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Learn Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week: Troubleshooting TCP/IP in Windows XP Professional – Part 1

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by Jason Zandri

Welcome to
this week’s installment of Learn Windows XP Professional in
15 minutes a week, the 14th in this series. This article
will continue covering the TCP/IP Protocol within Windows XP
Professional and will specifically focus on troubleshooting the network protocol under Windows XP

Jason Zandri’s latest article in the Learning Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week series continues a discussion on the TCP/IP Protocol within Windows XP Professional and specifically addresses troubleshooting the network protocol.

Internet Protocol Addressing Overview

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol is a network
communication protocol. It can be used as a communications
protocol on private networks and is the default protocol
in use on the internet. When you set up any system to have
direct access to the Internet, whether it is via dial-up or
one of the high speed technologies in use today, your system
will need to utilize the TCP/IP protocol (whether it is a
Windows-based system or not).

Also, if the given system needs to communicate with other
TCP/IP systems on the local LAN or WAN, it will need to
utilize the TCP/IP protocol as well.

This is just a basic overview of TCP/IP, and I didn’t want to get too involved
with it within this article. There is bountiful
information on TCP/IP all over the internet and before
pouring through the RFCs I would first suggest you try these two resources —
Frequently Asked Questions

TCP/IP Protocol Suite – Questions & Answers

I have gone into a more detailed
overview of the TCP/IP Protocol in
an article
from a couple of weeks ago, which covered the four-layer conceptual model
of TCP/IP and how the model stacks up against the seven layer Open
System Interconnection (OSI) protocol model.

TCP/IP Troubleshooting

Windows XP
Professional offers several native programs for use in helping to troubleshooting TCP/IP.

– Ping can be used to test your TCP/IP connection by sending
a message to the remote node or gateway from a local system.
(It can also be used to test the loopback locally only to
see if it is working correctly.) If the remote node or
gateway receives the message, it responds with a reply
message. The reply consists of the remote’s IP address, the
number of bytes in the message, how long it took to
reply (given in milliseconds), the length of time-to-live
(TTL) in seconds. It will also show any packet losses in
terms of percentages. Here’s what a sample reply looks like:

Pinging with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time
Reply from bytes=32 time
Reply from bytes=32 time
Reply from bytes=32 time
Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

Usage: ping
[-t] [-a] [-n count] [-l size] [-f] [-i TTL] [-v TOS]
[-r count] [-s count] [[-j host-list] | [-k host-list]]
[-w timeout] target_name


  • -t  – Ping
    the specified host until stopped. To see statistics and
    continue, type Control-Break; To stop, type Control-C.
  • -a  –
    Resolve addresses to hostnames.
  • -n count  –
    Number of echo requests to send.
  • -l size  –
    Send buffer size.
  • -f  – Set
    Don’t Fragment flag in packet.
  • -i  – TTL:
    Time To Live.
  • -v  – TOS:
    Type Of Service.
  • -r count  –
    Record route for count hops.
  • -s count  –
    Timestamp for count hops.
  • -j host-list  – Loose source route along host-list.
  • -k host-list  – Strict source route along host-list.
  • -w timeout  – Timeout in milliseconds to wait for each reply.

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