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Common Error Messages on Computer Networks

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If your network connection is not configured properly or suffers a technical failure, you will often see some error message generated and displayed on your screen. These messages give helpful clues to the nature of the issue. Use this list of the common network-related error messages to help troubleshoot and fix networking problems.

1. "A Network Cable Is Unplugged"

This message appears as a Windows desktop balloon. If your connection is wired, you may lose access to the network. If your connection is wireless, your network will probably function normally, although this error message will become an annoyance as it pops up repeatedly until the issue is addressed. Several different conditions can generate this error each with their own solution.

2. IP Address Conflict (or Address Already in Use)

If a computer is set up with a static IP address that is being used by some other device on the network, the computer (and possibly also the other device) will be unable to use the network. This problem can even occur with dynamic (DHCP) addressing in some cases.

3. "The Network Path Cannot Be Found"

Updating the TCP/IP configuration can resolve this issue sometimes seen on Microsoft Windows computers when trying to access another device via Network Neighborhood.

4. "Duplicate Name Exists on the Network"

After starting up a Microsoft Windows computer connected to a local network, you may encounter this error as a balloon message. When it occurs, your computer will be unable to access the network. You may need to change the name of your computer to resolve this issue.

5. "Limited or no connectivity..."

When attempting to access a Web page or network resource on a Windows shared drive, you may receive a pop-up dialog error message that starts with the words "limited or no connectivity." Usually this error indicates

6. "Connected with Limited Access..."

A technical glitch in Windows Vista causes this error message to appear when making certain types of wireless connections. Microsoft has provided a fix for this issue in Vista service packs. This error can also occur on a home network for other reasons that may require you to reset your router.

7. "Unable to Join Network Failure" (error -3)

This error appears on the Apple iPhone (or iPod Touch) when it fails to join a Wi-Fi network. You can troubleshoot this problem the same as you would for a PC that cannot connect to a hotspot.

8. "Unable to Establish the VPN Connection" (error 800)

When using a VPN client on Windows XP, you may receive error 800 when trying to connect to the VPN server. This generic message can indicate problems on either the client or server side.

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