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Question:

What could he do to quickly test his network cable if a user calls the help desk complaining that he cannot connect to the network and he thinks the problem may be the patch cable he is using to connect to the ethernet port?

A Check the link status indicator next to the RJ45 connection.
Explaination

Next to the RJ45 connector, the link status indicator is a small LED. The status LED should be on if there is a proper electrical connection.