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Technical Support Information


Table Of Contents

Technical Support Information

Gathering Information About Your Internetwork

Getting the Data from Your Router

Remote Console Port and Auxiliary Port Access

Console Port Connected Modem

Auxiliary Port Connected Modem


CCO Troubleshooting Services

Providing Data to Your Technical Support Representative

Technical Support Information

When you have a problem that you cannot resolve, the resource of last resort is your Cisco Systems technical support representative. To analyze a problem, your technical support representative will need certain information about the situation and the symptoms that you are experiencing. To speed up the problem isolation and resolution process, collect the necessary data before you contact your representative.

This appendix describes how to collect relevant information about your internetwork and how to present that information to your technical support representative. Refer to the appropriate chapter within this book for specific information that you need to collect for each technology. In addition, some sections describe Cisco Connection Online, Cisco's primary, real-time support channel on the World Wide Web (WWW), and Cisco Connection Documentation, Cisco's library of product information on CD-ROM. Both are valuable resources in troubleshooting network problems. Make sure that you search CCO for documentation regarding your problem before you contact your technical representative.

Gathering Information About Your Internetwork

Before gathering any specific data, compile a list of all relevant symptoms that users have reported on the network (such as connections dropping or slow host response).

The next step is to gather specific information. Typical information needed to troubleshoot internetworking problems falls into two general categories: information required for any situation, and information specific to the topology, technology, protocol, or problem.

Information that is always required by technical support engineers includes the following:

Configuration listing of all routers involved

Complete specifications of all routers involved

Description of changes, if any, made to the network prior to the problem/symptom

Description of the nature of the problem (whether the problem occurs intermittently, what errors are being observed, and so on)

Version numbers of software (obtained with the show version command) and firmware (obtained with the show controllers command) on all relevant routers

Network topology map

List of hosts and servers (host and server type, number and function of each host/server on the network, description of host operating systems implemented)

List of network layer protocols, versions, and vendors

To assist you in gathering this required data, the show tech-support exec command has been added in Cisco IOS Release 11.1(4) and later. This command provides general information about the router that you can provide to your technical support representative when you are reporting a problem.

The show tech-support command outputs the equivalent of the show version, show running-config, show controllers, show stacks, show interfaces, show buffers, show process memory, and show process cpu exec commands. In many cases, the show tech-support command outputs can be long and can affect router performance.

Specific requirements that vary depending on the situation include the following:

Output from general show commands:

show interfaces

show controllers

show processes {cpu | mem}

show buffer

show mem summary

Output from protocol-specific show commands:

show protocol route

show protocol traffic

show protocol interfaces

show protocol arp

show appletalk globals (AppleTalk only)

show ipx servers (Novell IPX only)

Output from relevant debug privileged exec commands

Output from protocol-specific ping and trace diagnostic tests, as appropriate

Network analyzer traces, as appropriate

Core dumps obtained using the exception dump router configuration command, or using the write core router configuration command, if the system is operational, as appropriate

Getting the Data from Your Router

You must tailor the way that you obtain information from the router to the platform that you are using to collect the information. Following are some hints for different platforms:

PC and Macintosh—Connect a PC or a Macintosh to the console port of the router, and log all outputs to a disk file (using a terminal emulation program). The exact procedure varies, depending on the communication package used with the system.

Terminal connected to console port or remote terminal—The only way to get information with a terminal connected to the console port or with a remote terminal is to attach a printer to the auxiliary port on the terminal (if one exists) and force all screen output to go to the printer. This method is undesirable because there is no way to capture the output data to a file.

UNIX workstation—At the UNIX prompt, enter the command script filename, where filename is the destination file for the log, and then Telnet to the router. The UNIX script command captures screen outputs to the specified filename. To stop capturing output and close the file, enter the end-of-file character (typically ^D) for your UNIX system.

Note To get your system to automatically log specific error messages or operational information to a UNIX syslog server, use the logging internet-address router configuration command. For more information about using the logging command and setting up a syslog server, refer to the Cisco IOS configuration guides and command references.

Remote Console Port and Auxiliary Port Access

You can access a router from a remote location without a router being connected to a network by dialing directly to the console or auxiliary port on a router. In general, the console port is recommended because it displays router startup messages, whereas the auxiliary port does not provide this information. In addition, if a router hangs in the read-only memory monitor, you can reboot the system if you are connected using the console port. However, if you have a local terminal connected to your console, you might have no other choice than to connect to the auxiliary port. The following discussions provide the general requirements for connecting to a Cisco router remotely via the console or auxiliary ports.

Console Port Connected Modem

To connect remotely to the console port on a Cisco router, you need the following:

Null modem cable

PC or equivalent with suitable communications software

14.4 kbps-capable modem

When you have your communications software installed, set your PC's comm port (or equivalent) to 9600 baud (a software setting).

The modem attached to your router's console port must be configured as follows:

Lock the DTE speed to 9600

Set no flow control

Set autoanswer

Set no echo

Set no result

Note Refer to your modem documentation to determine the commands required to set these options on your modem. Refer to your modem and router hardware documentation for specific cabling requirements.

Auxiliary Port Connected Modem

To connect remotely to the console port on a Cisco router, you need the following:

Straight-through serial cable

PC or equivalent with suitable communications software

14.4 kbps-capable modem

Note Refer to your modem documentation to determine the commands required to set these options on your modem. Refer to your modem and router hardware documentation for specific cabling requirements.

To use the router's auxiliary port for remote access, you must include several configuration commands. The required commands are as follows:

line aux 0

modem inout

If you are using software prior to Cisco IOS 11.1, set the modem options as specified for the console port.

If you are using Cisco IOS 11.1 or later, you do not need to set the modem configuration manually, but you must include the modem autoconfigure discovery line configuration subcommand.

Note You can also refer to Chapter 16, "Troubleshooting Dialup Connections," for additional related information.


CCO, formerly Cisco Information Online (CIO), is Cisco Systems' primary, real-time support channel. Maintenance customers and partners can self-register on CCO to obtain additional content and services.

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, CCO provides a wealth of standard and value-added services to Cisco's customers and business partners. CCO services include product information, software updates, release notes, technical tips, the Bug Navigator, the Troubleshooting Engine, configuration notes, brochures, descriptions of service offerings, and download access to public and authorized files.

CCO serves a wide variety of users through two interfaces that are updated and enhanced simultaneously: a multimedia version that resides on the WWW, and a character-based version. The WWW version of CCO provides richly formatted documents with photographs, figures, graphics, and video, as well as hyperlinks to related information, official documentation, and technical tips. The character-based CCO supports Zmodem, Kermit, Xmodem, FTP, Internet e-mail, and fax download options, and it is excellent for quick access to information over lower bandwidths.

You can access CCO in the following ways:

WWW: www.cisco.com.

Telnet: cco.cisco.com.

Modem: From North America, 408-526-8070; from Europe, 33 1 64 46 40 82. Use the following terminal settings: VT100 emulation; databits: 8; stop bits: 1; parity: none; baud rate: up to 14.4 kbps.

For a copy of CCO's frequently asked questions (FAQ), send e-mail to cco—help@cisco.com. For additional information, send e-mail to cco—team@cisco.com.

CCO Troubleshooting Services

Registered CCO users can take advantage of a number of WWW-based support services offered by Cisco's Customer Support Engineering organization. These services are offered to help you diagnose and resolve problems in your network. These tools are accessible to registered CCO users through the Technical Assistance Center (TAC) page within CCO. WWW-based troubleshooting services/tools include the following:

Open Q&A Forum—This interactive tool that provides database searches for quick answers to technical questions. For more difficult questions, you receive access to CCIE qualified experts to help solve your problem.

Automated TAC Case Management—Problem cases can be opened, updated, and monitored through CCO's Case tools.

Troubleshooting Assistant—This tool resolves a variety of common internetworking problems using an intuitive web interface. It supports a variety of technologies and protocols.

Stack Decoder—This tool analyzes and diagnoses stack traces from Cisco IOS routers. You can paste the output from the show stack exec command into the tool and receive the results on the screen or by e-mail.

Hardware/Software Compatibility Matrix—This tool can be used to determine the compatibility between hardware product numbers and software versions.

Software Bug Toolkit—This tool is used to search for software bugs based on version and feature sets.

All CCO users—registered users and guests alike—can obtain answers to frequently asked questions, implementation case studies, technical tips, implementation procedures, sample configurations, and more at CCO's public site (www.cisco.com/public/Support_root.shtml).

You can sign up as a registered CCO user at www.cisco.com/public/registration.shtml.

Providing Data to Your Technical Support Representative

If you need technical assistance with a Cisco product that is under warranty or covered by a maintenance contract, contact Cisco's Technical Assistance Center (TAC) to open a case. Contact the TAC with a phone call or an e-mail message:

North America—800-553-2447; e-mail: tac@cisco.com

Europe—32 2 704 5555; e-mail: euro-tac@cisco.com

Asia-Pacific—61 2 8448 7107; e-mail: asiapac-tac@cisco.com

Refer to the TAC web page on CCO for more information about contacting the TAC center nearest you.

When submitting information to your technical support representative, electronic data is preferred. Electronic data significantly eases the transfer of information between technical support personnel and development staff. Common electronic formats include data sent via electronic mail and files sent using FTP.

If you are submitting data to your technical support representative, use the following list to determine the preferred method for submission:

The preferred method of information submission is via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) service over the Internet. If your environment supports FTP, you can place your file in the incoming directory on the host cco.cisco.com.

The next best method is to send data by e-mail. Before using this method, be sure to contact your technical support representative, especially when transferring binary core dumps or other large files.

If you use e-mail, do not use encoding methods such as binhex or zip. Only MIME-compliant mail should be used.

Transfer via a PC-based communications protocol, such as Kermit, to upload files to (CCO). Again, be sure to contact your technical support representative before attempting any transfer.

Transfer by disk or tape.

The least favorable method is hard-copy transfer by fax or postal service.

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