Learn Windows XP Professional: Troubleshooting TCP/IP - Part 1 (Page 4) Page 4

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ROUTE - You can use the route command line tool to display the current IP routing table and add or delete IP routes.

ROUTE [-f] [-p] [command] [destination] [MASK netmask] [gateway] [METRIC metric] [IF interface]

  • -f - Clears the routing tables of all gateway entries. If this is used in conjunction with one of the commands, the tables are cleared prior to running the command.
  • -p - When used with the ADD command, makes a route persistent across boots of the system. By default, routes are not preserved when the system is restarted. Ignored for all other commands, which always affect the appropriate persistent routes.


  • PRINT - Prints a route.
  • ADD - Adds a route.
  • DELETE - Deletes a route.
  • CHANGE - Modifies an existing route.

  • destination - Specifies the host.
  • MASK  - Specifies that the next parameter is the 'netmask' value.
  • netmask - Specifies a subnet mask value for this route entry. If not specified, it defaults to
  • gateway - Specifies gateway.
  • interface - Specifices the interface number for the specified route.
  • METRIC - Specifies the metric, ie. cost for the destination.

All symbolic names used for destination are looked up in the network database file NETWORKS. The symbolic names for gateway are looked up in the host name database file HOSTS.

If the command is PRINT or DELETE, destination or gateway can be a wildcard (wildcard is specified as a star '*'), or the gateway argument may be omitted.

If Dest contains a * or ?, it is treated as a shell pattern, and only matching destination routes are printed. The '*' matches any string, and '?' matches any one char. Examples: 157.*.1, 157.*, 127.*, *224*.

Invalid MASK generates an error; that is, when (DEST & MASK) != DEST.


route ADD MASK IF 1
The route addition failed: The specified mask parameter is
invalid. (Destination & Mask) != Destination.


route PRINT
    destination^     ^mask   ^gateway      metric^      ^Interface

If IF is not given, it tries to find the best interface for a given gateway.

route PRINT 112* .... Only prints those matching 112*

CHANGE is used to modify gateway and/or metric only.

HOSTNAME - Hostname is used to show the local computer's host name for authentication by the Remote Copy Protocol (RCP), Remote Shell (RSH), and Remote Execution (REXEC) tools.

TRACERT - Tracert is sometimes used to verify that IP addressing has been correctly configured on a client. It will basically show the route taken to reach a remote system. 

Usage: tracert [-d] [-h maximum_hops] [-j host-list] [-w timeout] target_name


  • -d - Do not resolve addresses to hostnames.
  • -h maximum_hops - Maximum number of hops to search for target.
  • -j host-list - Loose source route along host-list.
  • -w timeout - Wait timeout milliseconds for each reply.

This article was originally published on Sep 2, 2002

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