Networking Tools and Utilities

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Every network will run into problems at some point. However, there is a lot you can do to minimize the problems you encounter. Regular, preventative maintenance will not only keep your network working at its peak, it will also reduce the risk of network corruption. Difficulties will arise, though, and good troubleshooting skills will enable you to identify, assess, and repair an issue quickly and efficiently.

Microsoft includes a variety of tools in its Windows operating systems that you can use to troubleshoot TCP/IP.

Tool              

Use To

ipconfig

Verify the configuration of TCP/IP and to release or renew DHCP IP address eases. (Other operating systems use different commands rather than ipconfig. For example, Linux uses ifconfig.)

 

ping 

Test TCP/IP communications. With the -t switch, you can ping the indicated host until the request gets interrupted; with the -l [number]switch, you can send a ping of a specified buffer size.

 

nslookup 

Verify that the computer can connect to a DNS server and successfully find an IP address for a given computer name.

 

tracert

Determine and test all points along the route the computer uses to send a packet to a destination. If tracert is unsuccessful, you can use the results generated to determine at what point communications are failing.

 

netstat

Show the status of each active network connection; netstat will display statistics for both TCP and UDP, including protocol, local address, foreign address,and the TCP connection state. Because UDP is connectionless, no connection information will be shown for UDP packets.

 

net 

Manage Microsoft network resources from a command line. With the use option, you can connect or disconnect the computer from a shared resource. You can also retrieve information about current network connections. To see all of the available commands in this suite, type net /? at a command line.

 

Local Area Connection Status  Verify that the LAN is connected to the network and able to send and receive data. 
Network trouble-shooters

 

Walk you through the resolutions to various common network problems. There are several network-related troubleshooters in the Help and Support Center that can help.

ipconfig Options

The ipconfig command provides several options that are helpful for network maintenance and troubleshooting:

 

Command

 

Enables You To

 

ipconfig  /all 

View the computer’s host name, DNS domain name, network card driver, IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, DNS server(s), and WINS server(s). In addition, you can use this display to determine whether the computer was configured through DHCP or APIPA. If  the computer obtained its addressing through DHCP, you also see the IP address of the DHCP server.

Ipconfig   /release  Release the IP addressing information assigned to the computer by the DHCP server or APIPA. 
ipconfig   /renew Lease IP addressing information from a DHCP server or APIPA. If thecomputer already has a good IP addressed leased, it will not renew unless you release the address first. 
Ipconfig  /flushdns  Clear DNS information on the client so that client updates with new configuration information more quickly. 
Ipconfig  /registerdns 

Register the client with its DNS server.

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