Microsoft Windows XP provides a set of built-in utilities for administering and troubleshooting TCP/IP networks. Windows XP contains many of the standard network troubleshooting tools found on most other computers as well as some additional, more advanced ones.
Each of these utilities runs from the Windows command prompt. From the Start menu, choose Run and type 'cmd' to open a command window, then type in the name of the utility to run.
1. Ping'Ping' is the single most powerful troubleshooting tool for networked computers. The ping tool can at different times verify that TCP/IP is installed correctly on a computer, that a computer has joined the network successfully, that a computer can reach the Internet, that a remote Web site or computer is responding, and that computer name resolution is working.
2. IPconfigThe 'ipconfig' tool shows a computer's TCP/IP configuration. It displays the IP address, the network (subnet) mask and the Internet/network gateway address (if one is set for that network). Use this tool to verify that the TCP/IP configuration has been set up correctly.
3. HostnameThe 'hostname' utility in Windows XP displays the computer's name. This tool is often used on a computer to verify its name when attempts to map network drives on that computer fail.
4. Tracert'Tracert" (pronounced "traceroute") sends a test network message from a computer to a designated remote host and tracks the path taken by that message. Specifically, 'tracert' displays the name or IP address of each intermediate router or other network gateway device the message passes through to reach its destination. 'Tracert' is especially useful when diagnosing connectivity problems on the Internet or within a school or corporate network.
5. ArpThe 'arp' command manages the Address Resolution Protocol cache. The ARP cache maintains a list of computer names and their corresponding IP addresses. In some situations, primarily on school or corporate networks, an administrator may need to view or modify the contents of the ARP cache. 'Arp' is considered an advanced network administration tool.
6. RouteAnother advanced network administration tool on Windows XP, 'route' supports manipulation and viewing of a computer's routing table. 'Route' can be used on school or corporate networks to diagnose cases where a computer cannot reach another computer on the LAN.