Networking / Beginners

Using Windows Monitoring Tools

Windows supplies Net Watcher in Windows 98 computers to monitor network connections. Windows 2000 uses a Network Monitor. In Windows XP, you can use Network Diagnostics to define and locate network problems. Each of these tools monitors the network, the computer, or traffic on the network in different ways. You can also use shareware, freeware, or purchased software to monitor activity on your network.

The Windows 2000 Network Monitor is similar to the Net Watcher program in Windows 98; however, it has more features and performs more complex network management functions. For information on the Windows 2000 Network Monitor, see the Windows 2000 documentation.

Using Net Watcher for Windows 98

Net Watcher is an application you can use on a network to monitor shared resources. You can view each user attached to a computer, as well as the folders and files he or she is using. You also can disconnect a user, close a file, add a shared folder, and more.

You can view the shares on your own computer and on other computers if you have the password. You also can perform any task on a remote computer after you open the computer's window in Net Watcher.

The Net Watcher monitoring users on the network. The two users each have three shares open. Note that neither user has been connected to Hugh for very long, so no files are open at this time. You can see the folders, however, that the selected user has open.

Configuring the workstation for Net Watcher

Before you can run Net Watcher, you must enable remote administration on all workstations on the network. When enabling remote administration, you assign a password to each workstation. Be sure to use the same password on all workstations.

Enabling remote administration allows a user to create, change, and monitor shares on your computer. Windows enables you to assign a password to this permission so that only a person who knows the password can perform these tasks. The person who knows the password can monitor the workstations from any computer on the network.

To enable remote administration, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Start → Settings → Control Panel. The Control Panel appears.
  2. Double-click the Passwords icon in the Control Panel.
  3. Choose the Remote Administration tab.
  4. Check the box for Enable Remote Administration of This Server.
  5. Enter the password in the Password text box, and then enter it again in the Confirm Password text box to confirm it. As you enter the password, Windows displays only asterisks.
  6. Click OK. Repeat these steps on the other computers on the network.

In addition to enabling remote administration, you must enable file and print sharing, if you have not already done so. Open the Network icon in the Control Panel and then click the File and Print Sharing button. Make sure that both check boxes are checked.

Starting and quitting Net Watcher

When you start Net Watcher, any connections to your computer appear in the window. As new users or connections are made, the window reflects those connections as well. You also can refresh the view at any time to make sure that all connections are showing.

To start Net Watcher, choose Start → Programs → Accessories → System Tools → Net Watcher. The Net Watcher window appears. The Net Watcher window with the tools identified. Table-1 explains the tools.

Table-1: Net Watcher Tools
Select ServerChoose the computer you want to monitor. You must know the remote administration password.
Disconnect UserDisconnect any user from the selected share. The user loses all unsaved data.
Close FileClose any shared file, even while the user is connected. The user loses all unsaved data.
Add ShareDesignate a folder or resource as shared.
Stop SharingDesignate a folder or other resource as no longer shared.
Show UsersDisplay a view of connected users, their computers, the number of open shares and open files, the amount of time they've been connected, and the names of the shared folders.
Show Shared FoldersList the shared folders' paths, names, and access types. You also can view which computer is attached to each shared folder.
Show FilesList the open files, the share used, and the user connected to the file. You also can see the open mode, or access type, of the open file.

To close Net Watcher, choose Administer → Exit; alternatively, click the Close (X) button.

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