Whether your business files are stored internally on a physical server or in the cloud, it’s stressful when you can’t access the files and folders you need to do your job.
It is not an easy task to analyze all the reasons why you cannot access the information stored on your company’s server. think of the server as the place where your shared drive and all the important files on it are stored; That’s why it’s important to know how to connect to your server to optimize productivity and reduce troubleshooting time.
Reading: How to connect to the server
In addition to knowing the type of server you’re trying to access, there are a few other hints that may help resolve your issue more quickly.
Consider the following when trying to figure out why you can’t connect to a server.
1. restart your computer
Even if you don’t know exactly what the problem is, chances are that turning your computer off and on again can help. we don’t know why this usually works; it’s just a magic formula that mysteriously solves 75% of technology problems. it only takes about 30 seconds, so try to see if it works to help connect to the company server.
2. follow error messages
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Error messages can tell you a lot. While they don’t give you step-by-step instructions on what to do, each error message will get you one step closer in the right direction. there are some cases where an error message will tell you what is going on or why the server or shared drive cannot be accessed at the moment, e.g. your password is incorrect, the computer is pending a reboot, the installation of other software is currently in progress, etc.
Even if it doesn’t explicitly tell you what’s wrong, write down any error messages you get to narrow down your list of possible solutions. doing a quick google search of the error message might also reveal some solutions.
3. identify where the shared drive is hosted
is the company share hosted in the cloud or is it hosted internally on a physical server/nas device? identifying the hosted location can drastically alter the troubleshooting method.
when it comes to internally hosted shared drives. it is important to confirm that you are connected to the same network as the shared drive. this is achieved by connecting to the office lan via wired ethernet, wi-fi or vpn if working remotely.
It is also important to note that it is common practice for organizations to isolate the main network from the guest network. so when confirming your network connection, make sure your device is connected to the main office network.
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hosted in the cloud
If hosted in the cloud, it is important to also identify the cloud service provider. the most common are microsoft sharepoint and google workspace. however, there are a host of other cloud services as well. Once you’ve identified the service your team’s cloud drive is hosted on, the first step in troubleshooting is to make sure you’re signed in to the app with your current credentials for that service. Common reasons an account may be logged out can be due to password or mfa policy changes.
whether you’re trying to connect to a shared drive hosted locally or in the cloud. you will need the necessary access permissions applied to your account. In times of uncertainty or when requesting access to specific drives or folders you haven’t accessed before, you may need to contact your IT provider to gain access.
5. look for what might be different
You may have connected to your small business server hundreds of times without a problem and it has become part of your routine. but consider what is different: are you using a different login? Has the password been changed recently? Has the equipment been updated? are you logging in from a new workstation? has the internet restarted? is the network down? are you using the same browser?
If your company uses a cloud-based enterprise server, it’s also possible that the problem is not on your end. you can tell almost immediately if others are having trouble accessing the file server, and a call to the provider can possibly get things working again.
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