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642-832 Exam Guide
No filler.
No hype.

“A portable, comprehensive guide with everything you need to get up to
speed and pass the TSHOOT Exam - the first time.”
The Online

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I started as a way for me to capture technical notes as I prepared for the three major CCNP Exams – SWITCH, ROUTE, & TSHOOT.
As I began sharing my notes with the world, I immediately started to receive feedback on the three exam’s focus areas and how difficult they had
become. What I realized was that the exam prep resources available (read: Cisco Press Books) were not even covering all of the exam topics, including
some that you were required to configure in live simulation scenarios. First-time fail rates seemed normal and a big part of that was because the some of
the simulation scenarios required you to know some extremely specific protocol configuration details that most network professionals just wouldn’t know
off the top of their heads.

I began to tailor my notes to include topics that were not being covered in “official” exam guides and trimmed down those that just were not necessary.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive from the online community! The problem is, of course, that the notes were not formatted well for off-line
consumption and didn’t include enough lab/scenario-based examples.

This guide is an answer to the countless requests to create a portable, comprehensive, and exam-focused TSHOOT prep guide. I’ve refined the online
notes even more to focus exclusively on exactly what you Cisco expects you to know on exam day.
If you have questions, exam feedback, or want to reach out to me directly - shoot me an email at I promise you’ll get a

Best of luck.

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Network Maintenance Network Maintenance Network Maintenance Network Maintenance 4
The Art of Troubleshooting The Art of Troubleshooting The Art of Troubleshooting The Art of Troubleshooting 12 12 12 12
Layer 2 Troubleshooting Layer 2 Troubleshooting Layer 2 Troubleshooting Layer 2 Troubleshooting 15 15 15 15
Layer 3 Troubleshooting Layer 3 Troubleshooting Layer 3 Troubleshooting Layer 3 Troubleshooting 22 22 22 22
TSHOOT TSHOOT TSHOOT TSHOOT Exam Exam Exam Exam Methodology Methodology Methodology Methodology 31 31 31 31


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Chapter 1:


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Maintenance is no doubt an important component to network stability and that's why we see it covered on the troubleshooting exam. This is perfect
multiple-choice style content as it is difficult to test your understanding of maintenance concepts and methodologies on a simulation-focused exam like
TSHOOT. Keep that in mind as you walk through the following topics.
Good troubleshooting reduces the time an outage lasts, good maintenance minimizes outages themselves.

Maintenance Methodologies
Several well known maintenance models have been defined by a number of organizations. Many organizations use parts of several instead of adopting
one method completely, but it is important as a network engineer to understand what models exist and how they translate into improving your
organization. A documented maintenance strategy is worth its weight in gold.

IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
ITIL focuses on creating a technology service framework within an organization and aligning it closely with the organization's requirements and processes.
Note that ITIL is a large and comprehensive approach that was developed specifically for IT professionals.

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FCAPS is an IT maintenance model created by ISO that categorizes network management into five parts. FCAPS is an acronym using the first letters of
the five categories it includes.


■ Preventive maintenance

■ Minimizing network


■ Both hardware and software
installation and configuration

■ Change control

■ Inventory management


■ Capacity planning

■ Cost efficiency

■ Maximize performance on
existing network investments


■ Confidentiality,
integrity, availability (CIA)

■ Authentication,
authorization, accounting

■ Encryption

■ Intrusion

Cisco Lifecycle Services
Cisco has come up with their own maintenance model, sometimes also referred to as PPDIOO, or Prepare, Plan, Design, Implement, Operate, and
Optimize. This model is specifically focused on deploying and operating Cisco's product families.

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Telecommunications Management Network (TMN)
TMN was developed by ITU-T and is a tailored version of FCAPS specific to the telecommunications industry.
Once the model has been selected, its parts should inform an IT organization's processes and standard procedures. After all, a model is meaningless
unless it affects how a business operates.
After the maintenance model components have defined an organizational processes (ex. automated config backups, manual security audits, etc.), tools
should be selected to carry out those processes. FTP could be used for configuration backups for example.

Network Maintenance Core Tasks
Whatever model an IT organization chooses, there are some functions that should be included every time. These include:

■ Managing adds, moves, and changes
■ Installing and configuring new network devices
■ Replacing failed hardware
■ Software backup
■ Configuration backup
■ Troubleshooting failure scenarios
■ Software upgrades
■ Network performance monitoring
■ Capacity planning
■ Creating/updating network documentation

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Up-to-date, clear, and complete infrastructure documentation is crucial to reduce recovery times and maintain a robust networked environment. Different
levels of detail are appropriate for different audiences, but some common details that should be documented include:
■ Production configurations
■ Inventory (including serial numbers, support info, etc.)
■ Circuit information
■ Network drawings
■ IP address assignments

Another important component to network documentation is a performance baseline, or snapshot. It captures the expected performance of your network
systems like link bandwidth, WAN jitter and delay, and port status. This is a tremendous help during troubleshooting efforts because without knowing
what normal levels are, detecting abnormal traffic behavior becomes very subjective.

IOS Tools
Configurations should be backed up periodically or after changes are made. One of the simplest methods is to save the configuration as a text file on a
remote TFTP or FTP server. TFTP and FTP servers are available on all modern operating systems and free, open source offerings are widely available.
Adding the date to the saved configuration can make rolling back changes easier in the future. Here's an example of a router saving it's configuration to a
local TFTP server:

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Syslog is a tool that collects alerts from network devices and stores them on a common log. Obviously, this can be very handy when you need to
troubleshoot an issue across many devices.
Know that every syslog message contains two parts, a severity level and a facility. The severity level goes from 0 to 7 with 0 being the most severe to 7
being simply informational.

Syslog Priority (highest to lowest):
0. Emergency (highest)
1. Alert
2. Critical
3. Error
4. Warning
5. Notice
6. Informational
7. Debug (lowest)

RouterA# copy run tftp
Address of name of remote host []?
Destination filename [routera-config]? Routera_config_02082012

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Switch(config)# ntp server ip_address_of_ntp_server
Switch# show ntp status
Alerting is important, but if the timestamps that are included are off then the alerts are unreliable (and next to useless). NTP stands for Network Time
Protocol and is used to keep accurate and consistent time on all network devices. NTP works by pulling the current time from a time server, which is
assigned by stratum. Stratum 1 clocks are synchronized directly with an atomic clock; stratum 2 clocks get their time from stratum 1 clocks, etc.
Configuring NTP is easy - just point the device to the proper time server:

To verify:

One last note for NTP, it is important to consider the time zone that each device is set to. Make sure you have it consistent (ex. local time zones, GMT,
HQ time zones, etc)

Cisco has developed a built-in configuration backup and restore feature, called archive. The archive function maintains a copy of the current configuration
as well as a set of past configurations. If a configuration change is made with unpleasant results, the switch or router can roll back to a previous
configuration relatively easily.
There are several keywords available inside archive configuration mode. Here is a list of some of the most common:

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path flash://routerc

path tftp://
Specifies where you want the backup configuration stored (ex. flash, tftp server, etc.).

When the write-memory keyword is configured, a backup of the configuration will be automatically saved every time the configuration is manually saved.

Sets the maximum time allowed before another backup is automatically saved.
When the archive function backs up a configuration, it appends a -1, -2, -3, etc. to the end of the file name depending on how many have already been
saved. It will count up to 14 (represented as filename-14) and then cycle back to 1. If your time-period is set too frequently, then you're backups may be
written over too often.

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Chapter 3:
The Art of


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There are two elements to good troubleshooting - preparation and technique. Preparation comes in the form of documentation, change control, and
understanding of the environment among other things. The second part, technique, is just as important.
There are a number of methods to tackle the same problem. To be honest, Cisco doesn't promote a specific approach for the CCNP TSHOOT exam. The
important part is that you are consistent and your troubleshooting methodology follows a structured approach.

Structured Troubleshooting
What Cisco calls structured troubleshooting simply means you use a system to solve a problem by collecting information about the problem, forming a
hypothesis, and then testing it. The structured approach also is helpful when the hypothesis you create fails. It may rule out many more scenarios and
likely leads to the next hypothesis to test. The recovery time for a structured troubleshooting approach is usually much less than randomly changing
configurations or settings in a hurry to try and get things working.

There are several common structured troubleshooting approaches, with these being the most common:

Start with the OSI physical layer and work your way up.
Start with the OSI application layer and work your way down.
Consider the path a packet would take from source to destination, checking each node/device/configuration along the way.
This is where configurations are compared between what is currently running and what the expected configurations should be.
Move a device to see if the problem moves with it.

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Use the Scientific Method
The first step whenever you encounter a technical problem is to define the problem. This will involve collecting input from those experiencing the issue
directly - things like "the Internet is down..." or "my email is slow..." or "I can't get to my Facebook account when I should be processing TPS reports"...
You get the idea. Keep in mind that you will need to understand that they are explaining the symptoms - it's your job to determine the problem behind
the symptoms.
After you have identifies the problem, it's time to trim it down. What's the scope? How many users are affected? What changed? When did it happen?
Is it a constant problem or intermittent?
Now this is where your tool bag of structured troubleshooting methodologies should come out. Try one that you think best matches your hypothesis of
the root issue and work your way through it. Did your test work? If not, continue through the layers, the path, or whatever approach you are using.
When you find a test that is successful and determined that it in fact is the root cause, make sure to communicate the problem and recovery to all
stakeholders and update any necessary documentation. These are small, simple tasks - but they are rarely done consistently.

If a configuration change was the culprit, think about your current change control policy and ask if it needs to be updated.

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Chapter 3:
Layer 2


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#show interface
# show interface counters
# show interface counters errors
Poor Switch Performance
Most performance issues on switches are related to one of three errors:
1. Cabling and port problems (layer 1)
2. Duplex mismatches between switch ports and an attached device
3. TCAM issues.

Physical layer Troubleshooting Commands

Look for the following errors:
Usually a cabling issue.
The transmission buffers are full. This is sometimes seen when
switching from a fast link to a slower one.

Undersize, Giants
The transmitting NIC may have problems.

Single-Col, Multi-Col, Late-Col, Excess-Col
All of these are collision types, which can point to a duplex mismatch.
Cisco recommends setting all interfaces, switch and server, to auto.

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# show spanning-tree vlan vlan-id #show spanning-tree interface interface detail
Spanning Tree
Spanning Tree Protocol is a loop prevention mechanism to allow redundant Ethernet network connections. Here is an important summary of how each
switch determines Spanning Tree port roles:
1. Each switch periodically transmits BPDUs that include its bridge ID, current root bridge, and cost to that root bridge. Additionally, each switch starts
by assuming it is the root bridge.

2. If a switch receives a BPDU from another switch with a different root, it does a comparison. If the BPDU has a lower advertised root, the switch
changes its root to match and recalculates the cost to the new root. The port that received the BPDU is now the root port - all others become
designated ports.

3. If a switch receives two BPDUs with the same root, it then compares costs and uses the port with the lowest cost. The port with the higher cost is
blocked - also called a non-designated port.

To quickly review STP costs, below is a list of link costs based on interface speed.
Link Speed

STP Cost
Ethernet 100
Fast Ethernet 19
Gigabit Ethernet 4
Ten Gigabit Ethernet 2

After the whole process, there will be only one root bridge - with each non-root switch having only one root port.
To see the status of spanning tree:

To view sent/received BPDU information for a switch:

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Broadcast Storms
Broadcasts storms can occur due to Spanning Tree misconfigurations and/or rogue switches being added which closes a loop. Regardless, a broadcast
storm will be obvious when the switch slows way down, becomes unresponsive, and all the links light up solid green.
The CLI may be very slow to respond if you still have remote access to it, so often times to fastest way to fix the problem is to physically begin pulling
redundant links.

Troubleshooting EtherChannels
EtherChannel issues usually fall into one of three categories:
1. Every port participating in an EtherChannel must have identical speed, duplex, access or trunk settings. If an EtherChannel isn't forming, check each
port configuration.
2. Both sides of the EtherChannel must be configured as a bundle directly or be using a link aggregation protocol (LACP or PAgP). If one side is
configured as an EtherChannel and the other side is not, look for error-disabled EtherChannel ports on the EtherChannel-enabled switch.
3. If traffic is only flowing over a single link in a bundle, it is likely that the hash algorithm should be adjusted to use different seed values. Also note that
link bundles should be used in even numbered pairs like 2, 4, 8, etc.

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# show mac-address
# show vlan
# show interface switchport
#show interface switchport trunk
#show etherchannel
When troubleshooting issues that you suspect are related to VLAN logic, you should first make sure you have tested for physical layer issues like bad
cabling, a power failure, or bad switch ports. Also, check that you are not dealing with an issue with the switch itself - things like software bugs, loops, or
ARP problems.
VLAN issues usually come in the form of misconfigured VLANs, improper VTP mode, trunk issues, and native VLAN mismatches.

Switch Tables
It is important that you understand what show commands display information on what switch tables. These will come in handy when you are isolating a
switching issue.

MAC Address Table
[MAC-to-port mapping]

VLAN Assignments
[VLAN-to-port mapping]

Trunk Assignments

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Troubleshooting Inter-VLAN Routing
• Routing between VLANs can be done on either a router, or a layer 3 switch but the data plane is different depending on the platform you are using.
• Either way, show ip cef displays the CEF forwarding table and show adjacency will show you the layer 2 headers used in forwarding.
• Keep in mind that routers always use layer 3 information to pass traffic between ports. Switches can either use MAC address forwarding (for layer 2
forwarding), SVIs for inter-VLAN routing, or layer 3 routed ports. The last category, routed ports do not run layer 2 protocols like Spanning Tree –
that’s very important.
• Last thing to remember - SVIs will only go into down state when all interfaces within that particular VLAN are down.

• First hop redundancy protocols allow a layer 2 segment to have two gateway routers for redundancy, while still only showing a single gateway IP and
MAC address.
• The three FHRPs Cisco supports are HSRP, VRRP, and GLBP.
• HSRP is one of the original FHRPs that was developed by Cisco and is proprietary. One router is active and another is a backup (using HSRP
keepalives to maintain connectivity). HSRP is extremely popular and you should make sure to understand how it works for the TSHOOT exam. Check
out the High-Availability page to learn more.
• VRRP is another gateway redundancy protocol that is an open standard and very similar to HSRP.
• GLBP is Cisco proprietary; its primary advantage is its ability to automatically load balance between gateway routers.

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HSRP is the primary FHRP covered on the TSHOOT exam, so let's go through the basics one more time.
HSRP is configured using the standby command under interface configuration mode. Routers in the same HSRP group share a common MAC and virtual
IP address. The standby configuration statements define the HSRP group as well as the virtual IP in use.
Each HSRP-enabled router has a default HSRP priority of 100 (remember, highest wins). If another router joins the group with a higher priority it will still
not become the active router unless the preempt command is applied.

An example HSRP configuration could look something like:

To show the current HSRP status, issue:

Router(config)# interface gig1/1
Router(config-if)# ip address
Router(config-if)# standby 4 ip
Router(config-if)# standby 4 priority 200
Router(config-if)# standby 4 preempt
# show standby
# show standby brief

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Chapter 4:
Layer 3


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Routing Basics
Before we get into the layer 3 troubleshooting methods, we first need to make sure we have a basic understanding of how routers and multilayer switches
route traffic. Three tables are used: the routing table, ARP table, and CEF mappings.
The routing table pairs network prefixes with the router's preferred next hop address or interface. Packets are routed based on the output of the routing
table by first matching the longest prefix and then using other IGP-specific metrics. The show ip route command displays the contents of the routing
After the router has determined what the next-hop address is, the router then needs to translate that into a layer 2 MAC address. The ARP table is
exactly what this is for. The show ip arp command will display the current ARP pairings.
Lastly, CEF is used in layer 3 switches to optimize routing and layer 2 headers. To view the CEF entries, use the show ip cef command.

Troubleshooting Any Routing Protocol
Regardless of what routing protocols are in use, there are some common troubleshooting steps that can be applied. First, try to ping the destination to
determine reachability. Next, look at the routing table to make sure a route to the destination exists. Finally, run a traceroute from the source towards
the destination to see where the last reachable hop is.
For further digging, the show ip protocols command gives some very helpful information on the current routing protocols in use (like timers, AS
numbers, etc.).

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Routing Protocol Troubleshooting Methodology
There are three key questions that can be extremely helpful when troubleshooting a routing issue - regardless if you are running EIGRP, OSPF, or BGP.

Is the route being advertised correctly?

Is the route being received?

Is there a more desirable route being used?
(longer prefix or lower administrative distance)

Let's dissect each of these for the major routing protocols one at a time.

First, verify connectivity to the remote networks using pings and by taking a look at the local routing table. As a reminder, EIGRP stores its information in
three different tables: the EIGRP interface table, neighbor table, and topology table.

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EIGRP Interface Table
The EIGRP interface table displays interfaces
participating in the local EIGRP processes.

Use the show ip eigrp interface command
to display its contents.
EIGRP Neighbor Table
The EIGRP neighbor table contains a list of
discovered EIGRP neighbors.

Use the show ip eigrp neighbors command
to display its contents.
EIGRP Topology Table
The topology table contains a complete list of
EIGRP-learned routes.

Use the show ip eigrp topology command
to display its contents.

Is the EIGRP route being advertised properly?
Remember those three troubleshooting questions listed above? Let's start with the first one - is the route being advertised properly?
The first step is to identify the router that is connected to the destination subnet as it should be advertising the route out. There are two simple ways to
check if that router is advertising the routes properly.
First, do a show run | section eigrp. This will display the running EIGRP configuration, including what networks are being advertised with the network
Another option is to do a show ip protocols. The nice thing about this command is that it displays the EIGRP network statements. Remember, EIGRP
only advertises subnets of interfaces that match an EIGRP network statement.

Is the EIGRP route being received?
Routers must be EIGRP neighbors for the routing information to be shared. To check this, issue a show ip eigrp neighbors on the two routers
exchanging hellos. You should see the neighbor listed on each device.
You can also perform a debug ip eigrp packets to make sure hellos are being sent out from each router.
If all of that looks good, look at the EIGRP running configuration and make sure the AS numbers match, the timers are close, and that any authentication
configurations are the same.

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Next, issue a show ip eigrp interface to make sure the interfaces you expect are participating in the EIGRP process. Lastly, route maps or distribution
lists could be blocking routing traffic. Do a show ip protocols to display any distribute lists.

Is there a more desirable route being used?
It's possible that EIGRP knows about the route, but it is not being used in the routing table. If a more desirable path is known, that will be used instead.
Compare the EIGRP topology table to the local routing table.

These steps for troubleshooting OSPF are very similar to EIGRP. First, verify that there is a problem using pings and by taking a look at the routing table.
OSPF stores its information in three different tables: the OSPF interface table, neighbor table, and link-state database.

OSPF Interface Table
The OSPF interface table displays interfaces
participating in the local OSPF processes.

Use the show ip ospf interface command
to display its contents.

OSPF Neighbor Table
The neighbor table contains a list of
discovered OSPF neighbors.

Use the show ip ospf neighbors command
to display its contents.

OSPF Link State Database
The link state database contains the received

Use the show ip ospf database command
to display its contents.

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Is the OSPF route being advertised properly?
The first step is to identify the router that is connected to the destination subnet as it should be advertising the route out. There are two simple ways to
check if that router is advertising the routes properly.
First, do a show run | section ospf. This will display the running OSPF configuration, including what networks are being advertised with the network
statements. Another option is to do a show ip protocols.
Remember, OSPF only advertises subnets of interfaces that match an OSPF network statement.

Is the OSPF route being received?
Routers must be OSPF neighbors for the routing information to be shared. To check this, issue a show ip ospf neighbors on the two routers. You
should see the neighbor listed on each device.
You can also perform a debug ip ospf adj to show any issues that would prevent the routers from forming an adjacency.
OSPF is more particular about matching protocol variables than EIGRP. OSPF requires that all of the following parameters match between devices:
■ Bidirectional communication
■ AS number
■ Timers
■ Common area type
■ Common subnet prefix
■ Authentication

The OSPF protocol values can be seen using the show ip ospf interfaces command.
Lastly, route maps or distribution lists could be blocking routing traffic. Do a show ip protocols to display any distribute lists.

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Is there a more desirable route being used?
It's possible that OSPF knows about the route, but it is not being used in the routing table. If a more desirable path is known, that will be used instead.
Compare the OSPF topology table to the local routing table. Take the time to check each hop along the expected path and look at the routing tables on
each router.

BGP stores its information in two tables: the BGP neighbor table and the BGP table.

BGP Neighbor Table
The neighbor tables contains a list of known BGP neighbors.

Use the show ip bgp neighbors command to display its contents.

BGP Table
This table contains all the received BGP prefixes as well as their
associated attributes lists. Perhaps most importantly, it also shows the
BGP best path to each destination.

Use the show ip bgp command to display its contents.

Are the BGP routers neighbors?
BGP neighbors must be administratively assigned on each router running BGP. If the routers are not neighbors, BGP routing and network
information will not be passed between them. Start by doing a show ip bgp neighbors. If the expected BGP peers do not show up in the
output, make sure they have L3 connectivity using a simple ping test. If you need to investigate further, a debug ip bgp updates should show
the BGP hellos and advertisements.

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Remember that BGP requires bidirectional communication as well as matching AS numbers and authentication. The show run or show ip bgp
command will display that information.
Also, consider that route maps or distribution lists could be blocking routing traffic. Do a show ip protocols to display any distribute lists.

Is the BGP route being advertised?
As with the other routing protocols, make sure that the router connected to the destination subnet is advertising the route out. There are two
simple ways to check if that router is advertising the routes properly.
Perform a show run | section bgp to look at the neighbor statements. You should also keep in mind that BGP will only advertise routes when
(1) they are defined using neighbor statements and (2) the router knows about the route from another source.

Route Redistribution
Route redistribution can be a tricky situation to troubleshoot, but understanding the following concepts should be helpful.
1. Redistributed routes require an existing entry in the routing table. If the redistributing router does not have a routing table entry for
the route being redistributed, it will not work. Seems simple, but it should checked right away.
2. Routing loops are a common problem with multi-router routing redistribution. Use a single router to perform the redistribution if
3. Understand that redistributed routes lose their native metric information. When redistributing into EIGRP, a default metric MUST be
set or no route will be imported. When redistributing into OSPF, all routes will be imported as classful unless the subnets keyword is appended to
the end of the redistribution statement.

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TSHOOT Exam Details
The TSHOOT exam consist of a few multiple choice questions and a long list of trouble tickets, which require you to identify the source of a
network connectivity issue. To test your troubleshooting, Cisco uses trouble tickets – each with a general description of a problem with a source
and destination device. Let me warn you though, the problem descriptions can be very vague and exactly the same as other tickets, so it is
crucial to go into the test with a troubleshooting methodology that you are comfortable with.
Also, because the testing style is such a huge departure from Cisco’s traditional certification exams, they published the topology diagrams –
complete with IP and interface information to those who are interested in reviewing it before the exam. I’ve done you a favor by including the
diagrams for you below. In fact, I think the best way to prepare is to go through some practice questions using the actual exam topology to get
you comfortable with the layout and question types. That’s exactly what we’ll do in just a moment.
Lastly, you need to have a plan of attack when you walk into this exam or it won’t turn out well for you. Most of the trouble tickets explain the
symptoms in terms of a client not being able to ping/access/connect to a server on the other end of the topology. This allows Cisco to make sure
you understand how to troubleshoot every device and protocol between the client and server. While this may seem daunting, knowing this before
you head into the exam allows you to have a strategy and a starting point for every ticket you troubleshoot.

The Multiple Choice Section
Before we go too far into the Trouble Ticket portion of the exam, let me just say a few words about the multiple choice section. Cisco really
focuses on the content that you’ll find here under the Network Maintenance and Art of Troubleshooting chapters. You need to REALLY read those
two chapters before heading into the exam. The topics in those chapters are mostly about maintenance methodologies and troubleshooting
methods and Cisco expects you to be familiar with the terms used.
Realize that there are only going to be a few multiple choice questions, so take the time to understand the material but realize that the majority of
your time should be spent going through the trouble ticket methodology I present below. That’s by far the most difficult part of the exam and the
section you should focus your time on most.

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Solving the Trouble Tickets
Each ticket presented to you will have three questions you must answer. The first asks what device is causing the issue, the second asks what
protocol or technology it is related to, and the third question asks what specific configuration should be applied to resolve the issue.
Now, it may not seem obvious when you are taking the test, but it is incredibly important to understand that at any point when you have a
trouble ticket open you can select the abort button on the ticket to back out. Doing that allows you to see the problem, do some quick testing to
see if it is layer 2 or layer 3 issue, make some notes, then back out and do the same for the next ticket.

Trouble Ticket Methodology
Now here’s where we get down to business. You are welcome to use any troubleshooting methodology you like, but I highly recommend taking
my advice on how to approach the tickets. It will save you tons of time and frustration because it allows you to very quickly localize the problem.

Here’s the trick: Start each ticket by perform an ipconfig inside client 1’s terminal. The IP address of Client 1 will very quickly
narrow close to half of the tickets for you.

All of the problem descriptions begin with Client X cannot connect to Destination Y. Knowing this, open ticket #1 and jump onto the client’s
terminal. Run the command ipconfig.

The output will either give you a usable IP address, like or give you an unusable IP address in the 169.x.x.x range. If the client has a
169.x.x.x address, then it is not getting a proper IP address from the local DHCP server. That means that it is likely a layer 2 connectivity issue
on the connected access switch ASW1, the distribution switch DSW1, or a DHCP-related issue on the local router (R4 in this case).

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If Client 1 has an IP address of 169.x.x.x

1. Verify that the interface connected to the client (fa1/0/1) is up, running in access mode (not a trunk), and is
assigned to the proper VLAN.

To check that the interface is in up/up status – ASW1#show int fa1/0/1
To check that it configured for access mode – ASW1#show run interface fa1/0/1
To check the port’s VLAN assignment - ASW1#show run interface fa1/0/1 (Look for switchport access vlan 10)

2. Check for port security applied to the interface connected to the client (fa1/0/1)

ASW1#show int fa1/0/1 (FastEthernet1/0/1 is down, line protocol is down (err-disabled) will show up in the first line)
To resolve this, the port security configuration would need to be removed from ASW1 and fa 1/0/1 would require a shut/no shut.

3. Verify that the PortChannel interfaces in PortChannel are up and participating in the bundle.

ASW1#show etherchannel summary (Look for po13)
DSW1#show etherchannel summary (Look for po13)

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4. Check the trunk link between the access switch, ASW1 and the local distribution switch, DSW1 to make sure the
production VLANs are not being filtered on the trunk interface.

ASW1#show int po13 trunk
ASW1#show run interface fa1/0/19
ASW1#show run interface fa1/0/20
ASW1#show run interface po13

DSW1#show int po13 trunk
DSW1#show run interface fa1/0/19
DSW1#show run interface fa1/0/20
DSW1#show run interface po13

5. Check any DHCP-related issues on the distribution switch.

Some production networks run DHCP servers on their local distribution switches to avoid the headaches of a dedicated, physical
DHCP server. Doing so requires few devices and keeps DHCP services active at remote sites when the WAN goes down.

Take a look at DSW1 for any DHCP server configurations. If one exists, the normal “dhcp pool” and network statements should
be verified. Another very important statement to look out for is a “ip dhcp excluded-address x.x.x.x x.x.x.x” statement.

In the scenario that Cisco provides here, only the and addresses should be included in any excluded-address
statements. Both addresses are the VLAN 10 interface IPs, so they should not be included in any DHCP leases. If any other
excluded-address range is configured on DSW1 and contains (Client 1’s IP) – it is a problem and will block Client 1 from
obtaining an IP address.

First do a show interface trunk to see what
VLANs are “active” on the trunk. If VLAN 10 is
not active based on the output, use the following
“sh run” commands to pinpoint the configuration

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If Client 1 has an IP address of 10.x.x.x
AND can’t ping the gateway

Ping the VLAN 10 default gateway address, to check L3 connectivity to the distribution switch, DSW1

From the client, ping the DSW1’s VLAN 10 address to verify the client has layer three connectivity to the switch. If the ping fails, there is
likely IP address filtering going in somewhere on the local segment. Because the client is getting a valid DHCP IP address from DSW1,
there is L2 connectivity but something else is blocking (or dropping) the IP traffic from the client.

Remember those VLAN Access-maps you learned about in the SWITCH exam? Well it may be the case that a VLAN access-map is
dropping traffic on DSW1.

Access-maps are generally configured like this:

vlan access-map EXAMPLE 10
match ip address 5
vlan filter EXAMPLE vlan-list 10
ip access-list standard 5
interface VLAN10
ip address

In this example, ACL 5 and VLAN 10 access-map EXAMPLE
are dropping all traffic from the entire 10.2.x.x/8 subnet.
If you see any VLAN 10 access-maps filtering the same
subnet as Client 1, the solution would be to remove the
access-map completely.

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If Client 1 has an IP address of 10.x.x.x
AND can ping the gateway on DSW1
BUT cannot ping the fa0/1 interface of R4

The neighbor relationship between DSW1 and R4 needs to be checked.

R4 and DSW1 share routing information via EIGRP Autonomous System 10. Do a show run on both devices and take a peek at the EIGRP
configurations. Make sure the proper network statements are applied and that the correct AS number (10) is configured.
Check for any EIGRP passive interface commands applied to the configurations. Remember that if either device is running an interface as
passive, EIGRP hellos will not be sent and routes will not be shared.

If Client 1 has an IP address of 10.x.x.x
AND can ping the gateway on DSW1
BUT cannot ping the serial0/0/0/0.34 interface of
Notice that R4 is the redistribution point between EIGRP and OSPF. If you cannot connect to the other side of R4, the
redistribution statements need to be looked at.

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Make sure a metric is set on the “redistribute ospf x metric” statement and that the subnets keyword id used on the “redistribute eigrp 10”
If any route maps are applied to the redistribution configuration, make sure the route map names are configured correctly.

If Client 1 has an IP address of 10.x.x.x
AND can ping the gateway
AND can ping R2 []
BUT cannot ping R1 []

If we can ping all the way from Client 1 to R2 but not to R1, then there is an issue between routers R1 and R2.

R1 and R2 share routes using OSPF, so we need to verify they are exchanging OSPF route information.

The OSPF configuration should be looked at carefully on both R1 and R2. Based on the diagram Cisco has made available, R1’s OSPF
configuration should look something similar to:

interface Serial0/0/0/0.12 point-to-point
ip address
ip nat inside
router ospf 1
network area 12
default-information originate
If you see any OSPF authentication-related lines, make sure
they are applied exactly the same on both R1 and R2!
An example interface authentication configuration:
ip ospf authentication message-digest
ip ospf message-digest-key 1 md5 EXAM

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If Client 1 has an IP address of 10.x.x.x
AND can ping the gateway
AND can ping R1 []

Ping the webserver from R1

Successful. Fails.

If Client 1 can ping R1 and R1 can ping the web server, then
R1, R2, R3, R4 and DSW1 and DSW2 can also ping web server.
This means that the issue is likely a NAT translation
misconfiguration on R1. Check that the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’
NAT statements are applied to the correct interfaces on R1.
Also, check for any ACLs that NAT is using. If there are any,
make sure 10.2.x.x is included in the permit statements.

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At this point we’ve established that Client 1 has connectivity to R1 BUT R1 does not have connectivity to the web server. Again, this means
we need to take a closer look at R1’s configuration.

1. The first item that needs to be verified is R1’s BGP configuration. R1 is using BGP to connect to the web server’s remote
network, so that is the first protocol to check.

Comb through the BGP configuration line-by-line.
R1# show run

Make sure the network, neighbor, and AS numbers are correct.

2. Make sure there are no ACLs blocking the remote network on R1.
If you run into any inbound ACLs on R1, make sure they permit

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Final Exam Advice
The exam starts with the multiple choice questions, so there’s not a lot of preplanning that will help you there besides reviewing the
troubleshooting and methodology chapters at the beginning of this guide. As you know by now the remainder of the exam involves solving a long
list of trouble tickets.
Here's what I would strongly recommend. It’s helped many people pass the TSHOOT exam well under the allotted time. Start by opening the
first ticket presented to you and perform an ipconfig to determine Client 1’s IP address. If it is a 169.x.x.x address, begin troubleshooting the
ticket based on the common issues I have presented above (ex. Access port VLAN, port security, trunk VLANs, etc.).
If Client 1’s IP address is a 10.x.x.x address, walk through the ping tests I showed you in the previous pages. Doing so helps you determine
which device is the cause. Next run through the list of common issues I noted for that particular situation. You’ll likely find the answer with some
careful observation fairly fast.

Best of luck.

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