How to Troubleshoot basic connectivity issues in Windows XP


Troubleshoot basic connectivity issues

To troubleshoot basic connectivity issues and verify name resolution between computers, follow these steps in the order in which they are provided until you isolate and resolve the issue. First try step 1.

Step 1: Verify the physical connection between computers

The back of each network adapter in a desktop computer has visible lights. These lights indicate a good connection. If you are using a network hub, or a switch to connect the computers, make sure that the network hub or the switch is turned on and that the lights are illuminated for each client connection. This indicates a good link.

Step 2: Make sure that all computers have TCP/IP installed

This step is especially important with Microsoft Windows 95-based computers. By default, Windows 95-based computers do not have TCP/IP installed. If you are using computers that run Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition on the network, you can look for TCP/IP by using the Network item in Control Panel. If TCP/IP is not installed, you must install it to communicate with Windows XP-based computers on the network. TCP/IP is always installed in Windows XP.

Step 3: Make sure that the network configuration includes the IP addresses

Collect network configuration information from at least two computers on the network by using the adapter status. Then, make sure that the assigned IP addresses match the home-network configurations described in the “Home-network structures and their configurations” section. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type ncpa.cpl, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and right-click the icon that represents this computer’s connection to the home network, and then click Status.
  3. Click the Support tab, and then under Connection status, locate the IP addresses.If the assigned IP addresses do not match the topology that this article described in the “Home-network structures and their configurations” section, the computer that is assigning the addresses may not be available. This is likely to be true if 169.254.x.y addresses are in a configuration where you expect a different address range.

    To change the configuration so that the addresses on the home network adapter for each computer are in the same range, determine which address is correct based on the network topology. To do this, check whether one computer receives an address in the range 192.168.0.x, and another receives an address in the range 169.254.x.y. When you isolate which computer has the incorrect address, troubleshoot the computer that has the incorrect address.

    Note For Windows 95-based computers in a network that uses 169.254.x.y addressing, you must configure IP addresses manually. For information about how to do this, see the online Help for Windows 95.

Step 4: Make sure that firewall features are not enabled on the home network adapters

Verify that the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) or Windows Firewall (WF) feature is not enabled on the adapters that you use to connect the computers to the home network. If these features are enabled on these adapters, you cannot connect to shared resources on other computers in the network.

Note Edgeless networks are the exception. You can use ICF with edgeless networks if you take additional measures to enable connectivity in the home network.

Step 5: Test connectivity between computers by using the “ping” command

To use the ping command to test connectivity between two computers on the network, follow these steps:

  1. On one of the computers, click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
  2. At the command prompt, type ping x.x.x.x (where x.x.x.x is the IP address of the other computer), and then press ENTER.If the ping command is successful, and the computers can connect correctly, you receive several replies from the other computer. For example, you may receive a reply with the following format:
    Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128

    If you receive these replies, skip step c and go to step d.

    If you do not receive these replies, or if you receive a “Request timed out” message, there may be an issue on the local computer. Go to step c.

  3. Test the local computer. To do this, type ping x.x.x.x (where x.x.x.x is the IP address of the local computer), and then press ENTER.If you receive replies, the network adapter is installed correctly, and the TCP/IP protocol stack is likely to be working correctly.
    If you do not receive replies, the network adapter may be installed incorrectly, or the TCP/IP protocol stack may be damaged. Troubleshoot the network adapter and the TCP/IP protocol stack.
  4. When you can successfully ping the local computer, ping the other computer by using its IP address. To ping a computer by name, type ping computername (where computername is the name of the remote computer), and then press ENTER. To determine a computer’s name, right-click My Computer on the desktop, click Properties, and then click the Computer Name tab.If you receive replies, you have connectivity and name resolution between the computers.

    If you do not receive replies, go to the “Next Steps” section for information about how to contact Support.


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