the answers to 2 and 3. I am checking now, but I am sure the question 2 cant be answer with the material of the official course for the CCNP or the official self study guide. I know I read something about that but it was on Routing TCP/IP I think.

    Could question 2 be more like CCIE level questions? Or at least beyond the CCNP level?
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    #4
    Be ready to look at a config output, a network diagram and to do some basic troubleshooting. I have drawn out complete networks and explained whys and hows of it.

    Just depends some just want to know if they just like you and not what you know
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  6. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #5
    Question 2 is a CCNP level question. Think K values. Question 3 would seem to be a little more above the CCNP level. I can't remember if the BGP coverage went into those details, but its a fairly simple configuration.
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by networker050184 View Post
    Question 2 is a CCNP level question. Think K values. Question 3 would seem to be a little more above the CCNP level. I can't remember if the BGP coverage went into those details, but its a fairly simple configuration.
    I know it's K values, but I really dont know how I could make the router prefer bandwidth...oh wait, I might have gone thinking about it the wrong way. I am thinking about the actual speed of the link, not the one you configure...if that's what he wants...well thinking about it, it's the only possibility because you simply cant channge the formula, can you? .
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  8. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMR View Post
    I know it's K values, but I really dont know how I could make the router prefer bandwidth...oh wait, I might have gone thinking about it the wrong way. I am thinking about the actual speed of the link, not the one you configure...if that's what he wants...well thinking about it, it's the only possibility because you simply cant channge the formula, can you? .
    You can change the weight of the values.

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    #8
    Question 3 is basically asking you if you know what a confederation is when it comes to BGP. It's not really a CCNP question, but it's a perfectly reasonable CCIP question, so still at the professional level

    Edit: Or if it's not setup as a confederation, I suppose you could just use the remove-private-as neighbor command on the router(s) that is/are configured with the public AS # in it's neighbor statements to it's public EBGP peers. I don't see why you would use private AS numbers for satellite sites though. Since all of these satellite sites would have to be back hauled over a private circuit to reach the public AS router before they could communicate to the public internet though, I'd just have them run the public AS number and use iBGP connections instead of EBGP

    Edit #2: Actually, I guess that would depend on the number of routers involved. If it's a large network, the satellite sites running ebgp back into the central site to avoid a large number of iBGP sessions makes sense, though I think I'd rather deploy a route reflector than use private as numbers
    Last edited by Forsaken_GA; 03-11-2010 at 03:21 PM.
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  10. Senior Member chrisone's Avatar
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    #9
    You definetly want to brush up on IPSEC tunnels, EIGRP, OSPF, Port Security, HSRP, MPLS, Some BGP.

    I dont think BGP will be heavily drilled but to be honest with you it all depends on the Job Description, at the place where i am when i saw the job add i noticed eigrp, ospf, IPSEC tunnels, were a main concern to them. SO i brushed up on those specific and in the interview they asked me the stages of an IPSEC tunnel and some EIGRP questions. I had 3 interviews with them before i landed the job. They liked that i had a lot of experience implementing MPLS and some level of security. Just pay attention to the job description in the Ad and be on top of everything they list out, that will be your best bet.
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  11. Senior Member mattsthe2's Avatar
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    #10
    For the BGP question i agree that confederations is the way to go, although couldn't you get that working with Route Reflectors also?

    Or is RR only local relevant within the local AS?
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  12. The Colosus of Clout Paul Boz's Avatar
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    #11
    God I would completely fail a Cisco technical interview now.
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  13. Senior Member mattsthe2's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Boz View Post
    God I would completely fail a Cisco technical interview now.
    Ha ha know the feeling Paul.
    Theres nothing like being put on the spot to give you warm fuzzy feelings (not).

    I'm curious to the answers to the questions though.
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by cyberjunkie View Post
    Hi,

    Please share your interview experience and questions you faced recently(Cisco).

    After 2 years I am looking for a change so It will be very helpful if I can get a idea of what kind of questions I expect. It will help me in my interview preparation .
    I like to ask questions that do not come from certification exams but indicate experience.

    One of my favorite Enterprise experience questions is "You have two routers configured as HSRP neighbors, both are showing as Active. What does this mean and how would you troubleshoot it.

    Easy question for anyone that has had to support/troubleshoot HSRP in an enterprise enviroment.
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  15. Senior Member mattsthe2's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by b1tbuck3t View Post
    I like to ask questions that do not come from certification exams but indicate experience.

    One of my favorite Enterprise experience questions is "You have two routers configured as HSRP neighbors, both are showing as Active. What does this mean and how would you troubleshoot it.

    Easy question for anyone that has had to support/troubleshoot HSRP in an enterprise enviroment.


    Hmm i dont see that even being possible, unless the state changes are occurring frequently, making it look like they both are active. Assuming the configuration is correct this must be a layer 2 issue, id check the STP topology for the VLAN that the hsrp segment resides.

    unless this is a trick question and its active for two different segments, HSRP load balancing. You know half the hosts peer to group 1 and the other half peer to group 2.

    This posts sucks, lol.
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by mattsthe2 View Post
    Hmm i dont see that even being possible, unless the state changes are occurring frequently, making it look like they both are active. Assuming the configuration is correct this must be a layer 2 issue, id check the STP topology for the VLAN that the hsrp segment resides.

    unless this is a trick question and its active for two different segments, HSRP load balancing. You know half the hosts peer to group 1 and the other half peer to group 2.

    This posts sucks, lol.
    You are mostly correct. It indicates a layer 2 (or layer 1 if the cable between the switches was unplugged) issue. The layer 2 keepalives are not making it between the neighbors therefore both neighbors think they are active.

    I would then follow up with another simple question of how you would troubleshoot the layer 2 issue.

    It's great to see people dig their own hole if they don't know what they are doing. For people that do have experience we quickly move on to other things. The whole point is to not ask a trick technical question but something that demonstrates experience and understanding.

    Btw. I wouldn't ask about HSRP unless it is part of the job description or on the person's resume.

    My second favorite thing is when someone who has only worked in small enviroments but has BGP (and every other protocol) on their resume.

    In that case I would probably ask "You have a working BGP connection and you just added a new network statement to advertise a new netowrk prefix. What is the next thing you would do?" (This one is closer to textbook and only would expect a CCNP level person to be able to answer if they had the experience and BGP was on their resume)
    Last edited by b1tbuck3t; 03-30-2010 at 03:07 AM. Reason: typo
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by b1tbuck3t View Post
    In that case I would probably ask "You have a working BGP connection and you just added a new network statement to advertise a new netowrk prefix. What is the next thing you would do?" (This one is closer to textbook and only would expect a CCNP level person to be able to answer if they had the experience and BGP was on their resume)
    Check the looking glass of my peers to make sure it's propagating with the attributes I wanted set (ie, path prepended, med's, communitys, etc)
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Forsaken_GA View Post
    Check the looking glass of my peers to make sure it's propagating with the attributes I wanted set (ie, path prepended, med's, communitys, etc)
    ok. You check that but the network is not being propagated to the EBGP neighbor.
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  19. Senior Member mattsthe2's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by b1tbuck3t View Post
    You are mostly correct. It indicates a layer 2 (or layer 1 if the cable between the switches was unplugged) issue. The layer 2 keepalives are not making it between the neighbors therefore both neighbors think they are active.

    I would then follow up with another simple question of how you would troubleshoot the layer 2 issue.

    It's great to see people dig their own hole if they don't know what they are doing. For people that do have experience we quickly move on to other things. The whole point is to not ask a trick technical question but something that demonstrates experience and understanding.

    Btw. I wouldn't ask about HSRP unless it is part of the job description or on the person's resume.

    My second favorite thing is when someone who has only worked in small enviroments but has BGP (and every other protocol) on their resume.

    In that case I would probably ask "You have a working BGP connection and you just added a new network statement to advertise a new netowrk prefix. What is the next thing you would do?" (This one is closer to textbook and only would expect a CCNP level person to be able to answer if they had the experience and BGP was on their resume)

    Shoot i forgot about L1 - K.I.S.S

    For the BGP question i guess i would do a show ip bgp sum
    and see if that little carrot is there *>
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by b1tbuck3t View Post
    ok. You check that but the network is not being propagated to the EBGP neighbor.
    Oh, I make sure I have a local route for the prefix I'm trying to announce. If I don't, then I nail up a static route to the next hop. If I'm announcing an aggregate, then I'd have my static route to null0 in place

    But I'd do that *before* I originated it with a network statement hehe

    The only time I should have to do anything after the network statement is if I've had to make changes to my access lists, route maps, or any of my filtering lists, etc, at which point I'd need to bounce my BGP sessions to make those active
    Last edited by Forsaken_GA; 03-30-2010 at 03:32 AM.
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Forsaken_GA View Post
    Oh, I make sure I have a local route for the prefix I'm trying to announce. If I don't, then I nail up a static route to the next hop. If I'm announcing an aggregate, then I'd have my static route to null0 in place

    But I'd do that *before* I originated it with a network statement hehe

    The only time I should have to do anything after the network statement is if I've had to make changes to my access lists, route maps, or any of my filtering lists, etc, at which point I'd need to bounce my BGP sessions to make those active
    Troubleshooting When BGP Routes Are Not Advertised [IP Routing] - Cisco Systems

    You still need to clear the BGP neighbor or soft reset the peer even if you only added a network statement for existing peers.

    Your answers demonstrated good knowledge of BGP and you stated the key point which was if you make a change you need to bounce the peer/soft reset it.

    To me these type of interview questions are always better then a trick question or a text book question. I am sure if I was interviewing you could have gone into detail on your BGP experience.
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by b1tbuck3t View Post
    Troubleshooting When BGP Routes Are Not Advertised [IP Routing] - Cisco Systems

    You still need to clear the BGP neighbor or soft reset the peer even if you only added a network statement for existing peers.

    Your answers demonstrated good knowledge of BGP and you stated the key point which was if you make a change you need to bounce the peer/soft reset it.

    To me these type of interview questions are always better then a trick question or a text book question. I am sure if I was interviewing you could have gone into detail on your BGP experience.
    Here is a basic CCNP level interview question but it still amazes me how many people answer it wrong:

    You have two laptops, Laptop 1 and Laptop 2 connected to two different switches in two different vlans. Both switches connect to Router A.

    Laptop 1 sends a packet to Laptop 2. Explain in detail how the packet goes from Laptop 1 to Laptop 2.
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by b1tbuck3t View Post
    Troubleshooting When BGP Routes Are Not Advertised [IP Routing] - Cisco Systems

    You still need to clear the BGP neighbor or soft reset the peer even if you only added a network statement for existing peers.
    I thought the session bounce was the answer you were fishing for, but I was answering what I'd do, not what I thought you'd want to hear hehe. I actually do work with BGP on a daily basis

    And I'm not trying to pick a fight, but you're wrong.

    Simply originating a new network with the network statement is not going to require a clearing of the session in order to propagate it under normal working conditions.

    The following debug log shows from a router that a BGP session was not up (it was refused by the remote peer because I hadn't yet configured BGP). Then I brought the BGP session up. Then I originated a network. After I did that, I did a soft clear of the BGP session just to show what it would look like and to demonstrate that I did not in fact do a clear after the network statement was added on the originating router, it pushed the UPDATE message all by itself, and it appeared in the non-originating router's BGP table

    -----Session Establishment-----
    R4#
    *Mar 10 02:55:56.031: BGP: 10.0.0.2 open active, local address 10.0.0.1
    *Mar 10 02:55:56.075: BGP: 10.0.0.2 open failed: Connection refused by remote host, open active delayed 29045ms (35000ms max, 28% jitter)
    R4#
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.123: BGP: 10.0.0.2 open active, local address 10.0.0.1
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.159: BGP: 10.0.0.2 went from Active to OpenSent
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.159: BGP: 10.0.0.2 sending OPEN, version 4, my as: 1, holdtime 180 seconds
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.159: BGP: 10.0.0.2 send message type 1, length (incl. header) 45
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.223: BGP: 10.0.0.2 rcv message type 1, length (excl. header) 26
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.223: BGP: 10.0.0.2 rcv OPEN, version 4, holdtime 180 seconds
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.223: BGP: 10.0.0.2 rcv OPEN w/ OPTION parameter len: 16
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.223: BGP: 10.0.0.2 rcvd OPEN w/ optional parameter type 2 (Capability) len 6
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.223: BGP: 10.0.0.2 OPEN has CAPABILITY code: 1, length 4
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.223: BGP: 10.0.0.2 OPEN has MP_EXT CAP for afi/safi: 1/1
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.223: BGP: 10.0.0.2 rcvd OPEN w/ optional parameter type 2 (Capability) len 2
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.223: BGP: 10.0.0.2 OPEN has CAPABILITY code: 128, length 0
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.227: BGP: 10.
    R4#0.0.2 OPEN has ROUTE-REFRESH capability(old) for all address-families
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.227: BGP: 10.0.0.2 rcvd OPEN w/ optional parameter type 2 (Capability) len 2
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.227: BGP: 10.0.0.2 OPEN has CAPABILITY code: 2, length 0
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.227: BGP: 10.0.0.2 OPEN has ROUTE-REFRESH capability(new) for all address-families
    BGP: 10.0.0.2 rcvd OPEN w/ remote AS 2
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.227: BGP: 10.0.0.2 went from OpenSent to OpenConfirm
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.227: BGP: 10.0.0.2 went from OpenConfirm to Established
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.227: %BGP-5-ADJCHANGE: neighbor 10.0.0.2 Up
    *Mar 10 02:56:25.231: BGP: Delaying initial update for up to 120 seconds


    ---Receiving UPDATE after network origination----

    R4#
    *Mar 10 02:56:55.459: BGP: compute bestpath for address family 0
    *Mar 10 02:56:55.459: BGP(0): table version went from 1 to 1
    *Mar 10 02:56:55.459: BGPNSF: notified IGPs about convergence
    *Mar 10 02:56:55.463: BGPNSF: Listeners notified about convergence
    R4#
    *Mar 10 02:57:18.147: BGP(0): 10.0.0.2 rcvd UPDATE w/ attr: nexthop 10.0.0.2, origin i, metric 0, path 2
    *Mar 10 02:57:18.147: BGP(0): 10.0.0.2 rcvd 192.168.12.0/24
    *Mar 10 02:57:18.151: BGP(0): Revise route installing 1 of 1 routes for 192.168.12.0/24 -> 10.0.0.2(main) to main IP table
    R4#sh ip bgp
    BGP table version is 2, local router ID is 10.0.0.1
    Status codes: s suppressed, d damped, h history, * valid, > best, i - internal,
    r RIB-failure, S Stale
    Origin codes: i - IGP, e - EGP, ? - incomplete

    Network Next Hop Metric LocPrf Weight Path
    *> 192.168.12.0 10.0.0.2 0 0 2 i

    ---- Remote Peer clear soft of the session ----

    R4#
    *Mar 10 02:58:51.315: BGP: 10.0.0.2 rcv message type 5, length (excl. header) 4
    *Mar 10 02:58:51.315: BGP: 10.0.0.2 rcv REFRESH_REQ for afi/sfai: 1/1
    *Mar 10 02:58:51.315: BGP: 10.0.0.2 start outbound soft reconfig for afi/safi: 1/1
    *Mar 10 02:58:51.331: BGP(0): 10.0.0.2 rcvd UPDATE w/ attr: nexthop 10.0.0.2, origin i, metric 0, path 2
    *Mar 10 02:58:51.331: BGP(0): 10.0.0.2 rcvd 192.168.12.0/24...duplicate ignored

    So yeah, simply originating a prefix through the network statement does not require you to bounce the BGP session. If you have to do some other work to your filters in preparation for being able to announce that prefix (especially if you're functioning as a transit AS), then yes, you'll have to bounce your sessions.

    If you revised your question to 'You have a working BGP connection and you just added a new network statement to advertise a new netowrk prefix, but it's not propagating. What is the next thing you would do?' then I would have answered immediately to clear the BGP sessions.
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by down77 View Post
    3. You have arrived at Company "X" to provide top-notch network consulting on an issue they currently have.
    What happens if you solve the issue but don't provide "top-notch" consulting?
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  25. Senior Member mattsthe2's Avatar
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by b1tbuck3t View Post
    Here is a basic CCNP level interview question but it still amazes me how many people answer it wrong:

    You have two laptops, Laptop 1 and Laptop 2 connected to two different switches in two different vlans. Both switches connect to Router A.

    Laptop 1 sends a packet to Laptop 2. Explain in detail how the packet goes from Laptop 1 to Laptop 2.

    Ok so Laptop with its configured subnet mask and Default gateway will know the network its trying to communicate with is on a different network.
    Laptop1 will arp for the mac of its D.G

    D.G will responsd with its MAC for the segment facing Laptop 1.
    Lap1 will then send the packet to the D.G
    Sour MAC: Laptop1s mac
    Sour IP: :Laptop1s IP
    Dest Mac: Routers MAC
    Dest IP: Laptop2

    When the router receives the packet it will check its arp cache, as the VLAN will be a connected VLAN it will arp for Laptop 2 on the other vlan. Once it gets that the router will address the packet as follows:

    Sour MAC:Routers MAC
    Sour IP: Laptop 1
    Destin MAC: Laptop 2
    Destin IP: Laptop 2

    This is a great question, the same really goes for if User A types in "www.techexams.net" what happens? Essentially the same thing except its going to through that twice, once to get the ip address of "www.techexams.net", through a iterative DNS query and then again to actually send the packet using the method above.

    Please correct me if im wrong.
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by mattsthe2 View Post
    Ok so Laptop with its configured subnet mask and Default gateway will know the network its trying to communicate with is on a different network.
    Laptop1 will arp for the mac of its D.G

    D.G will responsd with its MAC for the segment facing Laptop 1.
    Lap1 will then send the packet to the D.G
    Sour MAC: Laptop1s mac
    Sour IP: :Laptop1s IP
    Dest Mac: Routers MAC
    Dest IP: Laptop2

    When the router receives the packet it will check its arp cache, as the VLAN will be a connected VLAN it will arp for Laptop 2 on the other vlan. Once it gets that the router will address the packet as follows:

    Sour MAC:Routers MAC
    Sour IP: Laptop 1
    Destin MAC: Laptop 2
    Destin IP: Laptop 2

    This is a great question, the same really goes for if User A types in "www.techexams.net" what happens? Essentially the same thing except its going to through that twice, once to get the ip address of "www.techexams.net", through a iterative DNS query and then again to actually send the packet using the method above.

    Please correct me if im wrong.
    Absolutely perfect answer. I was hoping you would include the detail down to the arp requests.

    Amazing get confused on the interview and claim Laptop A sends the frame address to the switch. If they answer that way I try to help them correct themselves by asking them to define transparent switching.

    Here is a fun question. Still not a trick but does require experience and did actually happen to me.

    An end user calls you up and says when they receive spreadsheets attached to an email message they are corrupted. The user is at a remote office connected by frame-relay over a T1 line. The email server is at a central site. No other users are reporting problems at the site and the user that is complaining can access all other network resources including email fine. They claim the problem is the network.

    How would you troubleshoot this?
    Last edited by b1tbuck3t; 04-02-2010 at 01:09 AM. Reason: typo
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